Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let the Tutoring Begin

Our school is offering tutoring after school M&W.  I signed the kiddos up - I remember the Japanese family we hosted a while back.  They really take the kiddos education seriously.  My kids are not failing math - but really... can't they be doing better?  Sure they can... so - until they have "arrived" they will be going to school, after school.

They are not excited.

Thank you Northstar for offering this to us.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday 03/23

Back to school.

This week we traveled to Wasserbahn. A water park connected to a motel. The kids had fun. I am a bit of a s safety geek. So I wasn't really comfortable with the lifeguards. So I tried to keep my eyes open.

The finest thing for me was shopping with the kiddos. I didn't realize they would enjoy it so much.

Eating at Ox Yoke Inn was delicious. Shrimp, steak, ham and chicken.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An eMail I sent to Walmart

My sons want to participate on the local  School Trap Shoot Team.  In order to do this - they have to use a GUN to shoot the clay pigeons.  I went to Knoxville Iowa Walmart SUPER store.  The employee said I was not allowed to buy a gun - he refused to sell me a gun, because it was for my sons and that was illegal and he would go to jail.  
I would like you to explain to me how a local high school has a shooting team with over 50 individuals who are breaking the law.  Wait - you can NOT do that because it it NOT illegal for a parent to buy a gun and register it in their own name and allow their child to use it for a lawful activity.  
I'll refresh your memory...
No unit of local government may regulate the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms otherwise lawful under state law.
PossessionNo state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.PurchaseNo state permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun.JUVENILES AND FIREARMSA loaded firearm must be secured if it is known or there is reason to believe that a minor under the age of 14 years is likely to gain access to the firearm. A loaded firearm can be secured by a trigger lock mechanism, by placing it in a securely locked box or container, or by placing it in some other location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor.A person under the age of 18 may possess a rifle or shotgun or its ammunition for lawful use when allowed to do so by the person's parent, guardian, spouse who is 18 or older, or another with the express consent of the minor's parent, guardian or spouse who is 18 or older.​You lost a $600 sale tonight.
​Jennifer Johnston
Mom to 2 young men who WILL be using GUNS to shoot on the Trap Shooting Team
We will be buying our guns at another store - a store who educates their employees on the state laws.  ​

Poor ignorant Walmart employee - I wonder if it is his fault or the management's fault?  Another thing I noticed... I walked away instead of educating him.  This is going to be a long path I walk, trying to unlearn my behaviours that have been ingrained into my head these last 20 years.  I stood there looking at the toothless man KNOWING that he was absolutely wrong.  I said "really?"  he said, "yup."  I walked away.  Makes me so mad at myself. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

I color My Hair


I do...  :)

I use eSalon

I LOVE to go to a salon for a cut and color - that is my favorite thing to do.  With eSalon, I can get a good color, for waaaaay less money.  I think it works nicely.  I have tried to go the less... well really CHEAP way by getting color at the WalMarts, and I think this color from eSalon is much nicer.  I don't end up with fried hair and needing a hair cut every other month.

So - to be honest.. .if you click on the link I posted above - I get a credit for a referral.  But I think you also get a cheaper price the first month as well.  It's a great way to try it before you buy it.  I'm actually set up on a auto ship deal - and they will send me a box of hair color every 6 weeks.  I like that deal.

I'm due for a coloring - my box has been setting on my counter for about 10 days.  SO - I went to my "auto ship plan" and had them skip the next shipment.  It's flexible... not set in stop or you get fined sort of deal.

Very user friendly.

Hope you have happy hair!  I hope you liked eSalon, friend who has tried it once already.  :)  I'll never share your name - because maybe no one knows you color your hair.  It will be our secret.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I am declaring that we will be moving in slow motion this week - all.week.long...

I do have a to-do list... but I'll not be very aggressive while working on that.  

Wasserbahn is on the list - going to visit the Amana Colonies, and shop in Williamsburg.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buying A House

We are renting Harold's house.  :)  

Soon we will own Harold's house.

