Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Every Morning



Typically, I have found New Year's Eve depressing. All the reflecting on the past can really get me down. But this year I look to the new year with great anticipation. I am hopeful for better, no, much better things in my life in 2006. The Lord has been ever faithful in providing for me in all I have needed. Today I am bursting with gratitude, thankful for all of the very special people I have gotten to know over this past year. I've deepened old friendships and made new ones, and am even learning to break some of my old unhealthy relationship habits. This past year has had many pleasant highlights, and has certainly been better than 2004, but I am still happy to get it behind me and go forward.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Geographic what?


Last May was pretty much all about oral hygiene and dentistry for me. I had been suffering from some tooth pain, and when I finally got to the dentist and had x-rays done, it was discovered that I needed thirteen fillings and two were very near the need of root canals. I have a bit sweet tooth, to put it mildly, and that coupled with the fact that I hadn't seen a dentist since I was pregnant with my second-born (now 5 yrs old) meant some serious tooth decay. Needless to say I got all patched up after five trips to the dentist (in one month), lots of ibuprofen and a little vodka. Today was my biannual dental cleaning and the only news I got this time, praise God, is that I have geographic tongue, also called benign migratory glossitis. My tongue is going places people! Don't worry, it's not even contagious, it just looks weird, and for some people can cause sensitivity to spicy or hot foods.

I remember when I was a teen, I was on vacation with my friend Tif, and her family. We stayed in a little double wide trailer near Busch Gardens and Williamsburg. Anyway, her brother (whom I happened to have a mild crush on at the time) proudly displayed his geographic tongue to me as we were passsing each other in the hallway of the trailer. I thought it was weird, but then again so was he (that was his charm), so it fit perfectly. Now I have joined him with the rest of the 3% of the population who has this unusual condition.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My inner child

I took this test
and here are my results...

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.
How Is Your Inner Child?

So how about you?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Longwood Wonderland



Yesterday we had the pleasure to be treated by my dad to a trip to Longwood Gardens for their beautiful winter display of lights, flowers, and seasonal decorations. While daylight persisted, we toured the magical land inside the conservatory which is filled with exotic plants and flowers, water falls and decorations. They have been rennovating, and the conservatory won't be complete until 2008, but there still is plenty to see and enjoy. We saw a magnificent sunset before our dinner, and then the outdoor gardens were transformed by the darkness of night and the wonderment of electric lights. It was breathtaking. Perhaps those nearby may have thought me a tad obnoxious, because I kept exclaiming, "WOW! OOOOh, Wow!". To keep warm the boys and I held hands and did lots of skipping and running. We concluded the evening with the spectacular performance of the fountains (synchronized with colored lights to Christmas music). If you are near enough to visit, I highly recommend this outing, it's well worth the $15 per person.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Frog Eat Frog World

What can I say? They are carnivores.....Only one froglet now, but his belly is nice and round.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Art Therapy III



Last year I had resolved to do more drawings to work out my emotions in a visual way. I started a drawing last year similar to this one, but never completed it. This one is mixed media; graphite pencil and pastel with some computer alterations. I call it "Letting Go".

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia

I had the pleasure to see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe today at the Rotunda Cinamatheque in Baltimore. So, here's my review of the film:

First let me say I am a huge fan of these books, I've read them many times so I know the stories pretty well. The film strays at many points from the details of the plot, in order to keep it suspenseful and action packed. These deviations are okay as long as they preserve the integrity of the story, which they do, so I'm fine with them. The special effects are far better than any previous rendition of this film I have ever seen, although there were a few moments where it was a little too obvious the actors were in from of a blue (or green) screen. I was especailly pleased with the character of Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy), every time I've seen him dipicted, I have found him creepy or devilish, but this Mr. Tumnus was sweet and charming and actually likeable, as he should be. The actors playing the Pevensie children were also top notch. Kudos to Georgie Henley (Lucy) and Skander Keynes (Edmund) especially.

My biggest beef with the film are the bits of "humanity" they imposed mostly on Peter. In the books he shows strength and leadership from the onset. He's respected by his siblings, and even Edmund minds him in his sulky way. Not so in the film. Peter is a bit too wimpish, constantly wanting return home where it is "safe". I suppose this was to show his genuine concern for his siblings, but to me, it seemed cowardly. Once the children hear the prophesy from the beavers (in the book) there is no question in their minds about what they must do. They never had any thoughts of turning back.

I could go on and on about it, I really enjoyed it. I went as a treat for myself, but also to preview it for my boys. After seeing it, I think it would be too much for them on the big screen. The film really plays up the whole chase of the secret police (wolves) and I'm pretty sure that would resurface in their dreams, sending them to me in the middile of the night. The evil beasts and Jadis herself (Tilda Swinton) are also quite eerie. I appreciate the PG rating ("for battle scenes and frightening moments") for the film because there isn't gratuitous violence or explicit gore where there certainly could be pushing it to a PG-13 rating, but it still is scary for children to watch. In fact, I think the battle scenes are less scary then all the suspense of the chase scenes and watching Aslan's sacrifice. I haven't made my final decision on it, but I'm pretty sure for the ages of my kids (6 and 5) it would be best to view in the safety and comfort of our living room, where we can stop it as need be discuss it. I'm sure they will love it too, bad dreams and all, but my sleep is too important to me.

I've been nudged

Dawn, has nudged me to share five random things about myself that (I'm guessing) I haven't yet disclosed to my readership....hmmmm, let's see.....

  1. I hate to buy two of anything that are exactly the same. That said, I did however buy two identical black t-shirts last spring because I loved it (them) so much.
  2. My favorite flowers are lisianthus , irises, and roses.
  3. I double pierced my left ear (myself) when I was 18; it didn't go all the way through. About a year and a half ago I finally had it done professionally. It is a reminder to be true to myself, a literal earmark in the history of me.
  4. I whistle very much like a tea kettle.
  5. My new perfume, Vanille, I am told by my sons, smells like Lucky Charms. (This is supposed to be a compliment?)
So I guess I'm supposed to nudge someone else. Okay, MK, consider yourself nudged.

New Pets

Maybe you noticed (or not) but I have a new cyber pet here at snippets (scroll down). Solid is a sweet, cuddly bunny I adopted. Since no one likes a skinny bunny, please feed her a carrot, she won't eat for me. I also have taken in a puppy we call Aubergine, on my other blog. He likes to jump for treats. My kids are thrilled with these new pets, and I'll be honest, they are a lot less work then our little froglets. Yes, we have two very tiny little frogs now. We named them Camoflage (Cam) and Incognito (Iggy) since they change color.

