Monday, February 28, 2005

Green Eggs and Ham

Get ready, parents - Wednesday is Dr. Seuss's birthday! Celebrate by reading one of your favorites - I like Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hatches an Egg, and, of course, The Cat in the Hat. Visit Seussville for fun ideas, including some green eggs recipes! (go to the playground, and then to print and play activities, then scroll down)

Family and Mud

I've been silent for a few days, but we've been busy here. We had a nice visit from my parents, and it was so much fun that I forgot to take pictures! (Actually, I took two, but they were not very good, so I'm not sharing them here. You'll thank me later, Mom! :) ) Sally and Samuel have had a blast seeing so much family in the last few weeks. Today, since the rain has dried up for awhile, the workers came to dig up our yard. When we bought this house, we both thought it would be a great yard for a pool - someday. In December, Stuart came home and asked me why we were waiting. I had no answer for that one, so we are putting in a pool now, so we can enjoy it while the kids are young. They will be digging today, tomorrow, and maybe Wednesday. It should be done by June. Oh yeah, we also got bunk beds for Samuel's room on Thursday night. He's thrilled with them, as Sally is thrilled and constantly playing in his room now. Busy, fun, and lots and lots of mud.

The kids have a front row seat. Thanks to Dad, Bruce, and Stu for their hard work this weekend on the room - looking good, huh? Posted by Hello

The trail of mud that goes all the way to the street. Fun fun! Posted by Hello

Our backyard about ten minutes ago. That's one big hole. (sorry, mr. worker, about this pic!) Posted by Hello

Here's our backyard this morning. The guys had just started digging. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

American Idol

We've been watching American Idol every night! We're hooked. Hey, at least I'm not calling in (yet). I like Carrie Underwood and Constantine Maroulis. Who's your favorites?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Family Fun

We had a great week with Stu's family visiting us - I posted some photos below. The kids had a blast with TaiTai and Grandma Tina. We played outside (before the rain hit) and went to a fundraiser at Sally's school. Her class sang "God Bless The USA", but it was raining and my only picture didn't turn out at all. She was cute, though. Either she was the only one who remembered the hand motions, or she was the only one who made up hand motions. I couldn't get a clear answer from her. Fun times, though.

Sally, Uncle Luke, Auntie Tami, and Samuel (with his classic smiley face). Posted by Hello

Sally shows TaiTai a bug from our front yard. It was sunny and warm for a day, then rained and rained and rained. (and rained more) Posted by Hello

Grandma Tina and Samuel take a break. Posted by Hello

TaiTai made this beautiful poncho for Sally while she was here. Posted by Hello


I have found the key to the master bedroom, and now we know exactly where it is. I'm trying to keep one step ahead of this kid, but some days it's pretty hard!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Samuel, Samuel

Bad news - Samuel has learned how to close and lock my bedroom door. He was inside - alone - at the time. He cleaned the toilet while he was in there. He has also learned how to unlock said door. Cripes!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


We've been having a busy week here! Stu's sister, Tami, and her husband, Luke, were here earlier this week for a quick visit and to pick up our spa - we didn't want it anymore. Then, Stu's mom and grandma came and are here until Saturday. We are having a wonderful time! Samuel can say "TaiTai" (what we call Great-Grandma) and he calls Grandma Tina "Tee". He's been laughing all day long. This afternoon it rained, so we did one of Sally's favorite things: made a fire, roasted marshmallows inside, and had hot chocolate. I think TaiTai liked it too :) We've also been reading a book called "My First Chinese New Year" over and over again (thanks, Uncle Jon, for such a cute book, and for the translations!). My favorite part is when the little girl sweeps the bad luck from the house - I got Sally and Samuel to sweep for me :) I'll try and post some photos tomorrow or Saturday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Grocery Game

