Friday, December 29, 2006

SPF - Happy New Year!

This week's SPF has to do with the new year coming - 2007!

Something that won't be in your house in 2007:
Our upstairs kitchen faucet seems to be leaking under the sink. We don't appreciate anything that leaves puddles in our house, as we keep telling both my dog and my four year old. So out it goes.

Something random and odd:
Meet Happy Hank. He was originally much smaller. You're supposed to soak him in water, at which time he will expand up to 600 times his original size. And while this is a large jar, I still don't think Hank has reached his advertised potential. Maybe we need to feed him more bananas.
This is my seven year old. He's supposed to grow to many times his original size also. I'd say he's a lot more on track than Hank.

So, did you play?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

So what did I get, you ask?

Mostly what I got for Christmas was cash. Which is what I needed. I needed it to pay for the computer screen I'm looking at right now. And I have some left over, which means Amazon, here I come!

I also got something my dad's been wanting me to get for a few years now: an MP3 player. It's a little 5 GB RCA one, and I totally love it. I've got it about 40% full, but I'm only up to the Cs in my CD collection (they're in alphabetical order, of course). Well, except for Rockapella. I put all their albums in first. So I'm going to have to pick and choose which songs I want on there eventually. But what a cool thing! I'm still coming from a generation who thought CDs were way cool, and now I have this little tiny thing that holds hundreds of CDs worth of music. Why did I wait so long to get one of these? I don't know.

So what was your favorite present this year?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry belated Christmas!

We spent Sunday evening through yesterday morning at my grandmother's house, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I always enjoy visiting her, but especially at Christmas, because I know I'm going to get to see my cousins. (The only downside is that she has no internet!)

I have eight cousins, and I got to see all of them this year. I'm not sure when that last happened! We had a lot of fun visiting and joking with each other. I got to play my Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game with my cousin Amy, the only person I felt relatively sure would beat me. She did. We laughed a lot. I was also thrilled to see that Amy has lost about 100 pounds so far after her gastric bypass. She is looking great.

So now it's back to the old grind. I've got to get the kids' breakfast and then start school. We took two weeks at Thanksgiving - well, really three because I was sick for a week - so there's no Christmas break in this homeschool!

Friday, December 22, 2006

SPF - Holiday edition

It's Friday again, and here's Random & Odd's SPF assignment!

1. One decoration. I went to an ornament exchange with my mom's club once, about eight years ago. I got this one, and held on to it tightly lest someone snatch it away from me. Christmas and coffee - how perfect is that?

2. One gift. Pretty, isn't it? This was wrapped by my seven year old, for my four year old. He used about six pieces of paper and some rather long strips of packing tape. What's in it? Coal. Isn't that sweet?

3. Something stuffed in a stocking. I tried several things with no success, so I'm skipping this one. I'll come look at yours, though, if you played!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

You're a mean one...

Click here to hear the most awesome version of the Grinch song ever recorded. (This is for you, Cheeky!) Oh how I wish I could see them in concert this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

WBW - I'm so tired

The lovely TKW is wishing she could sleep through the madness of the holidays, so we're doing pictures of sleeping today. This is the first one I could find, and so here it is.
This is me on a tour bus somewhere in the Spanish countryside. I traveled there with my grandmother after I graduated high school. For some reason, she thought it would be fun to take a picture of me sleeping. Notice the Walkman. This was 1988 and I was cool. That big white thing in the foreground is my purse. What? I had to have somewhere to put all my cassette tapes!

If you'd like to read a fictional story about a girl touring Spain in 1988, click on Spanish Summer chapter one over in my sidebar. It's not about me. Really.

And finally, I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to my hubby! Happy birthday, hon!

Did you play?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Can you comment?

I had the worst time commenting on other people's blogs yesterday. Plus I only got one comment here. Any time I only get one comment on a picture of my boys, I know something must be wrong. So I'm blaming this on Blogger. If you ever want to comment and the Blogger comments aren't working for you, just click next to Trackback down there, where it says either Say something or if somone already has, it says (x) along for the ride. That's Haloscan. That will work for you.

So, I was writing my annual Christmas letter last night (or really bi-annual at this point because I never did it last year), and I realized that in order to remember what we did this past year, I had to use my blog archives. Good thing I wrote it all down, huh? I actually really enjoyed reading a bunch of my past posts. I think I might go read the archives of some other people later and see what they did this year.

