Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up – January 11th-17th

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you.  It’s awesome when you finally start feeling well again after a lengthy illness!


I made a delicious Burgess brunch after church.  This is asparagus, red onion, and mushrooms sautéed with butter and spiral ham, then stirred into Hollandaise sauce and served over fluffy eggs and buttered English muffins.  Yum!


It’s something I came up with as a way to use up leftover ham after Thanksgiving, but it has stuck with us as a nice weekend treat whenever there is spiral ham around.


I spent all day Friday prepping for Holden’s birthday party on Saturday.  Haylee and I spent a good portion of 8 hours making a variety of cake pops rolled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with nonpareils and jimmies.  I made over 100 of them!

Saturday was the big day.  Holden’s 7th birthday party had a Spiderman theme.  I got lazy at the last minute and decided not to draw Spiderman on his cake.  Instead, I grabbed one of the table decorations and stuck it on top of his cake and called it done!  LOL.  Holden actually loved it because he said it looked like Spiderman was jumping out of his cake!  Sounds good to me…


Here’s Holden as we sang Happy Birthday to him. 

We had such a nice group of friends over, and it seemed like just the right amount of children…not to noisy or out of control.  I bought a small corn hole game for the kids to play inside since it was super cold, and later, the younger kids did a treasure hunt that was really fun for them.  Mr. Bob and Ms. Bunny got Holden a year of monthly treasure hunts from Clued In Kids for his birthday, so this was the first one we received.  The kids loved it!  My camera battery went dead right in the middle of the hunt, so I recorded it in two parts.


Here are some great shots of Holden opening gifts and of our treasured guests:

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It was a wonderful party!  The neighbor kids stayed for a long time and played with Haylee and Holden, and I let Hayden invite a couple of his teenage friends from school, too, so he’d have some kids his age to hang out with.  Everyone had such a good time.  It’s always nice to have good friends over to celebrate!


That’s a wrap!  We’ve survived another holiday season, complete with 3 family birthdays in the mix.  Now we get a nice lull full of other things until the annual Burgess Birthday Bash in August. 

See you next week!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up – January 4th-10th

It’s time to get back to school and work!


Now that we’re all drugged up on antibiotics, it’s time to get back to school and work.  We missed church, but we took the opportunity to get one more day of rest before getting back to the grind.  Monday brought the kids’ first homeschool gym class for the winter.  Holden had some coughing spells with the extra physical activity, but they had a great time and look forward to 11 more classes before baseball season begins!


Haylee is always so happy when it’s time for her weekly art lesson from ARTistic Pursuits.  This week, she learned about the basics of printmaking.  This was a totally new medium for her.  She had to etch the image of a furry creature on a piece of foam using the tip of a pencil.  Then she had to set up three stations…one for spreading out the ink with a brayer, one for rolling the inked brayer over the etched image she made on the sheet of foam, and one for flipping it over onto a sheet of paper for printing.


Here’s her finished print!


She was pretty happy with it, and I thought it was cute enough to put into a frame in the living room, which made her all kinds of happy.  :)


Honestly, we were all still just trying to get ourselves well again, so we kept taking our antibiotics and went through the motions of all that we had to so this week as we got gradually better.  Hayden and I had to go up to his school to volunteer on Thursday night.  They were having an Open House for prospective new parents and students who are thinking of applying to the school for next year.  Hayden manned a demonstration table where he showed the guests some of the programs they’ve written in Design Technology, and I was one of the GRC parents who walked around answering questions that prospective parents and students had about the school’s programs and what we have to offer them.  It was a wonderful evening, and they asked great questions.  It’s very important that the school keep up the flow of applicants so they can fill up the 125 slots available for new 9th graders each year.  It was definitely time well spent.


Wednesday was Steve’s birthday…44!  He was sick, too, so we decided to do his ice cream cake later, only we never got around to it this week!  I’m sure we’ll get it out of the freezer eventually.  We’re just all such a mess right now!


I’ve had at least 3 fever blisters since November, and I’m really getting tired of dealing with them.  Every time I’ve been sick or I’ve gotten chapped lips, I’ve ended up with one.  I happened to have one when I saw the dentist last month, and she gave me a prescription for something called Denavir.  She said it’s an expensive anti-viral cream that prevents the blister from forming if you put it on as soon as you start feeling the tingling sensation.  So I decided that I’d wait until after the first of the year when I’d have prescription coverage on my health insurance.  I hadn’t thought much about it until I woke up on Saturday with yet another fever blister!  That’s what I get for having been sick. 

