Sunday, September 30, 2007

the weekend....

The nice thing about being a grandma and a mother of grown children is that most weekends are mine...well, mostly...I do have a husband too!

I have been mostly wandering around my house, doing this and that.  Weekends like this are nice, they recharge the soul.

My husband is very sports minded.  Today he is flipping between the Chicago Bears, Nascar racing and golf...yawn!....he would be watching the Cubs if they were playing...after all the Cubbies have won their division!   The Cubs have long been known to be cursed and haven't won the world series in forever.  Cubs fans are going nuts.  I used to follow them way back when I was a child...I even kept a score sheet while I watched the games.  I could name the whole team, one of the players, Ernie Banks came to my grade school.  He had a motto each year...that year it was the Cubs will shine in 69.  boy that does age me.  I think I still have his autograph.

Today would have been my mother's 69th birthday.  She's been gone for 8 years.   Time is a weird feels like so long ago...but I can still feel her all around me.  She is missed.

It's still unseasonably warm here in the Midwest, but no complaints from me.  Liz and I went to the nearby Methodist church this morning.  I've gone many times over the years.  I tend to be a wanderer when it comes to church too.  We went to the contemporary soon as I walked in an older lady I've know forever grabbed me and hugged me.  "Thanks, Donna"  hugs are always welcome.  She promptly scolded me for my wet hair.  I love that.

We all could use more hugs!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I am feeling much better today.  The weather has been an unseasonably hot, 90's and sitting in a big yellow tube all day can get to road construction has been horrible.  Yesterday I saw a little car try to driver under a semi trailer...needless to say he didn't make it.  My midday preschool route is growing and is now up to 24.  I no longer have Wednesday mid days off so now I am having to actually work for my pay.  That's ok, it forces me to manage my time better.

Today is much cooler and  the headache I had from the weather change is now gone. 

A video game name "Halo 3" came out yesterday so that was the topic of my junior high route.  This kept them occupied the 10 minute trip to school.  I have had to use much humor in keeping them in line.  They were allowed to stand last year and I told them to stop living in the past that the rule is sit while the bus is moving.

Being creative is also useful for grade schoolers.  There has been a war going on in the back of the bus between the older and younger kids.  I only have 20 kids total on the bus, but kids are kids.  I solved this by assigning a day for each grade level, starting with first grade.   They each get their own day to sit in the coveted back seats.  So far so good.

A couple of days ago my neighbor who is 5 and rides my bus yelled at my daughter, who was sitting on a bench in the yard, out his window.

----"hey girl!  do you know that my bus driver lives in your house??"

see they can be cute after all!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ovarian Cancer awareness

September is Ovarian Cancer month...we have a friend who passed away from the silent killer nearly 5 years ago.  She wasn't diagnosised until she was already stage 3. 

Every year her husband has a bike run/fund raiser for the hospital that she was treated at, for research and treatment of others. 

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day.  We started at a Harley Davidson dealer a few towns from here.  There were over 200 bikes that traveled the 15 miles to a VFW in another town.  There is nothing like the roar of 200 bikes!

Her motto was turning a whisper into a roar...

here is a copy of the poem she wrote when she got sick...she was truly a hero!

Turning a Whisper into a Roar

I never thought I would get it, so healthy I lived my life,
It snuck up upon me, a whisper, oh the strife.
I did not know Ovarian Cancer, I did not know its signs,
So much I've learned since then, I've read so many lines.

There is no magic dust, no magic cure for me,
Like so many others, it wasn't caught till Stage 3C.
So there were surgeries and chemos, there were doctors and nurses you'd adore
It would have been nice to meet them through a totally different door.

I saw the fear and pain within my mother's eyes,
My husband was so supportive, holding me for those needed cries.
I knew I had a fight ahead, so courage I had to muster,
There was no time for half-baked schemes or anything lackluster.

