Thursday, May 31, 2007

Almost done

We just have nine more days of school to go, to complete the state-required 180 days. Today and tomorrow make two, Saturday will count as one because we're going on a field trip, and that leaves six. So a week from Saturday we should be finished.

I'm really looking forward to summer. There are tons of things around the house that I need to get done, and I can't even start when I'm in the classroom half the day. Of course, top of the list is getting things organized for next school year. I'll be teaching a sixth grader, a third grader and a kindergartner next year.

You know, I think I like summer vacation even more than the boys!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WCW - My old house

I'm playing Wild Card Wednesday this week with a picture of the house in which I grew up and lived for 18 years, plus summers until I got married, and even for three months while I was married while Hubby job hunted. My parents sold the house when they decided to RV full-time. Right now they're in Utah rafting down the Colorado River or something while I'm here changing poopy diapers.

Anyway, this is my old house:
The new owners removed most of the landscaping and put in their own stuff. But I didn't recognize the house as we drove through the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago because I was looking for the house with the BIG front yard. Honestly, I looked right past it because it was too close to the road! How could my memory be off by that much? I mean, I lived there as an adult! Weird.

So there you have it. Did you play?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Review - POTC 3: At World's End

Remember Back to the Future? If you're old enough, you remember the excitement of the second and third movies being filmed simultaneously, and knowing at the end of the second movie that the third was imminent. Remember how great the second movie was, and then how lame the third one was? I'm feeling much the same way about Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

If you've been around here much in the last year, you know I'm a big fan of the Pirates franchise. I loved the first movie, and I thought the second one really lived up to my expectations, as far as what should happen, how the characters acted, etcetera. This third one, I came out of the theater wanting a do-over. Like, maybe give the writers a second chance and they could come up with something better. It was, as Marty McFly would say, heavy.

I don't know if the writers were under too much pressure, or if they just ran out of ideas. First off, the references back to the first two movies struck me as lame. For example, characters randomly mentioning sea turtles for no real reason was apparently supposed to be funny, but just fell flat. And attempting to fit the "why is the rum gone?" theme in by having them ask, "Why is all BUT the rum gone?" just came across as forced.

This movie also moved from the realm of fantasy into the much-less-enjoyable realm of mythology. Suddenly, we have a sea goddess trapped in human form, and major strings attached to Will's mission to stab the heart of Davy Jones (and why do I always think of the Monkees when I hear that?). We also have the bizarre locale of "The Locker," where Jack has been sent. The whole scene there bored me, when it was obviously supposed to be funny. The only part of the mythological aspect I liked was the boats going past, but only because it advanced the plot.

And then there is the ending. SO depressing! It's definitely been left open for a fourth film, but two of the main characters are effectively out of the picture. There is a darkness about the whole film, from the beginning in Singapore to the very end. And yet, the plot lacks a truly evil bad guy. Jones, Beckett, Norrington, Barbossa, Calypso, and even Jack and Will, play the bad guy at various points in the movie, but none of them are the really nasty bad guy you can't wait to see suffer. As a result, no one is truly good and heroic either. You can't have a true hero if you don't have true evil.

Now for the positive. I loved the action sequences. The special effects are magnificent, especially the maelstrom sequence. Though again this smacked of the mythological, since it is obviously not physically possible. The acting is superb. Certain aspects of the plot, for example what happens with Will's father, are very nicely resolved. And the opening for the next movie is sheer brilliance. Perhaps they can return to the fun, fantasy world created in the first two movies.

If you haven't already seen it, wait for the DVD. Unless you are a die-hard fan like me.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Does a crown make me a queen?

I have to go to the dentist this morning. Again. To have him work on that root canal tooth. Again. I cracked it and now I need a crown.

Here's what's cool, though: at soccer practice last night, this other mom I've been chatting with during every practice offered to watch the boys for me while I go! They've been begging to go to her house anyway, so I was thrilled to accept her offer. I might play SPF later, when I'm back and somewhat recovered, but for now I'm going to get ready to go.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

LOST finale (Spoiler alert)

Wow! What a finale! It is cruel and inhuman of the producers to make us wait until February of next year. In fact, I considered not watching when I knew it was going to be that long. But curiosity won out and I'm glad.

