Thursday, June 30, 2005

Silly confessions

I felt like confessing a few things today. So here goes.
  • I had only ever read one blog when I signed up for mine. I just clicked the little "get your own blog" button in the Blogger bar. I didn't know I'd have to come up with a name for it. I looked around my desk and saw the AAA members' magazine, called Going Places. And that's where I got the name.
  • After watching Dancing With the Stars, I spend the whole next morning prancing around the house. As if I could ever dance like that. Yeah, right. I do the same thing after watching movies like Dirty Dancing or West Side Story.
  • Which brings me to my next confession: Every time I watch a tragedy (West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, Titanic), I am absolutely convinced that this time it could turn out differently. I will literally sit there yelling at the television, "Turn the ship! Turn! Don't hit the iceberg!" I honestly think that maybe this time will be different! Is that called eternal optimism, or just duh?
  • Even though I have 4 kids, I have never gotten used to watching kids eat. Until they're 5 or so and can feed themselves without making a huge mess, every mealtime is total stress for me. At least the dog cleans the food off the floor.

Okay, that's all I feel like sharing. Now it's your turn: what's your silly confession? Comments are open to all again!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

When I was a teenager, my friends and I were not normal. Not at all. We weren't cheerleaders, we didn't have boyfriends, we never got invited to parties. Maybe it's more fair to say we were geeks, outcasts, outsiders looking in at the ever-spinning wheel of popularity. Occasionally one of us would try to break through the invisible walls surrounding the popular group, only to be firmly rebuffed.

So, we developed a rebel attitude. We were just going to be our own group. We called ourselves The Fun Bunch. We made membership cards on my computer. They said, "License to practice insanity" on them. And we had a great time together. When a new kid joined the school, we befriended him. He fit right in. I think he might have been a little scared to say no to us.

My question here is, why was it so important to us to be seen as normal? And when that didn't work, why was it even more important that we be seen as crazy? We are not the same, we are different. We may be crazy. Watch out.

Well, I have good news for my high school friends. We are different. Every one of us is different from every other one. How's this for crazy: God knows exactly how many hairs are on my head. And when I'm still losing hair as an after-effect of childbirth, that's saying something; the count probably changes by the minute. Maybe what's really crazy is trying to fit in to the extreme that you lose yourself. We should celebrate what makes us different instead of trying to be like everybody else. I know I'm unique, and not just in name (though I'm pretty sure I'm the only Jana ____ in the world).

There has never been, and there will never be, anyone just like you, either. How's that for crazy?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RIP, Dobe

I couldn't write about this until the kids got home. I didn't want them to read about it on the computer.

On Friday, our male dog died. He was 11 1/2 years old. He'd been losing weight for a few weeks, and we had an appointment at the vet for him, but he never made it. It was really hard for me, much harder than I ever thought it would be. You see, every time before that I've lost a pet, I never had to watch it die. I knew Dobe was dying and I couldn't do anything about it. I just had to watch. I wish I could have comforted him somehow, but I just couldn't bring myself to touch him. I wish I had cradled his head and petted him, but I didn't. Hubby came home from work to bury him. He went out in 95 degree heat in the middle of the afternoon and dug a grave in the back of our field. I haven't been to see it.

He was such a good dog. He loved attention, he loved people. We taught him to shake hands when he was a puppy and that was always the first thing he did when he came up to someone. He used to wag his tail so hard he'd practically bend in half; talk about the tail wagging the dog! He wasn't the brightest dog in the world, but he more than made up for it in love and devotion. When he looked at me for the last time, I could still see that in his eyes.

I'll miss you Dobert, Dobe-man, Dobinator. Rest in peace.

Monday, June 27, 2005

New shoes

My three year old wanted to share his new shoes with everyone. He got them last Wednesday, and he hasn't taken them off, except to bathe, since. He even sleeps in them.

And, they light up!

"Only" two kids

All last week, my older two boys were on a trip with my parents, leaving me with "only" two boys for the week. They return tonight. I thought I would get so much done around here with "only" two kids to watch. Ha! And let me say again, ha! What a joke!