So I dug out my prescription and started driving around town trying to find a pharmacy that actually had it in stock so I could use it right away before the blister formed.  After trying Kroger, Walgreens, Target, and Kmart, I finally found it at CVS.  The pharmacist made a point to say she needed to make sure my insurance would cover it before I filled it, which struck me a little odd.  My co-payment turned out to be $30, but I was curious what the actual price was.  So when I got home, I researched the cost and found out that this little tiny tube of 5 grams of cream costs about $650!  How crazy is that?  But I have to tell you…this stuff really works!  I put it on every 2 hours during the day, and I never got the blister.  Awesomeness!  It’s the little things in life…


That’s pretty much it!  The boys finished up their medicine and are finally feeling better.  Hayden finally got his voice back about mid-week.  I am still taking my antibiotics until Monday, but on Saturday night, I slept through the whole night without waking up for the first time since I got sick!  Boy, I felt like a million bucks.

We’re looking forward to Holden’s birthday party next Saturday…he’s had to wait so long for everyone to get better!  I know he’s so excited.

Until then!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up – December 28th-January 3rd

Happy New Year!  And it’s a big birthday week for us…too bad we all have the plague!


We started off the week with church and Holden’s 7th birthday!  We decided to take his birthday cake to church with us so we could sing to him and share some cake after services.  It was really nice!  Here’s a video of the big moment:

It’s too bad he was sick for his birthday.  I’m hoping he gets better soon, but it’s been a week already, and I’m not seeing a lot of improvement.  Poor baby!  I can hardly believe he’s already 7.  He’s getting to be such a big boy!


So this week, the kids finally passed the plague on to me.  I took them all out to lunch with me at Moe’s on Monday to share my free birthday entree, and we all got separate straws and shared a drink.  Big mistake!  By the next day, I knew I was sick, too.  My throat was SOOO sore, and it was getting worse by the minute!  So by the time my birthday rolled around on New Year’s Day, I was downright miserable!  Steve and I slipped out for my free birthday breakfast at Denny’s, and then I came home and went to bed for pretty much the rest of the day!  Too bad.  I had picked up some fancy hors d’oeuvres that we could graze on, as we traditionally do, so I came down later in the day to have a little bit to eat, but mostly, I had a hard time even swallowing my own spit! 


But it was yummy anyway.  We had beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon, cheddar cheese cubes, buffalo chicken meatballs, and fresh melon spears.  Yum!  Then we brought out my favorite Uncle Harry’s ice cream cake…the best part of my birthday! 


So I’ll admit it…I’m 43!


Steve also contracted this horrible plague, though not as badly as me and the boys had it…more like how Haylee had it.  But it was just awful that we all spent our entire 2-week holiday break so ill.  We didn’t get to do much of any of the activities we’d planned to do while we were all off together.  It’s too bad.  The big dilemma was what to do about our being sick.  Our private insurance that was expiring on 12-31 did not cover prescriptions until we were out $1,500 out of pocket, and sick visits were $30.  Urgent care centers and emergency rooms were not covered until we’d met a $5,000 deductible per person.  And with so much of the community sick, I had a feeling we weren’t going to get a regular doctor’s appointment.  So we all pushed through until the end of the week to wait for our new insurance to kick in.  My inability to swallow by Friday made it mandatory that I go somewhere to be seen! 

As I suspected, I could not get in to see any of the doctors in the practice, so they sent me over to the urgent care side.  I sat and waited for a total of 4 hours before I got in there!  I had a rapid flu test and a strep throat culture, and both were negative.  I found out I had a throat infection and fluid in my my left middle ear, and my right ear was completely blocked with wax, so they couldn’t even see my middle ear!  That’s the one that was hurting.  So with a throat and ear infection, I was given 10 days of amoxicillin and was told to take Mucinex D once a day along with it.  I’d spent 2 hours on the phone with the plan administrator and Anthem trying to get our i.d. # before I went to the doctor, but they said they weren’t going to be assigning one until Monday.  So fortunately, I was able to get the doctor to let me make a $30 co-payment and wait to hear from me on Monday about details of the new insurance with Anthem Healthkeepers.  I just paid for my RX outright, but it was cheap anyway. 

