January 2018

We got up and got ready to go at the time we normally start school. We headed out to Tampa for a huge RV show! We really didn’t think we’d find anything, but one of the first RV’s we saw was almost perfect! The drawbacks were: induction stove top, only a convection/microwave oven, stupid (maybe) window openings, stupid small sink and lack of storage in the front part of the bus for Max’s clothes and both boys’ toys. Pros: the master bed was automatic!! king!! Do I need to say more? But also a full size fridge, more room in the living room, in our price range and bunks for the boys. It’s such a hard decision to make, but Tj isn’t feeling as confident as he felt with our bus, and the devil you know is always more comfortable than the one you don’t.

We were there from about 10:30 to 4pm. The boys had bacon cheese fries for lunch, Tj had Italian sausage with peppers and onions, and I had a reuben without the bread. It was pretty good, but harder to bite through that meat with just a plastic fork to use. We bought the boys a funnel cake before we left, and we toyed with the idea of going out to eat for supper but two things: it’s strangely hard to find a good place to eat around here (there are so many chain restaurants and yelp isn’t as helpful here in finding what you’re asking), and Tj’s gold cap fell out of his mouth when he chewed some gum today! He’s glued it back in now, but he’ll be going to the dentist as soon as he gets back to Memphis!

We’re all pretty beat tonight from all that walking, but I’m several grocery bags and 3 chapsticks richer. The boys each got a baseball hat (though Jack lost his along the way, and he looked sooo cute in it!) and a stuffed gecko from Geico. We’re about to watch some TV, have our usual snack of cool whip and almonds, and vegetate.

Gold tooth

Today was a stay-at-home day, except for church tonight. Tj’s been bugging me about a haircut, and today was finally a good day. The boys finished their school fine, so after steaks and buffalo cauliflower and then a little snooze, I got to cutting! Max wants his hair a little longer than I cut it, and boy is that boy’s hair thick! Then when I finished Tj cut my hair for the 3rd time. This time I pulled my hair behind my ear to the length I wanted it, cut a bit there, and then wet it. Tj could see where I cut it so he just followed that length all around. It came out great! I had just enough time to shower and blow it dry and then we left for church. The boys ate a pb and j on the way. There are a few activities on the church calendar that Max is excited about attending; I’m glad he has a group he enjoys hanging out with.

An aside about Jack’s school: a week or so ago I revamped his page ‘what number comes after’ to include more of what he gets wrong, basically anything ending in a 9 or 0 stumps him most time. He does 30 problems a day, and then he started missing 9 of them for several days. Now the last 3 days in a row he’s missed 3 or 4! I think he’s getting the hang of it! If only he’d slow down on his ‘adding with boxes’ where I give him a simple addition problem and enough blank boxes for him to color in and count. He goes through those so fast that he’s not accurate. I guess the root of the problem is that he doesn’t understand the concept of numbers/adding. It makes no sense to him, so he doesn’t care if he gets it wrong. Or maybe he does understand and doesn’t care. But honestly, I think it’s the lack of concept.

Max is doing great in school. I don’t usually say as much because I’m not as involved with his school anymore; he does such a great job on his own. Tj has started grading more and more of his work…he basically grades all of it now. I think both to give me a break and so that I don’t soften the grading (!!!). I’m not nearly as harsh a parent as I thought I’d be. Sometimes I think it’s hard for me because I get tangled up in seeing both sides of why something gets done one way, and other times I just remember too keenly how it was when I was in school. I think Tj’s a fair teacher, though. So far Max keeps skating between all A’s and a few B’s overall in 9th grade math, 8th grade language arts, and 7th grade science, history/geography and Bible.

The day Jack and TJ went to Disney a cast member working the tram gave Jack a ‘first visit’ pin.

We planned to go to Disney today, the weather is warm-ish, and getting colder this weekend. Max didn’t finish his school, but we’re planning on staying home tomorrow so we’ll push some units off till tomorrow. Jack had a great day today! Lunch was taco salad, but my taco meat seems so paltry without adding beans and corn to it!

We headed out to Epcot and were in plenty of time to make our first fast pass. Our options were limited last night when I looked, so we went to things the boys and I have seen but Tj hasn’t this time around. We saw the Pixar shorts, and then the boys watched the jumping water a bit (and got wet), then Test Track (Jack still laughed maniacally, but I think he enjoyed it). We had time before our last fast pass and the line was short, so we went to Mission Space. Tj chose the more strenuous ride, and since it’s been years since we’ve ridden that one I wondered how Jack would do. He was great! I think he really liked it! And then at the exit there was a playground! There were lots of tunnels, and both boys had a blast climbing around there. We’ll be back there for sure! Max found Rey’s Speeder there that he’s thinking about now. We headed over to Spaceship Earth next. The boys stopped at the Cool Cafe for some Cokes while I watched a bit of the Art show, Art Defying Gravity. That’s exactly what always amazes me…peoples bodies are so amazing when they work at it. It was two guys doing slow acrobatic moves, holding each other up with just one hand sometimes. Crazy! In Spaceship Earth I think I found a hidden Mickey! Maybe we’ll ride it another time to be sure.