I went shopping yesterday, the second week playing the grocery game. I am so proud of myself - I only went to the grocery one extra time last week, for milk and comfort food for Stuart after his eye surgery. Usually I go three to five times a week! Twice is a big improvement. So yesterday was my big shop - I spent $92.88 and saved $55.62! My best deals were Aquafresh extreme clean toothpaste - regularly $4.19 each, with Ralphs club and double coupons, I got them for $.75! That's an 82% savings! I also got three bottles of meat marinade (I'm going to use them on the fish Stuart caught on his last fishing trip), regularly priced at $2.99, for $1 a bottle. 67% savings on that one. I also got a free candy bar, which Sally thought was awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Eventful Day

Samuel finally shocked himself today. He always plays with the plugs, despite our yelling, hand slapping, and - yes - spanking. While he was shocked, we weren't. (haha!) Then, before bathtime, he went pee pee in the potty! We've had the potty chair out for awhile now, and he loves to sit on it, but tonight was the first time he's gone. Do I see the end of the diapers? YES! I DO!

Happy Valentine's Day!

"For God so loV ed the world,
........That He gA ve
..............His onL y
..............BegottE n
........................T hat whosever
..........Believeth I n Him
............Should N ot perish,
.........But have E verlasting life."
.................................~ John 3:16

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eating cereal is hard work. Posted by Hello

Cleaning up the spilled milk. He hates liquid spills, which is kinda nice because he's always cleaning them up. Of course, we're going through the napkins real fast . . .  Posted by Hello

Samuel at breakfast. This is his "smile for the picture" face. Posted by Hello

Here's the tooth - it's so small! It looked bigger in her mouth! Posted by Hello

Sally lost her second tooth tonight. She's just as excited as when she lost the first one! Posted by Hello

The Mommy Club

I know that I owe you my thoughts on plastic surgery, Jaymarie, and I know that I also promised some more teaching stories involving pagers, but the topic of the mommy club has been on my mind for the past few weeks, and I need to get this out so I can stop thinking about it. It started when I was getting some things together for a mom's group that I'm involved in and a friend told me about a new mom at our church that would appreciate an invitation. I asked her if it was her first baby, and then caught myself as I almost said, "Because if it is I probably don't know who she is." Yikes. When did my circle of friends become exclusively other mommies? I don't remember! All I know is that if you don't have kids or work in the kid classrooms at my church, I probably don't know you. And I've been thinking about this, because I remember a time before I had kids, and I remember thinking that the mommy circle was very tight and very busy. I didn't really want to be in the circle, because I didn't have any kids, and I remember feeling like I couldn't be included because I didn't have kids. And now that I'm on the other side of the fence, enfolding the new mommies into the mommy club, I feel compelled to shout: we don't mean to be exclusive! We would welcome your friendship, but we feel like we would bore you with our motherhood horror stories and endless child talk. We don't really have any energy for new friendships, but we make friends with the new moms because we know they will need us. They will need friends who understand the total life-changing process involved with becoming a parent, who will listen to them go on and on about their precious baby, and who can offer advice for the many mommy problems. Friends who know the pain of months without sleep, friends who understand breastfeeding issues, friends whose bodies are marked by pregnancy and nursing and are proud of it. Yes, we are a daunting group. That's what motherhood does to you. So consider this an open invitation to your local mommy club, even if you don't have kids. We promise to try to not bore you if you promise to try to look past our tired, haggard expressions. We do love our kids, and motherhood is worth it (repeat, ladies: it is worth it, it is worth it . . . ), and we do need to stick together to survive it. (Just another testament to my life - this post will say the time I started writing this - 3:33 pm - but I am finishing it at 11:07 pm.)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What's up