Now, in some ways, it is easier to have two as opposed to four. For example, I can go to the store by myself because I only have to push one cart. With four kids, inevitably they all want to ride, and they do not all fit in one cart. It takes about five minutes less to get ready to go somewhere because I only have to find one pair of shoes and buckle two seat belts. And at night, there's only one cup of water to fetch. But there were things that surprised me about having "only" these two.

It was just as difficult to keep the house clean. It seems like the three year old followed me around, messing up my cleaning almost as soon as it was done. I vacuumed the floor, he dumped a box of crackers. I did laundry, he rolled in mud. I still had to get just as many lunches, snacks, and dinners, so no improvement there, either. And the baby, of course, needed entertainment when he was awake, so I was just as occupied with him as ever.

And boy, did my three year old miss his big brothers. Every morning he wanted to know where they were. He's going to be so excited to see them tonight! And I must admit, I missed them too. I missed all of my second son's hugs and kisses. I missed my oldest son's silly jokes and intelligent observations. I missed the way the three of them play together.

So, Dad, if you're reading this before packing up for the trip home, tell the boys I said hi and I love them! I'll see you tonight!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Self Portrait

In a sudden loss of rational thinking, I decided to participate in Self Portrait Friday. This week's theme is summer gear. See Katy's site for other participants.

This is me in Santiago de Cuba. It was the only picture I could find of me in shorts, believe it or not. Posted by Hello

As if I didn't have enough to worry about...

Now I have to think about what happens if the government decides they want my land. This is not what the founders intended. You know it and I know it.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Jokes from the three year old

Him: Say "knock knock"
Me: Knock knock
H: Who's there?
...long pause...

H: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Me: I don't know.
H: Why did he?
...long pause...

And my personal favorite:
H: Knock knock
Me: Who's there?
H: Interrupting pig
Me: Interrupting pig who?
H: Interrupting pig aren't you glad I didn't say interrupting cow?

[The original two jokes which he has morphed into one are:
Knock knock
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting...(and the asker interrupts with "Moo!")

Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say banana?]

I just love that 3-year-old sense of humor!

Who's in charge here?

A couple of weeks ago, our pastor was talking about respecting authority. In Romans, Paul says we are to respect the authority that God has put in place over us. But it seems as though more and more, people don't respect those authorities. I'm not talking about unquestioning acceptance, I'm just talking about respectful obedience. Why is that?

I think at least part of it is the lack of consequences. People want to know, how much can I get away with and still not be punished? If so-and-so can do this and only get a slap on the wrist, I'm going to do it, too. And at the same time, a lot of authority to punish has been taken away from the very people who need it most.

This is nothing new. It's been going on since before I was born. But it does disturb me to see the extent to which this is happening. Look at the MJ case: how many pedophiles are now thinking, I can get away with it, too (I'm not saying he's definitely guilty, but that seems to be the popular opinion).

I'm trying to teach my children that there are consequences for disobedience, that they are to respect authority, that they need to follow the laws of the land (except where said laws conflict with God's laws). All I ask of our society is that it punish those who don't. Is that really such a difficult concept?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Picture Day!

I can't think of anything to talk about right now, so how about some pictures?

That's me conducting the Patch the Pirate Club children's choir on Sunday. Posted by Hello
Here's my three year old at the family reunion Saturday, after swimming in the lake. Posted by Hello
A view of the lake. Posted by Hello
All of the excitement was too much for the baby! Posted by Hello
This is Smoky, the kitten which will be ours in a couple of weeks. Isn't he adorable? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Body in the Barn

Yesterday, we had three teenagers staying with us. They were heading home last night, so before they left, I thought I'd put them to work. I took them out to the barn, which was still full of, shall we say, remnants of the previous owner's horses. I gave them each a shovel. Then I went back in the house since the baby was asleep.

Once the baby woke up, I carried him out to the barn with me to check on their progress. The stalls looked great, but what caught my attention was a voice saying, "I'm telling you, there's a dead body up there." I made my way to the back of the barn. "Hey, guys, what's going on?"

Andrew looked up at me. "We think there's a dead body in the hay loft."

I felt myself doing the single eyebrow raise. "Huh?"

