Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Return - a Mitzvah

Early, early Sunday morning I arose (for a minute) and then returned to bed - it was too cold! I had packed the night before so I only needed a few minutes to dress and get my bags downstairs. Phew - it was a cold morning.

The flight was uneventful except for a note that Shelby had sliped into my luggage the night before with strick instructions of when to open it. Two hours latter I was back in my place. I began the garage shelf a little bit, unpacked a little bit, did some mail, took a bit of a nap and then a quick round of the grocery and dinner with friends!

Monday a.m. my boxes of stuff arrived and I got to the business of unpacking the work I took with me and take care of the items that arrived while I was gone. I will probably have another long day of getting the bits and pieces completed and put away.

The rest of the week was great, more chaufferring, cooking, cleaning, listening, explaining, hugging, comforting, assuring, - the simple duties yet most important ones. Those are the ones that keep the very fabric of life together. So we did have the brownies - yummy with butterscotch chips, of course why not make choc chip cookies; and lest not forget baking the gluten free choc chip cookies. So everyone was able to have their non-candy sugar fix.

Shelby and I went to Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate store to use her gift card. She was especially excited when they answered her email that their products were gluten free. We bought some extra's so we could surprise mommy and daddy when they returned. We even treated ourselves to some special truffles to share.

Jess and I hung out a bit before taking her to go to the movies and enjoyed conversation with each other. While I was there, I completed lots more on her blanket. Just the four corners to go.

Taylor was out on a hike with OSEP - a bit cold to say the least. It is in preparation of her 30 mile hike in January. Big news, Taylor's orchestra will be playing at Carnegie Hall in April! She interviewed me for her Personal Finance class - it was funny, she asked questions and wrote up her paper, submitted them on-line, and the next day her teacher gave her great accolades and thought that maybe she could learn something from her Aunt. LOL!

Chris and I continue to play the monology game and the bank was still out of money - we called the game, he won with the most $$s :) We also had an opportunity to go to the game store and get a few more games for his DS.

Friday - everyone came home, we picked up, and packed ourselves into the mini van (my goodness this was a great car, super GPS, but so big ) and off to the airport to meet up with their parents. After a enormous hello, we went off to the Pasta House - chain type resturant that serves gluten free pasta.

My time was coming to an end - what an adventure it was! Saturday was not anything, spent most of the day with my sister-in-law and then off to the 6-7-8 Club social for the sixth, seventh, eighth graders that they organize at their church featuring pizza, candy and the movie Kung Fu Panda. Cute movie, though not what I call visiting, sad - oh well, I guess it doesn't matter - because I took this time soley to help them up.

I will say so myself - I did pretty darn good - another week on the ground and I would have felt better with their schedule and would have been able to get more done (for myself) as it is truly a logistics opportunity. I am truly thankful that I could give this time to my brother and sister-in-law so that they could be together, as a couple to strengthen their relationship, and celebrate their marriage of 20 years. A dear friend said to me on my return, you've done a mitzvah. This is the most precious gift that one can do for another. I am thankful :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday - Hump Day

All is well in the calm before the storm. Today is the first of two half days for the kids. Shelby will be back by 11:45! Didn't she just leave. Actually today, she didn't wake me before she left - same with Taylor. While it was nice to sleep in for a few extra minutes, it's nice to see them off.

Now ----- there is a box of brownies sitting on the counter - I think some one is wanting a brownie fix! I guess it is a slight - "ya know Aunt Patty, brownies would be nice!" hint hint.

Miss Jess was the next out the door. Yesterday afternoon I attended as a spectator, her academic competition for her high school, LHS. These are held approx every two weeks - with students from each grade. Now for those of you that know the TV game show Jeopardy - that's kindergarden compared to the questions that are asked these kids! I did get some of the questions correct - and stumped completely on some, and not a clue on the tricky physics questions. A teacher reads the questions, I caught his eye a couple of times when he became quizzacle on how the question was worded. Anyway it was fun. Jess's team won the first competition against MHS, and lost against the second team from MHS. I must say these kids were quite impressive.

My niece, Miss Jess, is becoming quite a remarkable young woman. I was told to 'watch' her. Yet simple reminders are just about all I need to do. Double check on them for homework, they know what they need to do, though they all can get distracted. Last night was pick up dinner night, we did the left overs and assorted mini meals snacks and I made my colossal salad. She wanted the soup and some of the salad. Easily done. Before we 'closed' down the house for the evening, Aunt Patty doing the check the doors, lights, and anything else that could go 'beep, ding, or ring' Jess paid me the nicest compliment. "Gee Aunt Patty you are doing a real good job at the mom thing" then a simple hug and it was off to bed.