Now, I know I'm not the only one out there analyzing this show. But I would like to point out that absolutely nothing of my theory from last year has been disproved. If anything, it's been strengthened. Why would Penny be the first face who popped up on the Looking Glass screen? Because her father was part of starting Dharma. The other end of the communicator is in her house. Fits perfectly.

Hubby totally called the "flashbacks" of Jack as "flashforwards" or an alternate universe, one or the other. I was leaning toward alternate universe because he had a beard, and in Star Trek they always had facial hair in alternate universes. Now the question is, was this an actual flash forward, to an unwritten future, or will the show now take place in the present and the flashbacks will be to the island?

Either way, it looks like Ben was telling the truth for once. Though of course no one was going to believe him. I bet his loser dad never read him "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Now, the question for me is, did Ben actually have some sort of glimpse into the future via Jacob, or Desmond-like? Or was he just stating in general that life is better on the island? And why was he willing to let Jack and Juliet go on the submarine if life was going to be so horrible for Jack later?

And why did Jack tell that other doctor to go get his father? Is Jack's father actually alive somewhere on the island and gets rescued with them? Or was Jack just so wasted that he forgot his own father has been dead for four-plus years? It seems unlikely. If Mikhail can keep coming back from the dead, why not Jack's father? I'm just saying.

Whose funeral was unattended? We know it was someone from the island because it's someone Jack and Kate both knew. Would it be Sawyer? I don't know, I think sentimentally Jack would have admitted to being friends with Sawyer. And that would go for anyone else I can think of from the island. Except one. My money is on Ben being the one in that coffin. Think about it. Ben has no family. He certainly has no friends. Who would mourn his passing? No one. And yet Jack would feel drawn to the funeral, perhaps mourning not the man, but the idyllic past he has been trying desperately to reclaim. Of course, we can't say for sure, because Jack said nothing to the deceased (which usually people will do on television).

The other thing that intrigued me was the landing strip Juliet told Sawyer they were building. "For the aliens," hahaha. What is it really for? The Others sure seem to do a lot of contradictory stuff. They don't want anyone to know about the island, but they want to build a landing strip for someone to land there? Huh?

I'm sure I'll watch this a bunch more times before next February, and see things I didn't see last night. These are just my instant reactions to the show. This was the best finale of the first three seasons, hands down. Kudos to the writers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WCW - Heroes

For this week's WCW, I didn't so much take a picture as make a collage. See, yesterday I said that I knew Nathan on Heroes was a good guy. But why was I so sure?

Could it be his resemblance to a certain other hero - one Sam Beckett? You don't have to be a fan of Quantum Leap or Heroes to see this.

I don't think I'm imagining things here, people! What do you think? I think anybody who looks like Sam Beckett (played by Scott Bakula, of course) just has to be a good guy. I suppose time will tell whether my theory of "good by reason of resemblance" pans out or not.

TV finale week

With all the finales this week, I just have to comment. After this week, I'll give my new projector and 80+ inch screen a chance to rest. But for now, I'm totally psyched for the finales!

Heroes (Spoiler Alert - if you haven't seen it yet, skip down)
A very satisfying ending. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time (well, not literally. I was in bed). I love that there's no BIG MYSTERY hanging over us until next season. Just a little one. Who is the man who can see Molly when she sees him? Someone worse than Sylar is pretty bad. I loved how all the heroes had to work together at the end, although in my opinion Peter kind of wimped out. He spent all that time studying with Invisible Guy, and for what? So he could learn to control his abilities. But he still couldn't. Don't worry, though, I'm sure he'll be back next season. Nathan might even be, if he just let go of Peter early enough. And speaking of Nathan, I KNEW he was really a good guy. I knew it. Very satisfying ending.
24 - Still in the middle of it - don't spoil it for me!

Dancing With the Stars - No question the winner should be Apolo and Julianne. Wow. Although I was extremely impressed with all the difficult lifts Joey and Kym did. Laila made the Stacy Keibler mistake - completely boring freestyle routine. Yawn. She will be the first to go tonight, if there is any justice.