We've been lying low for the past two days since Stuart had his eyes lasered. He went to this famous doctor that does a flap-less procedure - no cutting a big chunk of your cornea - but it was more painful recovery than we both anticipated, so it's been a bit of a shock. I think that maybe they should have given him a larger dose of the painkillers, since he's a big guy and needs a lot to knock him out. Anyway, he is getting better, and now he's been asleep for two and a half hours and the kids went to bed half an hour ago so it's nice and quiet here. We had a big storm yesterday and this morning, and this afternoon the sun broke through and dried the place up a bit. I took the kids outside in the afternoon to tire them out, and Samuel ate some dirt, dug up part of the yard (I did too, so he was helping this time), and got doused with water when the wind picked up a tarp that is on our roof and dislodged a big pool of water. Wrong place, wrong time. When I found him, he was drenched and blinking the water out of his eyes. Never cried, just blinked a dozen times and took off for the dirt. Sally helped me dig, and then picked some lettuce, bossed her brother around, and then we came inside for a big bath. (Of course, I had to do a load of laundry too, but you saw that one coming, right? He got dirty down to his socks, the darling!) Sally's book tonight was "Horton Hatches an Egg" and Samuel tore his book (a library book, too. He's always in trouble!). So that's what's up around here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

She likes it! She really likes it!

While going over her report card the other day, I asked Sally what her favorite subject is. "Math, because I like the numbers and it's easy." Could I be more proud? :) I got her some math flashcards, and they were in order: 4-2, 5-2, 6-2, 7-2, etc. Well, she picked up the pattern and started whizzing through them. I stopped, and said, "Are you subtracting, or just doing the pattern?" and she smiled and sheepishly said, "I learned the pattern." So I shuffled them up, but she still got them right, just took a bit longer to think about it. Now she wants to learn chess, because her friend learned how to play. Trouble is, I don't know! So I have to find someone to teach both of us! Anyone?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Quote for the Day

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
~ Antonio Smith

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Grocery Game

I've had some of you interested in The Grocery Game, so I'll update you on how I like it from time to time. So far, it's great! I spent about two minutes printing the list, which lists all the great deals for the week, with the coupon you need (and the coupons are dated by what week it was in the paper) and the percent of savings. I spent about thirty minutes cutting coupons, but I was watching TV, too, so it didn't seem too bothersome. I spent an hour at the store, but I anticipate that this will be less and less because I am not used to shopping at Ralphs and I'm not familiar with the layout of the store yet. At the end of the day, the numbers say it all: I spent $60.06 and saved $51.68. I did buy some things that I normally wouldn't, like a rice mix and fish sticks, but I can make a meal out of those. I also got a four pound pot roast, and butter that I didn't have a coupon for but I needed. It will take a bit of getting used to making my meal list from the shopping list, instead of the other way around, but I can get used to that. Thus far, I'm very excited about this. Now I need to look at my recipes for apples - they were on sale, and I have lots.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Math Problems

(1) There is a little game that United Airlines plays on the way to Hawaii - guess the time where we will be halfway there. They give you some info about total distance, speed, wind speed, that sort of thing. Without a calculator, I won second prize! I was off by 26 seconds. I was prettty proud of myself, since I had to divide 1142 by 434, and then change the answer to hours, minutes, and seconds.

(2) My friend, Sherry, posed a problem to me about the three levels of minesweeper and how to calculate which highest score is truly the highest, figuring in the difficulty level. This is a very tricky problem, because, if you've ever played minesweeper, you know that the easy level (small board, ten bombs) can be completed very quickly and usually you get a lucky hit, half the board clears, and you're done. With the advanced level (99 bombs) you seldom get a lucky hit, and if you do, it only clears a small portion of the board. So there is a bit of uncalculatable luck. However, I compared the bomb density to the squares cleared per second, and Sherry, your high score on the easy level (13 seconds) is by far the most impressive score. A better way to compare them, and I hesitate to share this with you because it involves more play time, is to collect scores of several games. Once you have a good set (I'd say more than ten scores), calculate the average and the standard deviation. Then, you can take an individual high score and calculate it's z-score. This is a percentile (not percentage) and you will be able to see more clearly which score is truly the best. I hope this helps, Sherry, and for the rest of you, sorry for what was probably a scary dive into statistics.