This process has been amazing.  

Tomorrow is the home inspection - then we close.

Woo Hoo...  I will be a home owner.

Some times I look at the new low income housing going up across town - I could live in one of those with brand new everything for $250/month... but it wouldn't be mine in the end.  

I get nervous.  Can I take care of a house by myself?  What if everything fails all at once?  I get a little nervous.  Just a little.

Soon...  :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Mansel it's going to travel to NYC with his school choir. I am so excited for him!!

Leave on a Saturday, come home on Thursday. They will take in a Broadway show, eat fun food, visit the statue of liberty, go to the 911 memorial... The trip is crammed packed full of interesting things. Oh and they will sing in a chapel somewhere.

I am thrilled that Mrs. Duffy provides this opportunity for the kids. Wonderful!!

Shooting Club

Knoxville Community School District has a shooting club. Middle school and high school age. Milo and Mansel have asked to be in this club. SURE!!

Since they are both interested in hunting why not get trained by experts. They are both interested in hunting or shooting... They bought their own guns with their own money.

One catch here - they registered their guns in their dad's name.

He won't give them their guns. They offended him last week. I wasn't there, I don't know the full story.  I asked for him to bring the guns to town.  He won't. He insisted on an apology. Both boys thought they didn't need to apologize.

Last night... After the initial safety meeting, before the first practice... He insists on talking to the boys - he takes them to McDonalds... They come home and say, "he won't give us our guns."

They were not sincere enough in their apology.

This is starting to sound like a case of narcissism. How unfortunate.

One would think, since the boys paid for the guns themselves, we could go get them... No - they are registered in his name and he had threatened to call the police if they do that.

Mansel asked for him to pay for the guns... He won't.

So even though we don't live with the Narc fulltime, he still controls us. Still manipulates.

What ever the boys did to offend him better have been worth it, because they sure are suffering the consequences. Bummer...

And what ever point he is trying to prove... :(

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2 hour delay

If school were not delayed 2 hours
we pay be pushing.

So we will put off taking showers
until 8:00

I am not a poet...

Monday, March 2, 2015


Updates are always nice.

What's nicer - is someone asking for an update.  We are remembered.  Two people asked me for an update last week.  ahh...  Makes me feel good.  Thanks friends.

I am finally getting to this - where I can sit and type with all my fingers.  Not just my thumbs.  LOL  That's not so easy for me... I'm old.

Dan and I are legally separated.  Final December 2014.

The kids and I are at a new church.  We go to New Covenant Church in Knoxville.  I really love that church.  AWANA on Wednesday - 4ONE2 youth group on Sunday evenings - I get to sing with the praise team on Sunday mornings.  Wonderful...

I'm doing ok.  :) I have been trying to exercise regularly at the local Recreation Center.  3 times a week... I bought a suit - maybe I'll try swimming on those other days.  I'm a bit afraid I'll only be able to swim 1 lap.  Then what?  HA.  My eating isn't under control.  I love food.

I bought some new glasses for myself.  Going to forgo the contacts - trying to save some money.

I got another job.  Still working at the school as an associate.  Like that job - love the perks of getting to be able to see my kiddos regularly.  My 2nd job is being a janitor at the City Hall building... which includes the police station.  10 hours a week.  I'm saving as much as I can through the school year - so that I can stay at home with the kiddos during the summer while they are off school.

Thus - I've started a chore chart.  The kiddos are supposed to help me - most of the time they do.  Or the house is a mess and I don't care.  That is a wonderful feeling actually.

Tori is still in TX.  She has been gone a long time.  I hope she is enjoying that weather down there.  It has been so bitterly cold here.

Mansel is about to start the shooting club at school.  It's an official sport that you can letter it.  How cool is that?  I don't remember a shooting club when I was in school.  Very neat.  Mansel finished up the wrestling season a few weeks ago.  I like watching him wrestle.  I hope he sticks with it - he got to wrestle varsity this season.

