It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The last 2 weeks

Well, I had a great weekend visit with  my family in Utah.  We had a really nice gathering for Grandma & Grandpa's birthdays and I had a great time reminiscing with my cousins and aunts and uncles.  Unfortunately I didn't remember to take pictures through the whole thing, so I don't have very many photos.  I posted them all on facebook, so sorry if this is a repeat.  We had tons of food, shared many memories, and lots of laughs.

After that quick and busy weekend, I came home to my family, spent a few hours with Mike and then he headed off to Oklahoma for the week.  I started teaching a beginning course in Digital Scrpbooking using Photoshop Elements.  I will be teaching the course once a week for 6 weeks.  I have had two classes so far and I think it is going really well.  I just hope the people in my class get what they need out of it.  Depending on how this class goes and the feedback I get from it, I am considering offering another session of the beginning class and maybe a second class that would dig in even deeper with the fun things you can do for scrapbooking in Elements.  I will also start advertising more generally if I do it again and try to get a bigger class.  I guess we will see how it goes.  I guess the best part is that I am enjoying the process of preparing for my classes and then walking through everything with my "students".  Maybe that is in my blood a bit, afterall, my dad has been teaching dentistry for around 30 years I think, and my brother teaches a couple of classes for the State College of Southern Nevada on filmography and editing (I think that's what he teaches, I should really ask him sometime to be sure).

Kaylee had a second surgery on her little finger on the 17th.  I am so glad we decided to go ahead with the surgery.  We were having her screws removed, and a clean up of scar tissue with the goal of improving her range of motion, which had been very limited since her first surgery in September last year. (despite weeks and weeks of physical therapy).  What the surgeon found when he opened her up was that her tendon was completely tied down by the scar tissue that had formed and there was no way she ever would have gotten that motion back without the surgery.  So he removed the screws (which were bigger than I ever would have expected) and released her tendon. So we are very glad we did it.  Today in therapy she actually got to a 90 degree bend, and that is just 8 days after surgery, and a huge improvement.  She is getting ready for track season to start on March 8th.  We are hoping she is ready.

Last Thursday, Tiffany had her last regular season Basketball game.  Her team won the game by just one point.  It was an intense game, bu they pulled it off in the end.  That leaves them undefeated for the season with a record of 8-0.  The team they beat ended up 6-2.  They will have the conference championships next weekend.  If all goes well, they will be the city champs for 6th grade basketball.  MOst of the girls on the team were also on their champion voleyball team too.  So that is really cool.  Then the week after the basketball championships Track season starts.  Tiffany plans to run and do the long jump.  We will see how that goes too.

Ryan had a birthday this week.  He turned 10.  I can hardly believe it. He is having his birthday party today with a few of his friends.  They are playing dart tag and Wii, having pizza, and cake and ice cream.  It should be fun.

Jake is enjoying school.  It makes me so happy to go to parent teacher conferences and hear how well he is doing.  Apparently he listens to his teacher much better than he does to me.  But I guess that is good in mnay ways. 

Kyle is learning to rollerblade with his brothers and is doing great. All of the boys have been spending time in the basement every day roller blading or riding their ripsticks for the last month.  They are working on a "Schools on the Move"challenge where they are supposed to log all there physical activities for the month of February.  IF they do a certain amount they get a free t-shirt.  It is so fun to watch them get so into this challenge.  It makes me happy because it gets them active in the winter when they tend to be less active normally.

Mike has had a long week away this week.  He left on Sunday and will just get home tonight (Friday).   We are happy to have him home for the weekend.

Well, that's it for now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm going on a TRIP!!

Yes, I said I am going on a trip.  Just me!!!  I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who so understood my desire to be at the birthday party for my grandparents (gma 80 years and gpa 85 years) in Utah that even when it was determined that the whole family would not be able to go (that's a story I will get to in a minute) he made it possible for me to still go.  And even better, my trip will be virtually free since he was able to use his frequent flyer miles, and car rental certificates to get me free travel and car rental.

