Monday, November 21, 2011

Dead Dogs and Bowling Balls

It's a cold Monday. I did some work up at City Hall today and couldn't figure out why the heater wasn't kicking on; my hands were about frozen solid. So I went over and inspected the heater - it was on "fan" and only at 56 degrees!

Paul killed our neighbor's dog on the way to church yesterday. The dog was suicidal and really, it's a miracle it survived this long. The accident was unavoidable. We were late and so we didn't stop. But I called our neighbor right away and left a message. I hated to do that because I really thought it was news I should have delivered in person. Well, she never got my message, so she was kind of upset. She wasn't upset about the dead dog, but at what she saw as unkindness in us not letting her know right away. She was so right and I felt just terrible. Paul went over and apologized to her, too. She assures me everything is fine and that she, frankly, is a bit relieved that she doesn't have to take care of that dog anymore. I still feel bad about it though! So that kind of cast a pall over all of yesterday.

Ben's state bowling meet was Saturday. I was shocked to see his aide, Mrs. K and her sister there. The night before Paul's dad had called to wish Ben a happy late birthday. I had sent my phone upstairs with Ben. Well, unbeknownst to me the little booger was able to figure out my phone and had the dexterity to find Mrs. K's number in my phone and called her and asked her to come Sat. I was so mortified! It's enough that she has to work with him 5 days a week. She definitely deserves to have her weekends off! When I was scolding Ben he assured me that he was very sorry. I reiterated to him that he should have asked me before calling. Ben was quiet a moment and then looked at me and said, "But you would have said 'no'." Well, yes, that's true! As I posted on Facebook, he has figured out that it is easier to apologize than to ask permission!

So anyway, we got to the AMF Lanes in North Des Moines which was packed with special needs individuals and their helpers, along with the Special Olympic helpers - what a madhouse! And Ben starts jumping up and down because he spied Mrs. K! She came over to me and introduced her sister (who looks just like her) and told me that they had been at a big craft show at the fairgrounds. But when Ben called her she realized how important it was to Ben for her to be at his event and she said if she couldn't give up an hour of shopping for him, then there was just something wrong with her! She just loves Ben. I was so touched.

Ben didn't do so great - he got fourth place - out of four bowlers! He actually didn't do too badly for the first game. But then Mrs. K had to leave and it was like Ben just deflated. Never mind that all his brothers and his mom and dad were there cheering him on! And he was getting more tired, too. But he still ended up with a ribbon - which I happened to spy this morning under one of the van seats. I can tell it means a lot to him!

Afterwards we went to Incredible Pizza to celebrate the bowling and Ben's birthday. That is one expensive place. A long time ago I had purchased a $25 gift certificate off for $10. Even with that, I still spent $31 on our food and then another $20 on the games. And then was seriously limiting how many the boys could play! Sam did get to ride the go-cart, though, so he was pretty pleased.

We found out that over the weekend Ben had made the front page of the Pleasantville newspaper. They had covered the initial bowling event last month. So, a couple from church who lives there cut the whole story out for us. How nice!

Will is signed up to take a college credit class at the high school next semester - Creative Writing. More and more he seems to be leaning towards a career in sports writing. At this point, I would say it's all still pretty much up in the air. But of all his options, he seems to talk about that one the most. I was kind of surprised he agreed to take this class. They spend the first month covering and writing poetry which is definitely not where his writing interests lay (lie? I can never keep those straight). But I did tell him that will be useful when he gets a girlfriend someday! The nice thing is the college credit - that we don't have to pay for.

Last week David was musing outloud about his own future career choices. He said something about doing something someday - I can't remember what - and I pointed out to him that, in my opinion, he has some great people skills and I could see him a career that involves "talking." Of course, I have been convinced since he was about 4 that he's headed for the ministry someday. But I don't want to be the one to plant that seed in his mind. It needs to come from the Lord! David asked me, "Like what?" So I said, "Oh, you know, maybe a teacher, or..." I pointed at the television where a legal scene was on the screen, "A lawyer, maybe, or..." And then David actually said, "Maybe a pastor" and I very quickly agreed with him that would be an option. Then Will interjected, "Or maybe a telemarketer!" Ha, ha, ha! I guess you would need some sort of talking ability for that kind of job, but it's not quite what I was thinking of!

Well, our second attempt at refinancing the house has fallen through. It's very frustrating. Our credit score is fine. We even paid $400 out of our own pocket for an appraisal and the house came in $15,000 above what we paid for it. But both times we've been told that there are no comparable houses in the area and so they can't approve the loan. Right now, it's ok. Our interest rate went down to 2.5% and our monthly payments are very affordable. But for how long? Seven years ago when we bought this house we had no trouble getting a loan and they would have had to find comparable properties. But that was before the bottom of the housing market fell out. Now, if we wanted to move, we couldn't. So I guess we'll just keep digging out the basement!

Every week Ben has a "reading probe." He is given a half sheet of paper with information about a certain subject or thing. His job is to read and comprehend the paragraphs and then be able to answer questions about it on Friday. So I always help him review on Thursday nights. Well, this past week's was about a certain dinosaur. Typically, the paragraph began, "7 million years ago..." I quickly reminded Ben that that was not true. The world was only created about 6000 years ago. The next day he went to school and he informed his aide that the paper was wrong because his mom had said that dinosaurs were only 6000 years old! So he and his aide went to the internet to look it up. Ben was completely frustrated that the internet told them that dinosaurs were roaming the earth 7 million years ago! And, I think, he was inclined to believe the Internet over Mom, just a bit!

We are leaving this Wed. evening for Council Bluffs. We'll be home within 24 hours. Then it looks like I am going shopping on Friday morning with the boys. It won't be for long because they don't want to miss the Iowa-Nebraska game. I'm not real anxious to fight the traffic or crowds. But I need a new purse and Will wants to get to a guitar store. I don't want him driving alone with all of central Iowa out at the malls. So I guess I'm going to get up at a reasonable (no lining up in front of the stores on Thanksgiving evening for this girl!) time and go out for a few hours with the boys. Ben will be happy!

Ben's case manager for his SCL services is coming over in 45 minutes so I had better make sure the house is picked up. Tomorrow I will be cleaning all day long because our next home visit for the adoption is at 5pm. Oh, and speaking of that, I got the prettiest pink flowered sheets at Penneys on Saturday for only $5! I had a $15 savings coupon and they had them on sale for $20. So now I have my first set of pink, feminine twin sheets for our little girl! I can't wait for Paul to get the carpet up there so we can set up the bed and I can get busy sewing a bed skirt and matching curtains. Like I have any time for sewing right now, though!

Today Jen (of the dead dog) told me that she dreamed the other night that we were given twin girls and I had run over to her house in a panic begging for some little girl clothes. It's funny because I had just had the thought last week - "what if we got twin girls?" I highly doubt that would happen, but you never know, I guess.

Gotta go pick up!

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