Saturday, July 30, 2005

Summer bounty!

My lovely sister-in-law was here this past week and last night she and the kids, with a little help from me, harvested the bounty from our garden. I am truly amazed. I have never managed to get anything to grow from seeds all the way to fruit or vegetable before. We have string beans, corn, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini and carrots! There are watermelons, pumpkins and canteloupes on the way. In the picture is just a small representation of what we picked from the bean and corn plants! Wow! I'm not bragging - I really feel like I had nothing to do with this. I'm just really happy it actually worked!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Self Portrait Friday

This is me in my favorite t-shirt, a Star Trek 25th anniversary shirt. For those of you without calculators, that makes this shirt 14 years old. It's a little faded, but it's holding up great. And of course, nothing screams geek quite like a Star Trek t-shirt.

Check out the other players on Katy's site.

Or try to get out of this room.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I'd say how old you are, but I wouldn't want to embarrass you.

Signs that you are getting old

  • You ask your spouse to give you a backrub - with Mineral Ice
  • You can't understand the words to any song on the radio
  • Those car commercials with rock music are just annoying
  • You dream about having a nice, long conversation with your favorite movie star (as opposed to a nice, long love affair)
  • You take more naps during the day than your kids do
  • You want to spend time at amusement parks watching the shows instead of riding the rides
  • All of your favorite songs were written over 20 years ago
  • Those large print magazines begin to look normal
  • It takes months to get used to such newfangled inventions as the cell phone and digital camera

The really scary thing is that all of these things have happened to me recently!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Don't watch mysteries with us

Hubby and I should be detectives. Or at least that's the way it seems when we're watching a mystery on tv, or reading a mystery novel. For example, I recently read a "mystery" which was over 300 pages long. I read it out loud to hubby and we discussed it as I read. By page 92, I knew exactly who the killer was and what his motive had been. And I was right. We've been watching the first season of 24 on DVD, and so far we've called every "surprise" before it happened. I can't do it alone, and neither can he. We have to do it as a team.

And I have to say, this is one of our favorite things to do together. When we were dating, eons ago, we used to play computer games together, where you had to solve a series of problems in order to win the game. We had a lot of fun. We like watching shows like Monk and Law & Order and solving the mystery before the detectives. If you like surprises, you shouldn't watch mysteries with us because we will sit there and pause the show and discuss it until we figure it out.

Now if real life were like television, we'd be set. We'd go out there and find the bad guys every time. Unless of course they were like Agatha Christie. She keeps stumping us. So come on, give us all the evidence, let us interview the witnesses and examine the crime scene. With some clever writing, we will figure it out.

(Theme music swells. Fade to black.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Oh, grow up!

I was watching Dr. Phil the other day and he had this woman on there who was 22 and still slept with a blankie. She wore footie pajamas and had Spongebob sheets and wallpaper and Shrek dolls. She looked and acted like she was about 12. It was kind of sad. And she wanted to know if Dr. Phil could find her a guy who wouldn't mind all of this! And while I'm sure they are out there, I think she's missing the bigger picture.

If she would just act mature for a few years, enough to get married and have kids, then she could be as immature as she wanted for the rest of her life. It's undoubtedly a little odd for a 22 year old single woman to watch cartoons, but nobody thinks it's at all strange for a 32 year old mom to watch them. And when the kids grow up, soon there will be grandkids. You know which movies my parents have seen in the theater recently? Polar Express and Madagascar. And was that strange? Of course not - they had the grandkids along!

So my advice to this woman, should she ever see it, is to bite the bullet and be "mature" for a couple of years. Then, she and her kids can play Shrek together in a Spongebob papered room in their footie pajamas and the only comment people will have is, "How cute!"

Now I'm off to watch "Cyberchase" and eat some animal crackers.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Welcome to my boring life

I came to the realization yesterday that my life is not very exciting right now. Don't get me wrong; I am not complaining. I am thrilled, actually. I have had way too much excitement in the last few years. But I was thinking about how much I would have loved to have this outlet for my frustrations when things were going not-so-good. I'm sure it would have made for more exciting reading, too.

For instance, last year we bought a house and sold a house, moved, got pregnant and had a baby. Lots of excitement there. The year before, we had two deadbeat tenants, we were harassed by our neighbors because we owned dogs and they didn't like dogs, I had to go to court three different times because of these things, we started and then sold a business, I went to Cuba on a missions trip, and we went on a cruise. Again, an excitement-filled year. I could have come on here and written scathing comments about all the people who did me wrong and it would have made me feel SO much better. I think all my family and friends got sick of hearing it.