"It looks like a complete set of clothes, and it kind of smells nasty up there."

"Okay," I said. I mean, what else could I say? I wasn't going to climb up there. Immediately, I had visions of police cars in the driveway, crime scene investigators swarming through the barn, the zippered black body bag being carried away. Yes, I watch too much Law & Order.

Apparently miffed that I didn't seem to believe them, Rachel decided to climb up again and take another look. She kept letting out these little shrieks, which were all due to the wasps flying around up there, and maybe a spider or two. Then she yelled, "There are teeth!" My blood ran cold.

"No, wait," she corrected, "it's just a wasp's nest."

Andrew climbed up behind her, but neither of them would actually approach the "body," so they both came down again.

When hubby got home, Andrew informed him of our potential crime scene. Fearlessly, hubby climbed into the loft. A moment later, he emerged. "Yeah," he said, "somebody left their jacket up here." Mystery solved.

There did turn out to be a body in our barn, complete with feet: a dead chicken. I'm thinking CSI won't be stopping by any time soon.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thirteen years ago today. Posted by Hello

Happy Monday!

Hi, everyone! Our internet was out from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, except for a brief period Saturday. It's weird, when I can't get online, everything I think of that I need to do has to be done... online. Anyway, it's back on now and everything's happy, so on with the blogging!

My parents have taken my two oldest boys on a week-long trip so it's just me and the two little ones during the day this week. We'll see how the three year old does without his big brothers to keep him company. He was very upset last night when they left without him.

The other night, my 8 year old came to get me. He and his brothers were outside and wanted me to see something. It was dark out. I followed him up to the top of the hill, where our property adjoins a large, vacant field. He said, "It's a really big show, with really little actors." I looked out into the field. Thousands of fireflies blinked and twinkled in the grass and on the trees, like a giant display of Christmas lights. I've never seen anything like it before. I had to give him a big hug and thank him for sharing that with me. It was one of those moments that reminds me all over again why I wanted to have children. My kids are really cool.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

My hubby is not stupid

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Totally Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

He just plays dumb in real life. And, as he pointed out, he married me, didn't he?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Yes, I am a nerd

I am nerdier than 83% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thanks, xtessa! BTW, I married a Welding Engineering major!

Class suggestions, anyone?

I participate in a homeschool co-op. There is a group of about 100 moms and dads who get together and teach each other's kids. Usually, there are 10-15 different classes the children can choose from, each of them taught by one or two of the parents. It's a great opportunity for the kids to learn about things their own parents may not be experts in, and to be with other kids their age.

I have to send in my registration form for the fall, but I need to indicate what I will be teaching, and I'm fresh out of ideas. I have to teach or assist two classes (the third period is a parents' meeting). I've done the assistant thing, and it bores me to tears. I'd much rather be teaching. In the past I've done Creative Writing, Image for Girls, Life & Times of Shakespeare, and Knights and Castles. I could do one of those again, I guess, but I'd rather do something new. I only have nine 45-minute classes to cover a topic. I like history and literature. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Crosses aCross America

I discovered Crosses aCross America while surfing on Blog Explosion. The basic idea is that if certain people are so intent on removing every symbol of the Christian founding of this country from every public arena, we as Christians ought to increase such displays on our own private property. For every cross that is removed, or Ten Commandments that is taken away, wouldn't it be great to see a hundred crosses go up in front yards across the country? Check out their site!

Almost summer - goody

It has been about 95 degrees every day this week, and it's not even summer yet! Fortunately, big, strong hubby and little, weak Jana got the air conditioner installed over the weekend. We have a big window unit, but rather than take up a window with it, we cut a hole in the end of the house, sealed all around it, and then stuck the air conditioner in the hole. If you've never tried to carry a large air conditioner up a ladder, let me tell you it is no small task. But we got it done, transforming our upstairs into a virtual winter wonderland. Now I can sleep comfortably and not wake up in a puddle of sweat.

