Friday, September 29, 2006

SPF - Inspiration

Kristine's assignment this week is pretty interesting. I wish I'd looked at it before 8:45 this morning. Anyway...

Something that inspires me:
This isn't really a someone, 'cause it's just a cartoon, right? A new hobby of mine, for about a year now, is designing blog templates. My kids have been watching Kim Possible on Toon Disney, which inspired me to create this template, currently on my test blog. I also get inspired looking at all the cool designs other people have created on Blogskins.

Something I don't like to read about on blogs:"Bush is terrible. I hate Bush." or "Bush is wonderful. I love Bush." But without any rational explanation. I stay away from any political blog that is all opinion and no logic. They make both sides of any argument sound like uninformed dolts. I will, however, read any political blog that makes me laugh, no matter which side of the argument its author is on.

Something that inspires me to write my blog:The crowds of adoring fans, all giving me a standing ovation. Well, not really. But I do write with an eye toward what other people might find interesting. If the topic isn't particularly interesting, I at least try to write it in an entertaining way. Sometimes I even succeed. But don't look at this week's posts for an example - I've been sick and I'm off my game.

So, did you play?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

What was that?

As you probably remember, Dancing With the Stars is one of my favorite things. I've been really impressed with this season's celebrities and their dancing abilities. But what in the world was that singing group doing on there last night?

Now, I will be the first to admit I don't keep up with current music. Most of it is just not of interest to me. So the name Scissor Sisters meant nothing when I heard it. But as the producers seem to be unintentionally revealing to the world, just because it has the right beat doesn't mean people should be dancing ballroom to it. Some of their song choices this season have been questionable at best, and this singing group that was on last night was awful. Not even watching Cheryl Burke dance to their "singing" helped.

In case you missed it, the lead singer was dressed in horrible glam-rock 70s-type clothing, and sang in a mediocre falsetto most of the time. Since when did falsetto count as actual singing? One or two bars, sure, but a whole song? Ick.

I was glad that Joey and Mario both stayed on, because even though they broke the rules they are both incredible dancers. When it came down to Harry and Jerry, I knew Harry was going home. What annoyed me was that he didn't last any longer than the dreadful P Miller from last season. But at least now Jerry gets to learn the waltz for his daughter's wedding.

So to the producers, please think through your guest appearances more carefully. And start picking the songs to actually fit the dances. How hard is that?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I woke up this morning with a nasty head cold. Courtesy of my children, of course. Two of them have had runny noses all week, and now it's my turn.

So if anyone would like to come over today and make me some soup, keep my boys under control, and maybe do a little light cleaning, I'll leave the back door unlocked. Help yourself to anything in the fridge. I'll be upstairs in bed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Whole again

I got my new LCD screen yesterday (yes, that was fast!), and hubby and I installed it last night. It's actually pretty easy to do. It helped that we found step by step instructions with photos online. Have I mentioned how much I love the internet?

So now I am back on my new laptop, able to type the letter "P" and everything. And I can add "Replaced laptop screen" to my hubby's resume of skills, which gets longer all the time. Glad I married a handy man! Thanks, honey!

Off to co-op!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Our field trip

I've been so busy, I haven't posted pictures from our trip to the Maryland Science Center. So here they are!
This is a cloud generator. The boys loved finding out what it would be like to touch a cloud.
Sitting in a dinosaur's footprint! This one was made by one of the dinosaurs which were indigenous to Maryland - but don't ask me its name, I don't remember!
Everyone enjoyed the bed of nails. I even took a turn on it. It actually felt really nice on my back - I may have one installed.
All three of the boys tried on astronaut's flight suits. I'm pretty sure they would have worn them out of the museum if they could've.
This is a tornado they had running. Periodically it would disappear, then it would start up again. The boys had fun seeing how they could "break" it apart with their hands or breath and it would still reform.

I hadn't been to the Science Center since I was in high school. It's changed a lot. I only saw a few things I remembered. There's tons of hands-on stuff to do, and we didn't even see the planetarium or Imax. I don't know if it's worth the admission price, but for free it was definitely worth visiting!

Friday, September 22, 2006

SPF - Growing up, moving on

Kristine is making me think again, and I honestly can't this early in the morning. Why don't I do my SPF on Thursday night? Why?

Something I have outgrown:
Boy, this is a tough one. What have I outgrown? My need for people to celebrate my birthday (which is two weeks from today)? Celebrity crushes? Going to amusement parks? I guess I'm just a kid at heart. But I did finally think of something. Play-Doh. Fun-Dough. Whatever you call it, I hate it. It is the scourge of mothers everywhere. There is no way to contain it, and much like a creeping fungus, it will attach itself to walls, floors, carpets, and become a dried, crusty mess. If I find a can of Play-Doh, I generally throw it away before it can escape from its can and wreak havoc. I am so over Play-Doh.