I also realized that up until May we didn't do much of anything. And I remember feeling really stressed and bummed out the first part of the year. So my New Year's resolution for this coming year is to go do more stuff. And of course, blog about it, because apparently this blog has become my memory. Scary, isn't it?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006


Kristine's SPF assignment this week is as follows:

1. Your Roof This is the roof over the new room we've been building since before this picture was taken. I love the weather vane. Except it squeaked rather loudly, but Hubby climbed up there and lubricated it. So now I don't keep saying, "What is that weird noise?" Well, I do, but now it's usually the kids or something and not the weather vane.

2. Your ‘hood (you can do sweatshirt, your neighborhood, your car…) My 'hood looks much like this. This is my neighbor's yard, but it could be just about any yard on our street. Everyone has a couple acres, and most houses have a barn and a horse or two. We don't have a horse, but we do have a barn, so if you know any homeless horses, send them over.

3. Something you would not want to run into that is in your house.

The dreaded chocolate cake hands! Sometimes I feel like I spend all day dodging sticky fingers and dirty faces. Repeat after me: Mommy is not a giant walking napkin!

So, did you play?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We didn't really need two bathrooms, did we?

Accidents happen, and are of course an inevitable part of life. How we deal with them tends to reveal quite a bit about our character under stress. So, let's say you're four years old, and you have a bathroom accident. The messy kind. What do you do?

A. Clean it up as best I can and then get help
B. Realize that it's too much for me to clean and get help right away
C. Begin to clean it up and then leave the rest for later
D. Begin to clean it up, and then decide it would be easier to lock the room and never use it again

Would you like to guess what my four year old did? We were on our way out the door for church, and I went into the downstairs bathroom to put on my makeup. The door had been locked, but wasn't pulled shut, so I pushed it open and stepped into the room. And into something messy. It was everywhere. Apparently he tried to clean it up with one of my good towels. Then he decided to just clean himself and leave the floor. Finally, he locked the door and shut it.

When questioned, it seems he honestly thought, in his four-year-old logic, that if he just locked the door, no one would ever use that room again. Hubby spent forty-five minutes helping him clean it up. Then he hosed down my towel, and we threw that and the bathroom rugs in the washer. Needless to say, we never made it to church last night. But I'd say the boys still learned a valuable lesson in the right and wrong thing to do when they have an accident of any type. And I learned to always look before stepping into a locked bathroom.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WBW - Toothless

Hey, everybody! This is my 600th post! Man, I talk a lot. Anyway...

Today's WBW, courtesy of the lovely TKW, is all about those cute toothless grins we've sported in the past. I don't know when this photo was taken, but I know I was six, so I'm guessing sometime in the spring of '77.
Too cute. This was not at Christmas time, but apparently I did ask the Easter Bunny for new front teeth. And if TKW ever asks for buck-tooth before-braces shots, you'll see exactly what I mean.

So, did you play?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ode to my Hoover Floormate

The kitchen tiles lay silent
and dark, all in a row,
the beauty of their whiteness
hidden far below.
Only two days past
I cleaned this floor,
but I don't hesitate.
The time has surely come for
My trusted Hoover Floormate.

With four boys in my house,
and sometimes the neighbor's daughter,
it seems I have to clean this floor
more often than I oughter.
But birthday cake crumbs
and muddy footprints
cannot remain on my tile
without me feeling sick inside,
my stomach filled with bile.

And so I get my lean machine,
filling it up with soap.
The sleek lines and feel of the handle
always fill me with such hope.
I switch it on to "dry pickup"
and suck the crumbs away,
much faster than a broom would be,
not one crumb gets away.

Then flipping the switch to "scrub,"
I watch as each and every tile
is lovingly polished and cleaned for me.
My face breaks into a smile.
Now one last step remains for me,
I must be quick in doing it,
for boys don't like clean tile floors,
and will do their best to ruin it.

I flip the switch to "wet pick up"
and squeegee my tile floor dry,
leaving nothing but a shine.
A tear comes to my eye,
Not because my floor is clean,
Though in front of me that is true,
But because while I worked, behind me,
Four boys came running through.
And much like a field of fresh white snow,
must be walked upon when seen,
Four sets of muddy footprints
prove there's no such thing as clean.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My baby is two!

