Saturday, April 5, 2008

Final Destination (ImagiNation)

We won't have to frantically raise $$$ for the next few weeks. I got a 'text' from Cody and they didn't make the top two in their challenge, so they won't be attending the global finals in Knoxville next month. If you can read 'sad' in the five words that he texted me, I would say he's sad. You know us moms we can read into anything we want when it comes to our kids. but I think he's 'bummed' he texted b/c he didn't want to call. Poor guy they worked so hard on their project. But 'going all the way' last year, almost set them up for the disappointment this year. (just got another text, maybe he's not bummed, just wanting to text someone! :) He says that they got 8th. I say that's fine and that's what I told him. Lots of factors very different this year and I think he knew that going in.
Anyway, promise no more blogging this weekend~

Maybe! ;)

"Seffy was fishin' and not eatin' Supper"

Sethy was quite the big boy fisherman as well!

"He is 'catchin' a fish and he was standin' wight there and cranked it in and cooked a fish in the fire (I am typing as fast I can listening to what he's saying about this picture) OKay, it was me he says, he goin to get a fish and he got weaves and not got a fish. Seffy, and I catchin a fish and not eatin supper. "

Okay thats painful to try to keep up with. The translated version is that Seth had so much fun 'fishing' that he didn't want to eat, I think he ate his hotdog right before we left. We had a ball today. After we were done with the 4H group, our family went to my Grandma's and picked up her sticks, then hung out at Grandma Linda's for awhile and obviously now we are home! Ought to be outside picking up OUR sticks. But we're tired now!!!
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Jenna reels in a 'big one'?

Jenna had a ball this afternoon at the home of Luther and Joan Angell. After the 4H finshed their project this morning, we had a weiner roast by their lake. The kids all got to 'fish' For Jenna and Seth that meant bobbers, no hooks and a weight on the end of their fishing line. No matter they enjoyed casting and reeling it in. I guess if I think about it, that's a first for them. I don't believe they've ever been fishing before. Thanks to Melissa McBride who patiently helped them 'fish' for quite a long time!
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F and L Hustlers, Community Service Project

This is part of the group of kids, from our 4H club who 'picked up sticks' for Donnie and Joy Shelton today. There were other groups who worked at EV and Ina Coolley's also Truman Coolley and Luther and Joan Angell. Our groups was 'paid' with sodas and candy bars when they finished! (Pictured are Patty and Melissa McBride and Jenna on the tailgate, Andrea Kilbourn standing on the far side of the truck, Sam in camoflauge, Seth beside him and Austin McBride in the navy blue sweatshirt)
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Tired of Chaos! Learning to Fly........

Am I the only person I know that has a case of CHAOS once in a while? Do you know what CHAOS is? (no smarties, it isn't having 4 kids, although they contribute to it!) CHAOS is 'can't have anyone over syndrome' Why? because the house is a pit! In my frustration and attempt to consistently keep order (not CHAOS) in my home, I 'googled' something like house cleaning or home organization or who knows what now, it was about 3 years ago. And I met a little purple gal with fairy wings and a feather duster who told me it was okay! Just jump in where ever I was. She suggested that I start out slow, adding habits and routines slowly, she was just like me and knew that if I tried to do it all at once I'd burn out and have to start all over.
Marla Cilley, the FlyLady, should be in line for 'sainthood' for all that she lovingly does for her DROVES of followers. She has a wonderful website chock full of wonderful tips and solutions for ALL of your cleaning, organizing and decluttering issues. Whether you are BO (born organized) or a SHE (side-tracked home executive) she can help you FLY (finally love yourself)
Now I am not saying that two days after joining that everything will be perfect at all times. I am saying that 2-3 years later, 90% time I wouldn't freak out if someone came into the house to visit and it was probably the opposite before the flylady. I have a few routines that I regularly do, all inspired by her suggestions, they are:
Morning Routines (mine includes making beds, swish and swipe in the bathroom, a load of dishes, a load of laundry, all that besides getting myself and the kiddos ready to 'face the day')
I follow her Zones for cleaning (5 different zones which cover the month and if followed you'll make great improvements EACH month)
I do Kelly's missions (which is a quick extra job in the zone of the week, that is different each day)
I do the Weekly Home Blessing (which is more or less a quick 'once over' through the house)
I plan out our week for events/activities along will menus on Sunday evenings, not sure where the flylady mentions that, but I have found that helps me work faster and lets everyone KNOW whats going on.
My house still isn't perfect, but it's much better which in turn makes me feel much better, my kids will say I am a nicer person because of the FlyLady.
If you think you could use a little help, go and check her out at:

Oh something else that I thought of, she sends out great daily emails with reminders of what you might try and get done for the day, testimonials of other 'flybabies' who are inspired to write her and tell her just how she's improved their lives, these are a GREAT inspiration.
Better go and finish my morning routine, Sam, Jenna, Seth and I are headed to help the 4H with our community service project, which is cleaning up the yards of several couples in the 'neighborhood' then we're going to a weiner roast at the last house! Don't know anything about Cody's team yet, they will compete in about 20 minutes, so maybe he'll call me and give me the details, more likely, Shelley will! :)
Have a great weekend~

Friday, April 4, 2008

Destination ImagiNation

This morning we helped Cody pack and get ready to go to an academic competition that his gifted class competes in--Destination ImagiNation.
I will try to describe it from what I know, and sadly I don't know alot about it. But here goes: this is a competition that challenges students, gifted or otherwise, in critical thinking and problem solving. The students are grouped by age and by the particular challenge of their choosing. There are 5 different challenges. The challenge is a goal of sorts and the group has a set of rules that dictate the parameters of meeting this challenge. Things like: the amount of money that they can spend and only the kids in the group can manufacture the elements of the challenge. There is also a series of paperwork that is to be completed by the team.

In both of the years that Cody's class has competed they have written a skit to showcase the challenge that they are completing. I believe there is a time limit on that as well. Then there is generally some sort of constructed element that is part of the skit.

Some examples:

Last year, the challenge was called Directed Flight. The kids built a paper airplane launcher. Then they experimented with several different types of planes to see which ones were best for different lengths of flight. They had to set up the launcher at the competition on a grid and drew out cards to see where they had to land the plane. The more flights that they carried out in the time frame, that were successful, the more points that they received. As part of the storyline they had a skit about an actress who was 'flying' to all these 'destinations' which tied the skit to the construction challenge. Along the way they could have 'side trips' where the team members could showcase other talents that they had. I believe last year one girl tap danced and another played the violin.

This year I am not sure of the name of the Challenge, but it involves using an optical illusion. Their skit is a take on SnowWhite and the Seven Dwarfs. Their illusion uses that picture that is known around where if you look at it one way it looks like a beautiful princess and the other way a haggard old woman. The structural element that they built is a door frame that can flip. The illusion/picture in on the door. It all fits into their story, but they haven't performed in front of the parents yet, so I am not sure exactly how.

This is their main challenge that they spend several weeks preparing for. But they have a second challenge that they can practice for, but is completed at the tournament. It's called an Instant Chellenge. In this challenge the group gets an assortment of items and/or written challenge that they have an alloted time to prepare then perform. It reminded me most of 'impromtu speech' which was something that I competed in when I was in HS. They get scored on this challenge as well and obviously the team with the highest score overall wins.

This weekend the Centralia kids are competing in the regional competition in Joplin MO. They competed a month ago at a local competition in Jefferson City, MO. If they would win or take second place, they would be eligible to compete in the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals in May. This competition is held on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville TN. This will showcase kids from all over the US and the some from around the world. Kind of a brainiac meets state fair I think were Cody's words to describe the environment at Global DI.

The kids compete in their challenges and TRADE PINS, that's a big thing at these competitions as well. I am sure that they don't realize, but they are interacting with their peers when trading and gaining lots of great experiences to boot. Almost as big as the competitions themselves I think, at least we heard more about the pin trading than the competition. :)

We are so proud of these kids. To compete on a state then national level in an academic competition against schools that are much bigger and have the ability to recruit students for their teams, I think these kids are exceptional!

