It's Halloween - And I Have No Photos

Friday, October 31, 2008

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Well, it is the end of Halloween, and while only one of the Caterpillars did any trick or treating (of any fashion), I don't have any pictures to put up yet.

B10 spent his evening at our local Science Night Out. He and I had a great dinner together (Cookie drove him to my workplace), then he went on in to the Science Center with no worries whatsoever about making new friends.

When Hubby brought him home (3 1/2 hours later), he had a small treat bag full of candy and gum - and lots of stories to tell. Apparently there was bridge building with spaghetti noodles and a wonderful experience where they took balloons, blew them up, then dipped them in liquid nitrogen to watch them shatter when they hit the ground.

Ah, B10 and Science...it's a beautiful thing. I've signed him up to go back again in November, so he should be rather pleased.

CW dressed up as Indiana Jones, again, and Cookie took him to our Neighborhood party. The Women's Club puts on a pleasant little pizza get-together for the kids with games and such, very early in the evening. Mum really didn't want to be at home to hand out candy afterwards, so we drove out to one of the churches Hubby and I have been debating visiting.

They were having a "Trunk or Treat" festival, with Chick-fil-a nuggets and cotton candy. CW very much enjoyed his nuggets for dinner, but was uncharacteristically shy with all the people around. He managed to get a nice bag full of candy/gum/toys, then went to the car with Cookie and their bags of cotton candy, while I caught up with one of my friends that happened to be there with her sister and her sister's family.

In other news, I actually really liked the people at the church holding the festival. In fact, it's where Hubby and I will visit on Sunday - to see how we fit in to their weekly services.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, with lots of treats and few tricks. We'll be having our "real" Halloween celebration tomorrow night, when the guests arrive for our party!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Preparing for the New School Year

Thursday, October 30, 2008

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Unlike many families (both homeschooling and not) the Caterpillars never get an official "break" from school. They don't have to do any work when they are with their Dad - but the rest of the time, we pretty much homeschooling year round.

This means that our "New School Year" rarely falls in August/September. B10
finished 2nd Grade in March, and CW began his 1st Grade work in May.

Both Caterpillars are approaching the end of their English books (I anticipate them being finished before we leave in two weeks on vacation). And they don't have much left in their Math books. I'm a pretty big stickler for staying in the same grade in all subjects (B10's Science being the only exception) - so after they finish the English, CW will work on focusing on sight words and B10 will work on another Grammar/Punctuation book.

B10's 3rd Grade Schoolwork Includes:

US Geography
Math
English/Reading
Science (he's actually in the 4th grade Lifepac here)
Spanish
Maps & Geography (a book specifically teaching him about how to read maps/distance/conversion)

CW's 1st Grade Schoolwork Includes:

Math
English/Reading
Modern Animals & Dinosaurs (Life Science)
Time & Money

I went online today and purchased their new Reading/English books:


This is one of my favorite parts, choosing their curriculum for the new year. Even though we tend to stay the same publisher for many subjects, it's always a joy to tailor the year to each Caterpillar. Most of their textbooks I purchase locally, but the Reading/English books I tend to get a better deal online.

The Caterpillars LOVE when the new books come in the mail, or I bring them home from the store. The anticipation of promoting really motiviates them to finish out their schoolbooks.

For the new year (which I anticipate to begin in December or January) -

B10's 4th Grade Schoolwork Will Include:

Math
Reading/English
Spanish
Science (continue the 4th grade Science and move up to 5th grade when he's done)
World Geography
Bible (Study of Passages)
Test Prep (for the 3rd Grade Standardized Tests he has to take in March/April 2009)

CW's 2nd Grade Schoolwork Will Include:

Math
Reading/English
Spelling
Science (Space and Machines)
Bible (Scripture Memorization)
Beginner Spanish (towards the later part of the school year)

We'll also be doing a year-long study of the American Civil War, as my hope is to take them to at least 5 battlefields/historical landmarks for that time period between now and next fall.

In fact, hopefully they'll get to visit Vicksburg, Mississippi (and the AWESOME
National Military Park there) the second week of November.