My baby is officially two years old! We celebrated his birthday over the weekend with gifts and cake. He thoroughly enjoyed all the attention, especially the singing of Happy Birthday, which he encouraged us to sing over and over again while he grinned at us with his chocolate-cake-covered face! He goes for his checkup today, so I'll update with his stats and stuff later.

I also considered it a very good sign that I was able to hold our assistant pastor's newborn and not feel the slightest twinge of baby fever. She's very sweet, but I just found myself very glad not to be the one to have to nurse her, dress her in four layers because it's cold outside, wake up with her at 2 a.m., change her entire outfit every time she poops, and all that other fun stuff that comes with having a newborn. No thanks. I will, however, happily babysit her if they want.

Friday, December 08, 2006

You must watch this!

I just found this Rockapella video on YouTube. Watch it now!

Aren't they the best? And here's one for the holidays (amateur video - not quite as good).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The problem with vacation

The biggest problem with vacation is that you have to come back to reality. It doesn't help that I've been sick since we got home. Add in a two-day migraine, and really, all I've been doing is lounging around in bed, and getting up periodically to feed the kids. I know we have to get back into our school routine, but when I feel so lousy, I just don't see any point in fighting them over math or reading.

One of my favorite things on the cruise was the karaoke bar. There were actually people who brought their own music! Those were the good ones. Then there were the American Idol rejects, who thought they were great and were really frighteningly bad. And then there was everyone else, not great, but not horrible. That was me. I'm not used to singing without a monitor - I couldn't hear myself at all. So I know I sounded not-so-great. But it was fun!! And the final night, I even got Hubby to get up and sing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" with me. Now that I'm home, I find myself looking at my watch around ten p.m. and thinking, "If we were on the ship, we could go to karaoke now."

I actually have a karaoke microphone that plugs directly into the television. Maybe I'll institute karaoke night here at home.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Macarena cool

We recently saw the movie RV (which I highly recommend - hilarious!) In one scene, the father is showing the family the slide-out. He pushes a button and one section of the room slides out to make the interior of the RV larger. He says, "Isn't that cool?" And his teenage daughter says, very sarcastically, "Macarena cool."

On our fouth cruise night, the waiters in the dining room all gathered around to lead everyone (or at least everyone who wanted to participate) in dancing the Macarena. How cool is that? Yeah. Macarena cool.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Food, food, and more food

Lest any of you doubt the temptations that beset me as I enjoyed my five day cruise in the sun of the Caribbean (POTC: Dead Man's Chest out today on DVD!!), let me show you some of the culinary delights offered up to us:

A ship made of fruit. Honestly, I don't think anyone touched this to actually eat, but isn't it pretty to look at?

Some sort of weird tower of melon balls. I'm not sure what they were stuck into. They were yummy, though. More beautiful food art. That white flower in the center of the picture? Food. Everything here except the basket is some type of bread. Ah, the dessert table. Hey, stop drooling on your keyboard. That piece of cake she's cutting is for me. No, I didn't eat the whole thing. The sign said "Chocolate Mint Cake" but it was just plain chocolate, and a little dry at that. Not to mention it was a huge slice! Check out the chocolate art surrounding the cake on the left!

And just for Tracy, here's another towel animal.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I now have the traditional just-got-back-from-vacation cold. I suppose it's better than getting a cold while on vacation, but still.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cruise part one - lots o' pics

We had such an amazing time on our cruise! I wish it could have gone on for another week, but alas, we had to get off the ship and come back to reality. So, since I'm still feeling all relaxed, I'll just show off some pics today, and I'll tell some stories next week.

This is the top of the ship's atrium going under the bridge as we left Tampa Bay.

Here's our ship, the Inspiration, anchored outside Grand Cayman. The holes in the side are where we got on the little tender boats to go ashore.
This is part of the waterfront of Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
Lots of fishies swimming in the clear blue water.One of the towel animals our cabin steward left on our bed every night. I'm thinking it's a rabbit, but I'm not totally sure.

So, I'll share more pictures next week when I get a little more organized. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

But before I go...

That's right - 50,000 words in only 24 days! I deserve a vacation.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bon voyage!

Tomorrow, Hubby and I set sail for a glorious, five night, no children included cruise!

Come back next Friday for pictures!

I'm going to go shopping now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my fellow Americans, have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving Day!

To all my international readers, just have a great day, period!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lap of luxury

Last night, we took my laptop outside and watched Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives online while lounging in the hot tub.