In a small town, focus tends to be on athletics. If you're not in a sport, you're kind of a nobody. Cody does participate in Football and Wrestling and has an interest in trying out track/cross country and golf yet in his school career. But I remind him all the time that when you compare the amount of people who use athletics as part of their career and those who use their knowledge, I am most proud to see him 'flexing' that muscle between his ears!!! That muscle will help him/us pay for college.

Now all of my family/friends who are reading this know that I am huge HUGE HUGE!!!! sports fan, so I didn't make the above statements lightly. I believe in the importance of teams and sports, but I love to see kids use all of their talents, whether the talent is physical or academic. I know that I learned alot of things playing basketball and softball growing up. Working together and discipline among the top things. I enjoyed the social side of it, the closeness within the group/team and meeting fellow competitors, etc. But I also was in Quiz Bowl, and I know I learned alot more in that and it was very confidence building as well. I probably still use some of that more today than the basketball skills................... Ha! Especially since my boys wrestle instead of playing basketball.

If I haven't totally bored you to death today with this blog, you ought to go to the DI website, which is:

Will keep everyone up to date as soon as I know how they did and if they're going to Knoxville again.

Cody's proud mom~


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reality Check

I remember thinking three or four years ago that all the people 'addicted' to reality TV were crazy. I thought what kind of boring life is this person leading that they are willing to sit and watch what goes on in other peoples' lives???? Well fast forward a few years and I have joined the cult so to speak. Now I don't watch stuff like 'Real World' (is that even still on?)
but I have to admit I love the 'TLC' channel, and Discovery and some of the others. Not that I am advocating sitting in front of the TV for hours on end. I don't think that is good for anyone, especially our kids. It's nice to relax though for an hour or so after the shorties are in bed.
I think what draws us to reality shows is that sense of kinship with the characters. No David or I aren't 'little people' but we can so appreciate what Matt and Amy Roloff go through on a daily basis with life with four kids. (even the boy, boy, girl, boy order matches up with us) I feel their stress getting their kids to activities, trying to make memories, running a family business and just trying to raise kids. And on a side note, Amy is my hero, I can't imagine all of America seeing my house, which unfortunately is fairly regularly very similar to Amy's on the cleanliness level. That is a woman confident in who she is! Kudos to her. Now do we agree with everything they do? Nope, but I bet that would be a two way street. It's just interesting to see that you aren't alone, other peoples' kids fight, don't always behave and get into mischief, just like ours!
We love 'Deadliest Catch' also on TLC, right? Maybe it's Discovery. No matter, if you know the show, you probably appreciate the pull there as well. Again we aren't crab fishermen, but we own our own business, have fun with our fellow business people and work in stressful situations, maybe not with the danger of drowning in the ocean, but all jobs and lifestyles have their risks. Always nice to see they are just average joes doing their jobs, just like the rest of us.
Oh there's a million more shows and we could go on and on............. but here's my question, when will it be enough? When will this get boring? Remember 10-15 years ago, when we never thought that we would get tired of sit-coms? How many new sit-coms are there today? Not many. Or maybe 5-10 yrs farther back than that, the days of Dynasty and Dallas?????? Soap operas were the show of that era. It's very interesting to me to watch how public interest changes. Makes me wonder what's next..............
Here's a rundown of several reality shows and OUR opinions, strictly our opinion, feel free to agree or disagree, because we all have our own opinions and that is totally fine. (in other words I don't want to get a gazillion emails that you don't like one I do or even why do you watch them)
Okay here goes:
Dirty Jobs-totally love it, I personally could do without the rat and mice ones, but it follows the theme
Scott Baio-kinda neat to see that the old 'crush' as a preteen still doesn't look to bad :P
John and Kate--omg and I thought I was up to my eyeballs!
Trading Spaces--loved the really old ones, kind of didn't like the changes, glad Paige is back.
High School Reunion--kind of interests us, in that we are that age, sad that such a big % of that 'social circle' are all divorced, but I guess that too is life.
Bret Michaels--not sure its reality, and if it is, kind of sad, although we laugh our heads off at how pitiful some of those chicks are.
Gene Simmons--we watch it------Rock God/'wiped' "husband" wonder how many times Shannon has said jump and he's asked how high, but we love him
Dog---white trash at their finest, pray before we hunt, call the criminal ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING you can think of, make friends on the ride to jail, kiss and hug on them before they go in, OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that the real reason they were off the air is that they had to ship new bleep buttons to the production crew, lol
American Chopper, loved it in the day, kind of getting boring now. The original pull is gone, they are no longer average joes, they're millionaires.
My big Redneck Wedding- pitiful that people are proud to act like that, some of the examples make rednecks everywhere look bad, tee hee
Oh there's a million more, some that we have watched, some I said above, that was the short list.
Some nights I just miss M*A*S*H..................
That's what I know this rainy cool damp morning~

