Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sally and Maddie making crazy hats with Millie. We also handed out balloons & flowers and sang a song for everyone. Posted by Picasa

Serve Day, 2005. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 29, 2005

My wonderful fabulous husband surprised me with a SIGNED COPY of this new book. SIGNED WITH MY NAME!!!! Be jealous, ladies. He's quite the catch! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Smart People I'm Related To

"You don't just marry a man - you marry his family."

I heard this little nugget of truth at some time, but I never really got it until after I was married. Luckily for me, I wound up marrying a wonderful man with a wonderful family. I have mentioned many times how great my in-laws are, but I don't think I've mentioned the size of my husband's family. Specifically, my mother-in-law's family. She is one of six children, who all are married and have between two and four kids. When we are all together, there is Grandma and her husband, her six children and their six spouses, fifteen cousins and four spouses, and my two kids (which are the grandkids). (OK, I think this is right, but someone may want to check my numbers. Am I right? I know I'm at least close . . .) They are all just wonderful people.

One of my cousins (because I think of this as my family now too, so saying "Stuart's cousin" and "my cousin" have become interchangable to me) is a very smart woman working at Rockefeller University in New York City. Check out what she does: she is doing genetic research on diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Specifically, she is using a gene chip to "scan genomes for differences in individual base pairs at specific locations--variations known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms." I don't think I've ever done anything close to something like that! So Jen, kudos to you. I think your work is amazing. (Want to read more? Check out this article about Jen's work. Don't ask me for help with the big words - you're on your own!)

Callin' You Out To Play

The fair was mostly fun. It would have been much more fun for me if the angry policeman didn't yell at me in front of my kids. "Don't you know what cones mean lady? They mean the lane is closed!" Well, then, Mr. MeanPoliceOfficer, you should actually BLOCK the lane that is closed and take down the BIG SIGN that tells me to turn right here! Shouldn't you? Huh? Huh? When he realized that three cars did exactly what I did, that the cones in fact were not blocking the lane, he yelled at me, "Just GO!" So I did.

After finding our friends and eating lots of very bad fried fair food, the kids looked at some animals, we went on a few rides, Stuart won some prizes for them at the game booths. Sally and Samuel had a blast. Samuel sang the whole way to the car, then fell asleep before we got to the freeway.

Sally, Grace, and Leyla - pretty in pink! (Grace is in our life group (translation: she's church family) and Leyla's mom, Nancy, is also in our life group.) Posted by Picasa

Kids and kids. Samuel now holds this smiley face until I tell him to stop. I don't know why he feels it necessary to smile so hard. Posted by Picasa

Look Mom - I have HAY to feed the GOATS. Samuel loved the fair. And that is gum where Sally's two front teeth should be. Lovely, eh? Posted by Picasa

Fair food - deep fried anything you want. Yum. Posted by Picasa

Sally and Daddy. Posted by Picasa

Ready to go in to the fair. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


i have been getting negative feedback about my serious lack of posting lately but i am so busy and my mind is too full to even put words together anymore so here are some random thoughts and you will note that there is no punctuation and no capital letters in this post and if that bothers you then go away because its my blog and ill do what i want anyway im off to the fair in a bit with my kids and im not too excited because its like a hundred degrees here and i melt in the heat and i am in the middle of a huge fight with our city over permits which is making me crazy and im madder than i was when i was mad at home depot for our floors which you know about already because i already vented ad nausium about that and i just want you to know that i went back and deleted an apostrophe so ha ha but i did have a great time with the ladies last night we went to the melting pot which is fondue and we had chocolate fondue with lots of goodies to dip and i had a glass of white wine which was lovely but i really wanted coffee but they didnt have any decaf so i had to pass on that otherwise id be up all night which i was the night before because my iced tea which should have been decaf which the @$%& waiter said was decaf obviously was not decaf

gotta go because the boy has a dirty diaper maybe ill take my camera to the fair and post some pics tomorrow after i slay the dragon that is local government and just so you know if i wasnt a republican before this i surely would be one now because we need less and less government telling us what to do and if you think i am done venting about this then you are really fooling yourself and should seek counseling

and by the way i do not count @$%& as punctuation im just trying not to swear

Monday, July 25, 2005

We took the kids to this movie on Saturday. I loved it! Sally and Stuart enjoyed it, and Samuel got bored. It was so funny. The "she's a bad nut" scene was a little creepy, but I missed the boat scene because I had to take Samuel out and buy him m&ms to get him through the rest of the movie. (worked like a charm, by the way) Posted by Picasa

Sally's dance recital was very cute and she did a great job. We are very proud of her. Samuel cheered her on with a loud "Saaaeeee! Saaaaeee!" Posted by Picasa

Nothing says "Grandma and Grandpa love me" quite like a giant Spongebob. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2005

Some Random Thoughts

I need to buy some bronzing powder for Sally's back. (She has a major tan line and that little outfit is backless.)