By a.m. she had an email on a STAR meeting which is about a kids discussion about poor and bad behaviors of some of their classmates. Apparantly, many of these kids have found alcohol and are drinking during the day! Okay - kids will try just about anything - remember I was in school during the sixties. I was surprised by her comment - 'their parents don't care'. Even if this comment is only half true, let me at those parents. I've my 'duh' stick and each of them would need to have a lesson about the "R" word. No offense here - parents are to be parents , not absent, not too busy, parents are to be the enforcers of the rules, and the biggest comfort blankie on earth. Parents are not suspose to be the kid's best friend and popular. If that does happen along the way, then I would say they were exceptional parents with exceptional children.

by the way----- being Hump Day - stop by Showmecables.com for this week's specials and the video of the week Little plug for baby brother's site as he hasn't written on his blog for more than a week.!

PS by the way ----- the kids said that I say stuff just like Dad.... LOL..... who came first the chicken or the egg!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday 1:16pm CST

So another two days have gone by. There is still an "Aunt Patty" and there were four kids off to school this a.m. - so far it's we are working like a well oiled machine, unless one forgets lunch, or misses the buss because it's not suspose to be there until 7:45 and it came at 7:42! Lots of activity of course when they get home, chill down time, Kumon work to complete, general homework, then of course computer stuff, like video's on UTube, they can look up just about anything in a few clicks, phone calls, friends, keeping up on the rsvps for Chris's party and even answering questions for the Saturday movie night at their local church.

by the end of the day.... phew.... it can be tiring. This a.m. was about 5:30 - lol for all of you reading as it only feels like 6:30 to me. Then it was "do you have your lunch" , "where is your backpack", " did you remember the book?", okay the socks don't fit into the shoes, put the cello in the van, oh--- pet the dogs, don't forget lunch for Chris, set the timer to pick him up at 9:05 and leave the house by 8:57 - Yes folks down to the last minute. I can get my 5000 steps in before 9:30 am!

Last night was a little more quiet, Molly, Jess's bf came by for a book, (my additional niece I've been told), there was homework, and Shelb and Chris were at PSR or CCD to the rest of us.

My nephew Chris is so funny, he gets back, strews his stuff around and wants to know if we can continue the monolopy game. So we make an easy deal, he picks up his stuff, brings me all his laundry (AP task), does his health (ugh) reading of which he read most of it out loud to me. Then after getting PJ's on, and after all his stuff was readied, then we sat for a few more minutes to play a few rounds of monopoly. While it is the Jr edition - actually can move more quickly and easier on the mind. It was getting just too funny. The bank never seemed to have change, so I had to keep making change out of my stash. We couldn't make the change from Chris's as I've got more money than Chris and the Bank combined LOL ---- The St. Louis Branch of the Bank of Foley (old joke for those SSWF readers). I'm not sure what will happen when then bank runs out of money? but let me tell you, Chris hasn't fallen far from the tree - he'll make up rules! JUST LIKE HIS DAD! I hope that he and I can play it for a few more nights. His Gramma LuLu told him that she would play for days on end. He's so funny to play with. He plays his piece and if I don't move fast enough, he'll play my piece! Mind you he'll explain everything to you.

Today is a new adventure ---- check back later

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday in St. Louis

ahh the quite of the morning.... mind you it's 9am and the three princesses are still asleep and my nephew, the little man of the home, is away at a sleep over. Even Lizzie and Luke (dogs next door) are quiet. It's the first morning that I haven't driven someone(s) somewhere(s) before 8am!

I expect within the hour Chris returns home with lots to tell, Shelby will arise to tell me of the party she attended last night - mosel tov, Taylor & Jess and I hung out and watched some TV which, I'm now so confused as she clicked between six different shows. Taylor was driving the clicker - must have learned from Pete!

So I've had two days with the kids alone (well sort of). Denise & Pete are speaking with them at each major turn of the day via phone. We've been to do volunteer work (Jess), Taylor's "o" group, get together with Jess's friends and one slept over, reminder of the homework assignments, picking up, chores from the board, music instrument practice, played video games, did some YouTubing, did cooking (not really as Denise prepared many of the meals in advance), did the grocery store, did the library, can't do the pictures I was hoping to do - somehow they didn't load which is sad:(, breakfast, lunch, even chinese last night with the girls.

It's interesting to watch them be kids - not something you can see in a days visit once or twice a year. When you add friends, it's gets really funny. Oh give me the drama!

ps - after delivery of said children in the a.m. - and to the end of the day - mind you an easier day - I did some 11,000 steps!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pete's new pets

Now many of you have known Pete's unending love for animals. I remember his love for our pets as we grew up. Of course there was the two rabbits, the two ducks, a boat load of reptiles, hamsters, guinea pigs and not to be last - our beloved PusPus.

Then something happen to Pete - must have been college?? He didn't want to have any more pets. If memory serves be correctly - I think the floppy eared bunny was the last non-human resident at Pete's household.