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jenna and Barbie

Here's a shot of the 'Vet' and her baby. She's a proud little momma, just look at that great big smile!
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Woo Hoo figured out pictures!!!

I finally figured out pictures!!! So that's why there isn't any captions with the picture of my family posted a few minutes ago!!! Now that I have figured it LOOK OUT!!! Sharing pictures on this blog was one of my main reasons for starting it! I am so excited!!!!
Okay the picture to most seeing it is fairly self-explanatory............... at least for my side of the family. That is my momma and daddy and their family. Besides me, DH and the kiddos, also pictured is my 'little' brother and Brit and Riddick. That picture was taken last fall on mom and dad's 40th anniversary. We had a supper with the family at their house.
Okay must close, as I have more pictures to 'share'
Thanks for endulging me~

Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary, Oct 21, 2007

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Barbie the Bottle Baby and Jenna's Future

Jenna Claire is in 7th heaven. We had a set of twins with one of our cows (or so we think as Momma was nowhere to be found) and now she has a bottle baby. The calf is ITTY BITTY. If I could get pictures to upload onto this with my slow dial up internet, I would show you just how little she is. Of course she has already had to endure her first photo session. For those who are around Jenna quite a bit, here's a comparison, the calf comes to about Jenna's waist! Little bitty!!!

Jenna came in last night from feeding Barbie (what other name would a 5 yo girl come up with?) and she was in tears. She was so upset I was concerned that something was wrong with the calf. But the drama and stress of the moment was the fact that her brothers couldn't find a curry comb so poor Barbie could get her first grooming! (thinking that Barbie was probably secretly thrilled!) Jenna is on a time schedule with her 'farm work'. The preschool she attends has a farm tour every spring and this year we are the destination. The teacher, Becky Coulter, announced the tour to the kids yesterday and told them that we were hosting, etc. Well I am not sure that Jenna stopped talking all the way home about it, barely catching her breath in between plans. I'll give you the short list. First and foremost, Barbie may need a bath, or at the very least she could be curried off (my suggestion, so yes my fault later when the comb couldn't be found!) Let's see we need to talk to Susie (Everhart, our neighbor) to see if she has any bottle lambs. Jenna has too good of a memory or maybe Becky mentioned that when the tour was here when Sam was in preschool that we had 'borrowed' bottle babies from Susie. We also need to talk to Patty (McBride another neighbor and one of Jenna's main social contacts, as she is her Sunday School teacher) about baby goats. They raise goats. We definitely need to talk to Rosel (Schmidt, yes another neighbor) about rabbits and anything else that she might be able to bring. Apparently this isn't a farm tour, it will be a petting Zoo!!! She is so funny. Of course she glossed right over the fact that the tour isn't for a few weeks, she thinks all needs to be ready NOW! I suggested that she talk to her father or grandfather or maybe even Uncle Jason as they were the ones going to have to care for this increased 'herd' of animals she was trying to acquire. Plus I figured that they ought to get to hear the run down of her plans. Oh and when she talks to grandpa, they will discuss horses and her trips with him to the Amish, thinking she thinks that a horse would be another great addition, ha!
Jenna has been making other plans for farther out than the two weeks till the farm tour lately. Last month we had Animal Planet as a free preview channel on Dish Network. That little girl could watch that channel 24/7 if given the opportunity. She would ask me turn to it on, and it didn't matter what was on she was glued to it. Absolutely absorbing all that she could glean from the shows. She decided last month that she was going to be an Animal Doctor. At first that didn't mean veterinarian, but when we explained that was the official name for an animal dr, and it sounded like a 'mouth full' to her, she decided to be a Vet.