Something I have overcome: The need to snack all day long. It's a one-day-at-a-time thing, but I have managed to overcome the draw of the refrigerator. No comments on the condition of my fridge, k? It looks like that because I am not eating everything in it anymore.

I need help with...
My book addiction. Just say the words "book sale" and I salivate. There's a place near here that has bag sales - all the used books you can stuff in a bag for $4. I have run out of places to put them, but still I buy more. I must stop. I must. Just as soon as the next sale is over.

So, did you play?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

eter i er icked a eck of ickled e ers

This com uter's got a non-working key. Can you guess which one it is? It's between the I and the [ on the keyboard, and I can't write a decent ost wihout it.

Why am I using my old la to , when I have a new one less than three months old? Well, I killed the screen on my new one. I am absolutely sick about it. I knocked it off a table, and just like that, half the screen was blank. I think I cried for an hour, not because of the thing itself, but because I felt so stu id. It was com letely my fault. Now any money I get for my birthday is going to go toward a new screen, which is $250. Even on ebay, it's $250. That's robably my Christmas money, too.

Of course, in the meantime I can hook my new la to to a regular monitor and still use it, but that kind of defeats the whole ur ose of a mobile com uter as far as long term use goes. I use my com uter for teaching the boys and for watching DVDs on long tri s and it's not nearly as useful if it's anchored in one lace.

So, I'll be going to my deskto after this ost, because obviously having no letter between O and Q is sort of useless. I'm de ressed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

WBW - Isn't that amusing?

For Way Back Wednesday this week, we're doing pictures of us at amusement parks. It was a rare summer that I didn't go to an amusement park, so I was surprised to find so few pictures. Probably because I was the one taking them, I didn't get in them. But I did manage to find these photos from our second honeymoon (so called because it took place six months after our first and because we actually had a relaxing and enjoyable time. Remind me to tell you about the first honeymoon sometime). We went to Disney and Universal in Florida for free because we had a friend whose cousin worked at Universal and whose same cousin's girlfriend worked at Disney.
So here I am with Ricky and Lucy at Universal Studios. This was in 1992, by the way. Notice the awesomely cool fanny pack. Can you believe I'm such a dork I spoke Spanish to Ricky? Yeah I did.

This is one of those optical illusion things. They have an area of Universal that looks like a New York street, and if you stand under this cutout image and take a picture from a precise location, it's supposed to look like the NY skyline behind you. It works a lot better if you turn off your flash.

Yes, I am taking pictures of pictures again. Sorry. Anyway, here's hubby going all psycho on me in front of the Bates house from Psycho. I could be wrong, but I don't think this is there anymore. They also had a Hitchcock stage show where they picked the friend who'd brought us to be the psycho attacking the lady in the shower. He does a really good psycho face, so it was cool. That was a fun trip.

So, did you play?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy, mateys!

Today be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! I be off to co-op now to inflict some learnin' on me class o' fifteen boys and one lonely lass. Arr!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The O without the B

Remember that Seinfeld episode where the valet's body odor remains in Jerry's car long after the valet has gotten out? Eventually he has to get rid of the car because he can't get rid of the smell. Well, I have the same problem with my dining room.

I first noticed it when I sat down to use my laptop in there. I thought it must be the chair, so I spritzed it with fabric refresher and went about my day. The next time I came into the room, it was still there. At this point, I started wondering where it came from. I don't think anyone in this family smells like that. I mean, I'm pretty familiar with all the different odors around here, and this one is foreign. I can't think of anyone who has been lounging in my dining room lately. Whose B did this O come from?

But regardless, my mission now was to get rid of it. I got my handy spray bottle out again, and began spraying all the fabric in the room, including the entire length and width of the rug. Again thinking I had won out, I went about my business. But the next time I entered the room, there it was! This horrendous odor, with no source. I started sniffing around the room like a bloodhound. The odor was elusive. One second I could smell it, the next I couldn't. To make matters worse, Hubby couldn't smell it at all (though he finally did later).

So now I'm wondering if this smell is contained in one of the thousand books in the room (which I use as a library rather than a dining room). I've been sniffing up and down the shelves, but nothing. It's plaguing me. It's like we have a really smelly poltergeist. I'm almost ready to try the odor exorcism.

Anyone know a priest who specializes in odors? Maybe I should get him to bless my bottle of fabric refresher.

Friday, September 15, 2006

SPF - TV edition

After reading Kristine's post today, I hope this will cheer her up a bit should she venture over here. It's a fun assignment!

My television:Got it on clearance at Sam's Club. I love watching movies on this thing. Four words: Life-size Orlando Bloom.