Fast forward to today - Denise and the kids want a dog, yet Pete says no. His book on 187 reasons not to have a pet should be released in time for Christimas by YeLoF Publishing Co.

Yet today - we have new residents, Surprise Surprise - Meet the fruit flies - Jenny, Caila, Joe, Mark, Madison, Leia, Ryan, Bob, Alexis, Beth, Josh, Alan, Bert, Stu, Bartholomeu, Larry, Tad, Ursula and lets not forget Eunice!
Thanks to Shelby they all have a name!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Eagle has landed......

Relocation was completed - finished picking up, laundry, computer related items, phew. Neighbor Tom came by to take me to the repair shop to drop off the car and then to drop me at the airport. Julie made me a great cup of coffee and Hannah and Moe gave we a wonderful bookmark they brought from Israel - about the Dead Sea Scrolls. The airline, AA, didn't charge me for the bag I checked, let me get through the check point except for my hair conditioner - that I had to leave behind as it was a bottle toooooooo large. I guess I could hold up a plane with my hair conditioner?? Both flights were uneventful and I did get a nap on both. Pete met me at the airport and gave me the ride back to the house.

It was great, the kids drew a message on the driveway for me, though it was too dark and then it rained before I could see it in the a.m. :( It was time for dinner, lovely, then we had to get down to the notes of the who, what, when, how etc..... and lots of etc, of the MO household. Before you know it, the clock striked midnight CST and wow I was tired.

Today - semi first day of my "super nanny" duties. First duty - get Pete & Denise off to the dang airport and out of the way! Now the kids and I can get down to some fun. Who isn't running when/where. Easy a.m. for me, then I had the chance to work, and the kids came home, dinner served, and off to a concert that Shelby and Taylor played in. I was the videographer - my first LOL!! I did run out of the film, ouch in the middle of Shelby's last piece, though with a little push, got the new cartridge in the camera just in time for Taylor's performance. Jess was off to do some babysitting and Chris had to do "one hour and four minutes" of cello practice and "aunt patty" had to sign off on his playing.

I must say - what a joy yet what a schedule to follow. Tomorrow A.M. - big morning as I must drive two kids around for the opening of special classes before school begins! It means an early early a.m.

Now with all the notes, lol I missed or forgot that the telephone answering machine beeps when it has a message, the refrigerator beeps if you leave the door open, the little button on the right side of the roof on the van is for the garage or you have to remember the code (like mine) and the door closer in the garage is hidden! LOL!! Not bad for the first day!

Tomorrow I'll end up with five kids in the house - Jess is having a friend, Sam, stay over so they can do 'hours' for Key Club on Saturday - another early morning! Sleeping in is definitely a luxury for the single life!!

Keep in touch -

p.s. the P&D already called in to check on the kids before the concert!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Down to Hours ...... St Louis and the Election

Well, so much as been going on = not much sleep.

The Woodsedge Condo - sold - so that meant a final move!

The Crown Ridge Condo - it now has furniture!

The Friends had their one day booksale - and they just about cleared $13K - Great Job!

Great night at the polls - over all we signed up 97 citizens for new library cards.

My state Rep Sandy Nafis - she swept our district and I had the opportunity to visit her at the Dem headquarters for a few minutes to offer my congratulations. Glad she's going to be on the job again!

I just heard part of Pres Elect Obama acceptance speach - sad day for US - As a country we will need to stand viligent - call your Congress person ! Make your voice heard in DC! While the election is finished (thank goodness) the work has just begun. enough for now

Then the last two days - get my home in order, mail, email, set-up Paulette for work to accomplish, get additional communications equipment, run around - banking, post office to mail the stuff to Pete's ; laundry, clean out car as it will be going in for repairs while I'm away; get the carpenter Bob the materials he'll need to do the Garage shelving units; write a few thoughts in this blog; just a usual day at my place!

So in about 10 hrs I'll be boarding a plane and end up in St. Louis, Continue to watch the blog as it will be the assault of Aunt Potty in St. Louis LOL!

Sweet dreams to all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hey Christopher ---- Happy Birthday!!!

Hey Chris...

Happy Birthday my 1st nephew!

Now there are lots of stories about the long road for you to come to be with us. I'm so glad you joined us! Your dad so wanted a son, 1st there was Taylor, then Jessica, when Shelby was to arrive - I predicted it wasn't going to be you. That day was still coming. I told your Mom.... hold out to All Saints Day........ and we, all the family, was and is blessed with having you in our family.

I know that your Mom & Dad are so proud of you.

I hear there was a math test - 26 out of 26 - pretty darn good!! We will have to celebrate when I get there in a few more days!

Anyway, my dear Christopher, your road to 11 has had some struggling strides, lots of fun, tons of learning --- I'm proud of you.

Enjoy Your Day!!! See you very soon - Have a Happy Birthday!


Aunt Patty

PS - Dad was glad the two of you went 'trick or treating'!