Friday, October 19, 2007

You know what they say about making that final car payment?

You know....that as soon as you make that last payment the car starts falling part.  Well,it's true.  We paid off my minivan two months ago. 

Then I had to get brakes.  Well, that's OK, that's just normal.

Well, transmissions aren't.

The computer on my van's transmission went out.  I went Friday afternoon to have it checked, only to be basically told "It's bad, take it back to the dealer, we don't do that kinda work."  So, I had to drive across town to the dealer, only to be told "We can't work on it until Tuesday or Wednesday."  Sigh....I told them I needed my van for a field trip an hour away on Wednesday....I had 6 passengers lined up to go with me.  He said bring it Tuesday at 8 a.m. and don't drive it if you don't have to.  (He doesn't realize I live a half hour from anything, including the dealership.)   So, I went on home and go anywhere, not even to church on Sunday.

Tuesday morning, we load up school and go to the dealership and do our schoolwork at a table while they run diagnostics.  The guy comes out to discuss the problems and says "Good news is that it's covered by the extended warranty you purchased with the car.  How many miles is on it?"  I said just over 97,000, at which he frowns and says "Let me check something."  He comes back and tells me the warranty was only valid up to 80,000.  He then give me an estimate of $525 to START!  The computer had to be ordered, so they wouldn't have it until the next day (the day of the field trip an hour away).  Once the computer was replaced, they would know if anything else was wrong.  

AND he had no loaner for me, so I had to rent a car....at my expense, albeit at a discount since my car was in the shop and Enterprise and the dealer had an "agreement."   So, I had 2008 Chrysler Town and Country Touring that I drove around for two days.  It had so many buttons, I never did learn them all!  I put the windows down right off the bat, and then couldn't figure out how to get them back up!  :rolling eyes:  I figured it out by mistake.

OK, back to my van.....after the field trip, I stopped at the dealer's to see if my van was done and they said it wasn't.  The replacement computer didn't fix the problem or perhaps it was bad and they had to order another to see which was the case.  I asked to get my photography equipment out, since I would need it for co-op the next day (yesterday) and I left.   (I'm taking photos for our year book this month.)

Yesterday, I got to the church and started to set up the backdrop, and here I failed to grab one of the pipes for my frame.  It must have rolled all the way under the seat in my van and I missed it.   So, how do you take pictures when you're missing a 3 ft. section of pipe?   You go ask the maintenance guy he has any miracles......in the form of 1.25 inch piece of PVC that can be cut to the exact size I need.  And he did!

So, I'm finally up and running at co-op and later I called the dealer and he says the second computer did the trick and I could pick her up later.  

So, $661 later (includes the rental car and the oil change) I have my van back.  Now figure out just where the money will come from when I pay the credit card bill in three weeks.

But hey, things could be worse, right?!  ;-)    I didn't have to buy a new car!  And at least I have a car, not to mention a home, food in the cupboards and the freezer, my family, my health and oh so much more.  

I am thankful my many blessings, truly I am!   \o/




Monday, October 15, 2007

Mom's paintings

I just realized I never put pictures of Mom's paintings in my previous posts!   Here they are!


CamouflageCamouflage
Took 3rd at the recent art show


DeerDeer



EagleEagle Flying Over Falls



Now you see where dd10 get her talent!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The swelling is worse!

So, dd soon to be 10, enters 4 drawings in the local art show.  One does not win anything at all.  That leaves 3.  Well, she brought home FOUR (4!) ribbons on those three pictures!  My talented young lady with the oh so swollen head (especially today!) won a BEST OF DIVISION!  

When she entered this particular art show for the first time two years ago, she got a "Judges Appreciation" ribbon, which means she didn't place, but they appreciated her work.  At that time, there were two divisions:  Professional and Non-Professional.   Or maybe there were three and they did have a Student division that included any student up to 12th grade. Can't remember.  In any case, she was up against way older and more experienced artists.   We were told that because of her they were changing the show the following year and creating a children's division/subdividing the student division.

Last year they did make the changes.  She entered 4 pictures and took home FIVE (5!) ribbons!   She won an Honorable Mention Best of Division, which is above a first place and of course just below the Best of Division award that is the highest you can earn.  Only those pictures getting a first place are put in the running for a Best of Division or Honorable Best.

Then this year she took the Best of Division--the highest you can earn--for her picture Sea Mist!  The ribbon is slightly longer than the picture! 

Sea Mist, with Best of Division ribbon
She did get some cool prizes, along with her Best of Division ribbon:  a t-shirt, some passes to a nearby putt-putt golf place, a gift certificate for an art class (with her current teacher!! Whoo hoo!), a painter's palette, a metal pencil case, and some art supplies like watercolors and markers.


The rest of the results.......

DD10 took a second place for the Blue Ice Dragon and third for Ebony.  She did not place for the Blue Heron--which was my personal favorite.

DD7 took first place with her painting of Grandma's Sunflower.

Mom took third for Camouflage (the tiger).

Me?  I got to be escorted to the awards presentation by three beautiful artists!


PS, see my other blog entry if you missed the pictures.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And her head continues to swell.....

No, we're not talking about a medical condition here (\o/ God).  But the girl's head is going to get so big from winning all these art ribbons! 

We just got the news almost 10yo dd won THREE ribbons!  Now whether, this is for 3 different pictures or if one took Best of Show or Honorable Mention Best of Show, we don't know yet.

