Thursday, June 29, 2006

I did it! I booked plane tickets to Williamsburg VA...

I am wondering if I have lost my mind! I have never taken two big trips like this in one year. I have gone home to Illinois and taken another vacation or taken a family trip and then a couple trip. But not two big planned trips in one year! I guess I am just living the life I have always really wanted to live! LOL! Seriously, my mom and I have talked about going to Williamsburg for probably 5 or 6 years. I would look at how far it was to drive and then be turned off at the thought of it. My mom doesn't like to fly, so I was avoiding the obvious of just flying there. Well, I finally pitched the idea to my mom and she didn't say no. Then I talked to Tim and Timmy about watching Sebastian, so we could really take an all girls trip. They both agreed! Next, we talked to my sister, Michelle, to see if she wanted to go! Yep! Finally, (well not finally - I still have details to plan) I booked plane tickets today. We are going to go in October. The leaves should be at peak and I am betting they will be all festive with fall decorations and all. My sister, Michelle, will be celebrating her 40th birthday on Halloween so I am thinking maybe we can make a celebration while we are there. Maybe a fun dinner and a ghost tour! Not sure yet! So much to plan! I think we are going to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, William and Mary and maybe, possibly a trip over to Monticello! I am so excited!

Monday, June 26, 2006

My Life Monday

This weeks topic was just to pick our own topic. Normally, I would ponder a topic over and over again and really think about what it should be. As luck would have it, Savannah had a friend spend the night last week. This gave me my topic idea. I was going through my normal evening routine and I was singing. Yes, I said singing. No song in particular, just nonsense singing. Savannah's friend said I was "scaring her" in a non-scary way. That got me to thinking that most people probably don't know I sing a lot! I do NOT have a good singing voice by any means. I would even go as far as saying I have a really AWFUL singing voice. That doesn't stop me from singing in my house or my car. I don't much care for singing in public places like church or Happy Birthday at work. I tend to just mouth the words in those places. So, when did this start? Truthfully, I think my knack for singing comes from my mom. My earliest memory of her is being about 3 years old. We were camping and they would have a band on Saturday night. I remember her dancing with me on her hip and singing -

I'd like to hear some funky dixieland
Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand pretty mama
Come and dance with your daddy all night long
I want to honky tonk, honky tonk, honky tonk
With you all night long
I also remember her cooking with me on her hip and singing -

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
I guess that is where I got my singing from. Why I make up nonsense songs, I really don't know. I don't really remember my mom ever doing that. My nonsense songs go back to when I was little and I sang a song about feeding your dog that went something like this -

If you have a dog, you need to feed him - feed him - feed him...
I think they actually taped that song on an old tape recorder! When I had Timmy, I started singing a song when I washed his hair. It goes to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat -
Rub, Rub, Rub A Dub
Gently Down the Stream
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
Life is but a Dream
I have no idea why I started singing that, but I am still singing it over 17 years later when I wash Sebastian's hair now. Our other tried and true tradition song is for bedtime, 17 years, 3 kids and still going strong...
Nigh, Nigh Sebastian
Nigh, Nigh Sebastian
Nigh, Nigh Sebastian
It's Time to Go Nigh, Nigh!
Insert Savannah and Timmy and you have a classic!
Now, those two songs have a little rhyme or reason - bathtime - bedtime... I don't need a real reason to sing though. I can make up a song about pouring cereal into a bowl or washing a pan. You get the idea! My final confession of singing is that I have tortured my children from time to time by waking them up singing rather loudly the following tune -
Rise and Shine and Give God Your Glory, Glory
Rise and Shine and Give God Your Glory, Glory
Children of the Lord
Timmy gets up for work long before I roll out of bed these days and Sebastian wakes Savannah up, so I have not had the chance to sing to them for quite awhile. But, when the day comes back that Savannah and Sebastian sleep in... you can bet on it... I will begin my Rise and Shine serenade again!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tim got me a new laptop!