*Props to Cindy, who's Lady Macbeth was so much fun, we had to get our own little cyber critters.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A little holiday humor

Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged

  • Schizophrenia - Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Queens Disoriented Are
  • Amnesia - I Don't Know if I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • Narcissistic - Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
  • Manic - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Street and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants
  • Paranoid - Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me
  • Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
  • Obssessive Compulsive Disorder - Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells .....
  • Agoraphobia - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day but Couldn't Leave My House
  • Autistic - Jingle Bell Rock and Rock and Rock and Rock and Rock and Rock
  • Senile Dementia - Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles from My House in My Slippers and Robe
  • Oppositional Defiance Disorder - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause So I Burned Down the House
  • Social Anxiety Disorder - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Time to Die

I just received news from a family I was once a nanny for, many moons ago, that Matthew, age 15, recently died peacefully. For those of you who know me well (and long) you probably remember me sharing stories of this special boy who was burdened with many complications. He had an "undiagnosed disease of the central nervous system" that included cerebral palsy, mental retardation and epilepsy. I cared for Matthew in his early years, from about age 6 mos -2 1/2yrs, until his siezures became uncontrollable and he required constant care, hospitalization, and finally specialized foster care. I lost touch with the family over the years, and in the back of my mind wondered if he was still alive or if his prognosis had ever changed. Today I learned that no, he never progressed beyond the physical or mental capabilities of a three month old, although his body continued to grow. I am saddened by this news, and yet, relieved as well. It is terribly painful to see a child imprisoned by their own body and mind because of some bizzarre misfiring in the brain. I remember him happy and bright eyed, a lover of peanut butter and graham crackers (before the necessary feeding tube) and then he slowly slipped away... I loved that little guy. We called him Bud-Bud. The same morning of his death his grandmother also passed away. I think perhaps she was called to welcome Matthew into glory.

On a Roll

Randy, since you asked....this is what the picture below really is.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogroll please........


Friends it's been long in coming, but I've finally figured it out. Only trouble is it's way at the bottom of the page, so keep scrolling down. If you want a slice of the action, post me a comment or something. I'm only going to blogroll those whom I think are rollworthy.

*If at first you don't succeed... I did it! The roll has been called up yonder (higher) on the page.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

WHAT?!


In the TTLB , I am only a Multicellular Microorganism today? What in the world happened? I've alternated between a Slimy Mollusc and Flippery Fish for the past several months, how could I deevolve this much? C'mon people link me. ;) I'm only one step away from becoming an Insignificant Microbe.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Coiffure

Perhaps this isn't the best photo to show it off, but my locks and tresses have a new look. I had a really great stylist at a Salon/Spa where I earned a good bit of Spa credit doing some decorative painting with a friend. It's nice to be pampered a little, although I have yet to have someone give me a better shampoo than the tiny Asian woman in that Northern Virginia Hair Cuttery I used to go to. That woman used some kind of ancient accupressure technique well worth the 12 bucks I paid for the mediocre haircut.

Monday, December 05, 2005

plug for Randy

My friend Randy is selling his very cool artwork here. Check it out, buy something, and support a very cool Christian artist.

The wonder of boys

Sometimes I worry that my sons aren't getting enough "man-to-man" time...and then there are mornings like these when I think they couldn't be any more "boy" than they are. Today after our lessons, K and D are playing walkie-talkies. Here's the "fun" part: one boy sticks the walkie-talkie in the back of his pants while the other (in the other room) makes farting noises. They think this is hilarious of course...I'm less amused, but boys will be boys. I'm glad they have each other, their bond of brotherhood will be tough to sever.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Olde Thyme Worship

I visited First Presbyterian Church this morning. Upon entering the building I was informed I was in for an interesting morning since the heat was out. (Glad I wore the thick tights, boots, a scarf and gloves along with my coat.) However inconvenient it was for some, I felt like I was back in a church of my forefathers, especially since Dr. Tom Martin (of Knox OPC) was preaching in his beautiful (Scotch?) accent.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A quick trip back to Japan

Last night I had the pleasure to revisit Japan by eating at Sushi Hana in Towson.
My experience was a bit different than this one, however it was still good food with the good company of an old high school friend. We met our waitress first when we ordered drinks at the bar, she was authenticly dressed wearing a kimono and lots of eye makeup. It was rather comical having her serve us, because it was apparent that she was eager to serve, however behind the bar it was so piled up with boxes, she was practically doing gymnastics to get us our drinks. When we got our table a few minutes later, she appeared again. Her English was rough, so we were curious to see if she understood us. She brought our order, well most of it. We dined on shrimp tempura rolls, California rolls, tuna rolls, and Philadelphia rolls (salmon with cream cheese). She forgot to bring us the eda mame and the miso soup, but since she didn't charge us for them, and we were so stuffed on the sushi rolls, we didn't mind. She did however, bring us some deilicious Japanese bubble gum with our check. I had fun chewing peach, and my friend liked the melon, "It tastes exactly like cantalope!" I replied, "Peachy."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Carnival of the Animals


One of the perks of homeschooling is getting to chaperone my children on cool field trips. Today we
went to a concert for kids at the Meyerhoff and not only heard beautiful music, but saw some pretty innovative puppetry as well. We had pretty good seats in grand tier right, and for myself and the two boys it only cost about 15 bucks.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's a BOY!


Yes folks, I'm an auntie once again. My sister just gave birth to her fifth child, Clark Esidore, 8 lbs 10 oz, 20 inches with lots of blonde hair. Mother and child are both strong and doing well. Praise the Lord for this dear, sweet baby blessing.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Undone

A. Too many things are sitting left undone around here.

B. Once Prettiness gets her hands on something, it will be quickly undone.

C. After pricking the same finger twice quite deeply tonight, I became undone.

D. Then after making a stupid mathematical error, I found that the stitches must be undone and restitched.

E. Undone is a song by Weezer that I like.

F. All of the above.


answer: F

Friday, November 25, 2005

Post Thanksgiving Review

Well, I pulled it off. As my own worst critic, I know where improvements could have been made in the cuisine. In an attempt to avoid the "oh, no the turkey is not done yet" panic, I had the bird done too soon, so I think it got a bit dry, however the flavor due to the under-skin wet rub and the over-skin dry rub was terrific. Not sure exactly what went wrong with the gravy. I had the opposite problem with the cornbread, it was a bit under done in the center. I swear the skewer came out clean! We accidentally forgot MK's delicious sweet potatoes which were warming in the oven. But in my family, it is practically a tradition to forget one dish at a big meal like this. But everything else was superb (If I may say so myself) . Mmmmmm, pie for breakfast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

First Snow

Tonight the fluffy white flakes are falling for the first time this season. Every bush, tree, car and rooftop is getting a nice powdering. T
he individual leaves on the driveway are perfectly snow covered, but the pavement and roads are just wet. It's simply exquisite.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving Preps

Somehow I managed to get to bed at a decent hour for the first time in weeks last night. So when L awoke at her usual 6 am, I was actually O.K. with getting up. I of course changed her, and made her go back to bed, but when I realized how still the house was and how alert I was, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. I spent at least a half hour in reading the scriptures and in prayer, especially making note of what I am thankful for. Paul calls us to be "over flowing with thanksgiving" in Colossians...and while I am very thankful, I don't think I'm over flowing just yet.

