Tuesday, April 28, 2009


To the right is close up picture of pollen. You could look at that or up my nose or all over the cars... It is wicked bad out right now. I bet I set a record for continuous sneezes today while mowing the yard. But I persevered and got the yard all trimmed and mowed. Looking pretty good out there.

Today Ashleigh lost a close lacrosse game, 12-14. They led 4-1 early but then couldn't finish. Ashleigh had a great assist but it just wasn't enough.

However, the Celtics did have enough and won in overtime! Thrilling game. Elliott and I had a good time watching that.

Elliott went in for physical therapy on his finger the other day but it was pretty non-eventful. There was some confusion between his surgeon and the PT guy as to what exactly was to be done. They wound up making him a customized splint for his finger and taking some range of motion measurements. He cleaned his finger too but we made an appointment to go back next week to see about moving the last joint.

It's been pretty darn hot here the past few days but will drop back to the 70's soon. The woods behind the house have suddenly turned all green. It looks nice around here now.

Tomorrow the kids have dental appointments - Ashleigh to get a cavity filled and Elliott to get some castings and measurements for some braces in a few months.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We Got A Win!

FINALLY! Ashleigh's lacrosse team won their first game of the season yesterday! 13-6. Their best offensive outing all year. Ashleigh had 5 great shots on goal and played very aggressively. There was a break in the bad weather - just enough to get a good game in.

Today she went to the state capital (Dover) to the big race track to compete in a high school driving competition. She did well - about 90 kids from across the state. She had to drive around cones, parallel park, do written tests and map calculations, etc.

I finished staining the oak entertainment center we bought from our friends. The fumes were pretty strong - I was working in the basement with no ventilation. But it came out really good. Lucie and I will work on making space for it in the basement on Friday.

It looks like a warm few days ahead so I hope to catch up with the yard work.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Stitch In Time...

Today Elliott had another set of X-rays done on his finger and another trip to the surgeon. The broken off bone is still "free floating" in there but the surgeon isn't concerned. He said we could have it removed way down the road if it doesn't re-attach on its own but it is nothing to worry about. The bone will either find its way home or enough will grow back and he won't need it. So the nurse came in and tugged out the stitches. That was a little painful. She almost missed the ones through his nail till Lucie pointed them out! He is still all bandaged and wearing the metal outer splint but it is coming along.

Lucie did a great job Sunday in "big people's church" as she likes to call it. She did a sampling of her Kids Church in the sanctuary and it was good. She does it once a year and in the past, she usually does skits and puppet shows and characters and so forth. But she scaled it way back and was very effective. I was back monitoring the kids in the sound booth (kids do everything when she is on) and it was good to see the adults trying to do the motions to the songs. She is high energy.

After that we went to a new Chinese buffet. Really good and inexpensive. I liked it.

Today it was rainy and windy and chilly. Ashleigh has a game tomorrow afternoon. The Celtics barely pulled off a win tonight hitting a 3 pointer with 2 seconds left! Whew! Elliott and I watched it. Tomorrow I intend to stain the entertainment center we picked up this weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flying High

This is a picture of the plane Elliott flew today! He and some friends from church went on an outing at an airfield. Each of the boys got their own plane (and pilot of course!) and up they went. He got to fly for a little bit and had a great time. He was supposed to go a couple of weeks ago but he wasn't going to make it because of another competition he was in and then the weather turned bad so they postponed it - it worked out well for him.

This week the kids were off so we went shopping one day with friends at a giant mall about an hour away (we do this every spring) and then shopping again with the same friends plus one at a closer shopping area. We don't buy much of anything of course but it is a fun time. Ashleigh even initiated a home cleaning day and really cleaned up a lot of clutter (of course most of it was hers and Elliotts!).

Today it was in the mid-70's so we went to a friend's yard sale. We wound up buying a large oak entertainment center similar to the ones we have now but for the basement - on the promise that Lucie will organize down there. And we got a really nice Mikasa nautical themed dinnerware set. Finally we will have more than four matching plates! It is really nice. The friends were selling off some estate items so we were happy to bring some of their stuff into our family. Afterward, we came home and cooked out and hung out with friends. We all found we got a little sunburned too! On TV there was an hour long Royal Caribbean special about a cruise on the ship we were on so that brought back some great memories.

Tomorrow Lucie brings her Kid's Church program into the sanctuary for the adults (about 400 of them!). It is quite a production and something everyone looks forward to every year.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tip Of The Day

Here is a close up picture of Elliott's broken finger. We got X-rays done and met with the orthopedic surgeon. He has some loss of sensation that will probably come back and the doctor ordered more antibiotics to be taken more frequently for a longer period. But otherwise he looks good. We can change the bandages daily now and he will go back in a week for a follow up. Even though it looks off center, the tip will grow back where it belongs and no screws or pins or anything would help.

I mowed the yard and trimmed today for the first time of the season. Looks like rain tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finger Lickin' Good

Here is a picture of Elliott's finger this weekend getting the bandages changed by our nurse friend (Hi Robin!). It is healthy looking. I have more close-ups on Facebook or email if you want them but I didn't post them here. He is holding up well. We should hear from our doctor tomorrow about an orthopedic surgeon consult later this week. And to top it all off, he has a dentist appointment on Tuesday where we expect a diagnosis of some major work.

