High School Memories #1

I can’t sleep because of an awful headache, a nose that is too full to allow air passage, and ears with water slushing around in them. I figured I’d regale you all with some memories that have come to my mind lately.

I was such a giggler when I was in high school. I giggled back then because I was always nervous. My first day of band with the high school band, when I met Mr. Geros for the first time, was really bad. I couldn’t stop giggling except while we were practicing. He thought it was funny and gave me the nickname of “Gigglebox” which stuck with me (more about the nickname’s usage at a later post.) He called me that the whole time I was under him, through my freshman and sophomore years and later when I visited him during my freshman year in college. He took up where my middle school band teacher had left off with the same enthusiasm for music. After my parents, I credit both of them for my love of music and how it’s developed. We had practice all summer long and a week in August for band camp where we were on the marching field from 8 am to 5 pm with a break for drinks every hour and a half hour for lunch. He was very serious about our music and our marching. He made us a great band with his diligence for details, both in music and how we were doing our marching formations. We won 1st in many of the competitions we were in because of him. He was fun to be around too. He didn’t make it always work, work, work, but tried to make it fun as well. I think that is how we came to be on top. We wanted to do our best for him. He inspired us to strive for the best. He encouraged us so much.

To watch our marching formations, he had to climb up a scrub covered hill with just a small path on it to get to a short tower. He was extremely afraid of snakes and the first time out, he had some of the seniors climb up there beforehand and throw mothballs around the path. When the wind was in the right direction, you could smell them all over the marching field. One time, a group of kids bought one of those rubber snakes and laid it so it looked like it was just crossing the path. This was during my sophomore year on the first day of band camp. He started up that hill and let out this scream, then ran back down and grabbed a box of mothballs that he always kept there and threw the whole box up there. He asked for someone who wasn’t afraid to get up there and see if it was gone. One of the guys climbed up and picked it up and threw it away. Mr. Geros was pretty mad that day, but he had a quick temper and after he yelled about a bit, he was done and we got on with our practice.

He had a bit of a sense of humor too. One day, a girl came in with some pamphlets that she’d been given in health class. She was laughing over them because it was telling some myths of how to not get pregnant. She shared them with a few of us other girls and we were all giggling about them when he came in to start band. This was during concert band practice, the second half of the year. We all sat down and started warming up, but we couldn’t stop little giggles coming here and there. After a few minutes, he looks at me (because I was the big giggler), and asks me what is going on. I started laughing so much, I couldn’t talk. One of the other girls scoops up the pamphlets and hands them to him which sets us all to laughing even more as his face contorted into a slightly embarrassed look. He read a bit, laughed, tore the pamphlet in half and put it in the trash. Then he said to us, (and I quote since I remember this one so well) “The only way to not get pregnant is to keep your mouth shut and your knees together.” All of us girls got quiet for about 5 or so seconds and then ruptured into hard laughter. It was the last thing we expected from him.

Anyway, he really helped me learn more about playing my flute, about how the different instruments tuned to different notes and how they blended together. He gave me my first glimpse into music theory, more than just regular playing would. He must have known how much I was interested in this because when he saw me looking at his score of music with all the parts on it, he took a bit of time to tell me how to read it and how it all worked. I remember going home and putting together a duet (Pachabel’s Canon) for flute and clarinet, so my sister and I could play together and finding that it actually worked. He made sure we went to every football game and that we were second to the cheerleaders in leading the crowd to root for our team. I already watched football with my dad, but didn’t really understand it until this time. It was always a fun experience, even in the rain and cold. It is something I will never forget.

Thank you, Mr. Geros, for those memories.

Oh Well… It Got Me

Yeah, I’m the sick one. No one to be sick with me. All my kids have recovered and are very active. I was well enough yesterday to do what I needed to do at church and then after lunch, I just started feeling kind of dizzy and yucky. I went to bed and have hardly left it since. I am drained of energy, my throat is on fire, and my head is stuffed full of anything but coherent thought. I keep sneezing and I don’t know where Jeremy hid the kleenexes with Vicks on them. I guess I’ll be okay with regular ones. I took some ibuprofen and it helped take care of my headache, but my throat doesn’t want to give up it’s fiery-ness.

In other news, the kids did very well with their special song yesterday. I love how young children are not afraid to sing out loud. I really got a kick out of one little boy who just turned 4. He couldn’t remember all the words, so he kind of slurred the first of the words and came in on the words he knew at the top of his voice. Noelle refused to sing, but she stood up there and swayed. No pushing. I know some kids will be like that and if they don’t want to get up in front of everyone, I’m not going to make them. The children’s Praise Dance team did fairly well too. My kids were kind of nervous about it because they hadn’t been able to practice on Wednesday since they were home sick, but they did good and I’m happy with it. Jeremy was happy to be at church again after missing a lot of last week and enjoyed the evening service Bible Study. I would have loved to have gone. I’m really enjoying our studies in the book of Joshua. I enjoyed reading it myself when I started my “read through the Bible” thing. (I’m through the old testament, just have new to go.) I learned a lot then, but reading it through again with others to share with really helps me to see more. It’s amazing how much more comes out with the perspective of others mixed in with my own. I really missed the time last night, but I doubt I would have enjoyed it with my head feeling like this.

