Spud-Speak 7

10/31/07 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

[I could go on about “Yes, I’m still alive”, but that gets old after awhile.  Will this blog survive?  I hope so, though lately I’ve been getting my writing/composition practice at other places.  Perhaps I’ll get around to some TUG as I had promised many moons ago.]

– Last week we (piedmont NC) finally got some much needed rain, over three inches.  While it’s too late to worry about cutting grass, hopefully the moisture will give the grass root system a fighting chance to survive the winter.  Unfortunately it also helps crabgrass.  What I have not seen for a long time is mushrooms in the yard.  I did a double-take when they first came up.

– While I usually have a rant at this time of the year for the stupid DST, it’s getting to the point of tilting at windmills.  I still don’t understand how the rest of the population seems to be like sheep and go along with it.  Considering Congress is the source of these monkey-shines … well, nuff said.

– My favorite sports team, the Chicago Bears, has taken it on the chin this season, though they have not done too much to move their chin out of the way.  In spite of the Superbowl appearance last year, there were a few areas of concern going into this season on offense (QB, RB and O-line).  Considering the poor play on offense combined with the injuries on defense and it does not look like the Bears will be returning to the playoffs.  Can’t win ’em all.

– The 3 y.o. girl got to go to bed over an hour early last night.  While she had a good day at school, she challenged Mom twice afterwards.  Each time Mom would ask her to stop doing something.  She would stop at first, then go back to it as if to test a boundary.  After that point Mom told her to go to her room, and then she went into her act:  flop on the floor and yell “I don’t want to go to my room!”
Well, yeah, that’s understandable, but that’s not behaving.  In spite of her misbehavior, she can be very loving.  Out of the three kids she’s the only one to show any interest/excitement when I get home.  I’ll never get tired of hearing a happy shout of “Daddy!”, followed by a hug.  Everyone has the basic need of knowing someone is happy to see you (yes, Lady Spud also greets me warmly every day).

Mountain Pass

10/15/07 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Awhile back I got this “bright” idea to go to the mountains around leaf-fall time for a quick weekend getaway with the family. I chose last weekend hoping to hit the colors but it turned out to be a week or two early. The weather was very nice, in the low 70’s and sunny. I chose a motel that had an indoor pool so the kids would have something to do.

The problem came when we were in the motel room between pool and going-out times. It became quickly evident that things would be magnified in the small confines of a two-bed one bath room. With one TV the youngsters got a chance to see stuff on cable like Spongebob, but their attention span is too short, particularly the oldest boy and little girl(LG), to stay quiet for long.

Unfortunately, LG has a bad habit of screaming whenever things are not going her way. We have been working with her on this since day two. Asking her to be quiet and stop screaming has not been helpful. Temporarily covering her mouth does not help either, as the screaming must out. She is also at that magical age where when she knows what she wants, announces it and then refuses to to have (or do) anything else. She is way above average for stubborness.

Well, enough crabbin … we survived and they did have fun in the pool. I was blessed to find a K-Mart that had some pool stuff in the clearance rack, since LG needed swimmies(inflatable floats for the arms) for the pool with the shallowest part about 3 1/2 ft. Not only was it stuff I needed but it was marked way down. Thank you Lord!

The kids were fairly well behaved for all of the time in the van, which is another thing to be thankful for. I should back up and mention we went to SciWorks in Winston-Salem on Friday morning. It is a good museum for the under 12 crowd, and the older kids and adults will find stuff too. We were blessed again by getting a homeschooler discount. Ordinarily it would have been $37, but they brought it down to $20. LENISE: It’s probably best to wait until the youngsters are about 3.

On Saturday morning we drove down Grayson Pkwy. from Wytheville, VA to Stone Mtn. State Park in NC. It’s a nice drive through the mountains, and you get to see plenty of Christmas tree farms. We also saw some pumpkins in the field picked and ready for pick-up. The park has good facilities and the hiking trails are well laid-out. We went on a 2 mile roundtrip hike to the Middle Falls. It took longer than I had planned to get to the park, and by the time we got back from the hike it was close to 12:30, so we had to leave for lunch. I’d like to go back and check out the homestead and baptist church.

The closest town was Elkin, and I was fortunate to find a McD’s with a humungous play area. Even after all of the hiking, the kids were ready to run around and play. Have at it. We had planned on going near Taylorsville to a PYO apple farm, but again it was getting late and we (parents) were tired, so instead we stopped at the Farmer’s Market outside of Greensboro and picked up a bag of apples. We also did not get the mountain cider I was thirsting for, so maybe next time for that too.

What will not be happening for a long time is any extended trip with these loud young’uns. We have talked about going to Chicago this summer, since we did not go last summer, but I don’t know if we can handle the stress (13 hrs one-way). When we’re at home and in familiar environments, the misbehavior is somewhat taken for granted and we have our “time-out” areas. When we’re out of the “comfort zone”, it seems like we cannot get to the point where some semblance of control can be achieved.

I wonder sometimes if we’re too sensitive, that that is what most families with kids go through. It’s difficult to say when you’re in the thick of it, and want to be the good parent in control but find yourself out of it. We’ll just keep chipping away at it one day at a time.

Spud-Speak 6

10/04/07 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

– Woo hoo! I made the top letter of reader responses to an article in the OpinionJournal. There were only three printed, but still! Be sure to read the article on progress in Iraq before reading the erudite responses.

– It’s a grey Thursday for me, both literally and figuratively. The first I don’t mind, as we got about a quarter inch of rain last night and should get more (we desperately need) today and tomorrow. Otherwise, the Bears are 1-3 heading into the kingdum of Fav-ruh Sunday night, the Cubs lost the first game of their series, and I had what could be a “career” setback. I can’t detail much about the latter, just to say it’s a great disappointment.

– Ah, but who wants to hear complaining?! The three youngsters seem to be regressing with regard to behavior, so that entails more disciplinary actions (which is no fun). Perhaps our expectations increase as time goes on, but we seem to have problems with back-talking and lying. Well, we are getting a reprieve, as a friend of ours has offered to take the kids off of our hands from Friday night until Sat. afternoon. What to do, what to do …
[Don’t worry – Lady Spud has a list ready with all kinds of options for the free time, and none of it involve chores around the house, per our friend’s instruction.]

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