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!