(3) This one isn't really a math problem, but I like lists in threes. Samuel thinks he can talk. He says stuff to us all the time, but most of it sounds like "shoe" or "bob" or "da". "Da" is used for Dad, Dog, That, and sometimes Yes. Usually I can tell them apart. Today, he said to me, "Ouw sie" which means out side, and I asked him if he wanted to go outside, and he said "Eye pay" which means I play. So, basically he told me he wants to play outside. That's practically a whole sentence! My problem is this: now that I understood that one, he thinks I should be able to understand all his words. I just stood at the window for two minutes, looking at I don't know what, listening as Samuel went on and on about something that I have no idea what it was. It's kind of a fun problem for now, but it means the temper tantrums will be here very soon, and that's not a fun problem at all.

PS - I just put up a new section on the sidebar because I joined The Grocery Game today. I'll have to let you know how I like it once I've done it a few weeks. It's a service that matches up the newspaper coupons with the store sales to get maximum savings. My friend Stephenee does this, and she says it will be a few weeks before I see a big change, but it's worth it. She has a cupboard full of shampoo and toothpaste and she says she got it all for free. Cool, huh? I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

String Cheese Riddle

Q: What does mother earth use to go fishing?
A: North and south poles.
from Precious String Cheese wrapper

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Hawaii Adventure

I had such a fun time in Hawaii! I couldn't write about my planning and excitement before this trip, because my sister-in-law didn't know I was coming! My mother-in-law loves to surprise people, and she thought it would be fun to let Tami (my sister-in-law) think I was not coming, and then have me just show up. I knocked on the hotel door, and Tami answered - and just stared at me for a minute. It was so fun! So after talking for a bit, we all crashed into bed. On Saturday, we got up and called all our husbands and then went for a walk/shopping trip. We got rained on, which was fun, and then went back to our hotel for a snack. Then we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the rest of the day. We saw lots of demonstrations of island culture, and then went to a luau, and then to their show, which was amazing. I loved the stick dance, where they bang two sticks against each other, against the ground, and then throw them to each other. I can't explain how complicated this is, but try and imagine four rows of people, about 8-10 people in each row, all throwing sticks to each other, sometimes front to back, sometimes two people over, sometimes to the person next to them, each time catching it and never missing a beat. Kristy (Stu's cousin) and I also liked the glow-in-the-dark balls, which are like a large pom-pom balll at the end of a rope and the ladies have two of these that they swing in fast circles. Again, my words do not do this justice, but, alas, there was no flash photography. Even so, I was so amazed, I would have forgotton to take a photo! On Sunday, we went for coffee and croissants, walked around, went to Hilo Hatties, went to lunch, got a shaved ice, went to North Shore and watched the surfers, and stopped by the Dole Plantation on the way back to the hotel. Then we went out to dinner before I had to get to the airport to fly home. It was so much fun (oops, did I say that already?). My grandmother always wanted to go to Hawaii, and we were all so sad that she never went. The last few years of her life, her health was just not good enough for her to take a trip like that. Somehow, when I went, I felt such peace, and I kept remembering my Grandma, and I felt like I was going for her. I kept looking around, thinking I have to remember all this, to soak everything up, so I could share it with her. Does that sound kooky? Even as I write this, I think it does, but that's how it felt to me. So I am so thankful that I got to go. On the homefront, Stuart did great with the kids. Sally just wanted me to bring her back stuff, which I did :) Samuel missed me, but since he doesn't know that many words, he couldn't express this, so he cried for awhile on Sunday night (which isn't like him), and then on Monday morning, when he saw me, he'd hug me, then look at my face and laugh, then hug me again, then look again and laugh . . . and I loved it. I missed Stuart so much because he looks Hawaiian - everywhere I looked, there was another person who looked like him. Also, I'm not used to traveling without at least one of these people with me, and usually it's all three! Mahala, Mom! It was such fun! I love you!