Friday, March 31, 2006

SPF - Coming clean

This week Kristine has asked to see the following:

My washer and drier:

Nothing terribly exciting here. We got the washer when we moved into our apartment in Shreveport, Louisiana, so that would make it almost 13 years old. The drier we didn't get until my oldest son was born almost ten years ago, because I just couldn't see hanging laundry all the time with a newborn. Both have had the odd part replaced, but on the whole have been very reliable. All those boxes on the drier? Only one is detergent. The rest are all for getting rid of stains, making things whiter, etc. With 4 boys, yes, I need that much stuff.

My robe:
I haven't been able to find my robe since we moved here two years ago, and I just can't make myself buy a new one when I know I have a perfectly good one around here somewhere. My room is only two steps from the bathroom, anyway, so it's not like I really need it.

A flower:

This is the stencil painted all the way around my dining room by the former owners of the house. I just love it. And my grandmother brought me this ceramic butterfly from Mexico, which I think looks just perfect perched there on the flowers.

So, that's it! Did you play?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kids Photo Contest

I am entering CameraDawktor's First Ever Contest in which I am to post my favorite pictures of my kids. So here they are.
This is Isaac with Smokey as a kitten. I just love the look on his face - typical Isaac, full of mischief and laughter.

This is my favorite of Caleb and Joshua together, because they genuinely look like they're enjoying each others' company. Plus they're really cute with their new haircuts.
This is my all-time favorite of Noah, when he was only five days old.

So, those are my entries. Wish me luck!

You know what's really cool?

It is so amazing to watch my older two boys read. It's amazing because I'm the one who taught them.

I can't say enough good things about the K12 curriculum. In fact, if you're thinking of homeschooling from the start, you should buy their phonics program. It's fantastic. But at the end of the day, I'm the one who sat down with them and taught them how to read.

I tell you, homeschooling has its share of frustration. And there are days I want to chuck the whole thing. But the rewards can be so great, too. I just have to remember that on the days I feel like chucking it!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

WBW - That 80s Style!

Now, TKW wants to see our awesome 80s fashions of the past. I was not into fashion in the 80s. I was not part of the "in" crowd and I never dressed like I was. Plus, as you can see from my short, short hair, I didn't really try to carry off the 80s hairstyle either. Though if you look closely, what little hair I have is in fact feathered. This was my look in 1985 - t-shirt over turtleneck.

Or sweater over Oxford. I suppose both of those are pretty 80s, I don't really know. What I do know is that no 80s fashion day is complete without this photo of my dad, circa 1986. I like to call it "Miami Yikes!"

Seriously, these are his real clothes. He dressed like this on many occasions. Sorry, Dad, but you know it's true.

So, did you play?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I love looking at my counter stats and seeing who has been around to visit my humble little blog. I also look at the search terms people have used to find me. I am often amused.

For example, many people have come to this page by searching on the phrase "going places." Now, what were they looking for? Can you get much more generic? You might as well search on "doing stuff."

I also seem to have become the #1 result when people search for any combination of "Astelin," "Sean Altman," "Rockapella," and/or "Groove Barbers." If you've come here searching for those things, it is not Rockapella in those commercials.

I've also gotten a couple of hits from people searching "Tarek looks like Orlando Bloom." So at least I know I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Someone also searched, in all caps, for WHAT SCHOOLS DID JANA GO TO? I don't think I've said anywhere on this blog exactly which schools I attended. If you really want to know, you can email me.

People also come here having searched on "Jana." Having searched on my name myself, I know how far down the list you have to go to find this blog, so these must be some pretty determined people.

If you've come here searching for something, leave a comment and say hi! Stick around a while! Peruse the archives. Who knows what other things I've discussed that you're just going to end up coming back here for anyway.

Running late

I've got my homeschool co-op this morning and I'm running late. I'll check in later. In the meantime, go say hi to someone on my blogroll - they're all great!

Monday, March 27, 2006

I am an Alien Life Form

I was talking to my father the other day and I mentioned how many dishes the kids have broken recently (4 bowls, 2 saucers, a plate, a glass, and my favorite mug). And he says, "That's why you were raised on Melmac."