But I have to say I am really glad there is no drama this year. There are no big events, either good or bad. There is just the contentedness of a life lived well. I love my husband like crazy, I'm enjoying my kids, we actually have fruit and veggies to harvest this year. I am learning not to dwell on the things that get me down. I am learning to lower my expectations of myself in certain areas (will the world end if the floor isn't swept? No) so I don't stress out. I feel really good.

Which is not to say I won't come on here and rant, because I will. And if the pattern of every three years being awful holds true, 2006 will probably be a busy blogging year for me as well. I will continue to trust the Lord; He's never let me down. Have a blesssed day!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Happy Birthday to you

You belong in a zoo

You look like a monkey

And you smell like one, too!


Friday, July 22, 2005

Self Portrait Friday

It is Self Portrait Friday, so head over to Katy's and see who else is participating. Today is all about your computer work station. Here I am at my desk, a big metal monstrosity we bought for $20 from my brother-in-law's office when they redecorated. Notice the obligatory cup of coffee in the New Baby mug my doula gave me. I am wearing my oh-so-fashionable wrist brace to prevent further carpal tunnel pain. My hair is still wet from the shower this morning, but I just had to get down here and blog!

Technology is your friend

Yesterday, for about the third time this week, our computer was acting up. Actually, it was our router. We need a new one, but hubby will not buy one until he can find it on sale for $20 or less. So periodically our internet access just disappears. And it always amazes me how much I miss it when it's gone. Not that I sit around wondering what to do, but I do wish I could hop on here and check my email at least!

Technology can be frustrating. I am glad I married someone who is willing to learn what he needs to learn in order to fix things himself. The only time we ever send anything for repairs is if it's still under warranty. There are times when I think we'd all be better off if we went back to paper calendars and film cameras. Then I quickly come to my senses. Maybe it's my dad's influence, but technology is cool!

Next on my wish list? Nuvo the robot. I'm still not entirely sure what it does, but it's cool. It respond to voice commands, remote control, and you can even control it through your cell phone. Dad showed me a video of it the other day. All it did in the video was flip over a couple of times and then wave it's arms in a "Danger, Will Robinson!" sort of way. I hear tell it's supposed to clean your house for you. It comes in a variety of designer colors. You can even get a gold-plated one. They're taking orders now, but only 100 will be shipped outside of Japan, so get your $6000 ready and log on today!

In the meantime, if I disappear for a day or two, you know it's the stupid router. I just have to keep repeating, "Technology is my friend. Technology is my friend. Technology is my friend..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Brain damage

Caleb is currently making scrambled eggs for Joshua using a hot sauce called Brain Damage (with habanero peppers). Since neither of them likes spicy food, I can't imagine this is going to end well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One day only - I blog about sports!

Back in the days before children, I went on a business trip with hubby to the lovely town of Hickory, North Carolina. While driving through town, we saw a Krispy Kreme donut shop. This was long before KK expanded all over the place. We didn't have one at home in Shreveport, Louisiana, so we stopped to get some sugary goodness.

While waiting my turn for the bathroom, I noticed some pictures on the wall of a minor league baseball team, the Hickory Crawdads. A lady came up behind me and said, "That's our team, the Crawdads." She was obviously very proud of them.

"You know," I said, "we have a basketball team in Shreveport called the Crawdads." They were part of the Continental Basketball Association, and had only been in town a couple of months.

"Oh, really?" she said. Clearly, she did not know that before I told her. She went on to regale me with her baseball team's statistics and history, until the bathroom was free. I thought that was the end of the story.

When we arrived home, it was all over the news. The Hickory Crawdads had decided that Shreveport could not use the name Crawdads, even though it was a completely different sport. The newscasters seemed baffled as to how Hickory even became aware of Shreveport's team. Hubby and I alone knew the answer to the mystery. Me and my big mouth.

Shortly thereafter, the team's name was changed. A few months after that, the team was disbanded. It seemed people had invested so much time, energy, and money buying team merchandise that they weren't willing to start all over again for a so-so team that just happened to have a different name.