I am sad that my family will not be able to be there for the big event. But I am so glad that I can still go.  My dad and my brothers will all be up for the weekend too.  So it is sure to be a fun time. 

I was asked to create the invitation for the party and I did that a couple of weeks ago.  Here is what it looks like.
I am real happy with how it turned out.  Anyway, I am heading off early on Friday morning and will get back home on Monday morning.  The hard part with taking a weekend trip by myself is that Mike will get home late Thursday night and I will leave Friday, return Monday, and he will leave again Monday night.  So we won't get to see much of eachother this weekend while he is home.  Hopefully he will have some quality time with the kids in my absence.

Now as for why the family couldn't go on this trip.  Originally our plan was for the whole family to head out for the weekend trip.  We would leave Friday and return on Monday which is a school holiday.  It was perfect since it is a 3 day weekend.  Then came the letter from the school that Tiffany has missed 11 (yes i said ELEVEN) days of school so far this year.  It said she cannot miss any more days without a doctor's note.  AND, Kaylee has missed even more school.  She is up to 16 days now between her surgery, swine flu, and whatever this nasty virus was they all just got over.  Kaylee will also miss some school for her surgery on the 17th.  So Mike and I decided we just can't take them out of school for the Friday to make the trip.  It was a tough decision, but it feels right anyway.  The good things coming from the decision to stay home are; the girls can go to the school dance on Friday, Kaylee can go to her friend's birthday party Friday night, Tiffany can play in the school basketball game on Saturday, Mike can go watch her play in a basketball game (he misses most of them because they are on Wednesdays while he is gone), and Ryan can get his award for a poem he wrote on Saturday.  So there is good in the midst of it all.

Well, I am looking for a little weekend getaway and a visit with my granparents and extended family up in Ogden.  I am sure it will be a nice weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Little Facelift and Home Organization

I gave my blog a little facelift today.  It was time for some change!! 

So, I have been working on a whole house reorganization project over the last few months.  I found a great book called "House of Order Handbook- The Best Way to An Organized Life".  It has some great tips in it, that are really helping me to make some changes in our home.

The biggest problem is convincing the kids to help keep things organized.  I am sure it will settle in some time that if they put things away when they are done with them, the house will stay much neater eliminating the constant need to clean up. (which they hate to do of course)

One of the biggest changes I have made in my life and home is with organizing myself and my time.  I made a great spreadsheet calendar for the week.  I have divided my weekly household chores up so that each day I have some work to do.  The nice thing about this is that if I follow my schedule for the week, I never have to spend a whole day cleaning house and when the weekend comes and Mike is home, we don't have to spend that valuable time doing housework.  This has been a huge change for me and for the last 5 weeks I have poretty much followed my schedule.  I simply add in any appontments for the week and print up a new calendar each week and hang it on the magnet board above my desk.

I am sure this will be an never-ending project, but it is fun to see some of it working. 

Last week I cleaned out and organized the kitchen pantry.  It is so wonderful to have it neat and tidy, but I have to tell you what sparked that job.  We have been having a bit of trouble keeping Jacob out of the food.  He is a little sneak and is constantly sneaking into the pantry and cupboards to get snacks.  He is starting to pack on a few extra pounds, and we need to do something to eliminate the in between meal snacking. So we decided to buy an alarm for the pantry door.  In order for this to be successful, I had to make sure all the food was in the pantry, so I had to reorganize, clean up and move extra stuff from the cupboards into the pantry.  The good news is, I think it is working.  I can hear anytime the pantry door is opened (the alarm is annoying too) and I can deter him from getting anything extra to eat.  I hope this works, because the next step is to actually put a lock on the pantry door and I really don't want to have to do that.