My show:
I don't have a picture for this. My show, starring me, is called Casa Testosterone. It's the story of a busy mom of four boys who sometimes feels like the only woman in the universe. Of course, there are lots of bodily function jokes, lots of laughs when the boys bring home snakes or toads and they escape in the house, and chuckles galore when they use mommy's sanitary products to build towers in the living room in front of company. Not that any of those things really happened, but you have to admit it would be funny on a television show.

My new cast member:
Kelly Ripa. After several seasons, the producers decide we need more women on this show. Kelly is the natural pick since she and I were born only a couple of days apart and I have always gotten along really well with people born the same month and year as I was. I have so much in common with her, it's scary. I think she'd make a great wacky next-door neighbor. I have nothing against my current neighbor, but she works and I stay home, so there's not really a lot of chance to hang out with her. If Kelly were my neighbor, we'd go to each other's houses for coffee and there would be sparklingly witty conversations. Maybe a few years down the road, her daughter could date one of my sons and we'd become in-laws. How cool would that be?

So, did you play?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Go, Mommy, Go!

Wouldn't it be nice if life really worked like certain children's shows? For example, Go, Diego, Go! This is a very cute show, and I often find myself envying the ease with which everything gets done in Diego's world.

"Hi, I'm Mommy, and I'm a child rescuer! Did you hear that scream? Which child did it belong to? Let's ask Click the Camera!"

Soy Click, la camera, I can take a pic,
I can see and hear the screaming child in trouble.
Into the basement or out in the yard,
To find the screaming one it isn't hard.

Along the way, of course, there are obstacles. "Oh, no, we have to cross the river of spilled chocolate milk! Luckily we have Rescue Pack! Say, 'Activate!' Louder! Activate!"

"I'm Rescue Pack, coming to the rescue! (Al rescate!)
Rescue Pack, I've got your back, I can turn into a vacuum cleaner
Or a straight jacket.
Paintbrush, dog leash, whatever you need! Rescue Pack!
Tell Mommy she needs a wet dry vac to cross the river of spilled chocolate milk!"

Naturally, my handy Rescue Pack turns into the wet dry vac, I clean up the mess, and continue on my quest.

Oh, no! I want to go down the steps, but the Bobos are playing with their cars! To make them stop, we have to say, "Move, Bobos!" Say it with me! "Move, Bobos!"

And just like that, the little monkeys move out of the way. No arguments. I would love to have just this power by itself!

Finally, we reach the basement. There's the screaming child! He's being kicked in the head by his older brother! All we have to do is say, "Go away!" and the mean child will leave him alone! Say it with me now, "Go away!" Louder! "Go away!"

We did it! We rescued the screaming child! Go, Mommy, Go!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gray day

I am feeling depressed this morning. Maybe it's the rain. I haven't been able to stop thinking about Monday and all those people. I visited a few of the other tributes, but there are so many. I wanted to watch the memorial service at ground zero, but they only showed a bit and then it was back to your regularly scheduled program. Do the networks think that only the people who went there in person want to see the memorial? What's the deal? We can't ever, ever forget what happened that day. I almost feel like I relived the emotions of that day as I looked at face after face on different blogs. And then it's back to business as usual.

My fellow Americans, it will never be business as usual again. Go about your lives, but don't ever forget.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

First day of co-op

Normally, I post by 9 a.m., but this morning, we had to get up and out of the house by 8:45 to get to my homeschool co-op. I am on the committee now, and I had to be there early to help set up. Thankfully, my parents were here and helped me get everyone up and moving. We were actually there on time!

I am teaching a class called Knights & Castles, which I did two years ago and everyone loved it. Today, we built little models of a motte and bailey castle. The kids are all 6-8 years old, so I try to do a lot of hands-on stuff with them. Everyone's favorite week will probably be when we build a block castle and try to knock it down with a catapult.

I was just thinking this morning about what I might teach next spring, and it hit me: I bet a class on pirates would go over big! I'm going to start researching that now.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Honoring William Krukowski

I am truly humbled to honor a real hero of 9/11, William Krukowski, who, along with his fellow firefighters, ran into Tower 1 when everyone else was running out. He was the same age I will be soon, 36. He was with Ladder 21, and he died that day in the World Trade Center.

Apparently, risk-taking was a part of Bill’s life. He used to ride a motorcycle and skydive. He also liked souping up cars and trying them out on a drag strip. He had recently given up the motorcycle for a bike, and rode it to work most days in Manhattan from his home in Bayside, Queens.

He grew up in Bayside and went to Holy Cross High School and Nassau Community College. While he was waiting to be called to the Fire Department, he worked in construction, and with the New York Department of Sanitation. He was a firefighter for about three years.

Bill was separated from his wife but still spent a lot of time with his son, William Lee, 10. "I am so proud of the kind of father my brother was to his son through all the difficulties of his personal relationship," said his sister, Virginia.

