Ever heard of  “slurping” your blog? I first read the term on a website I was using to create a family photo book of one of our vacations.  Apparently that website (and others) can “slurp” your entire blog into a hardbound book.  Because this blog is one of a few ways I use to journal our blended family’s escapades, I haven’t ruled out “slurping” it one day.  And so, since I am so far behind on posting, I figure I’d better include an update on each family member.  (The idea for this post also MIGHT have come about because I had a “senior moment” and forgot to pack my laptop–which has all of my pictures for future posts stored on it–for our return trip from Phoenix, thus requiring it to be shipped home.  Sheesh!  Since I can’t post any pics of past happenings yet, I will simply type a quick update of our family members).

Hub – Continues to be swamped with work, which is a good problem to have.  He has our garden planted and has even started to plant lone vegetables in other areas of the yard previously reserved for flowers.  I fear we will have an overabundance of fresh vegetables this year!

Kweenmama – I will start my second year of graduate school on Tuesday.  I finished my first year with a 4.0 gpa.  This summer is going to be crazy with school, kid happenings, family gatherings, a family vacation, and girls camp and youth conference with my church calling.  I am going to need a vacation from my summer vacation!

Squid – Has been accepted into the honors program at his university and will be moving into the honors dorms this fall.  He works as a peer adviser at the school, sometimes practices with the rugby team, and has rediscovered girls.🙂

Huh – Has her own apartment in Phoenix, complete with a resident scorpion on her patio! (Ick)  She is looking at programs to get certified as a personal trainer.  Once she is certified and working as a personal trainer she will use the money earned to complete her degree in physical therapy.  She has a boyfriend (on this blog he will be called Rushing) who has an 18 month old son whom I met for the first time when Mack and I went to Phoenix over Memorial weekend.  Darling kid.  For blogging purposes he will be called Oh.

Juju – Recently moved into a house her mother bought specifically for Juju and the mother’s sister to live in.  She attends the local community college and is “between” jobs.

Mack – Found a design program at a local art institute and began classes in January.  If she stays on track, she will have her bachelor’s degree in fashion design in three years.  She works at a local ice cream shop and currently lives at home, but has set a goal to have her own apartment by November.  She has a boyfriend who is finishing up a degree in sports communication (or something like that).  For blogging purposes he will be called Wizard.

Shroom – Will graduate from high school this Tuesday.  He works at our local mall and plans on attending a university south of us in the fall.  It is within commuting distance so he is still deciding on whether or not he will live at home or seek housing at the school.  He is very much into mountain biking and video games right now.

Hoob – Is just completing her junior year of high school.  She has been chosen to be the President of the art club next year and is enrolled in the AP art class.  She has a busy summer ahead of her that consists of working part-time as a nanny, attending a week-long leadership camp, visiting her father in Phoenix for a week and a half, and attending girls camp and youth conference with our church.

Yawlin – Is completing the 6th grade.  It makes me sad to know I no longer have any kids in elementary school.  :-(  He wants me to sign him up for tennis lessons and volleyball for the summer.  He also will be going to visit his father for a week and a half and will attend a week-long scout camp.

Momo – Our foreign exchange student from Japan has been staying with us since July and will return to Japan on June 27.  It will be hard for all of us to see her go, but especially hard for Hoob because the two of them hit it off from the start and have become quite close.  Momo has enjoyed her stay in the U.S. and talks about returning for university studies after she completes her senior year of high school in Japan.

Max (the dog) – Is still fat and lazy…and grouchy at times.

Okay, one more “task” completed.

Now I am going to go “slurp” a breakfast smoothie.

Here is what I learned today: If you pour ammonia on a live scorpion, it will NOT sting itself to death.

I learned that today because I tried it.  I tried it on a scorpion I discovered on my daughter’s apartment patio…while I was here alone…moving things around…with bare feet.

The ladies who told my daughter, Huh, that a scorpion will sting itself to death if sprayed with ammonia were WRONG!  All that the nasty little critter did was crawl to safety under the wall.  And THEN, a little later, he (she) (it) crawled UP the wall.