I think this is my most favorite time of the year!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Sickly Little Caterpillar

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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B10 hasn't been feeling well since the camping trip.

Oh, he says he is fine - but then either runs a slight fever or vomits.

These are NOT things that indicate he is fine.

However, they don't seem to STOP him from spinning in circles, or generally being a boy.

I stayed home from work on Wednesday to be with him, but his fever left that night, and I have been at work since then. Cookie said she thinks he's just getting dehydrated to often (the Tutor that watches them on Tuesdays/Thursdays took them to the park, and he complained of being thirsty - then got sick again), and I tend to agree. I wish I could be at home to force fluids down his little gullet!

Oh well, I have to work today and tomorrow, then 1/2 a day Wednesday, then 14-15 hours on Thursday - THEN I'M DONE!


Whew!

I received my October paycheck today, and ran some more calculations based on the lower gas prices and the childcare for Baby Larva I had looked in to in my county. After taxes, childcare, and gas - if I continued to work - I would be making a whooping $2.25 per hour.

Seriously, that's just ridiculous. I'm worth so much more than that to my Caterpillars.

~Lone Butterfly )i(

It's a Party! (And I'm a CopyCat)

Monday, October 27, 2008

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Okay, maybe not a party - but an anniversary event, none-the-less.


Hubby and I discussed where to eat dinner tonight (the Caterpillars spent the night with Cookie) and we were going to go to our favorite Japanese Resturant, but then decided to try some place we'd never been together before.

It's a great Fondue place - and they were very sweet for our Anniversary. It was perfect, as they even let us substitute the cheese fondue that came with our meal package with the dessert chocolate fondue.


I really want to bring B-10 back - there were kids younger than CW, but I wouldn't want to try that with the hot food so early. It would be more work than being a special occasion, I think, until they are 8 or 9 years old.


Then we drove to our local Target and took Edelweiss and BG's lead on Anniversary Gifts:

Delightful!

Well, it was delightful, until Hubby took the WiiFit test, which didn't give him exactly the results he was hoping for. That may have put a bit of a damper on the evening, but he's set his goal and has 3 months to work towards it. I think CW will help be a great motivator - as soon as he sees there is another fitness game for the Wii (he loves the stuff that came with the Wii).

I'll have to wait a bit to use WiiFit, since there's isn't a "pregnancy" option that we could find!

We also purchased a gift for the entire family, since this is the day we became an "official family". We are waiting until Thursday when we are all together to share it with the Caterpillars, but I have been wanting this since I discovered it was coming out:

WHOO HOO! Legos are awesome, Indian Jones is awesome, what more can I say?

~Lone Butterfly )i(

One Year

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Today is our One Year Anniversary -




We've:


1) Moved into a house.

2) Worked on renovating said house.


3) Had four birthdays.


4) Begun looking for a new church home.


5) Seen two boy Caterpillars mature and grow.


6) Seen our Baby Girl Larva grow through ultrasounds.


7) Passed 3 CPA exams.


8) Camped a total of 5 times.


9) Visited 6 states.


10) Argued, fought, and made up.


11) Watched the stars together.


12) Cut coupons and pinched pennies.


13) Bought a Wii - and played Lego Star Wars till we beat the game together.


14) Watched Eli win an MVP and a Super Bowl.


15) Argued over SEC football teams.


16) And fell in love more every day.


Happy Anniversary...our first of many...


~Lone Butterfly )i(

Camping - Day Two

Sunday, October 26, 2008

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(Look! A picture of me! Proof I also went camping! Thanks, Queen, for capturing this!)

Do all Caterpillars wake up at 6:45 a.m. and ask to go down to the dock to watch the sun rise? I mean, they are pretty good about getting up early when they have to - but to voluntarily ask for an adult to walk down with them to see the sun come up...

Before I let them out of the tent, I put their jeans in their sleeping bags to get warm so they could change. Hubby and King built a fire, and I managed to start a pot of water on the stove for hot morning drinks. It got down to the 40's overnight, but wasn't too awful in the morning.