After planning the Thanksgiving menu of :

Curried Acorn Squash Soup
The Perfect Roasted Bird (Turkey)
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Buttered Green Beans with Chives
Broccoli (for the kiddos)
Corn Bread
Stuffing
MaryKate's Cranberry Sauce
(& Sweet Potatoes?)
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Cream
The Best Apple Pie

I took inventory, made my list and swooped off to the supermarket with my three children. It was pretty busy there, but not a madhouse. We made our way through the aisles with our list and gathered what we needed. I chose a checkout line that I thought was moving quickly (the kids were getting antsy and hungry for lunch). I happened to behind the coupon queen. One of those ladies who spends $80 on $300 worth of groceries, and it was taking an extremely long time. Finally after the manager cleared her last uncooperative coupon, it was my turn. I had an almost full cart of things and after the total came up to 90 some bucks (after savings), she asked me if I was making the Thanksgiving meal. I said yes, and she replied, "Oh, you must have gotten everything already, huh?" I was confused, I had just spent a good sum on things I need for the meal. Maybe since I wasn't buying the turkey, packaged stuffing, pre-made pies and canned beans, French onions, and cream of mushroom soup, it didn't look like I had the right things. I instead bought ingredients; and in case you are unfamiliar with ingredients they are things like: fruits, vegetables, herbs, bread, oil, spices, butter, shortening, nuts, milk, chicken broth, flour and so on.

This afternoon I am roasting the squash and pumpkin so this evening I can make the soup and the cheesecake. Tomorrow I need to defrost that turkey, it is still rock hard.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do Lists

My mother is the queen of making lists. Every time she and dad head off to some other part of the country or world, she leaves behind a short novel of instruction for the affairs of her household. She also has these lengthy do lists for each day of things she plans to accomplish that day (or week). I go back and forth between being a listmaker and spontaneous doer (although there generally is a running list in my head) of the things I need and want to do. I recall during my teen years I would list every item I needed to pack for the trips I went on to Colorado (for camp) and to Europe (for fun). When household chores overwhelm me, I generally need to list them so I can feel some sense of accomplishment after one is done and I can, not just cross it off, but scratch it out to oblivion. Somehow during the past two years of my personal hurricane, I have managed to get things done without jotting most them down. Presently I am feeling that sense of too much to do with too little time to do it in. So instead of actually doing them, I'm sitting here writing about making lists..typical avoidance :) Tonight I have a small window of time while the kids are at dinner with their father, but it isn't really long enough to do anything of consequence. Perhaps I'll catch up on my magazines (I am two months behind on those) or finish some work in my sewing studio. What I really should do is make a list, so I can feel that satisfaction of scratching something out when I've completed it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Flightless Fruit Flies (say that ten times real fast)


The most disgusting thing I ever spent money on is a vial of flightless fruit flies in various stages of life. One small vial costs about 6 bucks and lasts a couple weeks. Why did I buy these nasty little insects when all I have to do is let a bananna go bad and they are swarming in the kitchen? Our froglet. It's been a while since I've updated my readers on our pets: froglet and tadpole. Froglet, aka: Camoflage (since he changes color to match his surroundings) has been with us for about a month (as a frog, we raised him from a tadpole). Our last froglet died of unknown causes and I thought this one was a goner the other day. He had escaped from the habitat (because I neglected to snap the lid tight) and I couldn't find him Monday morning. I knew he would be in the kitchen somewhere and soon found him on the floor, I could have so easily squashed him, disguised as a dust bunny. His legs had gotten all gunked up with lint. Please keep in mind this froglet is only about the size of my fingernail. Can you find him in the picture? But happily, we were able to return him safely to his home and he seems completely recovered.

I trooped into three different pet stores yesterday with all three children in tow and still came up empty on the flightless fruit flies. Stores don't like to sell them because they die in a couple weeks...which is precisely why I need to buy more. So I spent some time digging in the dirt looking for the most miniscule thread worms and creepy-crawlies I could find to feed this guy. Frogs will only eat live prey. This tiny amphibian is becoming a lot of work, I hope the flies come in soon.

We are hoping Tadpole (now accepting ideas for names, please post your votes in comments) will soon join Camoflage in the frog habitat. He has his hind legs, so it won't be too much longer now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Beautiful Day

My gift from God today was this perfect fall, picturesque day. This is a picture taken from the beautiful place I am privileged to call home on this my birthday.

I had many birthday surprises today. At WOW all of the women (about 60 or so) sang Happy Birthday to me when I walked in the room. Then I was treated with lots of little notes, cards and gifts from the ladies in my Colossians study. (My mom is responsible for all the press my birthday got this year--Thanks again mom.) When I got home there were balloons on my door with a card. I had lunch with my best friend, and her little fella and we all had a great time playing outside in the playhouse, on the swing and with the ride-on toys. While the kids were out with their father, my mom brought me a little and very delicious chocolate cake. I would have to say that my birthday is now complete.

I am so thankful to God for all of the people in my life, new and old, who have been my life-line these past couple years. I would have to say these have been the hardest and yet most personally profitable years of my life. I wouldn't be who I am without all of you! I am also thankful to God for my beautiful children, my home, my family. I am truly blessed.

33....again?

It is my birthday today, and before I forget, Happy Birthday Ben, Heinz and whomever else shares my special day.

How many times can a girl celebrate the same birthday? On Saturday, I had a lovely brunch with some girlfriends at the BMA and then toured the Monet's London exhibit with a couple of them afterward (thanks Jeffy!). I've already opened gifts and received flowers and cards. Last night my folks bestowed their gifts of love upon me, since dad heads out this a.m. for another trip. Nothing spectacular planned for today actually. I've got bible study this morning, possibly lunch with my best bud, MK, and the kids won't even be home for dinner, so I'll either take a nap or go shopping (I got a couple giftcards I'm itching to use).

My children are still too young to really do anything on their own to celebrate, but yesterday when we were grocery shopping, I asked them what they wanted to "make" me for breakfast. They thought I was kidding. Finally, they said "donuts, but we can't make them." I asked if they might be able to put one on a plate for me if I bought some... donuts are their most favorite breakfast treat, and since I have been "quitting" donuts, this really excited them.

I'll drag out the festivities of my birthday as long as I can, but I'm only turning 33 once, and that is TODAY.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloweeners


Mr. Fantastic and Johnny Danger read up on their predecessors.
picture courtesy of ganap!

Our first Halloween, and I'm still not sure about the the whole trick-or-treating business, but I let the kids try it out in my friend's neighborhood. After several houses, D said his bag was too heavy and began to turn away offers of candy! Needless to say I was already completely exhausted from the previous weeks activities, and had almost forgotten about Halloween, when the boys asked me at 4pm if trick-or-treating was today or tomorrow. I think I'd rather just buy the candy, let the kids dress up and call it a night. Am I turning into a scrooge? I don't know. I just don't have the energy required for holidays (or cultural festivities, whatever you want to call them). Once upon a time, I used to love any and every occasion for dressing up, in fact many of my birthday parties have been costume parties, but I just don't have it in me right now.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Birthday!