Perhaps the trick didn’t work because I poured ammonia on the ugly creature instead of spritzing it nicely with a spray bottle???  But, one would think that if a little spray would make it sting itself to death, having a downpour of ammonia on top of it would make it not only sting itself, but also make it do a dance, perhaps some squirming, maybe even a few flips.  Wouldn’t it?  Nada.  I think all I accomplished was to make it mad…and maybe even vengeful.  I should probably watch my step tonight.

Sooo, an update, sort of.  Mack and I used this memorial weekend to make the 12 hour drive to Huh’s apartment in Phoenix to take her bedroom furniture to her.  She decided not to come home from school for the summer, got herself an apartment, bought a couch, got a full-time job and a DOG.  She’s been sleeping on the couch, which causes her back to hurt, so being the Mommy that I am…I drove her bedroom furniture from our home down to her.  Mack came with me to switch off driving.  Since my ex lives in Phoenix, the girls went to visit their father this afternoon, which is how I came to be all alone at my daughter’s apartment with a monster scorpion.

Since the girls haven’t returned from visiting their father yet, I have decided to spend some time in Blogland.  School put me far behind on posts about our blended family, and there is so much I could have posted about, but it will be too hard to catch it all up.  I will, however, post a few pics here and there from the months I was absent from Blogland.  Here are a few from our family vacation in California in August:

Dance off in the two vehicles on the way to California!

Stuck in traffic

Still stuck in traffic

Trying to keep us as anonymous as possible creates problems when choosing pics for my blog, some of the best pics don’t get posted, but maybe the pics posted will give an idea of the “flavor” of our vacation.

Until next time…

…I’m off to peak at the patio and see if the scorpion has recruited friends in his vengeance…

Yawlin text to Huh:  “Earthquake! I broke my leg.”

Hub text to Huh:  “Earthquake! Me and the dog are fine under my desk. Your mom is upstairs naked and screaming.”

My text to Huh:  “Earthquake! Hub and I are at home.  Hub and Max are both safe under his desk. I stubbed my toe.”

Huh text to me:  “Hub mentioned you were naked mom.”

Huh text to me:  “And screaming.”

My text to Huh:  “Well…ya know…”

Squid text to Huh:  “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! I got my leg broken by a pissed off 40 pound swan after a fallen tree crushed its crib!!”

Mack text to Huh:  “Earthquake. I’m fine. In an outhouse in the woods.”

Shroom text to Huh: “Earthquake. I’m at school. I tore some ligaments in my shoulder but I can still walk.”

Momo text to Huh: “At school. I’m okay.”

My text to Huh:  “K, what you are supposed to do now is send me a text letting me know the status of everyone you have heard from.”

Huh text to me:  Yawlin and Squid both suffered broken legs. Squid’s leg got broken by a pissed off swan. Shroom has torn ligaments in his shoulder and can still walk (why would an injured shoulder make it so he can’t walk?).  Mack is okay in an outhouse in the woods.”

Hoob text to Huh: “Earthquake.  Actually, I died.”

Huh text to me:  “And Hoob just text me saying, ‘Actually, I died.’ So there you go.  Have not heard from Juju.”

My text to Huh:  “OK.  Maybe we assume Juju died??  Did you hear from Momo?”

Huh text to me:  “Yes. She is at school and okay.”

Juju text to Huh: “Earthquake. I died, but then I got better.”

Hut text to me: “Juju died, but then she got better.”

And so went our very first family emergency drill.  Our state held a statewide “Shake-out” a week and a half ago to see how prepared we all would be if the “big one” hit.  Because I had read that it is good to have a contact person out-of-state to contact in case land lines get tied up in an emergency, we chose Huh to be our contact person since she goes to school out-of-state.  We also chose to text her rather than call her because I also read that sometimes cell towers get jammed with all the emergency calls coming in but that texts sometimes can get through easier.  The shake-out was set for 10:15 a.m. on April 17.  Schools, places of work, churches, emergency services personnel all participated.  We instructed our kids that as soon as the drill started at their school it was time to text Huh.  They could choose to make up an injury if they wanted.  As you can see from the above text exchanges, our family members personalities shone through loud and clear in their texts.

There are two purposes to this post.  The first, and most important one, is to get families thinking about emergency preparedness and perhaps about having a similar drill.  It IS wise to have a contact person out-of-state who can get details from your family members if you all happen to be away from home in various places when a natural disaster hits.