They say Ovarian Cancer is a Silent Killer, that it whispers as it spreads,
Too many have been dying, too many now-empty beds,
I knew I had to yell, to scream from a mountaintop,
To bring awareness out there, no one could make me stop.

There is no detection test, a pap smear does not do it,
We have to come upwith one, we have to see to it.
And therefore the awareness run was born, a run with cars and bikes,
To have some fun and raise some funds, so others wouldn't have to fight.

Through many sponsorships and donators, a successful event we had,
We hope to make it annual, for this I am truly glad.
If this event saves one person, our efforts haven't been in vain
Research dollars and awareness are what we have to gain.

So many special people, so many special friends,
I've been so blessed in life to have support that never ends.
I'd like to take this time to thank you, for the many things I am thankful for,
But especially to thank you for helping me Turn a Whisper into a Roar!

Dorene Gae Knapp

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A very long month

This has been a very long beginning to school.  Most likely because I had no real break for summer I feel like I have been driving forever.  I am sure most people who work normal 9 to 5 jobs must think I am feeling sorry for myself...true, but usually my self pity is very short lived.  I am always the first to leave a pity party....too boring!

My routes are behaving... finally.  Usually the first few weeks are either the honeymoon period or a period of testing.  Rarely do I have a honeymoon group.  This year is no different.

I have been very busy at work, but I love my job and the perks are great.  I think we have at least two paid days off next month.

But there are days when I am emotionally burned out.  It's a rough world out there, so fast too.

The kids were here last night into today.  They are growing so fast.   Jacob will be going to school next fall!  They are becoming quite firm in their personalities too.

Remember last year when Jacob would hide when the camera came out?  Now he poses for me!

But a few behaviors, such as telling me no, (a big no no, I remind them who they are speaking to),  and thinking they can boss me around have to checked at the door.

Dakota does not like his picture taken, I always try and remember that he is still only 2, won't be 3 until December.   He tends to be the one doing most of the bossing around.  He also has no tolerance for Dayton the baby...but Dayton is becoming quite the bully himself.  But as with my own kids they fight and make up quickly.

Dayton who at 15 months still has to be watched like a hawk as he is into everything... his head tends to lead when he walks, resulting in a few crashes.

The weather has been great, the men are working as is Liz...the bills are getting paid and there's food on the is good.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

At my job we have over 100 drivers &  at least 50 bus monitors.   They discourage us from working over 40 hours as the school district does not like to pay overtime.  We can work over 40, but they don't like it.  Actually I am paid twice per month and they figure out my contracted hours and then divide them by how many pay periods we work.  That way we get paid over spring and winter break.  It works it very nice for us.

Everything is by seniority and they have some goofy formula to figure out how to award trips.  Trips are a hot commodity as they are easy money and usually put a person into over time.  I bid a bunch for next Saturday and won a soccer trip toward Chicago in Lyons Township which is near the Brookfield Zoo.  It's all 4 high school grades so it should last all day...which is sweet.

Work has been extremely slow for my husband as it's rained every week including this one.  Bums him out, but throughout our marriage one or the other of us is usually doing most of the work load.  I wish the weather would behave he makes twice as much money as I do ;)  Things always balance out...

Today's midday went well again with the exception of one kid that is a very large 3 year old.  Mom said he'd cry and he whimpered a bit when we did our drop at the school.  He was fine after he got off.  Most usually are.  School is just too much for some.

I did have one little guy behind me pretending to be shooting a gun, most boys including my own, and my grandsons love guns.  When mine were young I was into being more of an Earth momma, I am still bit of a hippie.  My kids were breastfeed and I made all their baby food.  I was very anti guns.  My sons had other ideas, they used to make guns out of the mega legos, Tim once took a bit out of a saline and began shooting.  Jacob uses race tracks for guns....::::sigh:::: my daughter never did that.