Now, some people might say it was a coincidence. And maybe it was. But if so, it was a really big one. So I am coming clean. Forgive me, people of Shreveport. It was an honest mistake.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I've been watching the "Special Deliveries" videos over at They're celebrating their 10th anniversary by having famous writers, actors, sports stars, etc. deliver packages to customers. Harrison Ford took somebody their order of the Star Wars trilogy, Howie Mandel delivered a copy of his DVD to someone. There are a bunch of them on there because they did it for 10 days straight.

Anyway, one of them is Jason Alexander delivering the first 4 seasons of Seinfeld. In the video, he explains the origin of the phrase "Not that there's anything wrong with that" in "The Outing" episode. It got me thinking about all the different catch phrases that were created on that show. How many people still say things like "No soup for you!" in their everyday conversation?

The one we use all the time is "You are so good-looking." If you don't remember, there was an episode in one of the first seasons where they have a discussion about how outdated it is to say "God bless you" when someone sneezes. You should say something to make the person feel good about him or herself, the conversation goes. So Jerry decides that the thing to say is "You are so good-looking." And hubby and I still say that to each other every time we sneeze.

I got to use another Seinfeld line on a plane once. I had gotten an upgrade to first class and was sitting next to a very nice businessman. During the flight, people kept coming through the curtain between first class and the rest of the plane to use the restroom up front. I finally turned to the guy next to me and said, "You know that curtain is no kind of security. They really should have a locking door." I think the guy thought I was serious, and he agreed with me!

But my all-time favorite line from Seinfeld is from the "shrinkage" conversation. After George and Jerry explain to Elaine that "it shrinks," she says, "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things." In a house full of males, I get a lot of mileage out of that line!

What's your favorite Seinfeld quote?

Friday, July 15, 2005

This 'n' that

Here's my first harvest of the year from our garden: seven lovely zucchini squash! I sliced and grilled one last night - mmmmmmmm!

It seems like kittens just grow on trees around here!

Does anyone have an extra LL Bean catalog?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm ready for my closeup

I have been "interviewed" by Sandy. Here are the "Official Interview Game" Rules:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

These are some great questions, so here goes!

1. I know you teach your children at home, can you tell us what led to that decision and how you think your children's life experience differs than one going to public school? We really made the decision before we ever had kids. Hubby did a report on homeschooling when he was in college, so we had quite a few conversations about the benefits. Plus, he knew people at school who had been homeschooled all the way through high school and they were some of the smartest and most well-adjusted people on campus. On my side of the equation, I and my brother both had some very negative experiences in public school. Mine mostly involved other students, his involved the teachers and the students. I would never willingly put my kids in situations like that, where people are constantly beating them down and calling them stupid (yes, my brother had teachers call him stupid). Even in a Christian school, my bro had problems. So homeschooling seemed like a great alternative. I think my kids are very secure in their identities, and will be more so as time goes by. They definitely get more "free time" than kids in regular school - it only takes 2 or 3 hours to do their lessons and then they're done - no homework, either! I also love the maintaining of innocence. I'm not saying they're naive, but they don't have other kids telling them about things that I'm not ready for them to know. I want hubby and I to be the ones to teach them about the world and how it works. I'm not saying I want to shelter them - just the opposite, I want them to know the facts. Okay, I guess I've said enough about that!

2. How did you become a Christian and how has it changed your life? Well, I remember accepting an invitation to come forward during a special service at my church. I was 6. Now, that's pretty young, so I can't say I remember what life was like before. But I often think how different my life would be if I hadn't made that decision. Hubby wouldn't have married me, for one! I am constantly amazed at how God works in my life. I can look back and see events, like pieces of a puzzle, which didn't make sense at the time, but which fit together perfectly into a picture of great blessings. My life verse is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Any time I feel down about something, I just remember that verse. It has always been true for me and it always will be.

3. How did you meet your husband?And how did you know he was "the one?" (I liked this question from Marie) We met at church. We had both been going to the same church for several years, but I never noticed him (I really think God deliberately kept me from seeing him until I was "ready"). I was 15, and there was a concert at church. I saw this guy helping move tables and I thought, "Who is that?" Then I discovered that he was buddies with a guy friend of mine (who wanted to be more than friends, but I didn't know it). So I asked his name, looked up his phone number, and called him. We spent hours and hours on the phone almost every night and I was thrilled to discover he wasn't just a handsome face, LOL! I kept thinking, I could marry this guy. Then one night, we were driving to a store to pick up sodas for my parents, and I looked over at him and this still, small voice said "You're going to marry him." I was only 15, so it freaked me out a little, but I knew it was true. And sure enough, six years later we got married!

