Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Saga Continues....

Friday, we spent a large portion of our day with our friends Toby and Missy. We had a great time. Friday night, we went to Cici's pizza with our other friends, Guy and Susie and their boys. Their oldest also has AS like our oldest. Friday night, it rained.... and rained.... and rained.... get the idea? I thought we were going to float home! And, our camper (a hybrid... hard sides with pop-out tents on the ends) leaked. The big tent (where Bugman and I sleep) leaked. We were soaked. It was awful. We decided then to NOT sleep in the camper another night, as rain was predicted again the next night.

Saturday, we proceeded to meet our friends Guy and Susie and their boys at the oldest Dr. Pepper Bottling Plant in the world! Yes, the world! Built in 1891 (I believe... is that 116 years ago?), the Dublin Dr. Pepper plant still makes Dr. Pepper with the orginal recipe using REAL SUGAR instead of nasty high fructose corn syrup. Gag! Anyway, it was tons of fun.
Bugman and boys posing before the biggest DP can you've ever seen! LOL!

Legoboy posing with an old DP bottle, sorry it's sideways. I'll fix it later!

The clock over the door of the soda shop.

Then we toured the plant. They only make DP once a month, anywhere from 4 to 7 pallets of DP at a time. This is because the equipment is so old.

This is the bottle washer. They will take any glass DP bottle, sterilize it in the bottle washer, and reuse it (just like the olden days! Remember returnables?). They also use new bottles (which are the ones you can buy there by the case).
This is the finished product... They still also produce Nu Grape and Big Red.
Sorry the pic is blurry... this is a light box. Each and every bottle is placed on here. Can you tell which bottle is the "right" DP? The one on the far left has too little syrup. The one on the far right has too much syrup. The second from the left has too little product in the bottle. The second from the right is the right blend of syrup to soda, and has the right level in the bottle. Each one, hand inspected.
This is the guy who gave us the tour. Can't remember what this machine does... LOL.
This is where the soda and syrup come together into the bottles, and then the caps are put on.

This was a great tour. Dublin is about an hour SW of Ft. Worth if you have the gumption to go. It is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Camping We Will Go

We left last Thursday to go camping... we left the rain to drive to the rain. We probably would have cancelled, but we had promised our friend Kate that we would drive up for her graduation (05/28) and we were trying to make it a family vacation weekend.

We camped at Cleburne State Park, southwest of Ft. Worth. Friday, we contacted some friends who we found out had moved from Belton (Texas) to Southlake (Texas) which is near FW. We spent the day with them, with Bugman and Toby (our friend, who is the new preacher at the Southlake Blvd. Church) putting their heads together and discussing matters of theology. Toby's wife, Missy, and I went down to Imprints to look (and buy!) rubber stamps and other ephemera. That afternoon, we had dinner with some other old friends, the Steeves, and their boys.

One fun thing was Friday we stopped for fuel (diesel... we have a diesel 15-passenger van). The station we chose had one diesel pump which was OLD (i.e., you can't use a credit card... you have to go in and pay the cashier first to get them to turn on the pump). Bugman told me "go in and pay, and I'll pump" so I did. When I came out, this is what I found:

This is George. He pumps the gas at the FULL SERVICE pump at the Shell in Cleburne. Yes, I did say FULL SERVICE. Who knew they still had them? Not me. I don't think I've had full service in the nearly 21 years I have been married!
George was great! He even gave the kids bubble gum. We talked with him a long time. The diesel pump is at the full service section (which I think is just so George has a job. He is about 75 years old!), so we went ahead and took advantage of it. What a treat.
More later on this adventure!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Feeling sorry for myself...

I guess I shouldn't, huh? I have a wonderful husband, four healthy children, a nice home... God has blessed me tremendously. It's just that some days I feel overwhelmed. Homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, cooking, running our business... hardly ever any free time. Yes, I know, when my kiddos are gone I'll finally have the time for "me", and then I'll lament how I wish they were back.

My oldest son will be 15 on Friday. Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of my Mother's death. She was 51 years old. My husband is almost 45. Not so far apart. Mama was a wonderful, loving person. Everyone who met her loved her. She literally was here today, gone tomorrow. Never take those you love for granted. People will tell you that you could step off the curb and get hit by a bus tomorrow. We laugh, but it's true. My mom was fine on Friday night... my last words were "Talk to you tomorrow! Love you!". The next day, she went to the hospital for tests. No big deal, right? She coded in the elevator. They revived her. Two hours later, she coded again. That was it. Gone. I miss her dreadfully. I often think that if she was still here, not only would my boys have their "Memaw" but maybe my sister and I would still be friends. Only God knows for sure.

Good news... my brother and his boys came over again to visit. What a treat. My son commented today that he had a blast Saturday night.. it was my four boys, my brother's three boys, and our friend's two children (one boy one girl). We had a great time. I love having family over. Our friend's have been friends for over 19 years. My kids call them Aunt and Uncle. I tell everyone that since my relatives are either dead or abandoned me, I just went out and adopted new ones!!

My best friend is moving. It has become a trend. I'm not sure whether to take it personally! I make a friend, we become close, and then they move away. It can be depressing to think about. I know I'll probably never be the one to move away.

Off to do laundry. *sigh* I'll post some ATC's I am working on later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Airing out Frustrations....

It's been a trying week. To begin with, a friend from co-op (homeschool co-op), has a little lovey who has been in the hospital for weeks. She was in need of a heart transplant. First she was on the list, then due to a heart attack, she was taken off the list, but then on Monday, because she has shown so much improvement, she was back on the list. We were all so happy...but then yesterday, about 11:45 she had another cardiac arrest....and around 1pm she died. Her name was Chameron, and she was only 4 years old.

On top of it all, my husband's grandfather died. While it isn't as tragic (he was 94), it is hard on my in-laws, and my husband will now be travelling to the funeral.

I am very stressed.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Life with an AS child...

I haven't posted much. Need to get back in the habit.

Life with an Asperger's child is challenging. Life with an Asperger's teen is insane. The emotional rollercoaster is taking it's toll on me. My oldest son can go from elation to depression in 3.2 seconds. Today, after church, he decided to become upset over the fact that his brother wants to charge him rent to use his nintendo (my oldest two boys bought a nintendo gamecube together two years ago.. in a fit of anger, my oldest sold his "half" to us, saying he would never play again. Of course, he didn't mean it. So we said, if you want to play, you'll have to pay. So he pays 1.00 an hour to play...rental of the machine. Well, my second son, co-owner of the machine, raised enough cash to buy out my half. Now, he's "full" owner, and has raised the rent... to 1.50 an hour). This did NOT go over well. I tried to point out that if we go somewhere with games, such as Double Dave's (Pizza), Mr. Gatti's (Pizza), or Cici's (Pizza... notice a trend?), he has no issue with spending $20 bucks on games there, and it only lasts a few minutes. $20 will buy him almost 14 hours of blissful, brain-numbing time on the gamecube. But he doesn't get it.

So this upset led him to desire to be alone... so off he wandered. We meet in a school, and when church is over, they lock up the school. We didn't know where he was, and we couldn't leave until he was found, because they can't lock up with a minor (or anyone) still in the building. It was very frustrating.

It ruined our lunch. Bugman (dh) was so upset over it all (and angry) he just wanted to go home and watch NASCAR. We sent oldest son off to his room. I ended up going to Taco Bell for lunch for the rest.

I am praying the rest of the week doesn't go like this.