On a memorial website, his mother left the following message: Thinking of you Bill and missing you so much. I miss your wonderful smile and disposition. I miss your honesty and dedication; which you applied to all situations. You were one of a kind. I can only hope that your son Billy follows in your footsteps with regard to love and caring. You meant the world to me. Love you much.

I cannot imagine what his family went through and has gone through since that day. A mother lost her only son. A ten-year-old boy lost his father. I have a son who is ten; to be that age, needing a father to guide you into the world of being a man, and to suddenly not have him anymore, is a horrible thing.

I hope that whenever Billy thinks of his father, he is proud. I imagine every time he ran into a burning building, Bill must have wondered if he’d come out again. That day surely was no different. He was a hero in every sense of the word, brave and courageous, dedicated and selfless. Thank you, Bill, for your sacrifice. I never knew you, but I will never forget you.

For posts honoring other victims of 9/11, go here.

If that site is still down, try this one.

Friday, September 08, 2006

SPF - Freedom, Hope, Wish

Kristine is making me think too hard for a Friday morning. Here we go.

My freedom:I may get awfully annoyed at all the annoying people saying annoying things, but I'm sure glad that we live in a country where they have the freedom to say them.

My hope:
I hope I can get rid of all this extra weight. So far I'm down 15 pounds! "Only" 45 to go.

My wish:I really wish that when you buy all these neat cookbooks, they came with someone to prepare the meals for you. I love buying cookbooks, I love reading cookbooks, but I'm terrible at meal planning, so they tend to sit on the shelf, unused.

So, did you play? I'll be busy teaching for a while, but later on I'll come check yours out!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Field trip!

We are going on a field trip to the Maryland Science Center today, so in place of a regular post, I give you this:

This website, BBC Science Clips, has lots of cool and fun science activities for all age groups. My ten year old spent half an hour playing just one of the activities. Chances are that something your kids are studying is on this website, so check it out!

My kids love science, so I think we're going to have a lot of fun today!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What was 90's fashion?

I'm not going to pretend to know the answer to that question. However, for this week's WBW, one picture immediately came to mind. The year was 1995, and I went to my first Rockapella concert. Now, just knowing that, you know that I was trying to look my very best for these guys. So clearly I thought the outfit I chose for the occasion was H.O.T. So let's check it out, shall we?

Nondescript black pants, pretty baggy though, and black shoes. Green silk shirt, also slightly oversized, not tucked in. And the finishing touch, the black faux-leather vest, not buttoned of course. It looks like I got up late and didn't finish getting dressed. "Never mind the buttons, we've got to get to the concert!" It also looks like I'm trying to hide about 15 extra pounds. Unfortunately, this was about the skinniest I have been in my adult life, and for some unknown reason, I'm covering it up!

So like I said, this may or may not be 90s fashion, but I certainly thought I was "all that." And just as a side note, the fashion for men that year appears to have been oxfords over t-shirts.

Did you play?


The lovely CameraDawktor tagged me with this:
Here are the rules: List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets. Tag 5 friends and list them. Then, those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Dont forget to let the people you tag know by posting a comment on their blog!

1. My closet is usually organized by color. White, then rainbow order, then brown and black.

2. I can say the alphabet backwards in less than 5 seconds.

3. I have always been good at predicting the gender of people's unborn babies, except for my own. I've never been wrong for someone else.

4. Weird pet fact: My dog goes insane over lights. If you shine a flashlight on the floor, she will attack it. Then she'll sit there guarding the spot in case the horrible light comes back again.

5. Weird pet fact: My cat has been getting back in the house from our deck's screen door. The deck is 12 feet off the ground and has no steps.

Okay, that was harder than I thought. I tag everyone, hahahaha!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Attack of the S.A.U.s

Hubby and I play this game where he asks me if he is annoying me.

If I answer no, he'll do something even more annoying, like poking me. "How about now?" he'll say.

Eventually I have to say yes because, eventually, it's true! So the other night he starts out with "Am I annoying you?"

Not in the mood to be picked on, I answered (completely joking here), "You've been annoying me since the day we met." Just then, my 20 month old walks in and starts pulling on me.

"You have to admit, I've gotten more efficient at it," Hubby said. "Now I have these cute little satellite annoyance units to help me. I can do four times the annoying in the same amount of time."

Yeah, I married a comedian.

Friday, September 01, 2006

SPF - No theme

No theme this week, just randomness from Kristine.

What I support:I support my boys, unconditionally. I'm sure I'm not the only mom who chose her kids for this category, but it's true.

Something I sacrifice:
I'm sure every mom could say this, too, but I sacrifice a lot of my time. It takes a great deal of preparation, and then hours of work every day, to homeschool my boys. Take all the things you have to do as a mom and a homemaker, and then add full-time teacher. I don't have a lot of time left over! But my kids are worth it.

Something red:Fresh from my garden!

Did you play?