October 15, 2010

Absentee Blogger

Okay, Okay, I've been absent for the past week.  But, in my defense, the net should never get in the way of real life and real life has been hopping as of late.

We've got an amazing group of home school singers and instrumentalists this year, and I've been planning, arranging and rearranging pieces for our holiday concert.  Because our band is smallish, we don't have enough students for me to say, "Okay, I need you on saxophone because I already have 10 trumpets."  We have 2 trumpets, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, a french horn, and now a drummer.  It's completely awesome, but the typical band sheet music doesn't come arranged for such an imbalance.  So I'm arranging it myself on notation software specially for our group.  That's fun but time consuming.  I wrote out a version of Carol of the Bells in which the brass totally overtook the woodwinds, so I've revamped it and we'll try again next week.

Our choir is huge!!!!  I'm so excited!  We pack into two rows and when the fellas stand up it completely blocks out the sunlight from the window.  The girls think it's so funny how dark it gets when I have the boys stand.  Then when they sit, the girls all shriek at the sudden, blinding influx of light.  They're all just plain adorable!

Aside from band and choir, Haven was evaluated to see if he qualifies for the speech preschool this week.  I won't know for a few weeks when we have the conference with the third party.  It's so awkward to have the teacher walk him out after the evaluation and say, well, we'll set up a meeting to talk about how it went.  It took all my energy to not ask if he was in or not.  She gave a little and volunteered that there are some sounds he got wrong so I asked if they were easy sounds to correct and she said we'd talk about it at the meeting.  Oh, the suspense!!!

Hannah Jane had poetry club this week and it turns out that instead of writing a poem she decided to draw a picture that represented her poem because she was worried she'd spell things wrong.  My first reaction was to say we need to buckle down on spelling if you can't even write a poem without fear of getting it all wrong.  But then I was told that they were writing onomatopoeia poems (poems with sound effect words) and Sarah, who leads poetry club, said, "Yeah, Hannah Jane, that snoring noise you made would be pretty hard to spell!"  So, I'll let the drawing instead of writing go this once!  Haha!

And this has been a week of odd and end home repairs.  Yes, we've been in this house for over a year now and we're still hacking away at it.  We got it livable.  But now we're making little improvements that make a house a home.  Our main hallway was cursed with all of these gadgets on the wall and ceiling all within a 4 foot span.  It's a narrow hall, which we painted a warm color, and then there was all of this junk hanging from every surface that made me crazy!  There was a dial and knob that we had no clue what it actually did, a huge doorbell chime system in a box on the wall for a door bell that no longer existed when we bought the place, and an ancient built-in smoke detector that I believe was probably installed when the house was built in the 70's and hung low from the ceiling.  Behind all of that is a light and then a skylight.  Way too much going on in that hall!!! 

While we were at Joe's mom's house, she replaced all of her light fixtures with ceiling fans.  Her home is brand spankin' new and had nicer light fixtures than ours so we took the old fixtures off her hands and brought them home.  They're the kind that hang down a bit instead of being flush to the ceiling.  When we replaced the 70's style hall light with this more modern fixture it just added to the clutter in the hall and we instantly began ripping things off the wall with little regard for proper procedure.

So, this week, between speech, poetry club, evaluations and music group paper work, I've been hacking away at repairing the damage we caused when we tore through the hall ripping at fixtures with reckless abandon.  I had to buy covers for the electric boxes, some of which were properly fitted in the wall  and some of which were much too recessed and required a completely different kind of screw that did not come with the covers.  I bought paint to cover all of the little boxes and covers so that the sheer volume of covers doesn't leave us feeling just as overwhelmed as we did by the doo-dads that they replaced. I swapped out the living room light with one that matched the hall light and then took the old living room light downstairs for that hall which for a full year has had nothing more than a bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling.

Have you ever replaced a ceiling light by yourself?  It ain't easy!  Twice I did this by standing on a chair, gripping the new fixture between my chin and my shoulder while I reached around and rewired it blind.  Then there's the holding the heavy glass covers in place with your forehead while you use two hands to muscle the screws into a recessed electrical box that has been painted and plastered over so many times that the original threads have been filled in.  I don't think I have ever used so many parts of my body simultaneously to accomplish a household task!  But the sore, my-hands-were-working-over-my-head-for-way-too-many-consecutive-hours feeling is a good one.

Finally, I bought myself a recumbent bike!!!!  Joy of joys!!!  I used the bike in college for hours each week and thought it was absolutely the most convenient form of exercise on earth!  I can read, watch a movie, whatever, while getting my pulse up and even do some bicep curls at the same time.  I mean, is there anything better?  Anyway, I've longed for a recumbent bike for all eight years that I have been gone from college and I've hinted and watched, priced and tested them almost every time I have passed a sporting goods section.  Wednesday, while I was picking up a little necessity at the store, there it was.  The Gold's Gym Recumbent bike with pulse sensors, built in hill plans, fan, and ipod dock, right by the register on clearance for almost half off!  I didn't think for long before grabbing my favorite checkout lady, Mrs. Genevive, and having her call some muscle up front to help me load my new toy.  Joe looked a little less than thrilled over the big purchase without even so much as a consultation, but there was only one left and the price was too good to pass up.

But that darn bike is insanely difficult to assemble.  All of those great features mean there are wires going through every stretch of metal and it takes two to assemble.  Sweet Joe, overlooking my unapproved spending, has agreed to help me out this weekend so I can get my college workout plan back on!  I CANT WAIT!!!!!

So, that's my week.  Mostly.  I did work on writing letter A's and ordinal numbers to 5 with the boys, hit Hannah Jane hard with grammar and spelling, planned Joe's birthday evening (which is tonight, by the way, so wish me luck) anddo all the other regular stuff that takes up life.  But these new little side projects are what kept me from my net peeps!  Missed y'all!

Have a great weekend!!!

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