Please, Not Me

I’m not feeling my best today and tomorrow, I have to sing the Lord’s Prayer as well as lead the children’s choir in singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (Amie has a solo in that, given her by my superior one day when I was absent.) Before dinner, we went for a drive. I get carsick, but this time I started feeling sick after only a few miles… really sick. That’s not normal for me. After we got home and I had something to eat, I started feeling better, but I am still not feeling up to par. Ugh!

In other news, the kids and Jeremy are doing better now. Jeremy went to the dr yesterday and found out that he has bronchitis and got meds. He seems so much better today. I was prepared to take Noelle to the urgent care clinic this morning if she was the same, but I gave her some over the counter stuff that seemed to help last night and she was up and running around and playing today. She took two naps still, but she isn’t coughing or wheezing so much anymore and her energy was higher when she was awake. That was encouraging.

This next weekend, we have friends who are getting married on Feb. 29 (they thought it would be a cool anniversary, but I like being able to celebrate EVERY year. *smile*) I’m looking forward to this since I’ll see many friends whom I haven’t talked to much or seen since May when Jeremy and I first came up to Chicago-land. These two friends were some we had over at our house almost every Saturday before we moved. I really miss having that fun time with friends. When we started, I didn’t even know most of them very well, but by the time we moved, I considered them all good friends and I feel the absence in my life that Saturdays filled. My extreme extroverted self really enjoyed that time since I couldn’t get out much with my 5 kids to care for. So, to J and M… I wish you all the best. I know you will have a great, God-centered marriage.

I’ve Been Neglecting My Blog

But I’ve been so busy. I’ve really gotten into our church’s music program and am now the leader of the children’s choir and the assistant director of the adult choir. Going through my repertoire of music to decide what I want to do with each group as well as making sure I know the songs fairly well has taken up a bit of time. Now, we also have Easter coming up and I was given a solo to learn. Our cantata books came in late, so we are just starting our practice for this, but that still gives us 4 more practices which is more than enough for me to learn my part. I’ve been listening to the CD I was given for the last few days. I love the songs that we are singing from the book. We are only doing 4 of the songs out of the cantata and then an Easter hymn. I wish we were doing at least one more, because I like the fifth song in the book a lot, but that’s okay. Maybe I can use it for a special at some other time.

On the homefront, we have 5 sick kids and one sick Daddy. I may be coming down with it as well. My head is bothering me and my throat is a bit rough. I hope that once I’m able to get a decent amount of sleep that I’ll feel better and won’t actually get sick. My nights have been spent comforting AnnaBeth who gets nightmares easily when she’s not feeling well and cuddling with Noelle to hold her up because she has been having trouble breathing while laying down. She came into our bed last night after a while and used my arm to help prop up her upper body a bit and slept better, but with her there, I couldn’t sleep. (BUT my hand fell into a deep sleep… ouch!) Also, Jeremy has been tossing and turning and keeps pulling most of the blankets over to his side. He slept much better last night after I dosed him up with Nyquil, but he still tossed a bit and took all the blankets over to his side when I got out to get Noelle. I had to pull them back, but at least they were warm.

Also, I’m working on sewing those dresses for the girls and a vest for James. That seems to take up a good amount of time right now.

Anyway, that is all that is going on right now. I’m feeling so busy and worn out.

Sew, Sew, Sew

That’s what I’m going to be doing for a little while… sewing. I went out and bought material for dresses for each of the girls. I found a pattern to make James a vest and a skirt pattern that I like for myself. I also found a capri and top pattern for the girls for summer. I plan on getting the material for those later. Amie found a quilt package that has ballerinas on some of the material that she liked, so she bought half of it. I am still in the process of washing the material I bought, but Amie’s came pre-washed with instructions to NOT wash before cutting and sewing, so we started on hers. We cut out all the pieces and sewed together a few strips. We’ll sew two more strips together today. I’m not sure when exactly we’ll get done, but she’s enjoying this even after getting her fingers pricked multiple times while pinning two pieces of material together. As soon as the dress material is out of the dryer, I’ll start on cutting them out. These are the first dresses I’m attempting. I hope I don’t have to pull out too many seams.

House (Not) For Sale

We went down and got some things from our old house and talked to the people who are moving in. The wife is a friend of mine and her two older children are friends of my kids. We still own the house, but we are doing a contract with them. We won’t have all our things (that we’re taking) out of the house for another two weeks, but they are okay with that. They have all our stuff put into the dining room for now as they are moving some of their stuff in. We are leaving a few things, like our queen bed frame and box springs. We already bought a new mattress and have a new bed frame that doesn’t need springs picked out to get sometime soon, so we didn’t want to have to move that one. A few of the dressers are staying there as well. They needed them, so they are excited about not having to buy them. We got our floor lamp up here. That makes it so much better in our living room up here… or maybe not, since I can see the dirt so much easier. LoL Just kidding. I also grabbed a small reading lamp because I needed it for our bedroom. I’m not exactly sure what else Jeremy grabbed, but I know he got enough to load up the van (which couldn’t be a lot since we already have it mostly loaded with 5 kids.) I enjoyed talking with my friend and holding her 2 mo old baby and the kids had so much fun playing with their friends and showing them the “clubhouse” they had set up when we had lived there. It is in a small shed-like building in the backyard. We never stored anything in it because the kids liked playing in it. It doesn’t have a door on it, so I could watch them playing in it from the kitchen window. I guess it will stay a clubhouse for now. My kids are happy since they painted the bench that is sitting in there.

