Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Millenial Kids: "The more things change, they more they stay the same."

We all know how different life is for our kids than it was for us. The world has become a technological wonderland, and innovations that kids take for granted today were almost unimaginable when I was a kid (surfing the Internet from a cell phone?! Neither of those existed then).

When I was a kid and wanted to know what Santa was bringing for Christmas, I did it the old fashioned way: looking through Mom's purse to find "The List" (sorry, Mom!), sneaking in the backs of closets, etc.

Not so, for kids of today! A couple of weeks ago I finished my Christmas shopping, and Josh asked for some hints about one of his gifts. So we gave him a couple of great stumpers, thinking that would be the end of it (the presents were safely hidden out at Alden's office). Oh, no. He knew that I had been shopping at Costco, WalMart, and Target. So what did he do? Well, after getting his hints, he immediately went to to scope it out! And you know what? Yup, he found it. Of course, I didn't tell HIM that. ;-)

Ah, how true the saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same!"

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's been such a long time...

It looks like I've been blogging about as well as I've kept journals. My excuse was that I needed to get my camera set up to download some pictures because posts without pics are, well, boring. It's just me going on and on and... oops! There I go again.

Okay, so pictures or not, I'm going to write a bit. Sadly, our dear little fish, Finny, went on to the big pond in the sky. He apparently got stuck under a rock. Josh was very sad. So Jana, being the loving big sister that she is, took him to buy a new fish. They came home with this little tiny betta which he named "Squirt." Apparently Squirt was not a healthy little guy, because he was found belly up just a few days later. Josh was very, very sad. It just doesn't seem quite fair for a 10-year-old to have had to bear the deaths of three fishies. (Yes, we had another before Finny; his name was Jack). So, back to the pet store. This time he picked out a nice, big, colorful, healthy-looking one. Josh named him Lucky. Let's hope so! :-)

Aquine acquisitions aside, life has been a little stressful due to health insurance being up in the air right now. I (Cassi) started the very loooooong process of weight loss surgery in September, only to find out at the end of October that we would no longer have our insurance as of the end of November. That's a very long (and boring) story. But the short version is that we are trying to accelerate the end-process so that I can have the surgery done before the end of November. As of yesterday, everything has been sent in for approval. Let's hope it goes quickly! We have figured out a plan B scenario, but it is not as financially favorable. If you want to read more about my WLS adventure, you can check out my blog link on the left--er--right side of this page (only my family will get that joke).

Jana survived a week of stressful testing. She had the ACT on Saturday and then AIMS on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Whew! That's done. She passed all her AIMS as a sophomore, but she has been trying to up her scores to be eligible for the Regents scholarship (four year, full-tuition). This semester has been a busy one for her. She has morning classes at the high school and then college classes in the afternoon/evening. Between dual enrollment and regular college classes, she has 18 hours this semester. She will have finished her freshman year of college by the time she graduates from high school! Plus, she works about 15 hours a week, although that will likely be changing soon. She has been very successful at keeping all the balls in the air. She is very organized, very hard-working, and she doesn't procrastinate! (She doesn't get that from me, that's for sure!)

Alden is enjoying his new job, crazy though it is. He is totally in his element. They all love him there, as always, and consider him almost part of the family. I'll let him post more, if he comes up with some great stories.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Benjamin Franklin

As Bekki astutely pointed out, it was indeed Benjamin Franklin who said, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about." I read it in the flyer for an upcoming Constitution Week celebration.

Going a little greener...

You all know that I have a passion for environmental conservation, green living, etc. Well, we took another step in the green direction this past week. We installed a high-tech solar-powered clothes drying system. Also known as a clothes line. :-) This environment-friendly addition was the result of our dryer going kaputz. We simply didn't have the money to replace it right now due to the fact that we now have two college students in the family and I haven't gotten any sub work lately (still early in the school year). We found our solution in a $30 clothesline and a $5 bag of cement. Much cheaper than a new dryer!

Believe it or not, the clothes dry almost as fast as in the dryer, while using ZERO energy. Except for the human energy involved in hanging them up, which was not that big of a deal, and in fact somewhat satisfying in an old-fashioned way. The area where we put up the "solar dryer" is already populated by plants which are watered by the 'grey water' from the washer. By using biodegradable laundry detergent, we are able to recycle the water for a second purpose. This is definitely the "greenest" corner of the house. I plan to plant more cutting flowers in this area to make it prettier as well as useful. I think I might also plant a rosemary plant around the base of the clothesline to make the clothes smell even better!

Yes, I'm sure we'll get a new dryer eventually; but for now I'm enjoying the sense of satisfaction that comes with making good use of this Arizona heat and doing something good for the environment.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Venturing into the world of blogging...

...not to be confused with clogging. The only similarity being that I've never done either one. I'm not sure what the point of a blog is, other than to ease my conscience over the fact that I'm a miserable journal keeper. Let me rephrase that. I keep a miserable journal. No, still not right... Okay, I am miserable about keeping a journal. There. I think that works. The bottom line is that part of me feels that I should write something worthwhile for those who come behind me. The other part of me is quick to point out that "we" stay up too late at night as it is and cannot fathom staying up for another 30 minutes or so writing in a journal. I've always thought that the "handwriting" was integral to the journaling writing (and reading) experience. However, I type faster than I write, so thus it is. My conscience is appeased.

I read a quote recently that said, "Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about." I can't remember off-hand where I read it or who said it. I'll try to follow up on that. But it's certainly sage wisdom. Here's to hoping that occasionally something worthwhile gets written here.