I tell you, I could get used to this.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Coming down the home stretch

I got to this point last year when I was doing NaNoWriMo, the point where everything is coming together and humming along and looking good. The problem is that I'm still many thousand words from the end. This is the point when I start making things up. And it's usually the point of my greatest inspiration.

I know a lot of writers plan their novels ahead of time. I have read articles in writing magazines about outlining, writing characters backgrounds, laying out every step ahead of time. But I have never done that. I just lack the motivation, I guess.

I once read a quote from J.K. Rowling, in which she said something about her plot not going where she expected, and basically that her characters were doing things she hadn't planned on. To a non-writer this might sound like insanity. I mean, you're the writer - you decide what the characters do. But as a writer, I knew instantly what she meant. Every time I write, my characters end up doing things I don't expect.

Just last night, my main male character's best friend revealed a shocking secret. I stayed up until almost 1 getting it into the computer. He might not have felt as amenable to confessing this morning. And to think I thought he was just a likeable side character.

People will surprise you. Even the fictional ones.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Finally in FL!

We arrived in Florida last night, after many hours of driving and not a few hours of screaming. I'm exhausted, but not from the trip.

While we were driving here, someone hijacked our Ebay account and listed a bunch of stuff for sale, all of them one day auctions. Then when people bought the stuff, the money went to this guy's paypal account, but all the charges for the auctions went on mine. Needless to say, I was not happy.

So, I have to say Ebay was right on top of things and credited all but a few dollars back to me (I just emailed them asking why there's still $5 on my account). They canceled all the transactions and removed them from my account, and now, hopefully, all is resolved. I feel bad for the people who sent this guy money, because they thought they were buying from me, someone who has 100% positive feedback. Now, they're out $100 each, or more. I'm sure Ebay and Paypal will help them out, too, but it's just sad.

The really scary thing is that I would not have noticed this until we got home because I would have no reason to be surfing Ebay while on vacation. The only reason I found out was because some interested buyers sent me messages through my regular email.

So if you have an Ebay account, keep a regular watch on it. And Ebay recommends making your email password and your Ebay password different, which I hadn't done until last night. I'm going to go change all my passwords now. I never EVER click on phishing email, and I still got taken, which just goes to show you that you can never be too careful.

Friday, November 17, 2006

SPF - Epilepsy Awareness

This week's SPF comes from Kelly, whose daughter has epilepsy.

Something you seize:Every opportunity I can to read, and also every opportunity I get to go to a book sale, I seize. I'm starting to resign myself to the fact that I will probably never get to read all the books I own. But that's okay, I'm not going to do anything crazy like stop buying them!

Something that shakes:Hey, there, how you doin'?

Something purple:My bedroom walls. Now, I know what you're thinking: that looks like a teenage girl's room. Right you are. The girl who had this room previously was a teenager. Will we repaint it? Oh, maybe someday. Right now I'm more interested in getting our new master suite finished than in repainting the tiny bedroom we're sleeping in. Besides, I like purple. My own bedroom when I was a teenage girl was purple.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Grr and other stuff

Once again, America has shown that it doesn't know how to vote. The winner of Dancing With the Stars was Emmitt Smith. Excuse me? The whole thing just ticks me off. He was not the best dancer. He was not even the second best dancer. He really wasn't as high as the third best dancer. What is with you people?? And the judges. The judges really need an 11 paddle because if they're going to give 10s to Emmitt, they need to be able to rate Mario accordingly. Grr.

The cyst I posted about on Monday is looking much better. I saw the surgeon yesterday and he was borderline about cutting into it. Then when I told him I was going on a cruise, he decided it could wait. I'm SO glad. I could just imagine having to clean and pack a butt wound twice a day while trying to enjoy a cruise. No thanks! So thank you all for your prayers - they definitely helped.

Today I take the seven year old to have his two top incisors pulled. He's already missing the two front teeth up top, so he's going to have a major gap up there until the new ones come in. It'll actually be pretty weird when they do, because he had the other two pulled when he was two. He's been toothless a long time.

Nano is coming write along (haha). I'm close to 30,000 words, which means I should be able to finish before the cruise and get my lovely winner's badge to post in my sidebar. Then I can get back to editing last year's novel.