Okay, I went to the store with him and actually picked it out and paid for it. So, why do I say he got me a laptop? Because he convinced me that I could let myself have a laptop. I really, really WANTED one, but I am not so sure we NEEDED one. I find myself feeling guilty for getting one just because I want a new toy. We just gave Savannah her own AOL screenname and now she has been standing in line waiting for her turn for the computer. So, that makes 4 people trying to use one computer and while I realize that is better than many have... it sure can be a pain sometimes. And before we know it, Sebastian, will be playing preschool games on the computer. Alright, those were my best reasons for "needing" it, but I guess it all comes down to that I just really, really wanted it! I am sitting on my couch using the wireless connection, while Tim sits right next to me in his rocking chair watching a movie. That promotes family togetherness, right? Did I mention that I really LOVE technology? Just think... I can blog on the couch, I can blog on the porch, I can blog in my bed, I can blog while Sebastian takes his bath, I can blog while Tim researches fish and reptiles, I can blog while I am on vacation! Oh, what a new and wondrous ability!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This is what SYRUP and HUMIDITY do to baby curls...

Which Sesame Street Character are you?

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
Oddly enough, I find this to be pretty accurate! Oh how I was hoping to be furry, lovable old Grover or Cookie Monster. Oh well, the quiz don't lie!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Our weekend with TWO outings...

Yes, I actually went out TWICE this weekend. I know that is absolutely amazing! My mom and my sister, Michelle, gave us a gift certificate to our favorite Mexican place. We didn't use it on our anniversary because he wanted to go fishing, so we went out Friday night. It could have been completely uneventful and it pretty much was, but this one small thing happened that I think we will probably laugh about for years. Here is the story:
We seat ourselves and the waitress comes over. She asks us about drinks. He very clearly orders a COKE and I order an ice water with lemon. We always order this anywhere we go. She comes back with two ice waters with lemons. We nicely correct her and tell her he would like a coke. She looks a little ticked, but brings him a coke. I gladly snag a second lemon for my water. We order dinner and life is good. She walks by and dumps ICED TEA in his half glass of COKE. I tell her that she just put tea in his coke and she gives me this look like I am the biggest pain in the you know what. Hello... we didn't ask for a refill. They charge for refills and his glass was still pretty full. She just decided to dump tea in there. She very snottily asks if he NEEDS another coke. Well, hmmm... I am eating hot, Mexican nachos, I may very well like to wash that down with that coke I had ordered and was quite enjoying. A very long time seems to pass and she finally comes back with his coke. Back to our nice dinner. We get the check and he looks it over to see if she charged him twice for his coke. No, not because we are poor and on the verge of bankruptcy, but because it was her mistake. Well, she didn't charge for two cokes, but she did charge us $1.55 for "agua w/ lemon". Huh? They give you a small glass of water for free, as many as you want. So, if I get a lemon slice with a larger glass of water, it is $1.55. Call me cheap, but I think that is nuts! And, no, I don't order water to be cheap... I really pretty much only drink water. If I am paying $1.55, I would like a small dish of lemons! LOL! We did not contest the bill, we were ready to go home. We are faced with the dilemma of loving the food and hating the service. I think we will try their other location and see if it is better there.

Our next outing was very nice. We went to the movies with our son, Tim II, a lady friend that he likes, her parents, her brother and another male friend of our son's. Our good son treated us to the movies for Father's Day and a belated Mother's Day gift! Very nice! We saw The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift. I really liked it! I know that probably sounds surprising, but I really did enjoy this movie. I actually liked the first The Fast The Furious as well. I didn't so much like the second one. The funny thing about this last one is that it stars, Lucas Black, from Sling Blade. So, Tim and I spent too much time imitating Billy Bob Thorton saying something like "I need to sharpen my them thar sling blade hmmm... hmmmm..." If you have seen the movie, you know just what we are talking about. If you haven't, (like my mom) we just sound like nutcases. Tim leaned over to Timmy in the middle of the movie and did his best impression of good ole' Billy Bob. Good thing Timmy wasn't sipping his soda because he just lost it laughing! A very enjoyable night out!