I like the word "apothecary".

I hate the word "scurvy".

I'm hooked on sudoku puzzles.

I just ate a cranberry almond cereal bar (the honey bunches of oats brand). It was pretty good.

I'm considering making the kids pancakes for breakfast, even though I don't like pancakes anymore. I have to check and see if we have sausages, though, because they won't eat pancakes without sausages.

Samuel just handed me a can of cream of mushroom soup and a pair of scissors. "Help, please." What could this mean?

Dress Rehearsal. Their recital is this Sunday. They are just the cutest, no? Posted by Picasa

Sigh . . . Smile

I bought a 500 count box of Q-Tips last night. I feel so much better.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Excuses, excuses . . .

I know I haven't posted here in a few days, but in my defense, I did post on my bookshelf blog.

Also, I'm out of Q-Tips.

(We have never, in 13 years of marriage, run out of Q-Tips. Q-Tips are one of my favorite products. The fact that we are out, that I am unable to run to the store for them, is just another sign that we are busy over here. I have never known a busier summer. Fun, yes. Relaxing, sometimes. Full, always. Always.)

Sunday, July 17, 2005


I discovered this little puzzle game in a word/number puzzle book a few years ago, but it wasn't called sudoku. I saw this word, sudoku, on a bus stop bench, and was immediately intrigued. What is this? I put it all together this past week when the OC Register ran a story about this puzzle that started in the US, became popular in Japan (hence the japanese name) and is now all the rage in England. Try some yourself at - I recommend starting the "gentle" versions as they are definitely easier. Another good site is BrainBashers- they even have versions for the kids.

Never played? Here's the rules: each row, column, and 3x3 box must contain the numbers 1 to 9. Sounds easy, huh? Good luck.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I'm finished . . .

and I just cannot say one thing about this book right now. Not one thing, because if I start, I won't stop, and I don't want to ruin it for you, so I'll wait a bit before my comments fly. But I'll tell you this: what a madhouse the bookstore was! I don't know if I am thrilled that this much excitement is generated over a book, or if I'm a bit scared about all the nutty folks out there who are WAY bigger fans than me and are WAY into Harry Potter and Hogwarts and have hats and robes and had a FIELD DAY last night. I stood in line to get my book, chatting it up with a former student and my Starbucks barista (I am not kidding). I ended up being #390, and got my book a little before 1:30 am. So, I'll be posting later on my book blog, so if you want to dish about the book, we'll chat there and keep the secrets secret.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Signing off . . .

Yes, we are 1 day and 10 hours away from the release of Book#6, and I have to get a few naps and all the laundry caught up because I'll be "neglecting my house" again this weekend. So I'm taking a blog break, and I'll catch you on the flip side of the weekend. One more funny kid story before I go - I overheard Sally trying to teach Samuel to say, "Wingardium Leviosa!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The countdown continues . . .

3 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes, 5 seconds . . .
3 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes, 4 seconds . . .
3 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds . . .
3 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes, 2 seconds . . .

Tide Pools

Mom's group activity for the summer: go to the Laguna Beach tide pools with the kids
Where we went wrong: Meet at Krispy Kreme at 9:00 for donuts and directions. We should have met at the beach at 9!
What time I thought I would be home: 1:00 pm
Actual time I got home: 3:00 pm
Calls made to my cell phone throughout the morning: 6
Calls made from my cell phone throughout the morning: 4
Number of moms who went: 7
Number of kids who went: 14
Number of Kevins who went: 1 (Kevin is the very nice young man who is a neighbor to my friend Grace and sometimes hangs out with us and helps her with her kids)
Fun level for kids: 7 out of 10 for the younger kids, 9 out of 10 for the older ones
Fun level for moms: 3 out of 10 (I'm being generous here)
Difficulty level of activity: 9 out of 10
What I'll do different next time: skip the donuts, grab a venti starbucks, leave at 7:30, and get a sitter for the younger child

Thanks to Grace and Emily for suggesting this post. They helped me with the difficulty rating :) Thanks to Steph for riding with me and talking me down from my ledge.