I'm thinking now it would be a good idea to buy a summer home in Australia or New Zealand. Then we could always stay where it's winter.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My name is Jana and I'm a Rockapellaholic

It's been one year four months since my last concert. I have to admit that I still listen to their CDs over and over and over again. I can't stop. I don't want to. And now I've learned that Rockapella will be in Bensalem, PA the same night that hubby and I were going to be near there anyway. I will be going.

I will never forget my first Rockapella concert. Hubby and I drove 12 hours from Shreveport, LA to St. Louis, MO. I had written an article about them for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The concert was an amazing musical experience, and afterward I approached one of the stage hands. "Have they seen this?" I asked, holding up my article. "Yeah," he replied. "They have it up on the wall of the dressing room." WOW. "I wrote it," I said. "Really?" he said. "Would you like to meet them?"

Hmm, let's see. Would I like to meet my musical heroes? Humm, uh, YES!

Hubby and I went to the backstage door and in a moment Phil the road manager appeared. "Are you the writer?" he asked. I nodded. "Come on back." We entered the backstage sanctum. "The guys are eating dinner right now, but Sean is coming out. He really wants to meet you." Wow.

A moment later, Sean Altman appeared. At the time, he was the group's tenor and also one of their main songwriters. "I loved your article," he gushed, reaching for my hand. "It's the best publicity we've gotten in a long time!" Whoa. All I could do was squeak, "Can I have a hug?" "Of course!" He scooped me up in a bear hug. Then he set me down again and said, "I have to sign that," pointing to the article. "Phil, get me a Sharpie."

While we waited, I introduced hubby to Sean and they shook hands. Then Sean grabbed the Sharpie and wrote across the top of my article, "Yo, Jana! You're the best! Thanks! Love, Sean." Then he asked if we were staying for the second concert. "The other guys have to meet you," he said. They have to meet me. "Hey, Phil, we can get comps, right?" he said, pointing to me and hubby. "I mean, for the press?" Phil nodded, "I'll take care of it."

So we got to attend the second performance gratis. Afterward, Phil told me not to get in the autograph line because I would get my chance to interview the guys alone later. What? Did I ask for a private interview? No. Was I gonna turn it down? No WAY! So I hung out, watching them sign autographs, watching Scott Leonard's 2 year old son run around, talking to people who said they came to the concert because of my article. Then the guys started to get up and disperse. Sean freaked.

He literally hurdled the table and ran to Phil, asking him to stop the guys and round them up so they could meet me. Phil quickly complied. And so Rockapella and I were ushered into an empty theater. They sat in the front row. I sat on the stage.

Remember, I didn't ask for nor expect this. I know I sat there and babbled at them for ten minutes, but I don't recall much of what I said. I remember Scott liked the article, and Sean liked the picture of me. They were impressed by the distance we'd driven. Then I had my picture taken with them. It was amazing.

So you can understand, after a first experience like that, why I go back to see them every chance I get. Sean has since left the group, as have Elliott Kerman and Barry Carl. But Scott is still there, and he's always been my favorite. He knows me by sight, as does Phil, and by name. I haven't had to pay for my own ticket in years. I'm not trying to brag, I just wanted to get across that I am not just an ordinary fan. Neither am I their biggest fan. But I do try to promote them whenever possible.

In closing, if you get a chance to see Rockapella, go do it! It is amazing, exciting, wonderful. And you will never be the same again.

And here's the proof:

Me and Rockapella, October 1, 1995. That's Elliott Kerman, Scott Leonard, me, Barry Carl, Jeff Thacher, and Sean Altman in front. Posted by Hello

International Weblogger's Day

Today is International Weblogger's Day (see the little button to the right?) and I thought I'd take this chance to talk about what blogging means to me.

As you can see from my archives, I've only been doing this for five months now. I started out with the intention of just sharing our day-to-day lives with my family and friends. It was an easy way to pass on pictures and funny things the kids were doing. That lasted for about a week. Then I discovered that little "Next blog" button at the top of the Blogger screen. If you've never clicked on it, what it does is take you to a random blog. I started finding the most amazing people's blogs. Then I discovered Rings. I could go from blog to blog of other Stay-At-Home Moms and find other women like me. And more recently, I came across Blog Explosion, where not only can I surf other peoples' blogs, but I earn credits by doing so, which I use to direct others to my blog.