I instantly recognized the name of Alf's home planet. This explains so much. I have always had such a fondness for science fiction, and the study of astronomy and space exploration. Now it all makes sense.

But what does this have to do with dishes? Is gravity different on Melmac? Maybe when you drop something there, it bounces. Maybe the dishes there are made of some sort of unbreakable material.

Unbreakable material. Hmmm...

"Dad, ALF was from Melmac. Do you mean melamine?"

"Right, melamine."

So much for my alien connection.

(In all fairness, melamine dishes are in fact manufactured under the brand name Melmac and it was purely my ignorance of this fact that led me to think, however briefly, that I was raised by aliens. This in no way detracts from the silliness of the conversation.)

(And if you go to the above link, you learn that Alf's home planet was made of Melmac, a fact which may come in handy some day if you're ever in a trivia competition and that question comes up. You're welcome in advance.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Testing this video thing

SPF - Happy birthday, Kristine!

For your birthday, Kristine, I'm going all out. You wanted to know what I'd get you if there were no limits. So here it is.
Will this get everyone to Hawaii? I hope so. I know technically it was supposed to be something I own, but I think this is better, huh?

As far as the other two pictures go, I can't find the cable for my camera. So I will just wish a talented, beautiful and fun-loving lady a very happy birthday.

Have a great day, Kristine!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Buh bye, Chicken Little

He seems like a sweet kid, but he really needed to go. Now it's a competition.

So, who are your top four? I'm going to say Chris, Katherine, Ace and Mandisa. Taylor is good, but his style is just too eclectic for me. I don't think any of the other girls even approach the top two. So that's my prediction. We'll see.

Did you watch Unanimous? That has the potential to be either really interesting or really annoying. I'm not sure I want to watch it again.

I am still not feeling much better. This cough won't go away and it's driving me buggy. Somebody make it stop!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

WBW - That 70s style!

I am still not feeling much better, but I do feel well enough to play this week, so here goes.

TKW has challenged us this week to find a photo that best represents 70s fashion, either in clothing or hairstyle. Sadly, I don't have the clothing ones I wanted. They must be in my parents' collection. My mother dressed me in the most hideous paisley-patterned outfits, all the while defending it because "that was the fashion." However, I do have this photo.

Remember the Dorothy Hamill haircut? It was all the rage and I had to have it. Aren't I adorable? And now that I look at it, that sweater is giving off a distinct 70s vibe.

So, did you play?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And now for the obligatory Rockapella post

The other day I saw an ad for this new allergy medicine called Astelin. In the ad, these four guys appeared in front of a woman's car and began singing about Astelin. They, of course, were the Astelins. If you go to the website, you can see the whole ad. Anyway, one of the guys was Sean Altman. Sean was one of the founding members of Rockapella. He left the group back in '97 to pursue a solo career.

It's interesting, though: the group in the commercial is another a cappella group, the Groove Barbers. Their website mentions Rockapella no less than ten times. Almost like they wouldn't exist if it weren't for Rockapella. Which may be true, since the site claims they are all former members of the group. In fact, the high tenor left Rockapella when they started Carmen Sandiego. Talk about your bad career moves!

So, what is the point of this post? Good question. I was just thinking about how there are certain decisions in life that seem good at the time and later you end up wondering what happened. Sean must have felt it was a really good idea to leave Rockapella behind, and now it looks like half his website is "when I was in Rockapella, blah, blah, blah" Now he's hawking allergy medicine. It just makes you think.

So while you're thinking, head over to Rockapella's website. Especially if you've never heard them. There's a little jukebox that pops up and plays several minutes from lots of different songs. You'll love it. While you're there, check out their tour schedule. Their live show is not to be missed. Tell them I sent you and you'll probably get blank stares. Actually, tell Scott that Jana sent you. He'll know who you're talking about. And by all means, buy a CD.

Can you tell I love Rockapella??

Monday, March 20, 2006

First day of Spring

According to my calendar, today is the first day of spring. How can that be? We haven't had winter yet!

Seriously, what happened to winter this year? We got 15 inches of snow. Total. And most of that was before Christmas! You know the big storm that covered the northeast? It missed us. We got about two inches. Apparently, we live in some sort of hole here, some sort of snow-repelling vortex.