Okay, before this turns into a novel, I shall go. Have a great Thursday, and don't forget the lesson we've learned from ABC - just because you're the best doesn't mean you'll get anything for it. I thought Karina was going to cry. I know I would've.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WBW - Gifted

It seems someone over at TKW's place has a birthday coming up. So in honor of that, we're looking for old pictures involving presents. Here we go:

Christmas 1993, Shreveport, Louisiana. You can tell it's the 90s because of my lovely vest.
Same Christmas, same room, different day. Check out those glasses. And why do I look like I'm holding a pile of dog poo instead of presents? I must have been about to give them to someone else.
So, did you play?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Hot coffee, Slim-Fast powder and milk in a sealed container will explode when shaken.

You have been warned.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A literal pain in the rear end

This post might fall under the heading of TMI, or it might just gross you out. You have been warned.

Thursday I noticed this painful bump in, shall we say, a sensitive posterior region. Now, I think most people get things like that from time to time, at least that's what I'd like to think, and I figured it would eventually go away on its own. Friday, it was so bad I couldn't sit comfortably, couldn't bend over, and couldn't lay flat on my back. So I had Hubby look at it, and he called my mom in, who is a nurse. She immediately told me to get to the doctor.

Saturday morning, the doctor confirmed my mom's diagnosis of a pilonidal cyst. It's extremely painful, it won't go away on its own, and in all likelihood I will eventually need to have it surgically removed. Oh, joy. I expect to hear from the surgeon today about scheduling an appointment for him to look at it. I'm hoping it can wait until after the cruise, though I don't really want to get surgery right before Christmas either.

At this point, it's ruptured and oozing (see, TMI). So the severe pain is gone. But (no pun intended) it's still somewhat painful. I'm trying to imagine riding in the minivan all the way to Florida like this when I couldn't even make it through the church service yesterday. I'd certainly appreciate any prayers and positive thoughts you could send my way.

Friday, November 10, 2006

SPF - Indecisive

Kristine has given this week's assignment and it is as follows:

Yes:Hubby, aka Mr. Handyman, installed deadbolts on two of our doors last night. And did a fine job, too, I might add.

No:Unfortunately, he didn't clean up all the sawdust he left on the kitchen floor.

But maybe I should forgive him since he's recently bought us cruise tickets - for just the two of us. Yeah, I think this is a no-brainer. I'll clean up the sawdust.

Love you, honey!

Did you play?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Whose brilliant idea was this??

I have three words for you. Three words which, before last night, no one had ever heard put together in a single phrase. But three words which nevertheless combine in the individual innocence to create a phrase to strike terror into the hearts of LOST fans everywhere.

Fall. Season. Finale.

Who thought of this?? No new episodes until February?? Argh! It's great that they're going to give us 16 new episodes in a row with no reruns, but February? They ought to have waited until January like 24 does, and then shown the whole season all at once. I call this fall season finale thing cruel and unusual punishment.

So did you watch it? I literally screamed NO! when it ended. And now I have to wait for February? Stupid ABC.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election results

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

--Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black
In response to the statement, "People are smart."

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Last day of school

Co-op school, that is. This is the last day of my Knights and Castles class. I have to say that both times I've taught this, it has been the most fun I've had at co-op. The boys in the class (and the one girl) have been so much fun, and the cool thing is, they're really learning. When I ask review questions, even ones I would consider hard for a seven year old, they know the answers.

This week, we're going to watch a segment of the made-for-tv movie Ivanhoe. I'm not sure exactly when it was on television, but I know it was one of the first things we ever recorded after getting our fancy new VCR in 1981. So it was a while ago. Anyway, there's a wonderful tournament scene in the movie that's very historically faithful, and not gory. So the kids are really going to enjoy that.

And when I get home, I'm going to try to remember to look up that movie online and see if anyone has it on DVD.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why am I hungry all of a sudden?

Hubby and I have never been into sports. In fact, one of the things I love about him is that he rarely watches sports on television. Every now and then we'll watch an Orioles game, and we usually catch the Super Bowl, but that's about it. However, I had no idea how little sports is mentioned around here until we were in Baltimore the other day.

Our hotel was only a few blocks from the stadiums. As we rode toward the harbor, Hubby asked the kids which team plays at the first stadium we passed. No one knew. So he said, "The Ravens." Then we passed Camden Yards and he said, "The Orioles play there."

My four year old, having never heard those names before, immediately turned them into "The Raisins" and "The Oreos."