My Life Monday

I am actually going to do this on Monday... no pressure... it may not always be Monday, but this week it just happens to be Monday! HOORAY! This week's topic in honor of Father's Day:

Tell us what makes your spouse great!

Wow, now there is a topic. I know most people think their spouse is great. At least I hope they do. But, seriously, my husband is REALLY GREAT! I mean he is. I know you are saying that I am just saying that because he is my husband. No, really, even if he weren't my husband, I would say he was great. He is just this really nice guy. He is fun to talk to and pretty easy going. Not to mention, he is really quite good looking. Actually, I think he gets better looking the older he gets and I find that incredibly unfair! So, specifically, what makes him great?
  1. He is a wonderful, terrific, fantastic, magnificent dad. He listens to his kids and they love to talk to him. They meet him at the door and can't wait to share whatever is on their minds. He wants these kids to be happy more than any other single thing.
  2. He buys me chocolate. Even if I am trying to lose weight. He knows it is my one very favorite thing in the whole wide world to indulge in. He knows that I love it with probably way too much enthusiasm. He doesn't look at me like I am eating all those calories, blah, blah, blah!
  3. He keeps his promises. Now, there are some who may read that and say, huh? Aren't you always nagging him to finish this or do that? Well, yes, I do nag. I admit it. I mean the really big promises. You see, I met him when I was 14 years old. He says he knew I was it right from the start. He asked me to be his family and that he would take care of me and stick around. At 16 years old, I took that step and he kept his promise. He has stood by me no matter what and did exactly what he told me he would do. So, he keeps the really big promises and yes, he even does most of the little ones too.
  4. He smells amazing! He just does! There is nothing like walking into my bedroom in the middle of the day and catching that scent from his pillow.
  5. He loves my family. He cares about them and knows they are people that I feel responsible for. He adores my mom and would do anything for her.
  6. He lets me talk endlessly. He may not follow all that I am saying, but he will let me talk until I can't talk anymore.
  7. He can fix just about anything. We have a spot on the counter and it seems Savannah puts every broken thing there for him to fix. He fixes the big things too. If the water heater breaks, I don't even hesitate to think that he will just take care of it.

I am sure there are many, many more things to write, but I like the number 7, so I will stop there. Wow! That was sorta fun, listing some of the great things. Good thing he didn't just tick me off or this could have been a really different post! Just kidding!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Can you explain this to me?

Savannah has been watching Little House on the Prairie at her friend's house. She got to act out some of it with them and had a wonderful time. She now wants to watch every episode. Great! Right? Well, here is the thing. She was saying that she was the youngest girl, Mary. I was like ummm... Mary was the oldest. She says NO! That is not right. Okay, can somebody please tell me how my little girl that is 7 years old can tell me the logistics of a show that has been off the air for how many years? I know you are saying these are just one of those things kids do and you have to let it go. I know and I will, but first I had to start remembering "my little house days". Little House on the Prairie was on from 1974 to 1983. I was just 2 years old when it started. Obviously, I don't remember watching at 2 years old. I do remember watching it from the time I was probably 4 on up. We must have watched reruns as well, because I am fairly certain I have seen most of them. I distinctly remember my sister, Leann, (hi Leann) insisting we watch it. I would like to tell you about the PRE-remote control before the invention of what we now know today as a remote control. See, we had a typical turn the knob big console TV. Somebody broke the channel changing knob. I have no recollection of it ever being there, so I don't know when it happened. My parents improvised with a PLIERS to change the channel. So, the keeper of the pliers was in control of what channel we watched. I know it is not nice to name names, but let's just say there was a certain sister who liked to be in control. I remember my brother saying he hated Little House on the Prairie and then the fighting that would happen next. Leann always won! (Oh, I forgot I wasn't naming names.) Okay, back to my present day story... so Savannah is telling me that Mary is the youngest. I go on to tell her that Carrie was the youngest. I always thought about Carrie because we shared a name. Then I suddenly remembered that they had another baby girl named Grace. I told her you never really got to see that baby all that much and I didn't know what happened to her. Next I told her that Mary went blind and then married a blind guy, Adam, and started a school for the blind. AGAIN, she tells me NO - that is not what happens to Mary! Ahem... where does she get this stubborn nature? (La, la, la, I can't hear those people saying it is from her mother!) Well, I located that Little House is on the Hallmark Channel at 4pm each day. I feel as though I must enlighten her to the truths of this show. It is my duty, right? I know she won't believe me when I say that Laura married Almanzo (I always loved saying his name- ALMANZO!) Or she will be telling me that Nellie was a nice girl! I just can't have it. And does she even know about poor Albert? Probably not. My work is just beginning - there is a whole frontier to teach her about.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A little slow on blogging this week...