Today is L's 2nd birthday. Where has the time gone? Oh, yeah, I remember...


Today we also celebrate the birth of my friends', Inge and Greg, newest addition, Joshua Thomas! It's a great day for birthdays! Welcome to the world, Joshua.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

School Marm

My least favorite thing about homeschooling is having this conversation:

person: So are you working, or do you stay home?
me: I stay home, I homeschool my children.
person: (eybrows raised) Oh you homeschool?
me: Yes
person: Wow, I could never do that. I mean I love my kids and all, but I could never teach them. They wouldn't listen to me.
me: hmmm (thinking: you've taught them plenty already just being their parent), well it isn't easy, it's a lot of work, but I'm glad that I am doing it. It is really important to me.
person: I really respect people who can do that, but I never could. I would just go crazy.
me: (wondering how to change the subject without being too obvious) Well, even though I live in the "best" public school district in my county, I don't trust the government to educate my children the way I believe they should be educated. And my kids really like it too, so that helps make it easier. (trying to soften my reasons. now please talk about something else!)

Whenever I have this conversation (or one like it) with someone new, it makes me really uncomfortable, I don't want my new friend or acquaintance to think I'm a kook or some crazy right-wing fanatic...I also don't want them to feel like I am judging them, that I am looking down my nose at them for not homeschooling. It is very difficult to feel strongly about something and talk about it without rubbing someone the wrong way. I guess I just need to get over it. I think what really gets to some of these people is how I am homeschooling as a single-mom. I think that perhaps they feel threatened by this. They have already decided they can't homeschool, so how can I without a husband helping me at home? I'll tell you. It is a decision I made, and I just do it. Yes, my house looks less than perfect most of the time, I have dustbunnies, and dirty dishes and piles of laundry, but that stuff is really not all that important. I've learned that the people who judge me based on these outward things aren't really friends anyway. Those who know me and my children, my real friends, can attest to the fact that, whatever it is I'm doing, it's working.

Monday, October 24, 2005

15 year reunion

I graduated from high school in 1990, this weekend was our fifteen year reunion at Oregon Ridge. It was very low-key, and only about 40 or so people of our class of roughly 400 showed up. This was not your typical "t.v. reunion episode" where everyone comes hoping to show up all the others, attempting to impress with their successes. This was a gathering of real folk, many of us with kids, husbands or wives, some with divorces, and ordinary jobs. Absolutely no putting on of airs, which considering the fact that Dulaney was/is the most prestigious public high school in our county is a pretty big deal. I think I was the one there with the most children, some others had two, and there were some with brand new babies just starting their families. I was glad to have gone, because six of my old elementary school girlfriends were there (Missy, Alicia, Heather, Tricia, Molly, and Ellen) and they are all still local to Baltimore. It was fun to reminisce about old teachers and boyfriends and share who we've bumped into at the supermarket or other places around town. We swapped some phone numbers and plan to keep in touch. Isn't that what we said at the end of senior year?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kid quotes from the day

D said to K, "You're a genius!" and then added "but I'm more geniuser than you are."

L (not quite 2 years) is now attempting knock-knock jokes as she mimics her brothers attempts at humor. There is nothing more surreal than two year old humor.

L: knock-knock (she gesticulates knocking when saying this, it's so cute)
me: who's there?
L: meow-meow (her word for cat)
me: meow-meow who?
L: baby...apple

In other education related news, K is now officially slightly literate. He is reading and writing short-vowel words, but impressed me today at the grocery store when he told me the door said "Fire Exit". He is also "doing addition" and reading prices on things. I find all of this rather exciting. The reading has been slow in coming, but I think now that it is finally beginning to "click" he will love it. He also has his very first loose tooth, which is getting looser by the day. The rice crispy treats we made yesterday have done their job well. Perhaps the toothfairy will be visting our house by weeks end? or maybe by months end, you never can tell with teeth.

update: 10-19-05 The tooth fell out today! I guess I need to find my fairy wings! :)

Monday, October 17, 2005

(sing en francais accent) Thank Heaven for little girls


Prettiness (special effects unintentional)


Prettiness, my littlest bundle of joy turns two in a couple weeks. And she really is a bundle of joy (-ful energy).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Which is it? or are both equally true?

For some odd reason these two expressions popped into my head during my walk on this very fine autumn day. I'm not even sure what I'm asking, but for some reason it didn't seem possible for both to be true...and then my head started to hurt. Tell me what you think.

"If you are not for me, you are against me."

"If you are not against me, you are for me."



Wednesday, October 12, 2005

THE dress


This is my dress...I was hoping for some better pictures, but my dad's thumb was in the way, so this is all you get.

Monday, October 10, 2005

From the past

I saw my second grade teacher last week at the grocery store. I had to introduce myself, she happened to be one of my favorites from elementary school. Her name was, Mrs. Smith. She said she remembered me, can this really be true or is that what all teachers say when they meet former students? and that I looked just the same. It must be the bangs... She said I still have "the same sweet smile". (I couldn't help but think the only reason I recognized her was because she looked exactly the same except her hair was more salt than pepper, but she styled it the same way.)
What made me think to blog about this? Seeing my picture posted below, I do look the same...damn bangs...is it time for another "do" I wonder?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Duct tape me!

My friend, Sandy, and I had this running joke in high school, whenever we did something bizzare or stupid, of saying afterward, "So, what did you do last night?" It was to mimic how we would answer the question the following day after having done something relatively inexplicable or completely embarrassing. So you ask me, "What did you do last night, Joyella?" Oh, I'm so glad you asked.....

I did this last night, and just in case the link is faulty for whatever reason, I will briefly explain. I have wanted a custom dress form to help me with my fitting when I sew for myself. When I sew for others it really isn't an issue, but my critical eye can't see and do what it needs to when I'm wearing the garmet I am trying to fit on myself. Many years ago I saw an article in Threads about making a body double or custom dress form using duct tape. I have wanted to try this ever since, but never had the guts to ask one of my friends help me with it, it is a rather intimate job. It takes a pretty close friend to see you wrapped in a tube of thin cotton knit and then to cover your body with strips of duct tape. But I overcame my body image fears and asked Tree, and she obliged me. We made a night of it, drinking cosmos and laughing so hard I nearly burst out of my silver cocoon. In the end I looked like a female C3PO, I kind of walked like him too. I could barely move once it was done, and cutting me out of the thing made me feel like a snake shedding its skin. Now all I have to do is tape it back together, stuff it and mount it on my old (skinny) dress form. Voila! Another me is born.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seasons of change

It's October and yesterday the Stuntman (D) was running around inside and out with no shirt on. It's been unseasonably warm, which is kind of nice, but it makes me forget it is actually fall. The leaves are still mostly green although some varieties are dropping to the ground and getting crunchy. I love these seasons of transition, in weather, in life the transition seasons are much less comfortable. I am learning in my Bible study on Colossians, God is more concerned with what is going on inside of us than in our comfort. What is life, though, if not a series of changes and transitions from one thing to the next? Nothing stays the same...and that is good. Growth requires change, otherwise you just have stagnation...and we all know what happens in a stagnant environment. All kinds of nasty things begin to grow and fester, and so even remaining the same becomes a change for the worse.