4. Tell us about your goals from when you were a child and if you have fulfilled any of them. Let's see, I wanted to be an actress. I have acted in school and campus plays, but that's it. I love it, though, and am thinking about trying out for community theater sometime. I wanted to be a writer. I'd say, mission accomplished, sort of. I have written for pay, and I've written for free. I wrote and self-published a Star Trek novel when I was 16, which I then sold 200 copies of at Star Trek conventions. And of course, I keep in practice by writing here every day! I wanted to get married and have children. Done, done, done, done, and done!

5. If there were anything you could change about your life this instant, what would it be? Likewise, are you content with the way things are now? I would create a job or business that hubby and I could do together from home and that was something we both loved to do. It would be wonderful if he could stay home all the time. Other than that, I am very content. We just moved into a house I love a little over a year ago, I have four beautiful sons, a wonderful marriage, a great pastor at a great church, I get to stay home and teach my boys. Yes, I would say over all, I am extremely blessed.

Thanks for the wonderful questions, Sandy! It's always fun to talk about myself! Haha.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Be responsible - have more children

Hubby told me about this story. Apparently, because of the low birth rate (less than 2.1 children per woman) in some European countries and Japan, their population is actually declining. In Germany, there are too few people to keep the sewer systems running properly and the wolves out of the city. There are literally packs of wolves moving closer and closer to Berlin because there aren't as many populated areas as there used to be. In Japan, according to this article, they have had to close more than two thousand schools because of lack of children. If something isn't done to reverse this trend, the Japanese will eventually be extinct.

Now, I don't know about you other moms of more than two, but we have been told that we are being "irresponsible" by having so many children. Supposedly, they are going to tax our nation's resources beyond their limitations. But honestly, is it more responsible to decrease the population? We need more young people, not less. I could go on, but the article really does a better job of explaining the whole thing. I just thought that everyone like me who get the "responsibility" speech should have this information.

And no, I'm not planning on having any more!


I had one of those nights. I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep. Millions of thoughts kept running around in my head. I finally got up at 1 a.m. and came to the computer. All due props to NYC, the Internet is the city that never sleeps. I hung out here until 2:30, when I finally crawled back into bed. I think I drifted off around 3.

So you will forgive me if I have nothing witty to say at the moment, oh loyal readers. I know I have a very clever post hidden somewhere in my foggy brain, but I can't find it. I will come back later today and say something very important and interesting (to me, anyway!).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I had one of those great cleaning days yesterday. You know the kind, when you get everything picked up off the floors and the countertops. You sweep, you vacuum, you scrub. The table gets a fresh table cloth. The bathroom rugs get washed. There is peace and order.

Unfortunately for the cleanliness of my house, I have four boys and a dog. After dinner (during which the fresh table cloth got decidedly not-so-fresh), I sent the dog outside with the bone from the roast. When she returned, she reeked. Not just a little odor, a full-blown stench. So we took everyone outside. I told the boys to get in the pool while daddy and I washed the dog. There were cheers of joy. They jumped in. I set the baby down in the grass, which he loves.

After a few minutes, Joshua jumped out of the pool and ran in to the bathroom. He was, of course, dripping wet. Hubby and I continued in our mission to rid the dog of her stench. We scrubbed her down with LOC, then used the kids' watermelon shampoo. Finally, we let her go to run around the yard and shake.

I picked up the baby to take him in for a bath. On the way to the bathroom, I saw the trail of water Joshua had left. Then I got to the bathroom. There on the nice clean rug was, well, poop. "I didn't make it in time," Joshua said. Oh, really?

So, I put the baby in the tub, and then directed my older son on cleaning up his mess. Hubby took the bath rugs downstairs for their second wash of the day. And somewhere along the way, the dog came inside, still wet.

I'm just a little frustrated.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Younger looking skin?

I didn't have pimples when I was 16. I know this because I remember going to shop for concealer with my mom. I was going to be in the Miss T.E.E.N. Maryland pageant (the only pageant I was ever in, incidentally), and I needed something to cover up my birthmark, a large red splotch on my left temple. I specifically remember the saleslady saying to me, "And you can use this to cover acne, if you ever get any." So I know that at one time, I had clear skin.

I remember that when I started to get acne, I thought to myself, "Oh, well, it'll all be over by the time I'm 20."

