April 3
Our high school sponsored an all-day volleyball tournament today.  Since Matt plays, it was a required thing for our family....not only to watch, but I also had to put in my time at the concession stand.  We saw some very good matches and Matt's team finished in third place, which was nothing to sniff at.  The first and second place teams were incredibly good.  It was tough for our

coach, I think.  This is his last season before retiring.  He's had an incredible career with several state championship teams and his three sons all played on one of those teams (they are all also volleyball coaches themselves; two at high schools in the region and one with the women at Penn State).  Anyway, I know he wants to go out with a winning season and it is looking so far like he may get it, but losing to his son's team seemed to be a little hard for him to swallow.  I'm sorry to say he took a bit of it out on the officials and later on the team.  We finally got out of there around 7:00 this evening.  What a long, long day.  Who knew bleachers could be so hard?  I ache from head to toe and have a pretty good headache going on, too, but I don't want to head to bed just yet or I will be wide awake in the middle of the night.
       Mom came to watch Matt play, but was only there for a little while because she got a call from the nursing home my grandmother is in, saying they were taking Nana to the hospital.  They said she'd been sick and coughing and with her diabetes they were worried about dehydration.  Mom was just getting home when we did.  Nana is back at the home.  After lots of tests, the doctor couldn't really find anything beyond a mild case of bronchitis, so he sent her home.  Mom said she coughed much worse than Nana and was afraid maybe they'd admit her instead!
       One of Tim's sisters stopped by the school this afternoon and picked Megan up.  Most of the family is going to see two of our nieces in their school musical tonight.  They are doing Fiddler on the Roof.  The girls are very talented so I'm sure it will be a good show.  Wish we could have gone, too.  Megan is going to spend the night and we will have to drive up to get her tomorrow.

April 4
       We got up this morning planning to go to church, but ended up not going.  Tim says he will give the church we visited last week a couple of more tries, but he didn't want to go there today.  I wasn't too excited with any of the other options.  We debated back and forth and never really made a decision and before we knew it, it was too late to go anywhere.  I wasn't too happy about that.  Somehow, a week just seems to go better if you start it off with church.
       You sure can't tell it is Spring around here by the weather.  It is terribly windy.  It rattles the windows and stove vent, whistles down the chimney and howls over the roof.  It's also very cold for this time of year at 30 for a high today.  The snow has been blowing around all day but never amounted to more than a dusting here.  Up on the ridges they saw an inch or two at most.
       I got Tim and Matt to help me with some heavyduty cleaning and moving furniture today.  Tim was grumbling about how he couldn't believe I had him spring cleaning when it was snowing.  I know how he feels, but I just couldn't stand it any more.  We've been using the kerosene heater all winter and everything in the livingroom had a fine layer of black dirt that needed washed off or vacuumed......including the cobwebs way up along the ceiling!  I put Matt to work with the sweeper taking care of those.  I can't work above my head too long without getting a pain in my neck.  Matt's taller than me, too, so he didn't have to stretch so much.
       We had to leave to go get Megan in the middle of all the cleaning.  There wasn't a single place available to sit when we left, so we didn't stay to visit long.  Even so, it's a long drive up and back and we were gone about 4 hours.  It was close to 9:00 when we finally got things put back together this evening.

April 5
Another cold, windy one, but at least there wasn't any snow and the sun was out full force all day.  I can do without the cold but I wouldn't mind a few more days of wind to help dry things up.  We've had so much rain and then yesterday's snow that everywhere that isn't paved is nothing but a mud hole.
       I rode along with another driver this morning to learn her kindergarten route.  Her husband had a "spot" on his ear biopsied last week.  The doctor was pretty sure they'd find cancer.  He has another appointment this Wednesday and she would like to go with him, knowing that he probably won't be completely honest with the doctor or with her concerning what the doctor has to say.
       Tim started a new project at work today, a gas/convenience store.  He had finished his last project ahead of time in the fall and had been helping out with on-going projects all winter, waiting for the weather to get nice enough to break ground on new projects.  He still isn't home (9:00), because he was already 10 days behind schedule thanks to the weather and other things beyond his control when he began this morning and he is eager to get caught up and on schedule.
       The kids are supposed to feed all the critters when they get home from school as part of their chores, but Matt had volleyball practice today and I found Megan sound asleep on the sofa when I got home so I pulled on my boots and slogged out through the muck to do it.  I don't really mind.  In fact, I like the time with the animals.  I am the one out of the whole family that spends the time to give them love.  The bunnies are always excited to see me and practically leap out of their hutches into my arms.  Oreo is not so cuddly, but Elmo would let me hold and pet him all day.  The Rhodies run around like.....well, chickens when they see me coming.  Hannibal likes to strut his stuff, fluffing his feathers, dragging a wing and making all sorts of impressive sounds but when I toss some scratch or kitchen scraps his way he forgets all that silliness.  Our adoptee, Coo-Coo-Cachoo, is adapting well to living in a coop like a real chicken, but seems to have lost all her tameness.  The peeps are growing up quickly and are nearly a month old.  They are so fun to watch running around in their pen and they are so silly looking.  They're beginning to get their feathers and they are in that scraggly state that's so ugly only a mother (me) could think they're cute.  The older they get, the more difference I am seeing just in the coloring of the Arancaunas.  I didn't realize there was so much variation within the breed.  Mine are all various shades of brown/gray, but Coo-Coo is mostly white.

