Thursday, December 12, 2013

Elf on a Shelf nonsense.

I am not a fan of the creepy weird Elf on a Shelf that people seem to have so much fun doing this time of the year.  Here is my facebook status rant about those creepy little bastards.

I had forgotten about that whole "Elf on a Shelf" weirdness that pops up this time of the year. I'm so glad that I didn't get in on that. I'm sure I'll hear from my two younger ones why doesn't the elf come to our house and I'll have to tell them; "because yo Mama ain't got time for no naughty elf up in here, up in here! You kids are naughty and messy enough, I ain't having any more. Plus I done put an elf protection spell on our house, yo."

So there you have my feelings on those things.  I understand that it is a nice little tradition for your family. I guess if you enjoy taking that precious time when our little heathen children are finally knocked out for the night and wasting it on playing with that disturbing looking androgynous elf.  If you want to spend those glorious quiet moments taking all the ornaments off the Christmas tree and replacing it with your kids underwear, go ahead.  I mean, I'll just be over here enjoying some peace and quiet before passing out and starting the day over again with these three kids.

I'm not sure I follow the logic of Santa sending an elf to watch you and make sure you are doing good but the elf itself is a horribly behaved demon.  How does that make sense?  Do people's kids not see the idiocy in that?  And the notes that the elf leaves behind?  Do your kids not recognize your handwriting?  My kids would.  Plus why would the elf suddenly be in a weird position, wouldn't it just go back to normal static position as soon as it knew you were about to wake up?

I'm glad we don't all have to subscribe to the same set of traditions.  This new one is lost on me.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

I'm gonna pop a tire...gotta get a new battery in my Mazda

This has been a very challenging week here at Casa de Schaals.  It all started on Tuesday morning when I fell taking packages to mail out to the car.  I dropped the boxes, scraped my knees and twisted my ankle.  I had to repack one of the boxes because the bag of pasta inside burst open upon impact.  I'm glad I didn't burst open on impact.  I managed to still get to Bible Study (which I affectionately call Jesus Meeting) and mail two packages.  I thought, "well, that wasn't pleasant"; the falling, not the Jesus Meeting, but did not realize it was just the beginning of a crappy challenging week.

Tuesday evening was to be one of those, "why do we have more than one kid?" kind of night.  Gavin was supposed to have Football Practice while at the same time Ethan had AVID family night at school.  We had planned on a divide and conquer strategy.  I was going to take Gavin to Football practice and Cody was going to take Ethan to AVID and Norah was going to hold down the fort...wait, what?  No, Norah was going to go with me.  It started raining and I secretly, okay not secretly; I broadcast it all over my facebook status that I wished for it to keep raining so it would be canceled.  I lucked out and it was canceled on account of the super soggy fields. Score for me!  I was off the hook for taking kids to the field and I could stay home and nurse my hurt knee.

Cody still had to take Ethan to AVID though.  He wasn't keen on it since social interaction is not one of Cody's favorite past times.  He keeps it to a minimum when he can.  He's an introvert (I think I must attract them since I have more than a couple of friends that are and I'm married to one).  I should really explore that further.  Anyway, he suffered through the AVID night and was starving since there wasn't much food at the actual gathering, though there was supposed to be a sign-up for it.  On the way home he rounded a curve in the road and BAM...hit a pothole and killed the back tire.  He drove it home since there was no place to pull off that was safe and had any light.  I was really, really good.  I didn't yell or laugh or anything.  Sometimes I laugh at the wrong times.  He and Ethan got the tire changed and I came in and ordered new tires online.

It's useless to try to get a tire here.  The NEX Autoport never has the size tire that we need.  It's always a hassle to get one.  Did I mention this is the third one I think we've had blow out on us.  Potholes are ridiculous.  Cody used the portable cigarette lighter air pump we have to pump the spare donut tire up to the proper Psi.   The next morning he got up to drive to the gym.  The battery was dead.  He had forgot he had left the pump charging.  Whoops.  for once it wasn't my fault!  Yippee!~  I've been known to be the cause of dead batteries...more than once.

We got out neighbor to jump the car off and Cody drove it to the Autoport and we had to buy a new battery.  Oh yeah and that same morning Gavin woke up feeling miserable and horrid with a bad head cold.  So he stayed home and since Cody took our crippled car Norah stayed home too.  Not exactly the kind of Wednesday I was looking for.  Norah missed school and ballet.  Gavin missed school and I had to cancel our Cub Scout meeting because we have them here in the house and I didn't want to spread the yuckies to everyone else.

Thursday Gavin was still sick and missed school.  As did Norah again, because I didn't want to drive Gavin with me to take Norah to school.  I had to reschedule a consult with a new breastfeeding mom and Gavin missed a football game.  I did get to go to a lovely dinner at the chapel, but of course I had a headache.  Seriously?

Thankfully today was not so bad.  While Cody is certain that the spare is going to blow out and we're going to be up shittake mushroom creek with out a paddle, I'm feeling okay waiting on the tires to arrive, hopefully next week.  A girl can dream, right?

Here's to hopefully having a calming and happy weekend.  But I'm not banking on it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Where do you Summer?

I remember the first time I heard that question, "Where do you summer?" The question was a running joke on a tv show.  It refers to how rich people spend their summers at their summer homes.  We all know that working folks don't have time or money to summer anywhere other than their regular house; except for military dependents.  On occasion we get to go "back home" and spend part of or all of the summer there.  Now usually our military members don't take all that leave time but sometimes they do.  When we lived in Japan we would take 30 days of leave and go back "home" to visit.  It cost a lot of money and it made the long trip worthwhile.  Many families here in Sicily do the same thing.  They go "home" and visit for the summer.  This summer we did not do that.  Instead me and the kids stayed here and Cody went back for two weeks to begin his PhD program in Pennsylvania.

At first I was jealous that Cody was going to get to go back to the States and I wasn't.  I soon got over that.  I get to say that I've not been back to the USA in three years when we finally do move.  It costs a lot of money to fly commercially back to the US.  When you multiply that amount by 5 for all of us, it's ridiculous.  When we moved here, we made sure to let all of our family know that we were not going to be returning unless it was an absolute necessity.  So far it hasn't be necessary.

How did I spend my summer?  I spent it right here at my house.  I didn't do anything of cultural importance, but I sure did do some family bonding with these three children.  Gavin and Norah took swim lessons.  Gavin wasn't impressed with them, though he did improve.  Norah loved her lessons and she greatly improved from being afraid to be much more comfortable in the water.  We went to the market in Scordia a few times.

We didn't do any traveling, which is disappointing, but not only did we have to pay for Cody's flight back to PA but also the A/C unit in our house in Va Beach went out and we had to buy and have a new one installed.  That was not cheap so, yeah, no summer travel for us.

I will miss the summers here in Sicily.  It's hot and SUNNY!  I love the sunny part.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My how does time fly by

Wow, I can't believe the last time I posted was in June.  It seems that I've let this little blog languish on the internet for far too long.  What have we been up to?  Nothing too exciting, just living life.

I will sit down this weekend and draft up a lovely recap of all those months that I didn't post.  I really am ashamed of myself for neglecting this so much.  I realize not many, if any, people read this; but it isn't here for other people, it's here for us.

Living here in Sicily has been good.  I realize that I am not getting the same cultural experience that other people are and that's okay with me.  That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes feel really guilty for not trying harder to "get out there" but overall I'm happy with my life.

We were able to take a great trip to France!  I really liked France and I didn't expect to.