I remember my Life Fitness teacher in college said in order to maintain our level of fitness we need to excercise 30 minutes twice weekly....that's for maintenence! In order to improve our level of fitness we need to exceed that amount. I am thinking that if our physical bodies need that much attention for maintenence, how much more attention does our spiritual body need. I have always, always struggled with the whole quiet time thing. Perhaps it began in my rebellion as a child living in such a revered Christian family. (The rebellion of my youth manifested itself in subtle forms most often.) The importance of having a daily quiet time or devotional was hammered into us from day one. But now I know it is vital to my spiritual health and yet it still is such a challenge to accomplish. I have three little excuses for not having a quiet time who disrupt my mornings. It seems no matter how early I wake, the very fact of my consciouness wakes them earlier too. And I'm not a morning person, but today I did manage to steal a few minutes with the Lord before the ambiant noise of my children rolled into a ruckus. It is my aim to be consistent with this, even if I do have to wake up earlier. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The concert adventure: Coldplay

There isn't a whole lot more I can say than what my dear best friend wrote here , except perhaps that despite the "adventure" of the concert, Coldplay was awesome. They put on a good show.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Having a Fit

In dressmaking, a fit is also known as a fitting. I've been attempting to fit myself with the dress I am working on, which for most aspects is okay (but not ideal-Mom usually helps me with fitting issues, but she is away at present!). I only have trouble with back adjustments, hemming and now in the shoulder over which I am just about ready to have a geniune fit, as in hissy. I have no idea what has happened, in the mock-ups the shoulder was never an issue and now all of a sudden I have this diagonal wrinkle indicating stress at the shoulder. I've tried resetting the sleeves. No change. I've since taken out the shoulder seams, but that didn't seem to make a difference either. Now I suspect the collar is creating the strain, which is what I feared and now I dread re-doing. I have clipped the seam allowances to 1/4 inch already, which will make reconstruction a challenge, but I've got to get this right. The wedding is Saturday, and I pretty much lose tomorrow since I'm going with friends to see Coldplay in Virginia. I don't like the other options in my closet, and I'm getting down to the wire here.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Opinion poll attn: Paul, Astrid, Inge, MK, Mom, and other comment makers

To those of you who actually post comments, how do you like Haloscan as opposed to Blogger comments? I'm torn myself, there are pros and cons which are about equal so if I get some response to this query, it may sway my decision.
My favoritist thing about Blogger was the free email notification of new comments, this is especially handy if someone responds to an old post where I am unlikely to check, Haloscan provides this feature for $...I don't wanna pay for it, but Haloscan has better spam blockers....hmmm

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My day "off"

Today, Saturday, I got so much done! I think I'm getting better at having time to myself. I started the day early 7ish am, so I could cram in a lot of stuff on this my day "off" (of mothering, that is). I made sure to begin right with reading all of Colosians, since that was last week's homework assignment for my new bible study, then I planned the meal I will be serving to some new friends tomorrow evening. After breakfast I had errands: video store, to return Star Wars IV again; fabric store for notions and thread for the fabulous dress I am working on; hair cut (not so happy about this, but it will grow back); supermarket and finally the liquor store. I needed bourbon (which I learned is whiskey, bourbon sounds much more sophisticated) for a pumpkin cheese cake recipe. I got carded again...must have been the bad haircut. After putting the grocercies away, I was off to the park to walk a couple miles, then came back home, had some lunch and set to work on my fabulous dress.

I have designed this dress based on shirt and skirt patterns that I had developed in my patternmaking class last spring. The motivation for getting this project completed is to be able to wear it to my friend's wedding on October 1...which is fast approaching. It is a simply elegant claret silk dupioni wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves and A-line knee-length skirt. The skirt sports a little surprise interest in back with three on-seam godets. I founds some sparkly rhinestone buttons which I will most likely use at the front closure, unless I find a brooche or something better. I've been "in the zone" on this dress, and it feels really good to be sewing something beautiful.

At 5pm the kids came home from being with M (their father) and I was "on" duty again. L has been sick and the boys were exausted (which means easily prone to melt-down) so I distracted them with videos while I made bannana muffins and sausage for dinner. (I was going to make pancakes, but decided muffins wouldn't make them all sticky on the couch.) In the middle of my mixing and baking, L got really sick- more vomitting all over herself and me. So I repeated the bath, change clothes and all vomitous items into the laundry drill from the other day, and then finished making dinner. Promptly after L finished eating, I popped her into bed, let the boys finish their movie while I baked homegrown pumpkins for the cheesecake. The cheesecake is cooling now, and between it and the muffins, my house smells delicious.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Someone must be praying extra for me today...

This day started with disaster written all over it. We all overslept, and I was awakened by the phone ringing (usually a mood buster). It was my mom on the phone calling to say she couldn't help watch prettiness this morning for couple hours while I taught the boys their lessons, because she was feeling ill. We had just made this arrangement for Thursdays, just to give me a little more uninterrupted teaching time, so I being still groggy, hadn't even remembered about it. As I started to wake up a little it did begin to bum me out a bit. It has been especially difficult to get in the groove of teaching again since our foiled vacation plans last week. Anyway, I got over it, but the children had their own funky mood today which compounded matters. D did not want to do his math lesson, or phonics for that matter, and K was getting so frustrated over his reading, the boy needs to be more patient with himself. Meanwhile L didn't want to get off my lap and insisted she have the linking cubes (math manipulative that D was supposed to be using) or was grabbing at my book. Flustered with her beligerance, I finally put her in her room and closed the door. Two seconds later she comes out (she can open doors now, don't know what I was thinking) and proceeds to throw up on the living room floor. At this I decide it's time for the boys to go have some outdoor play while I clean up barf.

Outside L seems totally fine, collecting feathers and stones while I play soccer with D and K. It was the perfect day, warm September sun, crisp leaves gently floating down on soft breezes. We kicked the ball around until it was lunchtime and things seemed to be calming down. L actually ate most of her lunch, D and K ate all of theirs! (my kids aren't big eaters, yet) But, she seemed extremely sleepy so I put her down for a nap right after lunch. After sleeping about 45 minutes she woke crying (not normal behavior) so I go in and she starts throwing up all over me and herself. Poor thing. I give her a bath, change my clothes, strip the crib and start some laundry. I was planning on using her nap time to finish our lessons, but that just didn't happen, she didn't go back to sleep. So, we watched a little bit more of the specail edition Star Wars DVD we rented and then played outside some more. L wanted pizza for dinner, so I indulged her with a homemade mushroom (and pepperoni for K and I, plain cheese for D) pizza. She ate well and then looked so tired I put her right to bed again. After dinner I took the boys outside, made a fire in the chiminea and we roasted (or is it toasted?) marshmallows until it got dark. For bedtime reading we read our history lesson, about the pyramids, so we wouldn't be so behind tomorrow. It was a perfect evening.