I remember going to babysit a group of four siblings when I was 17. The oldest, age 9, opened the door and said, "What are all those red spots on your face?" Her father, probably age 35 or so, laughed. "Don't worry," he said, "when you get to be my age, you're happy to have pimples. They make you look younger."

So here I am, I'll be 35 in less than 3 months, and my skin, well, it still looks like a teenager's. This is not a good thing. I have tried creams, scrubs, masks, rinses, everything short of a prescription. I may even go the prescription route when I'm done breastfeeding. It's just my chin, really, but it's always there. I can't cover it up like I could my forehead. No, it's sticking out for all the world to see.

I would ask for suggestions, but whatever you've got, I've probably already tried it. I guess for now I should just be happy to have such youthful skin.

Now if I start getting wrinkles and pimples, that will be a whole different story.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pictures of Sesame Place

Here's Joshua with Baby Bear. Caleb, Isaac and I were on the Vapor Trail roller coaster at the time.

This is Isaac playing on one of the playgrounds.

Here's Noah playing with one of the soft building blocks in Big Bird's Nest.

This is Caleb standing on the famous stoop on Sesame Street. That's Oscar's trash can next to him. He banged on it for quite a while, but Oscar never came out.

We did go to Sesame Place on Friday, but the power had just gone out and they weren't letting anybody in. We went back a few hours later, and the gates were closed. So we only had one day at the park, but we had a lot of fun.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sunny Day...NOT!

Here we are north of Philadelphia, on our mini-vacation to Sesame Place. Yesterday we spent the afternoon there. It was cloudy, but not raining, so the park wasn't too crowded. Caleb actually rode the roller coaster and enjoyed it! We planned to go back today.

But this morning, it is raining, and raining hard. Chances are, it's going to rain all day. So we'll probably be heading home soon. Glad I took lots of pictures yesterday! I'll share some when we get home!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Congrats to Kelly!

What an exciting finale to Dancing With the Stars! I thought it was going to be John and Charlotte all the way, and then, out of nowhere, comes Kelly Monaco with her partner, Alec Mazo, and they blow the judges away with their incredible freestyle dance! We weren't even sure the judges had 10 paddles to show until all three of them pulled them out for the last dance of the series.

I have to say, I was shocked, but I wasn't disappointed. John O'Hurley had kind of been the favorite all along, but after last week, I honestly didnt' know which of them would win. So I'm very happy for Kelly. She really did deserve to win.

Now I can't wait to see who they get to dance next time. Who would you like to see on Dancing With the Stars?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Happy Birthday, Joshua!

It was midnight, July 6, 1999. Hubby had just gotten home after being out of town all weekend. I had fought all night with my almost-3 year old, trying to get him to go to bed and stay there. I was exhausted. I sat down in front of the tv in our bedroom, and my water broke. I had been praying all weekend that I wouldn't go into labor until after Monday, and here we were one minute into Tuesday and I was going to have this baby!

We called my parents, who lived about an hour and a half away, and then got everything together. By the time we got checked into the hospital, things were well under way. I remember putting in a Quantum Leap video to watch between contractions. The hospital had just redone its maternity ward and every room had a VCR and a CD player! After a while, all I could do was breathe during the contractions, and rest between. I kept my eyes closed so I could concentrate. But I could still hear that video playing in the background. At one point, like a gift from heaven, I heard the song "Amazing Grace" (it was the Elvis episode of Quantum Leap).

Finally, after just 3 pushes, Joshua was born at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6. It was love at first sight. And I've been nuts about him ever since! Happy birthday, my big six year old! I love you!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

How was your weekend?

After only one week of the older boys being home again, my house was a disaster. I'm not sure how they could make so much mess in only seven days, but they did. So hubby and I brought them downstairs yesterday morning and told them that the mess must be cleaned up or they could not go swimming.

Now you'll remember that we just got the pool set up. And it was about 85 degrees and sunny yesterday. They really wanted to go swimming. You would think that this would be sufficient motivation for them to clean up quickly. I could have done it in less than an hour.

Three hours later, they still weren't done. It was just a pile of toys and cups and other things that had been thrown on the floor and left there. But for some reason this was just too difficult a task for three able-bodied boys to perform. After a while, they started getting hungry. So I told them they couldn't eat until they were done cleaning. This caused an even louder cacophony of whining and crying.