American Idol - Even though I was sad to see Melinda go last week, I am really looking forward to the showdown between Blake and Jordin. They are both extremely talented, but Blake is something very unique to this show and I can't help but hope he wins. But honestly, just like Elliott told them last week, they're all going to have tremendous careers.

So we'll see what happens. The finale I'm really looking forward to is LOST, of course. I know they're going to leave me with a cliffhanger that will bug me all summer, but that's not going to stop me from watching it!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Five Year Old!

Can you believe this little guy is five years old today??Happy birthday, little monkey!

Friday, May 18, 2007

SPF - framed!

Kristine's assignment this week involves frames. I had no clue what to take a picture of. Then we went on this little field trip yesterday. We visited Jerusalem Mill, which is a pre-Revolutionary-War mill near where I grew up. They fully restored it about ten years ago and have a wonderful little museum there now.

Outside, next to the blacksmith shop, sat this little wooden structure. I'm not sure what its purpose is, but I thought it looked like a neat place to take some pictures.

So this picture has two meanings for "frame" - the building is only a frame of timbers, and those timbers are framing the boys in the picture!

Did you play?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Road trip!

The boys and I are going on a road trip to Harford County, Maryland today. I grew up there, but I haven't been back since my seven year old was a baby. Should be fun! Pictures soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wild Card Wednesday 5/16

Here's my picture for this week's Wild Card game, hosted by TKW.

This is my second son playing soccer (boy, I'd be rolling in bonus points if the letter were "S" this week). Isn't he cute? Look how he's way out in front, no one anywhere close to him, taking that ball to the goal!

But what I really wanted to talk about was that woman in the red shirt in the back left. That's his soccer coach. I'm pretty sure she's actually Allison Janney.

Now, I know you're thinking, "What would an Emmy-award winning actress, star of the series "The West Wing" and voice of Peach the Starfish in "Finding Nemo" be doing on a soccer field in rural Pennsylvania?" Let us examine the evidence, shall we?

First of all, she has the exact same voice. The first time I met her, I could almost hear her reading the instructions for the Aquascum 3000. Scary. Second, she is very tall. According to IMDb, Ms. Janney is also very tall, a statuesque 6'. Third, she looks very much like her. Not exactly, but she's an actress. That could be makeup.

Now, all of that could be considered coincidence, were it not for other suspicious things I've noticed. First of all, she has a "husband" and a "son" who coach and play on the team, respectively. The "husband" is very white, as is she. The "son" looks Indian. Obviously, he could be adopted or the child of a previous marriage. But I think a more logical conclusion is that the two of them are local actors helping to give her legitimacy as she studies for a role as a soccer coach in an upcoming film or tv project. Second, the phone number she's given us is a cell phone. Which means when I call her, she could be here, or she could be in Hollywood at an awards dinner. Who knows?

And finally, she is just way too into this coaching thing. She actually seems to enjoy it. If that doesn't scream, "I'm going to be getting paid beaucoup bucks to play this role in a few months," I don't know what does.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chickpea guts

I recently bought some hummus at Sam's Club - they were giving out samples and it was really tasty. And it's pretty good for you, too. So, the other day we made some pumpernickel in the breadmaker, and I tried a piece of it spread with hummus. Yummy!

I went to Hubby. "You've got to try the bread with hummus," I said enthusiastically.

He looked at me like I just said he should lick his own shoe. "Um, what is hummus?"

"It's chickpeas. Ground chickpeas. With a little bit of spice. It's good."

He still looked unsure. "I thought it was that Scottish stuff with sheep guts."

"That's haggis! This is hummus. Totally different."

He reluctantly tried it, carefully nibbling one corner of my bread as though it was going to nibble back. Then he had to agree that yes, it was good! Silly man.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More tomorrow

I have so many things I want to write about, and really no time to do it. I had a doctor's appt. this morning and it just threw off my whole day. I'm fine, by the way. Just a recurrent bladder infection that's now gone. I had some blood drawn, too. That's always fun. I usually get all woozy and start to fall over, but I was okay this morning. I think I was too annoyed at how long I had to wait to get too woozy. Half an hour, just to get into the lab to get blood drawn? Add that to the half hour I waited to see the doctor, and I was really wishing I'd remembered that book I left sitting by the back door.