Then on Saturday, I signed financial waivers at the pediatrician’s office and was able to get both of the boys seen with a $30 co-payment each.  They also agreed to wait until Monday for more information, thankfully.  The boys turned out to have a sinus/respiratory infection.  The pediatrician said that most likely, the whole thing started out as a virus of some kind for all of us, and then the congestion settled in various places on each of us and caused a bacterial infection.  That made perfect sense.  The boys got a 5-day regimen of super-powerful azithromycin.  They took a double dose the first day and had to take a single dose on each of the next four days.  We’re looking forward to seeing the light at the end of this tunnel of illness!

For the first time in probably a decade, we all knew we were going to have to miss church.  The other members are all elderly, and one has rather fragile health at this time, so we thought it best to notify the congregation that we’d be sitting out services this weekend.  And we know we have to get ourselves rested and ready to return to work and school on Monday morning.

How about you?  Did your family make it through the holidays without illness?  A local news article said that Hampton Roads is the 5th sickest city in the country right now for reported colds and flu.  I hardly know anyone who hasn’t been ill recently.  If you made it through the holidays unscathed, you’re really lucky!

Until next week…

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up – December 21st-27th

Christmas is finally here!!!  Too bad my kids are sick.  :(


This is the first year we didn’t go to look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  The kids just didn’t feel like it.  I have to say I was more than a little sad about it.  But it was pouring with rain all week, including on Christmas Eve, so I guess it’s just as well.  We didn’t get to do any of the things we traditionally do in the days leading up to Christmas with the kids so sick, and that’s a real bummer.  We didn’t even make it out to Hunt Club Farm’s Winter Wonderland like we’d planned.  But I bought tickets in advance, so we made plans to go on a non-rainy night before New Year’s.  Instead, we stayed home, and I made a Christmas Dinner with all the fixings of Thanksgiving, including my mom’s recipe for fruit salad for dessert.  Yum!


It was really good, though the kids didn’t feel much like eating with all their coughing going on.


Christmas Day is here!  The kids woke up early and couldn’t wait to get started.  I’d let them open a few gifts before Christmas so they’d have a chance to enjoy some things before getting overwhelmed with their goodies, but I’d saved the best for last.

Steve played a little tug-of-war with Lilly, who was wearing her new Christmas bandana, as Teenie watched, wearing her new jingle neckband.  Too cute!


Here’s a video of the kids opening their gifts.  Hayden’s favorite gift was the rollerblades, as I figured it would be.  Despite the weather and how bad he was feeling, he went out and took a few spins before the day was out.

Here are our annual family photos in front of the tree, just before I took it down.  Hayden got a new digital camera for Christmas, so he did the honor of taking the photos this year.  He set the timer for the group shot but couldn’t get the flash to turn on, so it’s a bit dark.


But the rest were pretty good, once he got it figured out.

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I thought I’d be better about keeping up the decor this year, but by lunchtime, the clutter of Christmas was giving me all kinds of anxiety.  So just as in years’ past, I had everything to do with Christmas boxed up and taken up to the attic by 3 PM on Christmas Day!  As I’m quoted as saying, “Christmas is over…pack it up!”  LOL.  Holden’s birthday was coming in just 3 short days, so I had to restore order in the house as soon as possible, especially since Steve had to work the day after Christmas.  Bummer!


The day after Christmas, my long-time dear friend, Roslyn Smith, came over to see the kids.  Then we all went to Winter Wonderland together with a bag full of marshmallows in hand for roasting over the fire.

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After we looked at all of the animations and posed for our annual photo in their sitting room, we went into the petting zoo so the kids could chase some chickens…their favorite part of the visit!

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Then we went over to the fire pit to roast some marshmallows over the fire.  Some folks who were leaving even passed on their s’mores kit to the kids, so we all got to try one for the first time.  Way too sweet for me! 

The fellas that were keeping the fire going were particularly entertaining and chatted with the kids for the rest of the evening while Ros and I drank some hot cider.  Yum!


That’s a wrap! 

I certainly wish the kids were feeling better so we could have done more over the break, but there’s always next week.  Hopefully, they’ll be better by then.  Merry Christmas!