I don't have any real excuses for not posting SOMETHING, at least pictures. I just haven't been doing it. I did clean my house, so that has to count for something. Anyway, rather than several different posts for each thing - I am doing a week in review type of thing. I have to change up the norm every now and then.

So, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - pretty boring. Unless you want to talk about using the Hoover Floormate or typing up address change letters for work. We did have have a neighbor girl come over to play on Wednesday for the first time. I guess it went pretty well. Not really sure how I feel about it yet. I think we need another playdate to see how it will go. Thursday was a little more exciting. Savannah's friend came over to play. I had eaten lasagna at work a few weeks ago and ever since wanted to make some at home. I got all the stuff and the girls and I had an assemble the lasagna party. I gave them each a pan and walked them through it. They had a blast! And I got 3 lasagnas made in no time! For those wondering, I do NOT make homemade sauce! I figure those wonderful people at Ragu have worked really hard to make the best sauce they can - I may as well benefit from it. I do add hamburger and Italian sausage to the sauce. We made 3 cake pan sized and one square one for my mom! I guess there will be lasagna for dinner if there is nothing else in the freezer.

While most of the day was HAPPY, my darling teenager came home and was a GRUMP! Can you sing the Noggin song - "If you wanna be a grump..."? Dad had a nice talk with the GRUMP and life is much better now.

This brings us to the pets part of my post. Savannah has 3 hamsters and a little breeding business going. A pretty lucrative business at that! Her one hamster just had her 3rd litter of babies this past week. Savannah was checking on them and Sebastian had to get in on the action.

Tonight, Tim got the little baby snake out and let Sebastian hold it for the first time. Boy was he excited! I am not so sure the snake was as happy as Sebastian was! I think that about covers the main parts of the week. I am sure I will think of something more over the weekend. Okay, so it wasn't the most exciting blog entry... at least there were lots of cute pictures! You can't have it all... maybe there will be some really exciting thing to tell you about next week. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Life Monday on Tuesday

The topic for the week is your favorite childhood toy. This is an easy one for me. I instantly thought of my dolls. I loved baby dolls. Santa brought me a new baby doll every Christmas. One Christmas when I was about 7 - my dd's age, I got a baby doll named Soft-A-Tina or something like that. I know her name was Tina and I remember something about Softa in my mind! She was the size of a real life 6 month old baby. Now, Santa, did not just bring this great doll... he brought all the accessories. I got a 70's style diaper bag - you know the hard sided one with the flip up tops? It was filled with real baby clothes (later I learned there was a fun visit to the thrift store to find these clothes), a real snowsuit, and finally a REAL UMBRELLA STROLLER! I can still remember how excited I was. Some people say they wanted to be a vet, zoologist, doctor, actress, etc when they were little. I always said I wanted to be a Mommy. I loved my doll. I got her all dressed to go to my aunt's for Christmas brunch. I was her momma! I would think there is a picture of her somewhere, but my mom has taken most of our childhood photos hostage for special albums. So, that would be my favorite childhood toy.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Winter Promise American Story Week 1