Well, I'm going to have some good stories, pictures, anecdotes and whatnot this week, so make sure you come back. Now I have to go do school.

Friday, May 11, 2007

SPF - A handful

This week, Kristine's assignment is a handful of something.

I hear it every time I go out. First, it's "Are they all yours?" and then when I confirm that, yes, they are, I get (Every.Single.Time.), "Wow, you've really got your hands full!"

Like this is something I haven't noticed. So my standard reply is, "They keep me busy." Which is a polite way of saying, "Just because you couldn't handle it doesn't mean I can't."

And then yesterday, I got this one: "Four boys? Gonna try for a girl next?" Let's examine the idiocy of this question. Was anyone out there aware that, barring expensive procedures, we could actually CHOOSE? Holy cow, how did I miss this?

  1. So, in short, yes, I am busy. So is my friend who has four girls. Kids are work.
  2. Four kids is not so many. I know lots of people with more.
  3. You cannot decide ahead of time what you're having, boy or girl.
  4. No, we are not having any more.
  5. I love being the mom of all boys.
  6. Yes, occasionally I wish for a little girl to dress in pink and TKW's tutus.
  7. However, I would not trade one of my boys for her.
  8. And overall, my life is actually easier because all my kids are one gender.

Any questions? Next time you see someone with kids of all one gender, especially if it's three or more, say something intelligent. Like, "You are so lucky!" Those are the comments that make my day. Because, yeah, I am.

EDIT: And now I see that I was supposed to put something in my actual hand. Oh well. That's what happens when you look at the assignment on Friday morning.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Okay, first of all, I told you so. I told you Locke was getting himself into trouble by trusting Ben. These stupid TV people never listen to me.

Someone visited my blog from the Unilever company the other day, by searching Technorati for mention of a certain weight-loss drink I've been using (which they manufacture). I wonder what they were looking for? A spokesperson perhaps? Someone upon whom to lavish many wonderful gift items? Free samples? Come back! What do want from me? Come back!!

You know, you probably can't tell from my blog posts (snicker, snort), but I've been feeling really scatterbrained recently.

I have to take the boys to the dentist this morning, which means a one-hour-each-way drive and lunch out somewhere. I'm thinking McDonald's. They have diet food, right? Salads. Where they get off charging $4 plus for one, I don't know. Maybe I'll get two side salads. Grr, why does the dentist have to be so far away? Hey, if you're reading this and you know a pediatric dentist who wants to move, give him my email. He/she needs to come here.

Okay, gotta go get ready now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wild Card Wednesday - M

This week, TKW wants to see the letter M represented in our Wild Card pictures. At least, I think that's what she said... Okay - mountains. I know people out west will be saying, "That's not a mountain" in a Crocodile Dundee accent, but around here, this is what passes for mountains.
I hope you've enjoyed the pretty scenery. And if you haven't read the first two chapters of my novel yet, head on over to my portfolio and check it out!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bunch of stuff

Thanks to everyone who read my chapter yesterday. And if you didn't, what are you waiting for?

My oldest son had his homeschool evaluation last night. As always, the evaluator made me feel so much better about school in particular and life in general. She has a two year old also, a foster daughter, who screams just as much as my 2-yr-old, so I asked how she gets school done with that going on. She gave me a few helpful pointers, and sympathized with me in my search for a boarding preschool (just kidding - but any mom of a toddler knows what I mean). All in all, she said we're doing an excellent job, so I'm happy.

We have soccer practice tonight, which isn't terribly exciting for me, but the boys love it. While the 7-yr-old practices, the other three run around like maniacs. I should say the other four, because Hubby runs around too. At least there are other moms there to talk to. I really hit it off with one lady in particular. She's also homeschooling, and then I found out she lives on a side street from our street! I'm going to invite her over sometime - our kids seem to get along pretty well, and they can run around outside while we sit inside and chat over coffee.

Okay, on Heroes last night, how did Sylar unfreeze time? Or did Hiro just lose his concentration? That was disappointing. What's it going to take for someone to kill this guy? And why didn't Suresh kill him when he was knocked out a couple of episodes ago? Stupid.