My day went much smoother, I only got yelled at by one mom.  She wanted to be sure I had her kid seat belted before I went the 3 houses down from her to pick up the next stop.   Yesterday I was extremely late, we only belt pre schoolers to keep them tied down for everyone's good.  Seat belts are not mandatory in buses.  That is another subject up for debate.  I feel little ones should be belted in because they tend to stand up, BUT I also feel children are perfectly save in a bus.  Having 50 kids in seat belts is a nightmare.  Imagine a burning bus and one person trying to be sure 50 kids unbelted and got off the bus safely???   I once heard people stating they feel the only reason there aren't seatbelts in all the seats of buses is because of money.  Not's because no bus drive wants to liable for seeing to it that 50 kids are belted in. 

Ok, I am off my soapbox.

The kids are coming over tomorrow night, they will be here until Saturday afternoon.  I have milk, peanut butter and 'ookies...grandma's ready!

Oh the kid in the U-tube clip is fine, once they knocked him out and straightened out his arm he was in less pain.  He's only upset that his football career is most likely least for this year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thanks to two older brothers Dayton has played with anything with wheels since he could grab them...complete with sound effects....usually involving spit.

I am spending next Saturday with them, then to the yearly county fair for a date with Hubby.

Today was my first full day of routes.  In the morning I go in later than last year but after my routes I shuttle a girl to the other high school for a class.  Still my morning is a short one.

Today my midday was living hell...the main highway to my first pick up is now full of strip malls and large department stores.  At every entrance is a stop light.  About a mile from my first pick up is a new Menards/JC Penneys/Office Depot complex.  This line of intersections have been a work zone for months.  I went through there yesterday (in my car) with no problem.  Today the road was down to one lane, took me extra time and of course I was then very late.  This after leaving base (where we keep our buses) early.

Parents of pre schoolers, especially the first day are antsy.  Mine were no different.  Fortunately my group  of 20 are quiet and well behaved.  Many are not from our country, but they do know who Sponge Bob is!

My monitor and friend Julie has been with me for this being our third year.  The girl is a saint.   She understands children and most of all me!  It was also hot today...and I had hot flashes...YAY!

I was supposed to do another shuttle after my pre school route but I was too late. 

I am getting over 40 hours per week.  My husband has been praying for extra hours for us...ok now he needs to pray for him to get extra work, I am tired...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

U tube & the boy's brother's broken arm


I don't know if I did this right, but Tim and Eric's half brother broke his arm a few weeks ago at football scrimmage.  It's pretty gross so if your screamish don't look...the goofy kid posted it on U-Tube

the water is receding

We explained to Jacob that the park had flooded so we would have to play at the grade school.    After a bit he wanted to know why our park was floated.I think he finally understood after Liz explained to him the difference between flooding and floating.  At least I think he did.  You never know, that child has a memory that goes on forever.  He'll come in pretty handy, because mine is really going to hell.


Happy days at the park before the flood. 

Jacob told me the other day that Dakota dropped his flame sunglasses in the driveway and mommy ran them over....the little trooper told me he'd glue them and they'd be fine.   Always Mr junior fix-it that kid.

This morning my husband was outside mowing the lawn and I came out to read the newspaper.   Afterward he joined me as we sat on the lawn chairs which were located near our garbage cans.  I went inside for a moment when suddenly he came running in the house telling me that as we sat enjoying small talk a young opossum had been laying in the garbage can amid the empty pizza boxes deposit by my kid. 

Poor guy just looked up at me as if to say, "come on lady, I got in this thing now get me out!".  We freed him and off he went.   Living by the river we have all sorts of creatures hanging around our home.  I hear the town nearby has had at least 20 rabid bats that have been hanging around people's homes.  One old granny was bit by one.   Right now with all the rain we have huge spiders building their webs in our bushes outside our windows.  They look scary but I know they are harmless, but try telling my big stepson that.

My front yard has become quite the habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, I have even spied a finch or two.   I gave up on trying to weed it.  The weeds are happy enough living amongst the hostas and ivy.

Enjoy your Labor Day!