In case you couldn't tell, I like snow. And I look forward to it every year. If it doesn't come, I feel cheated. I spent the whole first winter after we got married missing the snow. It seems Texas doesn't get a lot. Then we went to visit my parents in Maryland. Remember the blizzard of '93? Yeah, that's when it hit. Which I guess is what I get for saying I missed snow so much. But I loved it!

So they're predicting snow here for tonight and tomorrow. Winter's last hurrah before the weather warms up, the buds begin to bloom, and the birds begin to nest. Bring it on!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

C what I mean?

For SPF today, Kristine chose three things that begin with the letter C. But I still do not feel up to going around the house with a camera and trying to upload pictures. So I figured I'd just do my own tribute to the C theme.

I still feel Cruddy. I have a Consistent Cough and Congestion. The Children have Come through this much quicker than I, so the house is in Chaos. I really need to Clean, but I Can't summon the energy. It's all I Can do to get up and moving, eat my Cereal and sit at my Computer. Can I Crawl back under the Covers, please?

No, I have a loudly Complaining baby Commanding my attention. He's eating graham Crackers and Candy. And he's still not Content. He keeps Coming to me Crying about something. He is also Congested, so that doesn't help. I Could just put him back in his Crib, but that would be Cruel. Oh, speaking of the baby, he learned to moo like a Cow. It's very Cute.

So, in Conclusion, I will Continue trying to get lots of rest over the weekend. I Can only hope Hubby doesn't Come down with this flu we've all Contracted. And hopefully by Monday, things will be back to normal around here. Ciao!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Random thoughts

Having five days to lounge around in bed gives one a lot of time to think. It also gives one a lot of time to watch television. Here are some of my observations since Saturday:

  • This family, the Duggars, has 16 children. They just moved into a 7000 square foot house, which they built themselves. And they home school. I found myself completely in awe of these people.
  • Jimmy Neutron is as smart and funny as Fairly Oddparents is stupid and annoying. What is with that Timmy kid?
  • The old Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? with Regis had much easier questions than the current syndicated version.
  • John O'Hurley (of Seinfeld and Dancing With the Stars) does a lot of cartoon voice work.
  • As does Patrick Warburton, strangely also a Seinfeld regular. Perhaps he'll be donning dance shoes soon?
  • People who go on The Amazing Race need to actually watch the show first. I see people making the same stupid mistakes every season. If you don't read the whole clue, you will do something wrong. Figure it out!!
  • How did Ace end up in the bottom three and Kevin didn't? Seriously, America, what's up with that?
  • The first few episodes of Simon & Simon were really bad. I'm amazed the show got picked up, and then lasted so long!
And those are just a few of the things I've noticed. Now that we're all starting to feel better, I need to try to get back into a routine. Thanks for the well wishes, everyone!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Too sick for WBW

Not that I have any great spring break pictures to share, anyway. The only spring break I ever went anywhere but home was when I was in London for a semester. My roommate and I went to Ireland and Scotland. I do have some great pictures of that trip, but I am just not feeling up to digging them out. I'm going to the doctor shortly, where I'm sure he'll tell me to get plenty of rest. Um, hello? Four boys here. Ah, well.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Miserably sick

I and all four boys have been sick since Saturday morning; fevers, cough, congestion, it's been fun. So I'm just going to hit post and go back to bed.

Friday, March 10, 2006

SPF - like yesterday's paper

Kristine has chosen to embarrass us all this week by asking to see the trashiest parts of our lives. Literally.

My trash can:
This is my upstairs kitchen trash can. Then of course there's the downstairs kitchen trash can, the bathroom trash cans, the trash can in my bedroom, the trash can in the school room, and the very frightening trash can in the boys' room. We're a trashy family. The white container is where we collect all the burnables until we feel like going outside for a bonfire. And before you go all recycling on me, they only recycle newspaper and corrugated here.

My junk drawer:Is it really a junk drawer if you know what's in it, and everything in it is where it belongs? I have made a conscious effort since moving into this house to try to keep track of things. Now, I couldn't tell you what all is in there, but if you asked me for, say, some earplugs, I would know right where to go.

My trunk:
This is what popped into my mind when I saw the word "trunk." Then I realized, oh, car trunk. Well, we don't have one. We have a station wagon, a minivan and a pickup. So here's the only trunk I have!