Several times today I had the thought "this is a perfect day" and then remembered how the morning went and the afternoon, and still despite those unplanned events, it was still a really good day. I guess it's all about frame of mind, a couple weeks ago this sort of day would have undone me.
Thank you, Lord.

I'm thinking about my doorbell...

White Stripes sings My Doorbell, which is very catchy, and actually had me thinking about my doorbell. I bought a little (cheap) one from Lowes that simply sticks to the outside of my house and through the magic of radio signals rings on a receiver plugged into an electical outlet inside my house. I thought the concept was brilliant because it required absolutely no wiring, meaning I could do this myself. (I like to do things myself, by the way.) The only problem is that this stupid doorbell likes to ring whenever it pleases...sometimes when pushed, sometimes not, or perhaps it just takes awhile to get the signal because often, on days I have visitors, it will ring much later, waking me in the middle of the night.

*Please also note I've switched to Haloscan for my comments here...Blogger was letting in a lot of icky spam.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Well, at least we had two nice days on the beach before we had to evacuate. This is Prettiness (in pink) and her cousin (in aqua) enjoying the squishy sand.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Evacuated

My vacation at Holden Beach, N.C. was cut short because of Ophelia. On Tuesday morning as my sister and I were heading out to buy some toys and games and return some videos, a man walked up to us with a paper in his hand: a mandatory order from the mayor to evacuate the island. They would be closing the bridge at 6pm and after that there would be no getting off or on the island. We had suspected this might happen after watching the weather reports over the weekend, but we kept praying Ophelia would stay out at sea. We packed up our belongings, all of them, and decided to go inland to Lumberton and stay at a hotel in hopes that the bridge may reopen the next day. The town officials had their meeting and decided to keep it closed for another day. After stalling as long as we could at the hotel and then at the public library (we tried a museum, but it was closed due to the inclement weather--it was only raining in Lumberton) we all decided to part ways and head back to our respective homes. Yesterday they reopened the bridge, and Holden Beach did suffer some minor flooding and strong winds, nothing serious, but it was too late to drive back...eight hours in the car with three children is not something you want to do four times in one week.

The local news stations in Lumberton thought it was big news that vacationers and residents of Holden Beach were coming there to wait it out. Channel 13 interviewed several of my family members and filmed me retrieving diapers from the car in the rain. Shortly after their crew left, channel 5 showed up asking if they could do the same... we declined. Five minutes of fame in a day is plenty for this family.We didn't stay in Lumberton long enough to see the report, but my sister told me yesterday she did find it here online.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

natural disaster

I don't write about politics here, or national or current events, mainly because that is not the point of this blog, however, I have been going back and forth whether or not I should say anything about the devastation brought about by hurricane Katrina. Everybody's talking about it. What is left to say?

Only this, I am sad, so sad for all those who are grieving their lost and dead relatives and friends, for those who have lost everything they have ever known in this life, for those who are orphaned, injured, ill or dying because of the damage of this event, and for the havoc this will wreak on the ecosystems, water supply and farming in the south. May God be glorified in the midst of the suffering which we know causes us to depend on Him. May God bring healing and peace to the survivors and their families. May God provide His people with the mercy and means to help our neighbors in their time of need.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Goodbye Jeanine

In about ten days my mother's second book will be on the shelves. It is titled Goodbye Jeanine: A mother's faith journey after her daughter's suicide. Buy it, read it. There is none like it yet available.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Traveling

Sunday, August 21, 2005
At the airport:
I reached the check in counter and presented the man behind the desk with my driver's licence and passport. "I'm sorry," said the man, "but your passport is not valid."

WHAT?!! My heart began pumping so fast I'm sure he heard my panic. The man calmly pointed to a small portion on the passport below a blue line which read : Passport not valid unless signed.

Oh, duh. I dug out my pen and signed it. Phew, that was close. I was also a little nervous about the weight of my luggage, but that also seemed to be okay. Double phew! So now I sit on the first and easiest stint of the trip, Baltimore to Atlanta, after that it gets a little more complicated.

Not even halfway there yet. but on my way to Tokyo! Food has been okay in flight, and there have been several movie selections.

Monday, August 22
Now in here in Tokyo, at the Haneda airport. I arrived at Narita airport and made it through immigration and customs just fine. "Do you have anything to decware?" the customs officer asked me. I stifled my impulse to giggle, "No," I replied. Then I was on my way to buy my bus ticket for 300yen at "Friendly Limosine" to ride another for an hour to the Haneda airport. I'm waiting now for the last stint of this trip, Haneda to Misawa a one hour flight! Going on 25 hours without sleep. I felt dizzy like I was going to fall over waiting in line at customs. I found it entirely difficult to sleep on the plane, perhaps only got about an hour or hour and a half, but not consecutive.

As I landed at the Misawa airport, I was greeted by all 7 of my brother's family waving. I waved back. Later that night they told me they saw me waving too.

Went to bed early and had really surreal dreams where I was I was back home and very disappointed my traveling was all for naught. I was running around yelling, "What is real?!" I was relieved to awake and realize it was just a dream.

The rest of the trip I will tell in pictures, enjoy!

(please pardon the shifting of verb tenses, I was copying most of this from my travel journal)


Tues, Aug 23 The farmers market in Misawa.


"No touchy peaches," scolded the little old woman to my nephew on a previous visit. Look how carefully each one is individually wrapped.


Tues, Aug 24 Across from kimono vendor was this magnifcent display of authentic Samuri armor.


Isabelle eats squid at the sushi place. I ate a squid too, not bad tasting, but a bit too rubbery for my preference. My favorite was the eel (I'm not certain it was eel, but after describing it to someone who knows their sushi, he seemed certain. Anyway it was yummy whatever it was.)


The pink sushi restaurant. (out of order, this was on Wed, Aug 24)


Tues, Aug 24 Kimono and obi from back.


Tues, Aug 24 My kimono, a gift from John and Susan.


Tues, Aug 24 The whole clan, minus Sam who was sleeping in the carseat.


Tues, Aug 24 The birthday boy, William! It was at his request that we go to the beach on his birthday.


Tues, Aug 23 Isabelle at the "other" Miss Veedol's beach.


Tues, Aug 23 Abbey poses by the Mexican restaurant on base, we ate dinner here for Williams 6th birthday.


Wed, Aug 24 Isabelle (and the others) give me a tour of Tonami Clan Memorial Tourist Village. It is sort of like a Japanese version of Jamestown.


Wed, Aug 24 Samuri room


Fri, Aug 26 After Susan takes me to the Cake House for milk tea and chocolate cake, the whole family takes me to the "Sumo Noodle House" for dinner. I think these noodles are called "udon".