But there was some real bright spots reported about Elliott. This morning at church our youth pastor commented, to the whole congregation, that Elliott was inspirational in his commitment to staying for the youth convention weekend. And several people came up to us and said that some of the other kids that went were fussing a little about the weather or food or whatever. But they were told, "Look at Elliott - he has the most to complain about but he isn't whining at all!" I told Elliott that sometimes we can be a witness just by being who we are.

Meanwhile, we went to a friend's house for Easter lunch and games. Later that night their brothers and families came for dessert. It was a real nice day and evening. Windy and chilly but sunny.

The kids are off this week. I will mow the yard tomorrow and follow up on some leads.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rascal But No Flats

This "little" bolt came courtesy of our ER visit in Hershey. The ER parking lot there was under construction and somehow that got stuck in my right rear tire. Just the head was showing and I didn't hear it or notice it till yesterday morning when we were out shopping. Fortunately, when I saw it, we were right across the street from a National Tire and Battery store! My low tire pressure sensor light never came on but I figured from what I saw on the outside, if I pulled that out, the tire would have been flat. So they patched me up for $25 while Lucie was shopping and all is good.

That morning, the beagle carried a rascal into the house - a dead squirrel! I did a thorough exam and found no paintball marks (darn!) so I don't know how he died. I doubt the fat beagle caught it in the open range. So we bagged that and tossed it.

Rainy day here and out in Hershey where the kids are at Hershey Park. Elliott has his finger protected by Saran Wrap and duct tape and he is off and running. He is holding up pretty well out there and due back tonight.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Elliott Almost Gave the Finger

This weekend Elliott and Ashleigh are out in Hershey, PA (an hour and 4o minutes from home) with a church group for a weekend long youth convention and day at Hershey Park. They hadn't been out there for two hours when I got a call from our FANTASTIC Youth Pastor that Elliott had hurt his middle finger. Some kids were horsing around in the hotel and Elliott was standing in his room near his bathroom. One of his roommates slammed the door on his finger - in the metal frame on the hinge side. Bad. So the Youth Pastor rushed him to the ER which was just behind the hotel. They called an orthopedic surgeon in and they found that the bone in Elliott's right hand, after the last joint (tip) was broken and severed through the skin. Lucie and I raced out there in time to see the final stitching (I could barely watch but Lucie was all into it!). Elliott had an IV with morphine and was hurting but was toughing it out. The surgeon put him all back together and said that due to his young age, he should be OK once the bone heals in about 4-6 weeks. He has to see a local surgeon this week but he is off for spring break so it timed out well. His nail may not look right and he might not have sensation in the tip. So they finished him up and gave him a prescription for pain. He wanted to stay out there so Lucie and I went to his hotel room with him and Lucie got him all set up. He slept for a while till the other kids came back but he perked up when they all came in to visit him. We got home at 2 this morning and Elliott checked in around 6:30 to say he was managing his meds well and doing pretty good. Ashleigh is mothering him too and he is OK. Did I mention our Youth Pastor is fantastic...?!

Here are some more pictures (one graphic):

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And Off They Go

In a few minutes the kids will be heading to a church retreat in Hershey, PA for a few days. Two days of convention stuff and then all day Saturday at Hershey Park. Nothing wrong with that!

Ashleigh lost her last 2 lacrosse games but she scored in one! So I went to the sports section of the paper to cut out her stats and they credited another girl! She was wide open, one on one! Darn.

I got a couple of leads on some work things so I am a little encouraged again. Up and down. I don't need to go to Hershey to ride a roller coaster...!

Lucie and I will just hang out here and maybe hang out with some other orphaned parents...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mo' Medals

Elliott snagged two more medals recently for school stuff. One at the state Math League and another at the regional Science Olympiad. We may need to build a separate trophy case for all of his stuff!

The weather has been pretty nice lately but varying with some really windy and rainy days, some warm days, and then some chilly days. It is really messing up Ashleigh's lacrosse schedule. Her game Saturday was postponed to today but now it is canceled due to rain. The baby grass is loving it though and the plum tree in the front yard is blooming.

We had a good weekend playing games with friends, eating lunch with some friends we hadn't seen in a while on Sunday, and generally running around. The kids were going in separate directions all weekend it seemed and Lucie wasn't feeling too good. I went shopping with some friends and they got a new TV and TV stand. It is beautiful and a pretty nice upgrade from their TWENTY TWO year old one! ha ha

And back to the squirrels... I have managed to get few paintball shots off at them but the darn dogs get so excited when I pull out the gun that it scares the birds. The paintballs are egg based and non-toxic and they like to chase them and eat them! I need a better plan. I was also using some old CO2 air tanks that didn't have a lot of pressure in them. I need to get them re-charged and that should make things a bit more exciting.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Varmint Marking

So the squirrels, though not able to steal much food from the bird feeder, have learned to send a "shaker" so he can hang from it and shake out some crumbs for the other cohorts. Well, it is time to bring out the big guns. So I did. I took a few shots at them with the paintball gun. Just sighting in for now but I am ready! I can set my paintball marker to full auto and that should give 'em a good whumpin!

Speaking of whumpin', Ashleigh's lacrosse team has been getting thrashed pretty bad. The last score was 2-15. Ugh. The other teams just slice through the defense and score almost at will. Ashleigh plays offense but the ball never gets down to her end. So the games are rough but she is having a good time anyway and the weather has been pretty good. Chilly, but not too terrible.

It has rained a bit lately and that is perfect for my grass. The other day I trimmed up some plants and lariopes outside, filled the pool torches with oil, edged the driveway and sidewalk, sharpened the edger and mower blades, and changed the oil in the mower. I am ready!