We went to a grocery store on our way home for just a couple of things…we’re out of cool whip and a nightly dessert is so nice! Supper was quesadillas and MASH. Heh.

We planned to nap after school and then head to Disney, but Tj woke up with a headache. We did school, and that went well at first, but Jack was a real pill towards the end. It always seems more maddening when you can see the end in sight and then he becomes obstinate. He only had 9 math problems to do and read 1 book. I was even letting him do math with cheerios, but he just balked and balked. I finally had him stand in the corner while I made lunch. Then I made him sit on the floor and do his math before eating, and he whipped it out like nobody’s business. That tells me that it’s all a ploy. Punk!

I showed him, though; he napped with Tj and me. Ha! And he’s so sweet when he’s napping! Tj’s head felt a little better after his nap. Max had already talked about a stay-at-home day, so that’s what we did. Max played legos while we napped, and when we got up we all rode our bikes. Jack is getting so good! I told him to ride his bike to the playground and he didn’t grumble at all! Always helps to have a fun goal at the end.

While I made 7-layer salad for supper Tj wrestled with my bike set-up. The bar we use to hook it to the bike rack is rusted together. He left the parts soaking in oil while we ate. After supper we discussed long term Disney plans. Tj’s made us some reservations for a couple of shows and dinners.

This morning after Tj got out of the shower he saw water all over the floor! It hadn’t leaked when I showered, so at first we thought Tj did something that caused the leak. As we looked further and thought about it it seems like we might have a bigger problem. We’ll have to really check it out after church.

I really like this church, Bible Baptist Church. It would’ve been cool if we could have just gone to the meeting here at the campground, but I didn’t see the particulars until after the first time we went to BBC, and there’s such a good group of kids Max can hang out with at BBC so we’ll just keep going there.

We planned on eating out for lunch, so Tj found us an Outback and we all had steaks except Jack who had a cheeseburger. We’d rather go to a local steak place, but we (mistakenly) thought that Outback would be a little cheaper. It wasn’t, but we brought enough food home for the boys to have a second meal out of it so that’s something.

Tj got right on the leak when we got home. He quickly found that the connector directly under the drain had completely cracked, so most of the water going down the drain was just running right out onto the floor! Great. He saw that Camping World was open so he headed right there. Of course when he got there he found that the service department is closed on Sundays! He headed over to Home Depot and after a while and with some help he found a solution. When he got back home the piece didn’t fit! He must’ve set the right piece down while trying the gasket and then picked up a nearby, slightly different coupling. Ugh. He headed right back there and when he got back home he said that all the pieces were tight. We used a file to barely file down one side and it worked like a champ! It took him a few minutes to contortion himself and get the piece in place, but then it looked good! I’d set up the dehumidifier in the bathroom while he was gone, and we used the blow drier a bit to jump start the process. The real test will be when the boys shower tonight.

While he was working on the shower I’d been finalizing the meal plan and shopping list. I’m not enjoying this way of eating yet, but I’m trying to work with it. It seems like I’m filling up the fridge more often eating like this, but I don’t know if it’s just perception. I’m trying to give it a good try. When he finished with the shower and it all looked good I headed out to the grocery store for a quick trip. As I was loading the groceries into the truck Tj said that Jack asked him for his ‘octopus’!!! I put the last squid in the storage unit and have been amazed to find that we’ve lost 3 squids along the way! He loves those things so I wanted one in storage so we always have one, but I just can’t believe we’ve been so caviler with them…I guess because we always had backups. Oh well. I put it on the list for next time.

When I got home I quickly put up the groceries…that’s such a mess sometimes. That fridge is just so tiny! I got the boys’ supper and started on quiche muffins for Tj and me. The boys showered and it seems like Tj fixed the leak for good! Thank the Lord! It could’ve been so much worse! Tj said on my drive home Jack found my old purse and was looking through it because his octopus was in there! Silly boy!

A forgotten tidbit from the other day: the 2 boys and I were in the truck before Tj came home and there was a car next to us at a stoplight with his music blaring. Max said it would be sooooo funny if we started blaring Hank Williams ‘Hey Hey Good Lookin’, so we did! We died laughing!