Friday, November 03, 2006

SPF - The good, the bad and the ugly

Kristine's assignment this week is self-explanatory. I thought I'd use some pictures from our aquarium trip yesterday, 'cause it was just too easy to pass up.

The Good: Hubby took this picture of me holding the baby, and that's my four year old in front looking up into the tank. I saw it and thought, "Wow, that's a good picture!"

The Bad: This is one variety of the poison dart frog. We were fortunate to have my friend from high school, who has worked at the aquarium for many years, show us around. She told us that once these frogs are taken into captivity, they lose their poison. Apparently scientists haven't figured out what they eat in the wild that helps them produce the poison, but whatever it is, they don't get it in captivity, so they lose their poisonessness.

The Ugly:

This octopus was about the ugliest thing I saw yesterday. He wasn't doing much, either, besides breathing. Too weighed down by his own ugliness.

So, did you play?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Something's fishy here

We're going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore today! Pictures to follow, I'm sure.

By the way, in case it ever comes up, it's a bad idea to try to sleep in a hotel room with a fussy, sick 22 month old. You will not sleep much and will get many funny looks from people at the included breakfast as you turn the coffee urn upside down over your head and guzzle its entire contents.

Disclosure Policy

I think this is a great idea, to silence any critics of bloggers who want to get paid for their opinions. I'm putting a link to this in my sidebar, so it's easily accessible.

This policy is valid from 30 October 2006

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. However, the owner of this blog will clearly identify posts for which she has not been paid or compensated to give her opinion.

The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinions on certain products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

The owner of this blog would like to disclose the following existing relationships. These are companies, organizations or individuals that may have a significant impact on the content of this blog. We are compensated by or consult with: PayPerPost.

To get your own policy, go to the Disclosure Policy Generator.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WBW - dum-da-dum-dum-DUMB

Now that everyone is recovering from their candy-induced comas, it's time to reveal the dumbest, stupidest, most awful picture of ourselves from the past, at least the one we're willing to reveal to the world on the internet. So, here's mine: I was 11 in this picture. We were on a trip to Hershey Park and it rained all day. And in true pre-teen snarky fashion, I was annoyed with the world for daring to rain on my day of fun at the amusement park. And when you're already annoyed with the world, the last thing you want is your camera-happy father taking your picture on some stupid ride. So my dad got this lovely shot. Hmm, my oldest son is almost 11. I sense rough waters ahead.

Go visit TKW to see other players. And scroll down to the next post, click through and vote for my kids in the costume contest.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And now for some shameless begging...

I discovered that Kailani is having a Halloween costume contest and decided to throw my kids into the ring. So if you think my kids' costumes are adorable, swing on over to her site and leave a comment voting for me for cutest kid's costume (or scariest kid's costume, depending on your reaction to my photos).

Just scroll down one post to see the pictures. And send all your friends to vote for them, too.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Adventures in trick-or-treating

Thursday night we had trick-or-treating in our town. So at 6 p.m. we loaded up our boys in the van and drove to another neighborhood. See, we live on a pretty rural street and no one trick-or-treats here. It was a pretty chilly night, so there was a little complaining about that, but otherwise everyone had a lot of fun. The baby had to take every piece of candy back out of his bag and look at it. And my 7 year old, who had no costume ideas that morning, wowed everyone in his rapidly-homemade disguise. So without further ado, the pictures!

My 10 year old was an alien for, like, the fourth year in a row.

My four year old dressed up as a soccer player, complete with shin guards.

And here's the seven year old, as a red Lego brick! He just loved it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I have an awesome husband!

Hubby just bought us cruise tickets! A five day cruise after Thanksgiving, just me and him! Now that's my idea of paradise!

Friday, October 27, 2006

SPF - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This time last year, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so raising awareness is something important to me personally. She is fine now, by the way. But it has made me aware that breast cancer can strike anyone. So in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kristine has chosen some somewhat related topics. Sort of.

Your pot holders The previous owners of this house were nice enough to leave lots of nails in the walls. I use this one to hold my pot holders. So I guess it's my pot holder holder.

Your pumpkins

These are the pumpkins we got at a local farm last week. And the cat is my neighbor's cat, who seems to think we belong to him. His name? Pumpkin, of course!

Something pink

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find something pink in a house full of boys? I finally stumbled upon this: strawberry Nesquik. Does anyone know why this is found in the Mexican food section of the grocery store?