Anyway, just pray for this situation.

Cabin Fever Abated

Well, for now. This last weekend, we got out and went to Walmart and then walked around the mall. It was good to get out and stretch my legs and get some exercise. It started snowing about the time we started home and it’s been snowing ever since then except for part of Sunday when it was too cold to snow. It’s not been a lot, but it’s enough for me. I’d like some warmer weather and a glimpse of grass sometime. We are supposed to head down to our house (the one we own) this weekend and get a few things and talk to someone about it. (Prayer needed here.) That will be a little something out of the normal. I like having a schedule for school and chores, but I also like having these out of the norm times or I get kind of bored.

This is School?

That was what Amie said when I said something about her doing her homemaking schoolwork. She made hotdogs for dinner. Jeremy cooked beanless chili and I made homemade french fries and chedderwurst. After dinner, she mixed up some brownies which are in the oven right now. She did these all herself including putting them in the oven which is something she has been fearful of. The only problem we have is that the nob on our oven is gone, so we have a bit of trouble figuring out if we have the correct temperature. I realized it was not high enough when we took a check just a minute ago, so I have adjusted it and we’ll see how it goes.

Jeremy and I have discussed that when the kids are old enough, they will have at least one day every other week in which they must plan and fix a meal. Because Amie is showing such an interest in cooking and baking, we are talking about letting her have one day a month right now to do this. She has learned how to make hotdogs, mac n cheese, tuna casserole, and is interested in learning more, so this will give her a chance.

: Yummy! They came out so delicious!

Rain, Blessed Rain

Please, melt the 8+ inches of snow still left outside here. I am tired of shoveling our sidewalk and having snow jackets, hats, mittens, scarves, and boots all over my living room drying out. My kids all have two pairs of hats and mittens, which is good because they would go out and play and then come in and take off the wet/cold stuff and then later when we needed to go somewhere, they would have a dry pair to put on. I made them use the store bought ones to play because they would get really dirty and the ones made by my mom for when we were going to church or the store or wherever. They would still throw snowballs and stuff when outside, but the mittens didn’t get all dirty and they helped keep hands warm until our van would heat up (if there was enough time for that, most stuff around here is within 5 miles of us and only takes up to 15 minutes at the most to get to.)

The kids have enjoyed the snow and aren’t wanting it to go away. They were excited last night when it was snowing again (5 inches came down in 3 hours on top of the 9 inches we already had). It is pretty when it’s coming down, but I just don’t like being stuck here at the house so much. This morning, I refused to drive Jeremy to the train station because I am not one who enjoys driving on snow. He drove himself, so I’m without the van, but we have only had one vehicle most of the time we’ve been married, so it is something I’m used to. Anyway, I had no where to go right now, unless I wanted to do the last of our grocery shopping with all five kids and that doesn’t appeal to me at the moment.

On a better note, Sunday was mostly a good day. I enjoyed some good discussion in Sunday School. I did better this time with leading the congregational singing and directing the choir special. I was more prepared this time than I had been a few weeks ago. The choir director had been sick, so I was ready in case she still was (she was feeling fine, but had no voice yet.) The pastor had a really great sermon on Luke 4:1-13 (Jesus in the desert being tempted by Satan) and Hebrews 4:15-16 which I wrote a post on a few weeks ago. Later, after a lunch at the Chinese restaurant and a rest time, we were back at church for another good feeding of Biblical teaching. We are studying Joshua on Sunday nights and a book on leadership (will have to find out the title for you.) We were in the book last night and talked about our motivation for being leaders in the church and how we handled different things that came up. We didn’t make it through the whole chapter we were on, but that was okay. The fellowship of talking about it was refreshing. It is good to get this. The down part of Sunday was the Patriots loss of the Super Bowl. *sigh* Oh well. It’s just football. I wish I could have seen the game. It sounded like a great game and since we don’t have TV, Jeremy pulled up a radio stream on the internet for me to listen to. James was trying to listen and figure out what was going on, but couldn’t follow it too much. After the game, I got on Facebook and did a bit of racing my (fluff)pet, Little Samson. He had won a bronze trophy now, so that made up for the Super Bowl disappointment.

Today, I’ve just done regular stuff, dishes, laundry, and so on. I also had to go out and shovel the walk of it’s snow with slush underneath, so the mail lady can walk up to our mailbox easily. The slush was heavy, so I guess this was my shoulder exercises for today. I can’t do my weights after that or my shoulders will be overworked. Anyway, there you are… an update to today.