Naturally, I have not liked everything I've seen out there in the blogosphere. There are an awful lot of people who hold very different views than I do. There are plenty who hold the same ones, too. I go past the ones I don't agree with pretty quickly, but if they are well-written, I will stick around and read. I am willing to listen to any viewpoint if it is intelligently expressed. I also decided that there are many, many people expressing a similar viewpoint to mine very eloquently already. Thus I avoid highly-charged topics here. I will occasionally express my opinion, but not often. My blogging motto is, "Can't we all just get along?"

I love to find blogs that look at everyday life and laugh. I love to find people like me, going through the same types of things I'm going through. Rest assured that I read everyone on my Blogroll every day. There is an amazing community of people here in the blogosphere who will never fail to welcome you with open arms if you just take the time to make a thoughtful comment. I love seeing people comment on my posts, too. It's the sort of instant gratification every writer longs for.

I am having so much fun creating and re-creating my blog, and reading the blogs of others, I can't believe it took me this long to discover this wonderful form of expression. Take the time today to go discover a blog you haven't read before; start with my blogroll if you'd like! And if you leave me a comment, I'll come visit yours, too!

Monday, June 13, 2005

I was hoping you'd ask!

This is the first time I've ever been tagged, and I was hoping it'd be for this one. I love books. Thanks, Carol!

Q. The most books I've ever owned: I honestly don't know, but it's in the thousands. I have one whole room in my house that's just for books, plus all the books in my bedroom, my schoolroom and my kitchen.

Q. The last book I bought: I actually bought Supernanny by Jo Frost. I really like her approach to discipline and her sense of humor (or should I say humour since she's British?). We're definitely using the Naughty Mat!

Q. The last book I read:I just finished The Sacrifice by Beverly Lewis. I really like her novels about the Amish community. I've started the next one, The Prodigal. I also just finished reading Shadow of Doubt by Terri Blackstock to hubby. It was okay, but I figured out who the killer was on page 97, and it was 368 pages long.

Q. The five books that meant the most to me: Oh, this is tough!
  1. The Bible (I usually read KJV, but I used NIV extensively as a teenager).
  2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. One of my favorites since I was 15.
  3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. An absolutely delightful children's book that is still wonderful to read as an adult.
  4. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I just love everything Hawthorne wrote.
  5. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book should be required reading for anyone who has to deal with people, in other words, everyone!

Okay, I tag anyone who hasn't done this one yet! Or you can just leave yours in my comments!

It's going to be a long week

If time flies when you're having fun, where's the cliche for the opposite condition? Some suggestions:
  • Time lags when life's a drag
  • Time slows for life's woes.
  • Time stands still when you're going uphill.

Hubby is going out of town today and will be gone until Friday. It's just me and the boys for five days. I plan to barricade myself in my room with a stack of DVDs and some coffee.

Because there is a lot of stupidity out there

There's a whole site full of Stupid Videos. Go check them out, especially the Trunk Monkey ones. I suggest starting with the Top Rated tab - those are the funniest, for the most part. Warning - you can spend hours watching these things, so go get your snack and take your bathroom break first!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Friday, June 10, 2005

The baby's 6 month stats

My little guy weighed in at 19 lbs and is now 27 1/2 inches! Where did my little baby go? I'll try and get some pictures of him after he wakes up from his nap.

And in good news, the doctor said since the baby has been off the Zantac for 2 weeks and doesn't spit up a lot (hardly at all, really), he doesn't need it any more. Yes!

Last day of school!

Well, we have come to the final day of school at last! My six year old will finish his final history lesson today. He's already done with Math, Language Arts, Science and Art. My nine year old will just be done for a while, even though he's not through all his Math lessons yet. We'll pick up the last few in August.

Why stop now? Well, here in PA, if you're homeschooling you must wait until July 1 to begin counting hours for the new school year. My oldest already has all his hours for this year. So I'll just wait and pick some up for next year. We need a break, desperately.