Finally, around 3:30 p.m., they finished. Then it was my turn to clean the floor. But once that task was completed, we had a nice evening with hubby's two brothers. They brought food and we had a cookout, then we made smores and watched the fireworks from town. And of course, the boys got to go swimming.

So how was your weekend?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

There are certain holidays that really make me stop and think. Today is one of them. On the way home from church last night, hubby and I were talking with the boys about the meaning of Independence Day, both what it means to us now, and what it meant to those men 229 years ago.

We discussed the meaning of the word "independence" and why our founders wanted it. Hubby talked about the bravery of the men signing the Declaration, knowing it could very well be their own death warrant. I talked about the bravery of the men who marched from their homes to meet the British troops, knowing they might never return home again. I talked about believing in something so strongly that you will die for it, that you will never turn back until you have achieved that in which you so strongly believe.

It can be very easy for Americans today to take for granted that which was bought at so high a price. Let us never forget those who fought to give us our freedom. Let us never disparage those who defend us still today. God Bless America!

Splish, splash!

We finally got the pool ready and filled with water, so I thought I would share a few pictures!
Isaac in his tiger float Posted by Picasa
Joshua, grinning and splashing Posted by Picasa
Caleb, learning what NOT to do in a boat Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005

But does it come with a matching tie?

Hubby starts a new job (within the same company) as a Six Sigma Black Belt candidate on the 19th. No, this has nothing to do with martial arts. Here's the lowdown, from the ASQ website:

The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt is a professional who can explain Six Sigma philosophies and principles, including supporting systems and tools. The Black Belt should demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics, and assign team member roles and responsibilities. They have a thorough understanding of and can use all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma principles. They have basic knowledge of lean enterprise concepts, are able to identify non-value-added elements and activities, and are able to use specific tools.

So behave yourselves, or my hubby will come explain quality procedures to you!

15 minutes on what planet?

Last year, my grandmother bought a pool for the boys. It's a nice 15 foot easy-set-up pool. We didn't set it up last year, however, because you need a relatively level spot. We started preparing an area but it got cold and we never got the thing finished. So all winter, hubby took the ash from the coal stove and dumped it on our pool location. A winter's worth of ashes made a nice foundation.

We got out there last night and started raking around the ashes and the sand my parents added to it and got the spot nice and level. Then hubby says, "Let's get the pool." I looked at the clock. It was 20 'til 9. He said, "The box says it's ready for water in 15 minutes." So I relented.

It was already beginning to get dark, so we quickly spread out the tarp that goes under the pool, then unrolled the pool itself. I promise you it took at least 15 minutes just to straighten out the pool and get it exactly where we wanted it, plus get all the wrinkles out of the bottom. Then we inflated the top ring. Time for water, right? Wrong. We had to hook up the filter first.

By this time it was dark and we had to go over by the motion sensor light to read the instructions. Hubby got the filter hooked up and at last we were ready to add water. We put in enough to keep the thing from blowing away and then we quit. Time? 9:45 p.m. That's right, an entire hour, and the thing still isn't ready for swimming.

I'd like to borrow the watch they used to time their 15 minutes. Just think of the possibilities: I could take a 15 minute nap and wake up totally refreshed. I could get my grocery shopping done in 15 minutes. I could take a 15 minute break from the kids. Hubby and I could spend 15 minutes of quality time together. This thing could be invaluable. Maybe I'll contact the company and see if it's for sale. They'll probably only put me on hold for 15 minutes.

Tagged by the Deputy's Wife

Thanks for the tag, Chris!

Three nicknames - Banana, JC (for my first and middle name), Mommy

Three things I like about myself - My hair, my sense of humor, my self-confidence

Three things that scare me - Dead bodies, heights, calculus

Three everyday essentials - Coffee, hugs, laughter

Three things I'm wearing right now - Birkenstock sandals, a wrist brace for my carpal tunnel, and my glasses because I didn't have a chance to stick my contacts in yet

Three fave bands growing up - The Monkees, Randy Stonehill, Steve Taylor and Some Band

2 truths and a lie - I need to lose 40 pounds, I like turnip greens, I enjoy all this hot weather

Three things I can't do without - My husband, my boys, high-speed internet access

Three things I can certainly live without - Vacuuming, laundry, cooking

Three places I want to go on vacation - Australia, California, Hawaii

Three things I want to do before I die - See the Grand Canyon, finish and publish a novel, have grandchildren

Now I'm tagging Sandy, if she ever gets home!