Sat, Aug 27 A stop for bento boxes for lunch, Abbey and Laura pose by the bay.


Sat, Aug 27 Isabelle at the Snow Monkey/ Wild Pig park.


Sun, Aug 28 My nieces had lots of fun doing my hair each day. This is one of Laura's creations.


Mon, Aug 29 A brief stop at the fish market, to buy rice balls and just have look around.


These put Maryland's crabs to shame.


Mon, Aug 29 mmm, Octopus!


Mon, Aug 29 A gallery displaying local artist's wares in the mall at Hachinohe.


John, Isabelle and William


Tues, Aug 30 A trip to the Oirasi Gorge with my brother, Isabelle and William.


Tues, Aug 30


Tues, Aug 30 This was my last day in Japan.

Wed, Aug 31
A very long day. I was wakened in the night by another earthquake (my second on this trip, and ever), but it wasn't severe, I just felt the bed shaking for a couple minutes.
The trip home went very smoothly, basically I just did the same things in reverse order. My luggage was searched at the Narita airport in Tokyo. I was pulled aside where a tiny Japanese woman very carefully rifled through my belongings with gloved hands. She seemed more embarrassed than I when my underwear and bras started falling onto the floor. (I had that suitcase crammed full). Afterward she said smiling, "You have a lot of souvenirs." I had to claim my bag in Atlanta for customs where my suitcase was one of the last ones off the plane. I almost fell asleep standing up waiting for it. I was more uncomfortable on the plane this time, and the movies weren't as good. The upside however, was that I finished reading Harry Potter AndThe Half-Blood Prince and that was thoroughly satisfying, but now I'm itching to read book 7. I hope I don't have to wait another two years.

My boys were excited to have me back, and quite clingy and affectionate (that was nice), Prettiness on the otherhand, took a while to warm up to me again. She had really bonded with her Oma.

Now I'm trying to get reaclimated to my environment and get over this jet lag, which has sort of screwed up my daily biorythms.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Quest for Snow Monkeys

Today I travelled up to the "Hatchet," as the people here on base call it, with my brother's family to try and see some wild snow monkeys. The "Hatchet" is the most northern part of the main island of Japan and it is shaped like a hatchet or axe. It took us about two and a half hours to drive from Misawa up the "handle" into the hatchet part, and it was the most beautiful drive. The weather today was blissful, breezy, warm with billowing white clouds and blue skies. Most of the drive up north is through small fishing towns and through mountains, lush and green, surrounded by the glorious blue waters of the bay. We stopped at a Lawson's (the Japanese answer to the 7-11 or Royal Farm Store) for bento boxes for our lunch. Even the prepackaged lunches here are good! Then we piled back into the car to keep driving north. We didn't exactly know where we were going, just hoping there would be signs that would guide us to the right place. We had heard from friends of my brother's that the wild monkeys will jump right on to your car and even take food from you if you aren't careful. What we found was a park that charged 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children ($2 and $1 respectively) to see some sad caged snow monkeys. It was still cool to see them up close and I took a good bit of video footage, because I think my children will enjoy watching them. There was even a teeny tiny little baby snow monkey chasing after his mother for a drink. We never found the wild monkeys who jump on cars and steal lunches from little children, we decided that perhaps that is a legend that people are spreading to promote this sorry zoo exhibit. However, despite our disappointment in not seeing real wild snow monkeys, I did get to drink in the beauty of this day in this gorgeous setting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lots of firsts

I am presently in Misawa, Japan, staying with my brother and his family on the AFB. So far I have been to the farmer’s market, bought a beautiful kimono, swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, had my first sushi, ate my first fried squid, been in a traditional Japanese house, and last night, felt my first earthquake!

There is much more that I will get to see and do here, since I still have 6 more days to experience Japan. It is beautiful here, lush and green and the weather has been lovely.




Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Is it tomorrow yet, cuz it still feels like yesterday?

Okay, since I'm in Japan it is right now, despite what the thingy at the bottom of the post says, Tuesday August 23, 5:20 pm....

I am proud to say, thanks to much prayer on my part and those who care about me, that the flights and bus transfer went smoothly to get me into Misawa around 7pm last night. I went to bed around 8:30pm and slept until 6am today, and hardly feel jet lagged at all.

So far we've had a fun-filled day since today is William's (my nephew) 6th birthday. We had a wonderful breakfast of Dutch baby and then I got to go to the farmer's market with my sister-in-law and then to the BX (which is the Basic Exchange here on the base) to buy me a kimono and obi sash. It's very cool, pictures will come later. Then we went to the beach for the afternoon, and I swam and jumped waves with my nieces, nephew and brother. Next up, Mexican restaurant for dinner. Here on base (the U.S. Air Force Base) it is very much like being in America, but once you step off, you are back in Japan.

5,001 visits

My site meter for snippets just reached 5,001 visits! Woohoo, yay snippets, and thank you faithful readers :D.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm going!

I leave in just a few days to go to Japan. I’m phyched! My brother lives there with his wife and five kids. He is a chaplain in the Air Force, and THE very best brother in the whole wide world-he is the one making this trip possible. So I will go to Japan alone, no kids, no weighty responsibilities, just me (and my brother’s family) for 10 fun-filled days. I will post more on this after my return.

43 Things

I am doing 43 things. Well, to be more precise, I'm aiming to do 27 things, but the list is growing.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Happy Blog-Birthday To ME

August 15,2004 was my first entry....this year on August 15... well, who knows?

It's not really an occasion I care to celebrate (because of the very reasons I started this blog), but it does give me a small sense of accomplishment to know that I have consistently maintained this blog for one year. (I wish I could say the same for my houseplants. I have consistently been inconsistent at caring for my houseplants, but the tadpoles live on!)

What a year it has been! I hope for a better next one. Perhaps in 2006 I will have something worth celebrating. I can only hope.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Home safe

Mom and Dad made it back home safely from Japan late Wednesday night. Thursday was full of strories and presents and home movies of my nieces and nephews brought back to the states by my parents. I leave in one week for my Japan trip. I'm very excited about it, and since my folks pioneered the trip, it has helped alieviate some of my anxieties about travelling abroad alone. They assured me that all the signs I will need to read to make the transfer from one airport to another via bus are in English.

Preparing for my trip has prompted some shopping. Last week I bought a nice pair of black Dansko sandals, but I was so torn between them and another pair that I decided to head up to the Dansko outlet in Pennsylvania today. I was like a kid in a candy store! It was again hard to choose, but at the prices there, I was able to afford two pair for less than one from the retailer! I got the same sandals as the black, but in a butterscotch color and a pair of teal slip on sandals. If you aren't familiar with Dansko, you should be. They are the most comfortable supportive shoe around. It is no wonder why doctors and nurses wear them almost exclusively.

(Dansko has not paid me for this endorsement.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Home school back in session

August first was our first day of school. A little early some of you may be thinking, but when you factor in that we ended our school year mid-May, it doesn't seem so early. Also I have a fantastic opportunity to go to Japan to visit my brother and his family the last 10 days of August, as well as a family beach vacation in mid-September. So I figured if I don't start school now, we won't really begin until late September.