The pre-dawn sky was beautiful, I love this part of camping.



The theme of the weekend was books, so I had made green eggs to go with the snasauge (ie: Ham) for our family. I reheated boiled peanuts for my protein-filled meal, to go along with my cups of hot coffee/chocolate.


There were three stations in the morning, and three groups of scouts/siblings again. One station was a scavenger hunt, where each team had to find something that began with every letter of the alphabet. The second was capture the flag.


I assisted with the third station - funnel cake making. My job was to add the toppings (who knew chocolate syrup would be so delicious???) for the scouts.


CW had a blast making his, until the other leader melted his plate.


B-10 enjoyed eating his also.



After that, all the scouts went around picking up trash, while the parents began loading up. The hope was to be out of the campground by noon, however, Hubby and King ended up having to help lots of other families pack out (and we didn't park at our campsites - so there had to be LOTS of traffic control with scouts running around).



We eventually got out a little before 1:00 p.m., which wasn't to shabby, but the Caterpillars (and myself) were asleep before we got to the interstate. There was an accident on the interstate, which held us up for about 20 minutes, and we decided to pull off right after we broke through the traffic and grab lunch at 2:00 p.m.



I called Mum, who met us at the house, so two adults could unload the car and sweep the tent and tarp clean - while one of us (that would be me) bathed two dirty, stinky, smelly, off-color caterpillars.


We didn't have much of a rest, because I took the Caterpillars back to Cookie's so I could work on grading papers and preparing Speech CDs for her. Hubby stayed home to rest and study for his CPA exam. It was a long day (the Caterpillars finally fell into bed around 11:30 at night), but very productive.


(Especially for Eli, who managed to pull out a win in the fourth quarter - that long snap turned the tide of the game, and taught me something!)


~Lone Butterfly )i(

Camping - Day One

Saturday, October 25, 2008

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Cub Scout Family Camping - at least 60 people, 20 (at minimum) who have never camped before!

We left early Saturday morning. The campout was suppose to begin on Friday evening, but a huge rainstorm postponed it 16 hours. (YAY! I like tent camping, but not in a downpour!)


The Caterpillars love camping (don't all kids?) and were actually in great moods as we started the two hour drive, while it was still dark.




We were the second family to arrive at the campground (The Royal Family had gotten up at 5:30 a.m. to make the drive, we weren't that excited) and the place seemed so empty.




Not two hours later, it was hopping! We had a huge potluck for lunch, with the Caterpillars and other kids roasting hot dogs. I had purchased a 7 pound can of baked beans at the local Sam's Club, and used my new propane stove and pots to warm the side dish.





Look at the four frogs on a log! ;)


Then all the kids (siblings included - I love our Pack!) divided into three groups and rotated through three stations. The first was their Map & Compass Belt Loop Station. They drew maps and then went on a treasure hunt with a compass, finding pirate treasure of gold necklaces and pirate money for each kid to take home.



The second station was the Fishing Belt Loop. CW looks like a little Southern Boy with his fishing pole, etc. B-10 likes fishing, but usually only goes with his dad, so he asked the leader of the station if he could just walk around the shoreline (staying in sight) and take pictures. The leader happily agreed.



The third station was the coolest (I think). The Caterpillars took plain white t-shirts and placed leaves on them. Then they used a mallet/hammer to pound the leaf until it turned a light green. The shirts were then dipped in alum and salt water baths to seal the design. These were AWESOME and I'll do a separate post detailing the process later.



Dinner was on your own, and we made pouch dinners over our campfire that we shared with The Royal Family. Queen and I had prepared meat/potato dinners (Hubby was very proud of the fire he built), and then I put a huge pot of baby ears of corn on the stove. All 36 ears were eaten! (Many times the newer and inexperienced families don't bring enough food for the weekend, so it's always good to have a little extra healthy food to feed to random hungry children.)




After dinner there was a huge campfire for the entire Pack. One of the Dads and I headed down to the dock to set up the Astronomy Belt Loop/Pin Station, which was my responsibility. I had hoped more than anything that the sky would be clear enough for the scouts to see the Milky Way.