Finally, you might have noticed I haven't picked a favorite on Dancing With the Stars this season. I can't. I like them all. Well, maybe not Billy Ray. He is an awful dancer, no matter how fun he is to watch. But I can't pick between the other four. Much like AI. I like them all. Who do you like?

Okay, enough of this randomness. I'm sure there's something I'm supposed to be doing.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Cappella, Chapter Two

I finally have Chapter Two of my novel to the place where I want some feedback. If you go to my portfolio, you'll find Chapter Two ready to view, as well as Chapter One if you missed it. I've been doing some major editing of the following four chapters as well, but they're a long way from ready.

I look forward to your comments! Are the characters believable? Are Ellie's actions believable, if not understandable? Do you sympathize with her or just think she's stupid? Is there enough description of the setting? Don't hold back on me - I used to be critiqued by grad students when I was a freshman in college - I can take harsh criticism.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Onesies for Faith

Stacie is a mom of four, whose blog I've been reading for almost the whole time I've been in the blogosphere. Her youngest, Faith, is about the same age as my youngest little boy. Faith has had many health problems since she was born. My heart always fell when I would read that Faith was once again in the hospital with pneumonia, on breathing treatments, or even when she had a cold because that always led to something worse.

Finally, after many tests, doctors have diagnosed Faith with 22q Deletion Syndrome, a genetic problem. She's going to need surgery to place a feeding tube, because of her aspiration problems. My prayers are with this family, as always.

After the surgery, the doctor wants Faith to wear onesies, the little tops that snap underneath, so that she won't easily be able to get to the PEG tube or pull it out. Stacie is having a onesie drive for Faith, because she doesn't have any for her right now. I've already said I'll send her some onesies. If you can spare the cost of a pack of onesies, size 2t, please email Stacie(oneladymedic(at) and let her know. She'll give you their address.

And I know she'd appreciate your prayers, too. Thanks.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sorry - must rant about LOST

You know, I used to love John Locke. He was the best character on the show. Now, I don't know. He scares me. Last night's episode was completely predictable, but that didn't make it any less amazing.

The thing that bugged me about this episode is that Locke wouldn't ask any questions. I'm sorry, but if I were on that island and my mortal enemy suddenly appeared in front of me, I would have to ask questions. Especially when said mortal enemy says things like, "You haven't figured it out yet?" and "Don't you know where we are?"

Sawyer was asking all the right questions, but since Locke was lying to him the whole time, it didn't matter.

Sayid was asking all the right questions because he's smarter than eight other castaways combined.

Kate was asking the right questions because she doesn't like being out of the loop.

Jack was asking the right questions, even though he didn't like the answers.

But Locke? Total babbling fool.

I am glad Sawyer finally got his revenge. And Locke's father definitely got what he deserved. But why? Because Locke is trusting Ben. Again. Because it worked out so well for him last time.

Okay, rant over. At least the two AI contestants who left were the ones who deserved to. Now the final four all need to be named joint winners.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wild Card Wednesday

For this week's WCW, I bring you this:The "W" for this picture is "Watch your back!" Friday's concert was awesome (more about that in this past Monday's post, if you want to read it). And they always end with "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?", arguably (and sadly) their most famous song. So, at the end of the song, they shout, "Watch your back!" and point into the audience. They've changed a lot of stuff in their concerts over the years, but this has been the same since the first time I saw them twelve years ago.
Oh, Rockapella, how I love you!
Did you play?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Wow, what an episode last night! Hubby and I didn't see it coming, which always makes for a good show. It can be rather boring when you're as brilliant as we are and can see every plot twist from a mile away. But, wow! What a show!

Who's your favorite Hero and why? We love Peter Petrelli. He's just awesome. And five years in the future he's even more awesome. Hubby raised a good point, though: if he can heal (which he definitely can) why does he have a scar on his face? I'm sure there's some good explanation.

The next few final weeks should be good. If you haven't watched this show, catch up on Especially if you're a sci-fi/comic book hero fan. Awesome. That's all I have to say.