7yo dd also won a ribbon for her sunflower.  AND my mom took a ribbon as well!  Woo hoo!   We'll find out this weekend which pictures got which ribbons.

Last year they gave out some cool prizes in addition to the ribbons.....gift certificates, hand-made teddy bears, art supplies, etc.  I wonder what was donated this year?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Festival / Art contest

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It's that time of the year again for our local fall festivals. 

This will be the third year, dd#1 (soon to be 10yo) will have entered the art show that one of them has.  We can only submit 4 entries per artist.  I still have pictures of two more on my camera that I need to take off, but these are her best I think. 




Great Blue HerronGreat Blue Heron

Sea MistSea Mist

DragonDragon

EbonyEbony

Great Grandma's Water PumpGreat Grandma's Water Pump



Tough decision to only be able to submit four, don't ya think?    Every art show she's entered she's walked away with at least one ribbon.  She's going to get a big head pretty soon!

DD7  will submit one this year, for the first time.   She's not the artist my older dd is, but she wanted to paint a picture for a different art show earlier this year.  (She's not one to sit still long enough to draw or paint, if you know what I mean!)  I helped her a bit, but she took over after I showed her what to do.  She got first place in the other show.

Grandma's SunflowerGrandma's Sunflower



Mom and I are going to give it a try too.  Mom with her paintings and me with some of my many pictures.  This will be Mom's second year and my first.  Here are two of the ones that I am submitting:

The SentinelThe Sentinel

Happy JackHappy Jack


I took these through our window.  We have a bird feeder that bows into our house through a window.  It's cool because we don't have to go outside to fill it up, you do so from in the house.  Also the window that bows into the house allows the bird to only see himself, but we can see through the glass (plastic) to see him.  However, we usually keep the blind up, as they land on the branches above the feeder.  If we're quiet and don't move suddenly, we can see so many birds (and squirrels too obviously!).  It's fun waiting near the window to see who will come next.  I can't tell you how many pictures I've taken of the birds and squirrels.   I have several photos of them at our 4H Bird Gallery at WhatBird?, if you're on high speed and want to take a look.


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Friday, October 5, 2007

Peter and the Wolf!

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Earlier this week, we went to Peter and the Wolf, a local ballet.  The girls and I really enjoyed it.  It was funny, and we all laughed.  The dancers did an awesome job.

At the beginning, they showed us how the dancers practiced.  They even chose some of the kids to come up on stage to also practice!  Here are the dancers showing the kids some of their moves:

Dancer
Dancers
Dancer


Here are some shots I took of the play. 

Play1
Play2
Play3
Play4
Play6
Play7
Play8
Play9

I didn't use a flash, so I probably should have lighted and cropped most of the pictures, but I'm taking the lazy way out and just putting them here as they came out.  Hope you enjoyed!


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A Lap-n-Note (tm) for Nico's Octopus!

The girls and I really enjoyed this HSS unit!  We learned a lot about octopuses!

Didn't Ami did an awesome job putting all the lapbook/notebook components together?!  Thank you so much, Ami, for making our sharing time even better!

I was not able to include the last couple pages of our Lap-n-Note (tm) or the pages with all the minit books/flaps/etc opened up, but hopefully this will give  you an idea of what our folder looked like when done.

If you want to see all the pictures, visit my page at Photobucket.








Thursday, October 4, 2007

Let your no mean no.......

I tried.  Honestly!

I went to the Horse Committee meeting tonight for our local 4H.  I went for moral support for my SIL.  A lot of issues came up at this past summer's fair and I've gone to the last two meetings for support.

Well, somehow, even though I declined the nomination, I became secretary.  I was quite shocked at the results, as I truly thought my no meant no.  Sigh.....it's only one meeting every other month and only for a year, right? 

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Update on Mom!

It was brought to my attention (thank you, Aunt Nita!) that I need to update on Mom! 

Mom's lung disease is NOT active afterall!  She's had numerous tests and x-rays and they show that her lungs have "no significant change."  \o/  

Her oxygen in-take has not been so great.  Using the oxygen whenever she walks has made an amazing difference!!!  She's not running marathons, but she--with oxygen--can at least move around the house without wheezing!

Also, she had two sleep studies done and she does have sleep apnea.  Only moderate though.  She stops breathing about 50 times per night.  She now has a CPAP to wear when she sleeps.  This will force room air into her lungs when her lung muscles relax and close-off the air passage.

So, we're singing praises here!   \o/ \o/

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

All year I've been looking up.  The clouds have just fascinated me this year.  I'm not sure why.  I feel like I've never really looked at clouds before this.  Maybe I never have.  All I know is that I've stood in awe so many times.  Each time I'm aware of our loving Father, looking down on us perhaps with the sigh of a Father with wayward children, yet still loving us and giving us a beautiful reminder that He is still there for us, still waiting for us to do hear Him, to see Him.  He is everywhere, and yet we quite often miss seeing Him.

clouds10

clouds20
clouds30
clouds40

clouds50

clouds60

clouds70

clouds80

Our Creator God is an awesome artist, isn't he?  I took all these pictures within a 24 hour period.

So, have you looked up lately?

I feel as if I've just been carded!

I just got off the phone with my aunt.  She took the disk of wedding photos that I recently gave her to WalMart.  They printed the pictures she requested.  However, they would not give her the pictures--because they looked like they were taken by a professional!  

I just find that so hilarious!  Me?!  I just like to play with my camera!