Friday, June 12, 2009

A Clean House for only $5.32!!

Well, it's a momentous occasion. My house is clean. No, wait - that's not why it's momentous. Today was the first major cleaning of summer vacation, and so the girls were here. And guess what! Today they learned how to clean a toilet, tub, sink and counter! They also helped mop, dust and make beds. Woo-hoo! So my house was reasonably clean in about three and a half hours (we cleaned for 15 minutes, watched 5-10 minutes of a movie, repeat until done) and as a reward we went to Baskin Robbins and got ice cream cones. What a bargin! There's so much good about this whole process, I hardly know where to start!
  1. My girls are learning life skills!
  2. My house is clean!
  3. I got ice cream!

What's not to like?

Friday, June 5, 2009

One week down, Ten to go!

Well, hello there! Welcome to Summer Vacation! It's zooming by at an alarming rate, with one week already slipped past us. I'm not sure that the girls would tell you that Summer Vacation is anything very exciting yet - on about the third day Maggie asked me, "Are we going to run errands EVERY day during the summer?"

"You know, I run errands almost every day, but you are usually in school, so you don't notice. This isn't actually an unusual amount of errands," I replied. Maggie failed to look impressed.

Gracie's just disappointed because we haven't gone swimming yet. There's several reasons for this, the #1 reason being that several days this week it barely broke 80 degrees. I for one, don't want to freeze my fanny off in the pool. The #2 reason is that we have not gotten a pool membership this year. Last year we shelled out $220 for passes to the local aquatic center, and then didn't use them enough to break even on the cost. This year we've been invited to join two of the local homeowner's association pools, one at $250 and one at $175. I hesitate because A) I wonder if we will use it and B) we really do like the aquatic center, and would want to go there too. It's $7 per person, per visit. Do I want to pay for both? Ugh!!! Decisions, decisions. It's easier just not to swim, although that makes for a very pouty little girl!!!

Let's see - since it's been a month since I blogged, let me catch you up. May was exhausting, as usual. First we had Gracie's First Grade Field Trip - the Zoo. We had a very fun day, but I forgot to take my camera, so I have no visual proof. Someone took a picture of us on the tram, but I don't even know who it was to get a copy. We did see an awesome dinosaur exhibit at the zoo. The dinosaurs were life-size robotics. Some of them had control stations that the kids could operate, making them move their head, tails, arms and even roar on command. Gracie really enjoyed that part.

For Mother's Day I rang handbells in church and then we went to lunch and then we went bowling and had a fun family day. The girls bowling styles couldn't have been more different from each other, and they kept me and Jerry giggling.

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The girls also gave me artwork from school that details why they love me - I just love to read them over and over! We also hung up pictures and wall art, kinda. Well, definitely the wall art, and the frames, but they still had stock pictures of unknown people in them. I finally put photos in them this week.

The next day was our anniversary, and Jerry took the day off to "be with me." Only, he didn't put on the calendar that he was taking the day off, so I had committed to help the first grade make their teacher gift for the year. Jerry went with me and helped too, so we could be together for our anniversary!

The next week ended up being not as all what we had expected. My Uncle Bub passed away the Saturday before Mother's Day and so I traveled down to Granbury for the funeral. It was quite an affair, as Uncle Bub was quite a man.

The day after the funeral my Dad had surgery for a blocked artery in his leg, so I sat at the hospital with my step-mom until he was in recovery before heading back to Oklahoma. All in all, Jerry was a single dad from Tuesday through Thursday. Luckily for us we have some very hospitable neighbors with girls that are similar ages who helped us out by keeping the girls after school until Jerry got home from work. I think the girls felt conflicted about my absence. They missed me, BUT they sure enjoyed having playmates after school every day!!

I got home from the Metroplex on Thursday afternoon, and Friday we headed off to East Texas for Jerry's family reunion. It was a very small crowd - only 30 people. We did enjoy our time with Mimi and Pepaw at the cabin, although Maggie and Gracie were disappointed that there weren't more cousins their own age for them to meet. All in all I spent over 1300 miles in the van this week. I was very ready to get back to a routine, but there were only 2 weeks of school left!

And what a full two weeks they were. Maggie had her bridging ceremony for Girl Scouts - she officially flew up from Brownies, which was very exciting. For Memorial Day we took it easy - Gracie went over to a friends house to have a sleepover, and so we allowed Maggie to invite a friend over for the same night. She and Chloe stayed up way too late - I went in to quiet them down at 11:00 and found the door shut, the light on, and them playing away. UGH!!! Needless to say, we were all a bunch of grumpy gerties the next day and didn't do much!

The last week of school the girls had "Farm to You" from the OSU extension service come to their school. It leads them through the body to teach them about nutrition and health. Here Gracie heads into the mouth where they learned about dental health:

And here Maggie is looking at her hands under a black light after they used a special glow-in-the-dark lotion to show how germs spread by shaking hands.

And that was it. We're here for our 80 days of summer vacation. Only 80 days this year. Last year we had 85. Oh well, we are making the best of it! We have already signed up for the Library reading program. The grand prize is a Wii - you get one entry for every 8 books you read. Gracie is a girl with a mission. She's reading every book she can get her hands on. We've also had a grand time with the girls Easy-Bake oven. They've had a stuffed animal's 'birthday' every day, and are getting quite proficient with the oven. I have learned a few valuable lessons myself, such as - you can't shove a half-baked cake back in the oven. The in-door is only as tall as the pan, so if the cake has risen above the rim, you will create a huge mess. Also, those cakes may be small, and it may only be a light bulb that cooks 'em, but they are rippin' hot! Don't try to catch one with your bare hands if it starts to fall out of that hook holder. Yowza! I'm beginning to understand why my mom wouldn't let me have an easy-bake oven when I was a kid. Still, we are having a great time. Okay, the girls are standing here begging to go outside and ride bikes - and that's what summer is for, so I've got to run -

Happy Summer!