The second purpose is to announce that I have a break from school until June 5 and so I might be able to visit Blogland a few times during my break.

Maybe.

There are carpets to scrub.  And windows to clean.  And baseboards to wipe down.  There is a youth conference to plan for my calling in my church.  There is a girls camp to plan for my calling in my church.  There is laundry to do…daily.  Dishes.  The dreaded grocery shopping.  And the typical mommy and wifey things I do each day.

So, maybe I will be able to post a few times during my break.

Maybe.

I’ve missed Blogland.

 

I’m not going to feel guilty.  I’m not!  Blogging has to be put on the back burner.  Graduate school is tough!  It is time consuming.  I want to do my best, and so I let other things go.  Blogging is one of them.  I am not deleting my baby, but I just don’t know how often I will get to post–or visit the blogs of others.  And so, with that said, here is a quick update on our family:

Hub – Will celebrate birthday #48 on Thursday!  He is also enjoying the fruits of his gardening efforts.  Zucchini or spaghetti squash anyone?  He is counting down the days until Squid returns…

Squid – Will return from his two year mission for our church on the 30th of this month!  He has enjoyed his time in Uruguay and will miss the people, but he is looking forward to attending college and enjoying this new phase of his life.

Huh – Spent the summer with us but is now back in school in Arizona.  She recently sent me a text letting me know she had just killed a scorpion in her dorm room.  Oh my!

Juju – Is attending the local community college while living with us.  She works at a Thai restaurant and is looking for an apartment with her cousin.

Mack – Her plans to go to design school in California have been put on hold.  With FIVE of us attending college this school year we thought she would get more student financial aid than she did.  She/we can’t afford the short-fall, so she is working and saving money while taking online courses for her general ed.  She is considering being a nanny in New York for a year to establish residency there and then attending a design school in New York and paying the resident’s tuition instead of the much higher tuition charged to people from out of state.

Shroom – Just celebrated his 18th birthday and is enjoying his senior year of high school.  He has discovered rock climbing and tries to do it every chance he gets.

Hoob – Recently did some house-sitting for the neighbors across the street while they were out of town.  They forgot to get the garage door opener from her when they returned and so Hoob sat at the window of her bedroom and made their garage door open and close while the two teenage daughters were in the front yard.  Freaked them out!  :-)  My daughter is such a prankster!

Yawlin – On his own organized the fellow members of his scout troop to make cookies for their scout leader who had fallen at work and had broken a few ribs.  He makes me proud!

Momo – As the newest “member” of our family, Momo is enjoying all things “American.”  We took her with us on our family vacation and she “got” to try all sorts of roller coasters.  Hoob includes her in activities with her friends and so she has enjoyed some of the high school football games, bowling, the game of  “Spoons,” face-painting, and jumping on the trampoline.

Max – The dog is still fat and lazy.

Maybe one day I will post pictures of some of our summer activities.

One day.

Maybe.

Until I post again…Chau.

My neighbor posted on Facebook a picture of her son standing by his lemonade stand with a huge grin on his face.  Her caption:  Last taste of summer, 50 cents!

It worked.  I sent my kids to go buy some lemonade.

An old American summer tradition has gone tech!

********************************************************

I think this is the longest I have ever gone between posts on my blog.  Life is super busy right now.  I am hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule…some day…hoping…dreaming…

 

 

 

Just one of those random activities you do when you read about it in the newspaper.

And our family likes random!

I know I said I am taking a break from blogging…and I am, but I wanted to post the latest happenings with our family since that IS what this blog is all about.  We welcomed “Momo” (nickname) to the United States and into our family for the 2011-2012 school year last night.

Yard Greeting

 

Yawlin at the airport with Momo's balloons tied to his ankle (courtesy of Huh)

 

How Momo really saw the yard greeting (we returned from the airport at 11:00 p.m.)

 

We look forward to getting to know Momo over this next year.  We hosted a male foreign exchange student from Vietnam five years ago and had such a great experience we decided to do it again.  We decided to give a female from Japan a chance to study in the U.S. this time.  With the arrival of Momo this month, Huh returning to college out-of-state next month, Squid returning from his mission in September and Mack going to school out-of-state at exactly the same time and my schooling, our household is going to feel like it is in upheaval!  Which, actually, is nothing new for us!

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