I had the best problem ever! All the constellations that I had hoped to show the scouts - I couldn't! There were to many stars in the sky! (It was one of the most beautiful nights I've ever seen in my life.) The Milky Way was clear, we saw Jupiter and Venus, the constellations Sagittarius, Draco, and the Summer Triangle. I had 3 pairs of binoculars and B-10's telescope, so the scouts (and siblings) each got a turn to look at the night sky.


Poor B-10 made it to my station, though, and asked to be taken back to the tent, because he didn't feel well. By the time I had packed up after both groups rotated through, he was pulling on his pajamas and falling asleep. (We think he didn't drink enough water, that's a common problem with my Caterpillars when they are running around!)



CW continued to play with the other scouts, roasting marshmallows and chasing each other, for another few minutes, but was ready for bed quickly after that.



Queen and I had a cup of hot mocha coffee before our last walk to the restroom (or the first of the four that night - depending on your perspective) and our heading to bed, thus ending our first, very full, day of Cub Scout Family Camping.


~Lone Butterfly )i(

Work - And It's Issues -

Friday, October 24, 2008

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Due to the nature of the Internet, this is going to be a rather vague post.

Basically, last Tuesday, the CEO of the non-profit where I work made an announcement. She did this at 4 p.m. after 11 people were laid off (on Tuesday alone). So the rest of us sat in the auditorium and quietly freaked out about what she was going to say.

Everyone was being given a 10% pay cut, one unpaid day every two weeks, we took a cut in our retirement benefits (plus the new percentage was based on our "new" rate of pay), they are re-evaluating our health benefits (and we'll likely have to pay more), and all raises/promotions/cost of living increases have been suspended for (at the very least) one year.

Um, it was already eating up a chunk of my paycheck to pay for childcare, and putting Baby Larva in childcare would have effectively eaten up quite a bit more. Now - when combined with gas and work lunches - I would almost be PAYING to go to work, as the total deduction comes to almost 20%.

Needless to say, Hubby and I sat down and crunched numbers for a few hours on Tuesday evening and I turned in my two week notice on Wednesday. There are a lot of angry people at my work, and I have become an easy scapegoat - because I was the one lucky enough to get free. No one has spoken to me since Wednesday (and I took Friday/Saturday off). We ALL envy Edelweiss for getting out before the storm hit.

I have three more events before I'm done.



Here I am at my Wednesday night event - drinking my ginger ale and praying the night goes by quickly.

I can't say I'm overly upset about having to quit. It was the right financial move for my family. But, regardless of the people, I enjoyed my job very much and I'm sad that this wasn't as much my choice as a necessity for out budget.

At least I know the Caterpillars are going to be MUCH happier!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

The Onslaught is Coming -

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Whew! We've been camping - the Caterpillars are clean, the tent is packed away and the food is back in the fridge.

There are SO many pictures and posts on the way. This week Hubby and I made a huge decision, after hearing some difficult news. Plus, we had Cub Scout Family Camping. AND I read a really great book I want to share.

So be on the lookout soon for a flood of posts. (I'll likely move this post back, to accommodate the rest...)

~Lone Butterfly )i(

First Tooth!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

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CW has lost his first tooth! We carefully cleaned it and set it on the "loose tooth shelf" at Cookie's House.


Yay! This is a huge step for him and a load off of my mind. He's been grinding his teeth since he was very little - but the dentists have refused to give him a mouth guard until his permanent teeth came in. FINALLY they will have to do something about his horrid sleeping habit.

The tooth was literally 1/3 the size it should have been, that's how far he's ground it down...

Now we just wait for the Dentist to fit us into his schedule!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Which Grey's Anatomy Character Are You?

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So, I took the Grey's Anatomy Personality Quiz and it turns out I'm most like Alex.

You may come across as gruff and uncaring, but anyone who knows you can talk of your unselfish deeds and generosity, which, for some reason, you want to keep a deep, dark secret. Some day, even you will have to admit that you're pretty damn awesome. In the meantime, that world-class temper of yours might convince people you really are too much trouble.