Did you play? Let me know and I'll stop by and gawk at your junk.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Congratulations - glad it's not me!

Two of my blogging friends have recently announced their pregnancies! Go say congrats to Trinity and Diana! This will be the second baby for both of them. And go say hi to Spikey, as well. His wife has less than 10 weeks to go!

You know, when I was pregnant with #4, I was planning on being permanently done having babies. Then at the last minute, I changed my mind. I couldn't stand the thought of knowing that this was it for me. And being prone to depression anyway, I thought it best to avoid any irreversible decisions.

Well, now that I'm hearing about all these new babies, I realize something. I never, that's N.E.V.E.R., want to do that again. I am done, finished, that's all she wrote. I couldn't do the whole pregnancy thing again. And even if by some miracle I had a completely wonderful pregnancy, the first few months of no sleep and middle-of-the-night feedings no longer hold any appeal for me. Since I am currently dealing with a 15 month old who's into everything, I am remembering how much I dislike that. I'm looking forward to when they're all old enough to remember not to pull things out of the trashcan. My two older boys are so much easier to deal with than the little ones. That's just where I am in my life. It's time for me to move on.

So best wishes to all the expectant parents out there. I wish you an uneventful nine months and a happy and healthy baby. Enjoy! As for me, I'm taking the bookmark out of that page in my life and going to the next chapter.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

WBW - Head gear

This week, The Kept Woman has asked for photos of head wear mistakes of the past. Now, I was never one for lots of decoration on my head. In fact, I only managed to find one example of hair accessories I used to wear. I know there are more; they must be in my parents' albums. So anyway, here it is:

When I was eleven or so, I wore this type of barrette in my hair pretty much every day. They were regular metal barrettes, through which were braided ribbons of various colors. Most of mine had two colors, in this case red and white. At the end of the ribbons, little beads or other decorations were tied. I had a couple of them with feathers. Wish I had that picture to show! Anyway, I had a pair of these to match every outfit in my closet. My mom and I used to make them as needed. I don't know if these were in fashion anywhere else. Do you remember anyone wearing these? Let me know, I'm curious.

And if you played, let me know that, too, and I'll stop by!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Is it just me?

So, last week I turn on the new season of The Apprentice, and lo and behold, one of the contestants is Orlando Bloom!

Okay, not really. But I don't think I'm imagining the resemblance here. Which one is which?
Seriously, could this not be the same guy?? Maybe Orlando secretly wanted to be The Apprentice, and has chosen a clever disguise, taking over the identity of this guy Tarek (who I'm sure he compensated sufficiently). Maybe now that he's conquered Hollywood, he wants to conquer the business world. Perhaps this is all some massive publicity stunt for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie?

Maybe not. But I guarantee this guy is going to have women calling, emailing and waiting by his door the minute Trump fires him. He's 27 and his bio says nothing about a wife.

In the meantime, Hubby and I will be watching, for reasons having nothing to do with eye candy. This looks to be a very interesting season. Trump went and fired two people at once last night. I love it when he does that.

Between this and The Amazing Race, I'm in reality-show heaven!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh, I'm so proud!

So last night I got to direct the Patch the Pirate Club kids as they sang at church. Aren't they cute? That's my oldest boy standing all the way on the left. They did a really good job, too. Now, what do you notice in this picture?

In case you couldn't see it, I've blown it up below.

Yeah, that's my six year old hiding under the piano. Fortunately, Hubby was the only one who could see him (and snapped this picture with his PDA).

At least he chose an unobtrusive way to be rebellious.

Friday, March 03, 2006

SPF - Randomness galore!

Kristine has asked this week to see our favorite jeans, a birthmark/mole, and our photo albums and where we keep them.

Okay, here are the jeans. They are my favorite only in the fact that they fit me. The elastic waist is wonderful for my never-recovered-from-having-four-babies belly.

This is my birthmark. Apparently, I was so comfortable inside my mother that I never dropped, so the doctor had to do a high forceps delivery. Yeah, he went way up in there and yanked me out. So if anyone tries to tell you forceps don't leave a mark, Don't.Believe.Them.