I must say that being able to teach my boys is an honor and delight. This week has been so great, they love the structure and format (thus far) and are highly motivated learners, making my job as tutor pretty easy. The most diffucult part of homeschooling them is what to do with Prettiness, and this week she has only gotten into minor trouble. She kept herself busy with the math manipulatives (how educational of her) for a while and I have taken down the barricade to the boys' room so she has really enjoyed playing with their toys (especially since they aren't in there to stop her from messing things up). This evening I discovered that she also disassembled the boys' night light -so they said- I have no idea where the little light bulb is now, probably in one of her many purses.

Next week will be a challenge (for schooling), because my sister will be visiting (I'm thrilled she's coming to visit while the rents are away) with her family of six (+1 on the way) and K and D love playing with their cousins. I'm sure they will be a bit distracted, but we will try to squeeze our lessons in in the morning, making time for fun-filled afternoons!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Life on the farm

While my folks are visiting my brother and his family in Japan, I am queen of the hill. I have the added responsibilities of chickens and cat, as well as taking the garbage and recycling down our very long driveway. There are also other little spendid jobs that I take for granted that my dad and mom so discretely attend to, such as, removing dismembered bunny parts from the front porch (thanks alot Jasmine), disposing of dead mice and cleaning up spilled food and broken glass because the raccoon got on the side porch again. (Note to self: close side porch door completely at night.) I was blessed by the fact that I did not have to learn how to operate the tractor to mow the lawns. Dad found a friend to manage that, but I did need to pick up all the "outside" toys from the lawn first (another job I often take for granted that dad attends to). The chickens are laying about a dozen eggs a day, and so far I've sold two dozen and given one dozen away. That leaves eight dozen in my folks fridge and two in mine. Eggs anyone? They are only $1.75 (but because of supply and demand, I may just give them to ya).

So far there haven't been any problems other than the raccoon getting in and breaking a jar of thistle seeds and the dismembered bunny (that was pretty nasty, but as mom always says in an event like that, "That's life on the farm"). We had a tornado warning during a storm last week, but only a few branches were lost up here, but on the church property below us, a tree or two went down.

The kids and I have been enjoying the kiddie pool, shade provided by glorious trees and the sound of the cicadas and crickets in the evenings. The noise is rather loud for cityfolk, but to me it sounds like home. I've lived here most of my life...in fact of my 32 years, I've only spent 7 or 8 years of it elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blogademic

Since I started this blog last August (wow, it's almost my one-year blogiversary) three friends and two family members have started their own blogs. I was the one who introduced them to blogging, so it's kind of cool that I am doing something that at least five other people consider a worthwhile endeavor. But since I have no idea if they want to be affiliated to me *kidding* I won't advertise them here unless given specific permission to do so....

I got bit by the blog bug by reading this one: Honest to Blog, it was the first blog I had ever read, or even heard of. Since then there have been many others that I have visited from time to time, but it really is fun for me to have some living, flesh and bone friends expressing themselves in blog form.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why Must I Be Sad?

Why Must I Be Sad?

I suppose that now since the intial shock and devastation of my impending divorce have worn off, my psyche is now allowing me to process more of the "stuff" I need to deal with. I am definitely in better spirits, but the sadness continues on a slightly deeper plane. I am beginning to understand where it is all coming from, some of it is so old, I can barely remember where it originates. Most of it is traceable to some event or other, and so I am feeling old losses and new ones and figuring out what I need to do to heal from them. It is a lot of work and it makes me tired, even though I have suffered some minor insomnia the past couple of nights.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Madame Blueberry

I am so blue-hoohooh-blue-hoohooh-blue-hoohooh....

(If you are familiar with Veggie Tales, you'll understand my reference, otherwise....too bad for you-hoohoo.)

For no particular-put-my-finger-on-in-it kind of reason, I have been rather sad the past ten or so days. Not that I lack for things to be sad about, but it is more of a general sadness than a specific one. I guess my grieving has caught up with me once again. I can run, but I can't hide. I better just let the waves of sorrow wash over me once again. Perhaps it will be a cleansing of sorts.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th!

Last year this time I was "resting" miserably due to a very bad case of mononucleuosis....so glad that season has passed! A whole year without any relapse is amazing, especially under the extreme stress I have had this year. God has been strengthening me in body, mind, soul and spirit, for all that I have needed, He has provided.

Independence Day takes on new meaning for me now...now that I am learning what it means to be independent myself. So I will patriotically celebrate my country, my freedom, and my own personal growth today. Let the fireworks commence!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

In other news....

Got to see my old buddy, Sandy, from highschool. She was in town on business and tacked on a few extra days to see Dave Matthews Band (and her family of course). I lucked out and was able to go with her to one of the shows, since hubby was home with the dog. I could not get over the traffic! I knew it would be bad, but we spent a total of about 6 1/2 hours in traffic that night! (Normally it would take about an hour and 15 min one way.) But it was a fun show, and it has been nearly ten years since I've been to a concert. Although I like DMB's music, I am not a die hard fanatic. I felt more like an observer than a participant, this due largely to the fact that I didn't know most of the new material they played. I did however develop a bit of a crush on the bass player, whom Sandy informed me he has a live-in girlfriend and children :( Well, it was just a crush anyway.

June recap

This month has been all about trips to the dentist (6 in all) and tadpoles (and the froglet). It is funny how sometimes there is a theme to a month....not that tadpoles have anything to do with the dentist, mind you, they don't even have teeth, but if I was asked to sum up what had happened in June 2005, that would be my answer.

We have approximately (I say approximately because they are so hard to count) 12 tadpoles now, and now that I know they eat algae, they are very well fed, no strange disappearances or cannibalism as of yet. Our froglet is getting on well too. Today we just changed his environment from mostly water with a little bit of land, to mostly land with a little bit of water. He loves catching the miniscule bugs that are living in the dirt. The Artist/Naturalist spends long stretches of time watching him and gives me a play by play of the froggie's doings while I prepare meals.

Thanks to the gracious generousity of my dentist, I have now been restored to oral health. Eleven fillings and a cleaning later, my mouth is happy once again--all except the place on my lower lip where Prettiness' hard little head smashed it, but even now that is almost healed. Sigh, my boys also had a dentist visit this month, and I discovered that not all dentists are as wonderful and professional as mine. I will continue to search for a better dentist for the children, one whom there insurance will cover. This will be a challenge I'm sure. I spent hours on the phone just trying to find one who is taking new patients and has offices near by, and he was sort of a nutball. The office was cluttered and his assistant looked like she should still be in highschool. He took a phone call in the middle of K's exam and when he came back didn't remember what he was doing! No xrays, no toothbrushes, no instruction on toothcare, no frills, all the boys walked away with was a little sticker and slightly cleaner teeth. I spent more time filling out their paper work than they did in "the chair". Oh, well.