Her plans or interests are always reflected in the pretend play that she and Seth engage in. Last summer and most of the fall, they 'showed' cattle, and horses and giraffes. Whatever stuffed animals that they could commandeer and tie up to chair legs or where ever else with Jenna's belts, necklaces, etc....... She got pretty interested in Marshall's arrival and played baby nursery at the hospital for most of January and February. I was busy with several catering jobs and they started playing with the dishes........ Well the current pretend play is Animal Hospital. Every stuffed animal that they can find a blanket for is wrapped up and laid here and there which are supposed to be there hospital rooms, I think. When they run out of baby blankets, I have seen animals wrapped in my kitchen towels (they can't reach the bathroom ones) their big brothers' undershirts and arm covers from David's recliner and last night there was a dog handed to me to 'care' for wrapped in a paper towel, I don't know maybe he wasn't house broken and they wanted me to be prepared. :)
It never ceases to amaze me to be witness to the imagination of my kids. I know all parents feel that way. The magic of childhood too quickly is gone and I keep reminding myself of that as I refold the towels and rewind up the paper towels. I really try to enjoy the here and now but can't help but picture those scenes in MY future, maybe a Vet School Graduation or maybe just hearing the stories of the games MY grandchildren will play and the awe it inspires in their mother.

Well that's deep enough for 9 in the morning, take care, see you tomorrow,


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pink Rabbit Suits

Today is my cousin's birthday. For the next three months and four days, Kenneth Earl Swann will be OLDER than me. We have given each other some pretty funny gag gifts over the years, hence the title of this blog. (that is what he received from me last year, he's a HUGE fan of A Christmas Story, and Ralphie)
This one is short today, it's a busy day around here and I want to try and figure out how to add some pictures and do some other things in my short allotted time to 'hang out' on the internet today.
Happy Birthday Kenny, from your YOUNGER cousin~

Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to Tulip from the Hasekamp Half Dozen!

Well here I go again, trying yet another new 'thing' on the internet. I happened to receive two invitations today to visit the blogs of two of my cousins (well technically wives of Davids' cousins) and when I figure out more about this I will add the links to their blogs on this blog and the circle continues.

With our slow internet in the country I am always looking for ways to communicate and share with our friends from all over EASILY and I am hoping this is the way. Bare with me as I learn how to use this blog!

A quick update before I conclude this first entry~~~Cool and rainy here today, March 31st. Strong winds this afternoon blew over our old steel silo that WAS attached to the 'big barn' (for those who know Hasekamp slang) also took out the power to the big barn, so David, Bob and Jason spent the afternoon, running electric back to the electric fence, the water fountain and the bulk bins. I am sure that they had nothing else that they could have been doing! HA! Marshall is growing like a weed, he was 3 weeks old Saturday and Beth, bless her heart, is looking more rested and back to herself more everyday as well. Brittany told me today that baby Angle #2 is expected to arrive mid Nov, again November kicks April's 'butt' on the Angle side of the family as that will be the 9th Angle baby to arrive in that month, and 9 out of the last 10 on our side, I think our family really needs to consider candy and roses for Valentines Day in the future, LOL.

Cody is getting ready to compete with his gifted class in the Destination Imagination Regional Competition in Joplin MO this weekend. Jenna has a new bottle calf, Barbie. Seth and Sam are ornery as ever.

Okay that's all that's new at Tulip~