We started our History and Bible with Winter Promise this past week. It is still early, but from what I can tell... I think we are really going to like this program. It was not too much and not too little. We did the reading and some of the activities in about half hour to 45 minutes each day for four days. Being super busy like every other mom I know, that was a concern of mine. I would say that Savannah is enjoying the book selections and that she definately liked the hands on activities. The teacher's guide was extremely helpful. One of the books we read from was called Wild West. We are actually studying when the first Native Americans came over. I would never have thought to look in a book on the Wild West for info on that. It just seems to be the wrong time period. BUT... there is info leading to how the Wild West was before we came to settle there. That is the beauty of using this program. The author has pulled all these unique books together for you. I am assuming she probably was studying the Wild West and noted that there was some great info that could be taught about the early Native Americans. This really impressed me. I can go the library and spend a lot of time trying to find that info and teach Savannah with real books and I still would not have come away with this book. That in itself has made this program worth it to me. I am happy to find something that does the research for me. We made a Native American diarama, a 3-d map of the Bering Strait, a map of the different regions of Native Americans and finally she made some Navajo bracelets. For anyone considering the program, the prep work was very minimal. I just got a few of the books from the library. Then I used my printer to copy the diarama and 3d map onto cardstock. The bracelets were made from a toilet paper tube, tinfoil, tape, and blue cardstock - all easy to find. We are really enjoying the story of The Birchbark House. I think we are getting a good picture of how these Native Americans lived. All it all, I successful week! I am excited to move on with this and see what is next.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Today is our wedding anniversary...

Somehow 16 years have passed since these pictures were taken. I am not sure how exactly! Today has been a good day. A typical day, but when I really think about it - a good day. I woke up beside my husband this morning and cuddled with him. I told him "Happy Anniversary" in a sleepy voice and he replied with a sleepy "Happy Anniversary". He called me on his lunch hour like he always does and told me again. The rest of the day has been our usual routine. We are going to go out to eat when he gets home. Then we are going fishing for awhile. So, what do I think about when I think about the last 16 years? For the most part, they have been good. We have had lots of happy times and lots of blessed moments. Don't get me wrong, we have sure had "those" times. Honestly, there was a whole year when I had to remind myself to "BE NICE" to my husband. My sister-in-law, Debi, and I shared the little joke of the "BE NICE" phrase. I had told her that was my motto for the year and she kept me accountable to it. But, overall, we are lucky. We have grown up together and we fit together. Clark Gable said the following quote once and it stuck with me.

"The most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door, someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps."
I remember the first summer we were married. Tim would come home on his lunch hour with our little blue Chevette. He would drop it off, so I could take the car. Then he would take his motorcycle back to work. I watched the clock all morning waiting for him to come home. I was excited to see him! It has been 16 years since then and at the end of the day, I find myself looking at the clock every few minutes because I know he will be calling me on his way home. Then when we hang up from talking, I keep watching the clock because I know he will be home very soon. I am still excited to see him!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Gone fishin'

I am a little behind on getting these pictures up. We actually went fishing on Sunday night. One of the perks of having your kids so far apart, is that the 17 year old can get the little ones to bed. We ran by Checkers for dinner and then it was off to fish on the bridge. We do this every so often and everytime I think how much I like doing this with Tim. Then for whatever reason, we don't do it again for quite some time. So... this time... we are going again soon. Matter of fact, we are going tomorrow night! We didn't catch much. I caught one and Tim caught two. Sorta pathetic! But I enjoyed talking and watching the sunset! He just loves fishing. It doesn't matter if he catches anything!

Introducing - Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Leann Lowe...

My sister got married on
Tuesday, May 30, 2006.
I am so excited for her and love that she looks incredibly happy in this picture. We were not all able to attend her wedding, but the happy couple along with her son will be visiting all of us in August. My sister's 3 daughters will all be arriving from different states as well. We will have what my Tusie Emma used to call a "potty" to celebrate! Congratulations to my sister! You deserve great happiness and love! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Life Monday... so it is Wednesday... adjust...

I looked to see if she had posted a question for Monday, but I didn't see a new post. Well, I ACTUALLY read the rest of her last post and saw that she had put a topic for "next week". This is one of my faults... reading ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM of something. I tend to skip and skim and never read everything. This has gotten me in some interesting messes! Anyway, so it is Wednesday and here is my post. Maybe next week I will actually get it on Monday. No promises.
Take a picture of something (not somebody) that represents part of who you are. Share that object and tell why it is significant to you.