Anyway, I guess I better be going.  I'm not sure what the next project will be, probably organizing the food storage in the basement.  Yippee!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The month of January

This past month has been pretty rough for our family.  We have had so much sickness in our home.  It started off with Kyle the beginning of January.  (following his illnesses during the holidays) He had high fevers, and headache for about a week.  The next week was Kaylee's turn, she was home from school for 3.5 days with high fever and headache.  Then came Ryan, he had a little bit different time of it.  He still had the headaches and fever, but he also had stomache ache and vomiting.  He was home from school for 3 days. Next came Tiffany home for an entire week with headaches, fever, and vomitting.  Now, this week is Jacob's turn and he has been home for 2.5 days with headaches, fever, chills, and vomiting.  Yuck!!  I sure hope we are through with it and we don't start a second round through the kids.

Thankfully (knock on wood) I have not been sick.  I have cleaned carpets twice though and there has been plenty to do in the care of the kids when they have been home in addition to my whole house organization project that is moving forward, if rather slowly, and all the normal everyday household chores.  I am working towards teaching a digital scrapbooking class.  I am still working out all the details, but I am hoping to start it later this month if I can get enough ladies interested in taking the class.  It will be 6 weeks with one 1.5 hour class per week for $40.  I will teach the basics of how to create digital layouts along with some of the styles and techniques I have found useful over the years.  If you would be interested in taking my class, and live close by, let me know.

Mike continues to travel.  He has been leaving on Sunday afternoons and getting home on Thursday nights.  Last week he got caught in a bad ice storm down in Lawton.  His apartment lost power, his flight got cancelled for coming home, the airport remained closed the next day, and he ended up driving 3 hours to Dallas on Friday in order to get home.  He was home for less than 48 hours and was on his way back again.  He is working hard and the job is in full swing.  He is at least happy to be working even if it is far away.

Tiffany started playing basketball.  She missed her first game because she was sick, but she was able to play today and had a great game.  The team has won both of their games so far and is looking good for the city championships next month.  We will see how the rest of the season goes.  Tiff is pulling straight A's this year and is loving Middle School.

Kaylee has been working very hard.  She took an afterschool position to work as the school wrestling team manager.  She is in charge of the team equipment, records, weigh ins, etc.  She is doing a great job and the coach told me she is one of the best managers he has ever had.  She is still pulling straight A's despite missing tons of school this year.  I think she has missed almost 15 days.  Yikes.  Like I said this winter has been really rough on our family.  We found out this week that Kaylee will be having a second surgery on her pinky finger.  (more school to miss) She still has very limited range of motion so the surgeron is going to go in and remover her screws and scrape out the scar tissue.  The hope is that she will be able to start moving it sooner this time around since we don't have to worry so much about the bone healing so hopefully she won't form so much scar tissue.  This should increase her range of motion and hopefully get her back to 100% just in time for track season followed by conditioning for the high school volleyball team.

Ryan, Jacob, and Kyle just finished their wrestling club season.  They had a lot of fun and by the time the season was ending, they finally figured out what they were supposed to be doing.  Ryan and Jake had their pinewood derby last week.  They both designed and pretty much built their cars themselves.  They had a little bit of help from mom and dad, but they did the majority of the work.  The derby was so much fun.  They had a blast watching their cars run the races.  Ryan ended up taking 4th place and got the Blue Streal award and Jacob ended up in 6th place and took the Tricked out Truck award.  Here are a couple of pics of them with their cars.

The boys are all doing well and are loving school. 

So in the last 2 weeks I have taken on and pretty much completed a fun project.  I have redecorated Kaylee's room.  She had been complaining that her room was so "BORING".  I agree, it was, since we had done nothing to it since moving in to this house 2.5 years ago.  She had a very specific idea of what she wanted so I ended up making a quilt for her bed, since we couldn't find this color combo in any of the stores.  I also built a platform bed and headborad, made pillows, refinshed and painted her nightstand, covered a lamp shade, refinished a shelf to coordinate, and painted some decor items to match as well. We are still contemplating repainting her dresser and vanity/desk black to match. It was super fun.  Here are the results.

Next project (some time in the next couple of months) will be Tiffany's room .  Of course we also would like to get busy framing in some portions of the basement too.  I guess we will see how it goes.  Well, I guess that is about all for now. 

Our Family in Pictures