Milo is going to join Mansel on the shooting team - I believe they all practice together - high school and middle school.  They both have their own shotguns.  Another new sport I'll have to learn - I wonder if anyone cheers?  Milo also plans to wrestle next year instead of basketball.  He may practice some this summer with our Pastor.  (A former wrestler and coach). Pastor Strode does a great job of including my teens at church!

Dani loves school.  I gave her the choice the other day - whether or not to go - and she went.  The middle school had a bomb threat and the administration said they could stay home if parents wanted them to, and it would be excused.  She chose to go.  (she's not in the middle school yet, but the threat didn't say explicitly where the bomb was).  She's making friends.

Wayne doesn't love school.  That makes me sad - I'm not sure why exactly.  He is getting special attention for his reading.  Really doing well with that.  Improving. He and I really love his teacher.  He does have some crazy kids in his class - I told him what I would do and said I would back him up in the principal's office if need be... Some of the behavior is gross - like a girl talks while she is eating and spits food on his plate.  So then he doesn't eat his lunch.  So he just hasn't seem to hit his stride in school yet.  He chose to stay home that day I mentioned earlier.  He and Mansel. It won't be long... and they'll be done with school.  That's a sad thought.  Wayne went through a basketball academy with the Methodist Church in town.  He really liked that - seemed to learn a lot.

We are buying the house we are living in.  Soon.  I have the money - Speaking of money.  I feel like this was a God thing.  I was advised to save 30% of my settlement to pay taxes.  Well - the VERY day it was deposited in my account, I had an appointment to get my taxes done.  I had set this appointment up 3 weeks earlier and feel a little bummed that I had to wait so long to get my tax return.  HA!  I actually NEEDED an appointment that very day.  God knew when I needed it.  I was able to talk to that man about how much exactly I should be saving to pay my taxes in 2016.  They had taken some off of the top and prepaid it - but it wasn't exactly correct - too much federal, not enough state.  So I put some aside for next year's state taxes and now I'm good to go.  And it wasn't 30%.  You know what that means?

We went shopping!  :)  The kids and I all have regular beds and mattresses to sleep on now.  And dressers of our own.  They aren't all put together yet - but hey... they are ours.  LOL  A couch is on it's way. chair.  ottoman.  shelves for books...ahhh... wonderful feeling.

Attorney paid off.  Discover card paid off and reset to pay in full each month.  I may have all my bills paid through that to earn rewards and use it for Christmas money.  

After we get this house business settled, I'll call a contractor and see about adding a 1/2 bath in the basement.  As it is now - we have to schedule the bathroom use.

Oh... we also got a basketball hoop.  Milo played basketball this season.  He doesn't really LOVE the sport - but he'll shoot hoops at the Rec Center to kill time.  So - I got one for home.  Now we need nice weather to set it up.

One of my favorite things?  Since we don't do bible class in our home school anymore - we have started family devotions before the kids and I head to school.  My favorite time of day.  Love it.

I am practicing to sing a special with a lady at church - The Wonder of It All!!  The wonder of wonders that thrills my soul - is the wonder that God loves me.  He does...

Just to thing that God loves me.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Friends come in all sizes and shapes... and ages.

I was planing on going to an exercise class at 1:00 today after church.  BUT - a friend invited me to lunch.  Oh let me think... FRIENDS!!  I chose friends!

What a wonderful time I had with church friends during lunch.


Tax Return

I get a rather large tax return, because I have so many children under the age of 16.

I'm going to share it with them. (Not equally... just giving them a small portion)

They have a rather varied wish list.

One is trying to see how she can get what she wants, and have some left over for savings.  LOL  One of them is listening to me.

One is going to buy a slug barrel for his gun.

One will buy an old iPod - for playing games on.

Another said to me, "Oh, I didn't even think of saving for a car."  So -  now it's clicking, although on the late side.  That's ok...

They don't know that I'm going to pay them for their good grades this year as well.  I love surprises.