In the meantime, I went to see my counselor yesterday and he had scored a test I gave him which rated my nine year old for ADHD. Guess what? He tested very, very high. Yeah, it's confirmed now. Of course, this was just a preliminary test. I'll be taking him in for more extensive testing and a more specific diagnosis. Fortunately, the psychiatrists at that office are not only specialists in ADHD, they are also Christians. So I'm very confident in taking him there that they won't give me a bunch of off-the-wall suggestions, or just medicate him straight off.

This is such a load off my mind. He has always been a difficult child. I always felt like, Oh well, this is the child God gave me, I just have to deal. But I felt very alone in doing that. No one else sees the side of him that hubby and I see, and I'm glad for that, but it can be very isolating. I know if he were in public school, he'd have been labeled and pigeon-holed by now, and I am so grateful that I have the chance to make this diagnosis into a positive thing for him. As the doctor said to me last night, this is not a death sentence. Some of the most successful people he knows have had ADHD and not been diagnosed until they were adults. Catching it now just gives him an even better chance for success.

Say a prayer for us as we embark on this journey of discovery!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tom Cruise can kiss my...

Okay, I know this is old news, but did you hear what Tom Cruise had to say about Brooke Shields' postpartum depression?

Cruise’s religion, Scientology, does not approve of mind-altering medication of any kind. “When someone says medication has helped them, it is to cope, it didn't cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever.”
Cruise went on to say that women should "take vitamins and exercise" and that Shields was "irresponsible" for promoting anti-depressants.

Oh, this is wrong on so many levels! I can tell you from personal experience with postpartum depression that vitamins and exercise do not work. If they do, it is not PPD. After all of my first three babies, I was actively exercising every day. I also take Nutrilite vitamins every day, arguably some of the best vitamins in the world. These things did not lessen or help my PPD at all, let alone cure it.

The only thing that took away the depression was anti-depressants. Period.

This last time around, I asked my OB to put me on something before the baby was born, so that it would start to take effect sooner and maybe I could avoid some of the problems I've had before. Does that make me "irresponsible"? I think it's just the opposite. I was taking on the responsibility of being a wife and mother by keeping myself well for those tasks. To have said "I can handle this myself. I don't need medicine," would have been irresponsible. I would have wound up in an ultimately selfish place where nothing mattered to me but feeding the depression. I would have been crying all day, staying in bed, not caring about teaching, cooking dinner, keeping the house clean. Is that responsible?

Shields responded, “Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them.”

That's right, Brooke. Because only the woman experiencing PPD can know what is helping her and what isn't. And maybe her doctor. But certainly not some professional actor who has never yet lived with a woman who has recently given birth. Maybe he and Katie will get married, have a few babies, and he'll begin to understand a few things. Until then, he should keep his mouth shut.

If you want a web page

I came across Zoomshare when I was looking for a place to host the Raising all boys website. It is quick and easy to set up your own site. You have four pages, one exclusively for photo albums, and you can choose from lots of different style templates. It's not fancy, but it's free, and it's ad-free to the viewer (the admin gets very unobtrusive ads at the bottom of the page only). To get started, just click here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Oh, Canada!

As you may recall, I love winter. And as we get closer and closer to the unbearable heat of summer, I find myself longing for a place where the temperature hovers somewhere below 90F. I find myself longing for Canada.

This may sound random, but it's not. Back before Hubby and I were married, we went on a summer vacation with his family. He and I had the privilege of choosing where we'd go. We sat down together and perused the map. "How about here?" one of us said, and pointed to the Bruce Peninsula, which juts out into the Georgian Bay. There was a national park there, so there would be camping (which was the only acceptable mode of lodging), hiking, and lots to see. And at the tip of the peninsula was a little town, called Tobermory. It all looked perfect.

So off we went to Ontario. I've been to a lot of places in Canada, but from the minute we arrived on the Bruce, I was enchanted. It is absolutely beautiful there. The hiking trails lead right along the edge of a cliff, which is amazing. The scenery everywhere is gorgeous. And then you get to Tobermory, this delightful little town with such personality. A cute little harbor, lots of boats, and shops everywhere like The Sweet Shop. I loved it. Then, on a drive to find a good view of a particular lighthouse, we came across a little motel with a For Sale sign. Future-hubby and I looked at each other. We knew it would be perfect.