April 7
       I was prepared to work all day today doing my regular morning route, filling in on a kindergarten route and then taking the baseball team to a game.  The woman I was going to fill in for on the kindergarten route made it back from her husband's appointment in time to do it herself so I ended up having a few hours at home which was nice and gave me a chance to get some things done.  The baseball trip wasn't bad at all.  In fact, I usually enjoy those.  The baseball coach is a good disciplinarian and really keeps those boys under control.  They are by far the best behaved team I transport.  The school we went to wasn't too far away and just a straight shot down Rt. 30 so it was an easy drive and we got back while it was still daylight.  The boys played a good game and won 7-1.  I think that makes them 2-0 in section play.
       Tim made the effort to by home by 6:00 so the kids weren't on their own for too long.  They can take care of themselves and made supper again, but they fight so much we don't like to leave them together too much.....especially since Megan has started to accuse Matt of physically hurting her (hitting, pinching, choking, etc.) when they are alone and he gets angry at her.  We don't know what to think.  On the one hand, we know Megan is having some emotional problems and it may just be that she is making it all up to get back at Matt, but on the other hand, Matt does have a temper that I have witnessed simmering just under the surface and he's unleashed it once or twice.  Maybe he doesn't hold it in when we aren't around?  Anyway, we are trying not to leave them alone any more than we have to.  Did anyone else's kids fight this bad?  How did you handle it?  Tim agrees that we shouldn't leave them home alone very much, but it doesn't seem to bother him nearly as much as it does me.  He was the middle child of seven and I was an only child.  I guess that's the difference.  Tim sees it as irritating, but normal.  I don't have anything to compare it to and am very stressed over it.
       Tim's sister and her husband have invited us to participate in a small group studying The Purpose Driven Life book that so many churches are working through.  The group will meet at their home on Friday nights and for the seven weeks or so that it is going on their minister will be preaching on each week's topic.  Tim says we will go to their church through that time.  It is a nice church and I like their pastor, but it's a bit far away.

April 8
Yea!  Today was the last day before Easter break and my, but I am ready for a few days off from the little darlings I drive.  Spring has sprung and along with it the energy level and bad behavior has bloomed on the buses.  Before this winter's snow and ice changed the plan, we were to have had today through next Tuesday off, but today and Tuesday were taken back to avoid adding days on at the end of the year.  I had to fill in on a mid-day vo-tech run for a driver whose mother passed away this week so didn't have any time at home today.   The poor doggies had to wait all day to be let out because Matt had volleyball practice right after school and Megan forgot her house key at school so stayed on her bus and the driver brought her back to the bus barn to ride home with me.
       Tim got home by 5:00 and took a little bit of a nap until after I picked Matt up at 5:30.  We went to H & R Block and got our taxes done tonight.  We knew we weren't going to be getting a refund this year so we weren't in any real hurry and just kept putting it off.  Turns out we were right, no refund.  We have to pay, but it isn't too bad.  We owe $185.  The local taxes are what's bad.  Mine are taken out at work, but we get slammed with Tim's every year and since our income jumped substantially last year we owe a lot more this year.  Tim is going to talk to the accountant at work and see if he can get them to start taking out for that, but we don't know since his employer is a good distance from our township.
       Since we were out on our own, we went to Walmart and got the kids' Easter basket stuff.  I don't like to give them a lot of candy so just got a little of that.  Megan will find the new soccer ball and water bottle she needs, along with a CD and a little stuffed bunny.  Matt's basket will hold a DVD he's been wanting and a West Coast Chopper shirt.  They will be thrilled and it will last so much longer than candy.

April 9
It's a beautiful sunny day and mild, but not too warm, with temperatures in the low 50's.  I sure wish we'd have more days like this and maybe a little warmer, too, so the yard would dry out.  I am itching to get out there and start digging and planting.  I've thought up ideas and drawn sketches and changed my mind so many times during the last few weeks.  I need to get the plants in the ground and be done so I can't change my mind anymore.
       Megan and I had lunch at Olive Garden with some ladies from work to celebrate one woman's 66th birthday.  Can you imagine she's still driving a school bus at her age and has been on the job for over 30 years?!  I can't picture myself still driving 26 years from now.  It was a surprise and we did a good job.  Laura never suspected a thing.  She's such a sweet lady who always makes us candy and baked goods.  She lost her husband last year and has been having a hard time keeping cheerful so it was fun to do something nice for her.  We all got big hugs and kisses.
       Now it's on to cleaning the house.  I'm not sure why that's so important.  I don't even know yet what we're doing for Easter.  Tim's sister invited us to her house along with all the rest of the family, but Tim hasn't said yet if he wants to go.  I asked my mom about her plans and found out she and John don't have any.  I asked if she wanted to do something and she wasn't overly enthusiastic, pointing out that she has to work every day through Saturday.  That's her way of letting me know she doesn't want to cook and that I'd have to do it.  I don't want to push them into something they don't want to do.  Tim won't say one way or the other.  I will probably have to choose and I surely don't want to.
       Hope you all have a very happy and blessed Easter with family and friends!