Odd, it's not who I would have picked - but I'm not surprised in the least. It's actually pretty close to what one of my friends at work said to me a couple of weeks ago.

I'm also thrilled I didn't score as Izzy or The Younger Grey....

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Yes, Really, This is My Happy Face...

Friday, October 17, 2008

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So I'm happy for her. Really happy for her.

And insanely jealous.

Which is why I'm going to spend the next 7 days making her fat. In fact, today we had Panera Bagels AND McDonald's for breakfast.

I know she's going to be very happy and that makes me very happy for her. She and BG (and LG in his own way) have worked really hard for this opportunity - and she deserves to enjoy it.

But I'm still jealous. Mostly because I'll miss having coffee with her four days a week.

So, gas needs to get VERY cheap, VERY quick.

Congrats, Edelweiss. Deep down, I really am more happy than anything else.

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Baby Larva's Nursery

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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Baby Larva's Nursery set has been picked out from Target! We painted the room a rich barn red when we moved into the house and added bright white wainscoting and trim way back in 2007.

The Set is known as CoCaLo Peek-A-Boo, and is adorable. (If I do say so myself...)

Hubby and I knew we would want a "barnish" type theme, which would work for a girl or a boy Larva - and last until said Larva was four or five. (Thank goodness!)

Here are photos of the adorableness. All ready to be purchased, then pooed on! :D

Bedroom Set





Crib Sheet Pattern

And my favorite:
The Puppy Hamper

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Emergency Vets are Not Any Fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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CW's cat had to go to the emergency vet early this Sunday morning. They ended up keeping him overnight and would only release him if Cookie took him directly to a regular vet on Monday morning.

So she picked him up early to drive him to our local vet at 7 am Monday, much to CW's dismay. (He wasn't allowed in the Emergency Vet's Office to see his baby, nor could he go with Cookie that early on Monday.)

When Cookie got off work, though, she came by to pick him up and took him to see his precious Solomon. The assistant asked if Solomon was his cat, to which CW replied: "Yes, I am his Owner." (I think Cookie was wondering if that meant he was going to pay the bill...sadly...his money jar can't cover that kind of financial commitment at age 6.)

She did document his trip to visit his baby, you can see his little worried self until he actually held his fuzzy one in his arms.

I left work about 10 minutes early to get to the office and brought Solomon home today. He quickly scurried back to Cookie's bed and curled up there licking his kitty-parts. (Having a catheter is no fun for a cat!)

I love cats, but vets are never any fun!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Thanks to the Commenters!

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I want to say thank you to everyone who has commented - and I know there has been at least a couple of "Anonymous" readers out there.

Usually, I just post the comments from everyone, and respond directly to those who have left questions and such - but feel I can't do that when someone doesn't leave a name (even a Pseudonym) or an email address.

"Anonymous" - I would be more than happy to address your concerns and "sadness" over one of my blog posts, but that's hard if you don't let me know who you are - or how I can get in touch with you.

Thanks ever so much...

~Lone Butterfly )i(

Visiting Grandpa

Monday, October 13, 2008

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After work on Saturday night we drove out to Hubby's dad's house. The Caterpillars enjoyed visiting with Grandpa and his lovely wife (who currently doesn't have a blogging name) - but I think the highlight for the Caterpillars was this:


Meet the pugs and the bird.

B10 and CW adored playing with the puggpies (that a pug-puppy) and the Puggpies seemed to adore the Caterpillars.
We can't wait to be able to go back again, and play outside in the beautiful backyard!

~Lone Butterfly )i(

CAUTION: Bear Cub Hard at Work

Sunday, October 12, 2008

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Part of B10's Bear Cub path is to help someone with a garage sale. By sheer coinky-dink, BooSheep had a garage sale this weekend.

Here are a few photos of him working hard.



To quote BooSheep: "He did lots to help out. He hung up clothes (when the wind kept blowing them away), helped customers (mainly by greeting and getting them a bag to put their stuff in), sorting shoes, and watching Little Sheep when the sale was slow."

I'm so proud of him!

~Lone Butterfly )i(