Welcome Back Internet

Welcome back, Internet.  This may seem strange to many of you, to whom the world of facebook, twitter, and blogging is common and everyday.  But for the last 10+ years, I have kind of avoided REALLY getting involved in the internet.  I have IM’d a few friends, occasionally (even that has become a rarity rather then a common occurance), and I check email.  But I have avoided alot of the new frontier that is now known as Social Networking.  But, I think that I am going to put a toe in and see how the water is.

About 13 years ago, I was actually involved in a project that put me on the cutting edge of the internet at that time.   The school where I taught was a part of a project that used MOO’s (multi-player object-oriented).  We had an online presence called Pueblo, that was populated by children from inner city Phoenix, ages 6 – 12; teachers; select college students; scientists from Xerox Parc; and a variety of other professionals.   It was a fore-runner of Second Life, same type of idea, but all in text.  I started chatting online when Netscape was known as Mosaic.  (I guess I am showing my age, huh?)  And spending much time building my environment, and chatting with new online friends from all over.  I was known then by many as “quantum leaper” or “ql” for short.  And I loved it, maybe a little too much, as it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up (anything exciting happened over night), and last thing I did before going to sleep (say goodnight and set down the laptop, lights out).

But, from the time that I left Pueblo, until now, I have kind of avoided getting pulled into the new places that the internet offers.  The only reason that I even have a facebook account is that my husband (who does browsers for a living and knows this frontier quite well) needed an account to do some testing on.

But today, I am feeling the pull of being more involved with this world.  It all started with trying to figure out the best way to organized and disseminate pictures of my children.  I am tired of having 5000 pictures sit on my laptop, and everytime I actually go to use them, I start organizing them because I can’t find the one(s) I want.  I am tired of having all of those pictures, and still getting family and friends asking me, “Are you ever going to send, post, give me newer pictures of the kids?”  (Gee, just because they are 6 and almost 5, and the last ones that have seen are 2 and baby, people can’t seem to be satisfied).

So, I started doing a Flickr account.  And lo and behold, I had to start thinking of what do I want my screen name to be, and what do I want my url to be.  I started to realize that I want to be more then an occasional lurker in this new world, but to do so, I need to decide on a name for myself (as my husband said, it may be time to get a semi-permanent screen name for myself).  And you know what, that is alot harder than I thought it would be.  The name quantum leaper, ql, or que el just didn’t seem to fit me any longer (although they bring back such fond memories I was tempted to use them).  I started to feel kind of like the EMH doctor on Voyager….a name is such an important thing…you can’t just jump into it…(although I hope it doesn’t take me 30 years to come up with one, and I come up with one more original that Joe).

So, hmmmmm, who am I now, if I have moved on from ql…I will let you all know when I figure it out..:)

Cynde

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Meet our New Kitten

blossum3small

We recently got a new kitten.  She is technically the kids’ kitten, as our current resident cat feels she is way to important to play with the likes of kids..:)  Her name is Blossum, and she is very precious.  She seems to be just the right amount of playfulness and cuddly.  She must love the kids and much as they love her, for she allows them to pick her up and carry her all around, and they are not always as careful as we would like when they carry her.  But they are learning, and she seems to have no trouble putting up with them.  She has actually even started to jump up to cuddle with them when they are on the couch or in their beds.  And the best thing about her is that she doesn’t bother Mike’s allergies at all…Yay!..

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The kids and swimming lessons

Zak and Michaela have been taking swim lessons the last couple of weeks.  They LOVE it!  Neither have been afraid of doing anything asked of them, and in fact, have been so excited about trying new things.  I have been so proud of them.  Here are some videos of Michaela jumping off the big diving board (into the 12 foot end), and Zak jumping into the pool playing Green Speckled Frogs.  Zak has been jumping off the diving board without any floating aids even, but I missed the video today.  I will try again tomorrow.  Also, Zak’s teacher said today that he was the only one in the class that she was recommending to move on to the next level.  She taught them the breast stroke today and he picked it up like he had been doing it all along.  She thought maybe he already knew it.:)  (Just a little Mommy bragging.)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tJPNGeBOYQ

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gul-V5SY1Zs

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We Said Goodbye to My Mom Today

Today we said our formal goodbye to my mom. She lost her fight with cancer at the end of March. For those of you who do not know, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer at the beginning of February. She had been having pain and losing weight for about a year, had gone to the doctor multiple times, and had multiple tests, but it was not found until February. They then figured out that it had metastasized from breast cancer, which was also not caught, even though she had had two mammograms in that time. The disease progressed very quickly. And after just 6 weeks, she passed away. She will be missed.

Even though at the end, we weren’t always close, she was still my mom. And I just guess I always expected her to be there. Living so far away (me in Texas, her in Tennessee) it is still kind of a shock to realize that she just isn’t there. I find myself occasionally seeing my kids do something, wonder if I did something like that when I was a kid, and think about calling her to ask…that is when I realize that she is no longer there. Or the other day, on my son’s 6th birthday, it hit me that she wouldn’t be calling to wish him a happy birthday. Times like that are when the reality sinks in a little deeper.

But today, a little over a month after she died, we all met in Michigan (my sister Dawn from California, me from Texas, and my sister Jaci who lives in Michigan) and we had her memorial service.

This was the first time I have ever had to plan a funeral or memorial service. The whole experience (from dealing with my mom’s affairs to planning this day) has been a very new one. But one that I have to say, from my perspective, I feel that my sisters and I made it through well. First and foremost, we pulled together well, and I feel actually became closer through it, rather then letting it split up our family. The last two funerals I have went to ended up being very divisive, and I am glad that we were all on the same page to not let it happen to us. Secondly, we were in a situation where my mother did not have any money at the end for funeral expenses. I feel that not only did we stay financially sound, but we found a way to honor my mom’s memory by helping others. We found a company (Medcure) that allowed us to donate my mom’s body for research purposes, to hopefully find out why doctors were not able to discover her cancer sooner, and they paid to have her body picked up, they paid for cremation, and they paid to ship her cremains back to us, all in just 3 weeks. And thirdly, I felt that we planned a memorial service that was very personal to her.

My mom’s was Catholic, but we didn’t want her memorial service to be just a generic service. We picked music that meant something for both her and for us. My mom’s favorite song was Amazing Grace and her favorite band was the Statler Brothers. So we started things off with Amazing Grace by the Statler Brothers. The second song we played was one that meant alot to my sister Jaci, and to her said very important things about dying and God, we played God Only Cries by Diamond Rio. My mom always loved when they played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, so during communion, we played a version of Amazing Grace by the Canadian Scottish Bagpipe Band, and we ended the service with a song that I love, which is the new Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Chris Tomlin. For me, this symbolized her being free of the pain that really filled her last couple of weeks on the earth.

All in all, I really felt like we honored and said a farewell to my mom that she would have liked. Now of course, we start the process of actually living day to day knowing that she isn’t with us here any longer. The last month has been such a whirlwind of getting things taken care of and ready for today, but now, that will no longer be a focus. I am just hoping that the new closeness that my sisters and I have found will stay in place, so that we can do as the priest suggested today, be my mom’s arms for hugs for each other.

Thanks for listening.

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Pictures of the Kids and the House




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Welcome to the Kaply Korner

Welcome to our home on the web. We’re hoping that by switching to blogging software, we’ll update the site more. We’ll see.

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