What the heck is it? You mean you don't KNOW what that is? Okay, I don't know the official name for it, but I call it "The Smasher". Why is this significant to me? This little item used to belong to my Great-Grandpa - my mom's grandpa. He was a baker. He owned Burkel's Bakery.
He used to this little smasher to "smash" meat through the grinder. They made other things besides baked goods, obviously. When my mom was a kid, her mom used this to grind meat as well. When I was a kid, I remember my mom using it to smash walnuts, etc. Fast Forward to sometime in the 90's. We had moved to FL and we had pretty sorry windows. My mom put this thing in the window to hold up the window. I bought this house from my mom about 7 years ago. Along with the purchase, we retained certain things... the grill, patio furniture, washer and dryer... oh and THE SMASHER! I have had the house for 7 years and until this past winter, have had this sitting on my window ledge for the times when I needed to prop the window open. My WONDERFUL husband put new windows in this past December. I LOVE my new windows! They are pretty and they actually open and close - such a bonus! I took the smasher down off the window ledge. I put it away in the cabinet. I still use it to "smash" the big bag of frozen shredded mozzarella cheese or to "smash" graham crackers for a homemade crust or for ice, etc. You get the idea. It still gets used more than 80 years later. Recently, I was making chicken parmesan and I was needing to smash the frozen cheese. I was on the phone with Tim and all of a sudden I couldn't hold the conversation. I couldn't find the SMASHER! It was not in the cabinet. It was not on the window. I was in a small panic! Did it get tossed out during one of our gatherings? My mom would be so sad to hear it was gone! Tim was like, ummm... where did my wife go? I was talking to you and now you are in your own world. I started to tell him I couldn't find the smasher! He assured me it was somewhere. Alas, there it was on the wrong counter in the wrong place. I smashed my cheese and made my family dinner. I wonder which one of my kids will inherit the smasher. Maybe we will have to create a "pass the smasher" ceremony...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Nutrition 101

We are not the most nutritious eating family. I do try to do what I can. My kids don't like veggies. Well, for that matter, Tim and I don't really care for much of them. We like a few here and there, but you get the idea. We all do enjoy fruit. Okay, I guess Tim doesn't really but he will eat the occasional fruit to get me to shut up. A friend of mine gave my kids some Hi-C ice pops. They liked them and I was going to get some. I haven't been able to find them at Walmart, Sam's Club, or Target. I don't do grocery stores. I am sure that is probably where they came from and I will ask her if I ever think about it. So, we are at Sam's Club and I decide to just get the Flavor Ice pops. Here is my problem with these... my kids don't like certain flavors. Those flavors end up on the bottom of my pantry. Eventually, a box or something breaks one open and I have a mess. Then I don't buy the stupid things for at least a year. I also have noticed that for some unknown reason these ice pops make us all choke for no apparent reason at all. But... I have had lots of kids over and I thought cold, ice pops would be good to have on hand. The big box goes on the bottom of the cart. Next, I go to look by the juice to see if there might be the other ones because I am hard-headed and can't believe you can only get these Hi-C ones in the grocery store. Well, they didn't have them in the juice. All of a sudden, a lightbulb goes off. You know the homemade popsicle thingies most of us have clutter a drawer or cabinet??? Yes, I have those! I have had them since Timmy was little. How many times have I actually used them? Well, let's just say that is a small number. Brilliant mom asks Savannah if she would like to make her own popsicles. Of course! I remove huge box of sugar water ice pops from my cart and instead get apple and orange juice. This is for a whole 'nuther story about how Savannah and Sebastian cannot eat or drink anything the same and make my life easier. Apple juice for her and orange juice for him. We came home and made popsicles. I knew she would eat them, but I was not sure he would. He will occasionally drink OJ, but it is hit or miss. I casually give him an apple juice one because that was what we had first. He was very cautious, but in the end... he ate it! Hooray! I actually got at least a serving of fruit into his body! We moved on to the OJ ones later and this he liked very well. It is a small thing, but it sure makes me happy!