So, there you have it. Did you play?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Today's local calendar

Ever since we moved to PA, we've noticed that their calendar doesn't quite sync up with everyone else's. When I was a kid, school started the day after Labor Day. Here, it's about two weeks earlier. Thanksgiving holidays include the Monday and Tuesday after. Why? It's the start of hunting season, of course! And Halloween hardly ever falls on Halloween.

The reason I mention this is that tonight is trick-or-treat night. It's very regulated here. It's from 6-8 p.m. and you can only go to houses that have the porch light on. That is so foreign to what it was like when I was little. We'd start out around 6, but we wouldn't stop until we hit every house in the neighborhood (our street was a loop), and we went to every. single. door. Oh, and we did all this on the actual 31st of the month.

So I will be cruising a few different websites trying to find a costume my 7 year old can live with. He's having trouble deciding what he wants to be. As long as it doesn't involve sewing, I should be able to come up with something. And don't worry, there will be pictures!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

WBW - Boo!

Less than a week to go before Halloween, and Kami, via TKW, has asked to see our costumes of the past. I think we've done this before. Shh, don't say anything.

This is me as a bellydancer, circa 1983. The costume is actually a pair of pajamas, with a red t-shirt underneath because it was cold outside. And of course a mask, because someone might recognize me otherwise.

And this is 1988, my freshman year of college. I am wearing an Indian princess costume which my mom made, because she's awesome like that. You can't see my mocassin boots, but I actually wore those in everyday life - part of my "dress like the Monkees" phase.

Ah, there are the aforementioned mocassin boots! They worked equally well for my hippie costume the next Halloween, didn't they? What's that by my elbow? An Apple IIc! I was on top of technology, I tell ya!

So, did you play?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pics from Saturday

I meant to post these yesterday, but things got busy, and then I got a migraine that lasted well into this morning. So, here are some photos from Saturday!

The boys were very impressed with this giant tire!

Noah had fun organizing everyone's drinks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Boys and their toys

Blogger took so long to load up, I can't remember what I was going to write about. Hmm...

Oh, yeah! The weekend. The company Hubby works for makes very large machinery and on Saturday they had their family day. This is something they do every three years, when they invite all employees and their families to come see a demo of the big machines and supply lots of food, drinks, and balloon animals for the kids.

Well, I probably don't need to tell you that four boys plus large machinery equals big fun! They were so excited they didn't even want to eat - and that's really saying something! They ran from cab to cab, climbing in and turning the steering wheel and honking the horn. (Everybody was honking horns - I really wish they'd disconnect them before letting people get in. It was like being in a really big traffic jam for three hours). They were in a boy's idea of heaven.

Then some of the machines were actually driven around and demonstrated. Even the 22-month-old was captivated! And Hubby was in his glory, explaining the capabilities of each machine as it drove out and circled around.

The only bad part of the day was when my seven year old's balloon sword popped, right after his balloon hat had popped. The balloon guy had already shut down for the day, and my poor son was devastated. What is it about children's brains that can never retain the information that balloons pop? Oh, well.

Anyway, after my camera battery charges, I'll be back with some pictures from Saturday! Have a good Monday!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

THE END is here!

For anyone who's been reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, do you have The End yet? We got it at Sam's Club on Wednesday and I'm reading it out loud to the boys. We're on chapter six. I just love the way these books are written, and they're so educational for being fiction. If your kids haven't read them, I really recommend them. And if they have, go get the final book, The End. I don't know how The End will end, but I liked the beginning of The End, so the end of The End will probably be good, too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

SPF - ...and the kitchen sink.

Kristine's taking it easy on us this week. Which is good, because I need an easy week.

1. The Kitchen Sink Some of you might remember that I have two kitchens. (But not three, which apparently all the newer apartments have (reference to last night's The Office)). This is the clean(er) kitchen sink, the one in the upstairs kitchen.

2. Something you need to fix. This is my old Floormate. I have expounded before on the virtues of the Floormate - cleans any hard floor, vacuums, wet scrubs and squeegees. It's wonderful. When this one broke, it only cost a little more to buy a new one than to fix this one. But I'd love to get this one fixed and have one for each floor.

3. Something you're going to throw away right after you take the picture of it.

Last night's coffee grounds. Must make fresh coffee. Now.

Happy SPF! Did you play?