We've often discussed that little motel. How great it would be when he retires, to find someplace like that, buy it, live there in the summer. I'm sure it won't be that particular motel, but I'm still holding on to that dream. Especially on days like yesterday when the temperature hits 90 with no relief in sight. Then in the winter we'd come back down to the States (spend the winter in Canada? We might try that, too). It sounds wonderful.

I'm not thinking of changing citizenship or anything, but I do know all the words to Oh Canada. So I'm set.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The only logical explanation

Okay, as some of you may remember, I lost my keys a while back. I searched the trash cans, I looked behind furniture, I looked places they couldn't possibly have been. I can't find them. Up until yesterday, I was positive that my 3-year-old had absconded with them and hidden them in some secret treasure box known only to him. Then suddenly, it hit me: the only logical explanation.

Every day, I spend a good hour or more cleaning my house. And every night, it looks about the same as it did before I cleaned it. Toys everywhere, food on the floor, random sippy cups scattered about, dirty clothes tossed near, but not in, the hamper. What could be responsible for this chaos? Surely not my darling sons.

It must be gremlins.

The only question was, how were they getting in? Answer: my keys. The day I lost them, I was distracted. I laid my keys on the counter instead of hanging them up out of gremlin reach. The gremlins took my keys. Then at night, after we were all asleep, they silently unlocked the front door and came in to check things out. No one about? Good. Let the destruction begin.

They've made their way into my car, as well. They left the interior lights on one night so the battery died. They spread peanuts all over the floor. They dumped a package of diapers I kept in there. They chewed all my gum.

Now, I know what you're thinking. How can I be so sure it was gremlins? You're right, I can't. I'm part Irish, so it could be leprechauns.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Home from our trip!

I have such wonderful memories of going to amusement parks as a kid. Literally, I could fill pages talking about the fun I had at Disney World, Hershey Park, and Busch Gardens. Now, I get to do the same for my kids!

We spent Wednesday afternoon and most of Thursday at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. One of my fond memories is the first time I rode the Loch Ness Monster. It's a double loop roller coaster, for those who don't know. I was nine. Well, my oldest son is almost nine and I tried to talk him into riding it with me. No go. No way, no how. He is scared stiff. My six year old, however, was finally tall enough to ride the big coasters. And while the Monster in the title scared him a little, he was willing to give The Big Bad Wolf a try. His assessment? "It was scary. I didn't like it very much."

Hubby took the boys on the new Curse of DarKastle ride and promptly wished he hadn't. It was too creepy/scary for them. In fact, he had me so freaked out about it that I almost didn't ride it myself. It's a 3-D movie with multiple screens and the carriage you're in goes from screen to screen, as though you're riding through a castle. Scary things come flying at you. You get the idea. Well, being the huge wuss that I am, I didn't put on the 3D glasses. It was still scary. But totally cool. I wanted to ride again, but didn't get the chance.

On Friday we went to Water Country USA. Imagine having a water park all to yourself. That was basically how our day went! There were several buses full of high schoolers from New Jersey, and us. Oldest son counted only 29 cars in the parking lot. No lines for anything. It doesn't get better than that! And the best part was that hubby was able to talk the two older boys into riding the big, scary water slides, and they loved it! They finally realized there is nothing to be scared of! Meanwhile, I went down Jet Scream and got a huge, nasty bruise on my arm, so I am now scared of that one. Ah, the irony.
The older two on the bumper cars. At last - permission to ram into each other as hard as possible! Posted by Hello
My three year old on the bumper cars. He couldn't figure out how to go forward - he just kept going around and around in a circle, and then when he hit the wall and got stuck, he got mad! Posted by Hello
Here's my eight year old trying to catch a fish at one of the games at Busch Gardens. He won a Scooby Doo! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Change is good

Yes, I have changed my skin once again. I liked the other one, but I couldn't solve my sidebar problem. Now I have two! Thanks to mela for the great blogskin! I don't think I'll change it anytime soon.

I'm going on vacation for a few days, but I should be blogging all about it Saturday or Sunday. See you then!