And these are my photo albums, on the bottom shelf of my favorite bookcase. These are the rich resources from which I draw almost all of my Way Back Wednesday posts. They stop around the time my oldest was four, because that's when we got a digital camera. Now my computer is my photo album. Or I could show you a picture of all the disks I've back them up on, but that would just be boring.
By the way, the green panel in the background is not because I'm planning to film special effects sequences in my library. It's the top to the boys' train table, which had to be taken from their room because they were just piling toys on it instead of playing with it. Still, now that I look at it, it's nice to know I could film some Matrix-like action if I wanted to...

So there it is. Did you play? Let me know and I'll come look at your stuff!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How much do I hate migraines?

Last night I had a horrible migraine. As I lay there in bed, trying to fight the feeling that I was about to throw up (I won - yay me), I started thinking about all the things I would rather experience than another migraine.
  • You know when you're erasing a chalkboard and your fingernails accidentally scrape against it? Much more fun than a migraine. I would do that for an hour straight rather than have another migraine.
  • I don't know if you've read much 18th century literature, but let me tell you it's painful. I took a whole semester of it in college. Fortunately, my roommate took it too, so we got to suffer together. Still, I'd rather be forced to read George Eliot than have another migraine.
  • Have you ever played Monopoly with someone who doesn't buy much of anything at the beginning of the game? I mean, the whole idea of winning is to own the whole board, and they land on something and they have the money and they decide, no, they'll skip it. What's the deal with that? And then the game goes on and on and on as they refuse to buy houses but somehow manage to avoid landing on your hotel-laden properties. But I would rather do that than have a migraine.
  • I would rather be locked in a room with all the American Idol rejects singing to me for eight hours straight than have a migraine. Oh, wait, that's the best part of American Idol. Never mind.
  • Labor. I know you're thinking I'm nuts, but I have often had migraines last three days. Labor is over in less than 12 hours for me. Plus, you get a baby at the end. What do I get for all my suffering with a migraine?
  • I detest watching most sports on television. Even worse is watching people talk about sports. Yet I would watch 24 hours straight of ESPN if I thought I could escape a migraine.

I think you get the point. Anyway, I am fortunate that this morning, the migraine is mostly gone. There's still a nugget of pain in the right side of my head that's threatening, so I'm going to take more medicine shortly. Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

WBW - Breakin' the rules

The Kept Woman has put up a real challenge this week, because even if I were willing to admit that I broke the law, I did not really think to take a picture of it. But I finally chose this picture, in which I am not breaking the law but definitely breaking a rule of some sort, I'm sure.

Oh, yes, there is a story here.

My family went to Epcot when I was 16, and there was this troupe of comedians who did a show periodically throughout the day in the Italy area. It was really funny, and my brother and I came back for a second show. At that point, these two guys, Randy and Dave, sort of adopted me to pick on because they remembered me from before. Okay, they probably thought I was cute, and I thought the same of them. Anyway, I hung around talking to them for a while after the show. Then Dave left and it was just Randy (and no jokes about his name - I get it).

Now, here's where the rules thing comes in. First rule broken: I was keeping a 'cast member' away from whatever he was supposed to be doing, and out of character at that! Well, my brother had bought this rubber lizard and he got bored with me standing there talking, so he threw it at me. I caught it in my big straw sunhat, which I am holding above. Randy thought this was hysterical for some reason. He took the lizard and tossed it at me again. I caught it in the hat.

Now it was a game. He had me back up and see if I could catch it again. Suddenly, we were doing an act. He was announcing the ancient Italian sport of lizard tossing, and people were gathering around. Pretty soon we had a huge crowd who applauded every time I caught the lizard. Randy was making up this whole story about the ancient Romans tossing lizards at each other, I was laughing hysterically, and I kept catching the lizard over and over. Eventually we got far enough away from each other that I missed. The crowd applauded and dispersed.

I am relatively sure that Disney does not want people spontaneously making up acts in the middle of one of their parks. I am also pretty sure that someone, somewhere, still believes the ancient Romans tossed lizards for fun.

So that's me, breakin' the rules! Did you play?

EDITED TO ADD: No we didn't make out later, though I tried to convince him to give me a personal tour of the park. But he did invite me to try out for the improv theater he worked for. And if I had been 18, I so would have!