Post of the Week

Here's a new feature I came up with after reading my friend Julia's very funny post about a nutty squirrel. (I can hear you groaning, but admit it - it's funny) So go, read it. You can thank me later.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It's almost time!!!

It is now less than five days (4 days 14 hours, actually) until the release of Harry Potter #6 - and I am so excited! I'm planning on watching the movies (#1 is my favorite) and reading the books (#3 is my fav) until 11:45 pm Friday night, when I will go and get the book and try and finish it before my husband gets his hands on it :) I feel like I'm nine and it's December 21. If you are a HP fan like me, you've probably already heard about these great sites:
J.K.Rowling - the author has a very fun site
Scholastic - mostly geared for the young readers, but the trivia game is challenging
The Leaky Cauldron - the best fan site out there - lots and lots of information
If you have a recipe for Pumpkin Pasties, send it my way!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pretending to sleep. (what's with the arms???) Posted by Picasa

Swimming pool = lots and lots of money
Falling asleep before bedtime = priceless Posted by Picasa

He's a love, isn't he? Posted by Picasa

The Scarlet Letter

My son should have to wear a large scarlet letter on his chest. Scarlet is very appropriate - the color that soft, fleshy skin turns when vicious little teeth are pressed into it. A large scarlet B. He's a Biter. I'm so disappointed. He bit three girls yesterday - THREE! - and this after escalating consequences, consequences that even a two year old should understand. The last person was his adoring sister, who only wanted to leave the TV on when he wanted to turn it off. Since she stood in his way, he leaned over and bit her on the stomach.

At least he has never broken the skin. It could be worse, right? Right?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I don't comment much on my books anymore, since I created a book blog to contain the madness. But I'm reading this book, Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, and it's rambling around in my brain. And I couldn't sleep well last night, so I must get some of these thoughts out.

Yesterday, I had an almost perfect day. Started out with waking up with my family, donuts, and then a trip to Starbucks by myself. Very needed, because I am an introvert, and although I may seem like the socialite (ha ha), I need some down time to recharge. I spent an hour there with my book and my latte. Worked wonders. Then I came home to play with my family in the pool, and then our lifegroup plus some other friends came over to celebrate the fourth with a bbq and a swim. We had a good time. I felt very blessed to have my life full of friends who feel like family. Also, I was more relaxed thanks to a great sermon on Sunday from Jason (thanks for your wisdom!) on hospitality. I didn't rush around cleaning at the last minute like I normally do, and my kitchen is actually cleaner now than it was before everyone got here yesterday (thanks, Michelle!) And Stuart made some of the best ribs I've had - very yummy.

So I ended my day with some more reading from my book, which is about a small town in Germany at the beginning of WWII. It's so sad. I know some history - I know how the story will end - but the characters in the book still don't realize the horror of the Nazi killing machine. They still think the work camps are for working. They are full of guilt that they let things get so bad, but they are unable to pinpoint the place where they should have done something different. And they are paralyzed by the thought that even if they had taken a stand, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. It's haunting. And so, after a near perfect day, I was almost overwhelmed with gratitude that I have such a comfortable, safe life. One of the themes of the book is the individual - the main character is a woman who is a dwarf, and her difference defines her - and the author frequently alludes to the idea that the problems started when the state stopped valuing the individual. (For example, families got monetary incentives to have more children, and women were honored for having lots and lots of kids, so the single woman with no kids had no value.) So these thoughts are running around my head on our Independence Day, where in our country, we almost worship the concept of the individual. That excess has some consequences, too. I wonder what our great-grandkids will think of that.

Well, as my good friends know, my housework will be ignored until I finish this book. I think one of my friends actually said that my house "suffers" until I finish my latest book. It's true, but I don't care. I'd rather be well-read and have some cobwebs and dust bunnies around than have the cleanest house and the emptiest mind.

Monday, July 04, 2005

To My Dad

I always think of you on the fourth of July because it's one of your favorite holidays. And I'm always proud to be your daughter. I am one person who will never forget the sacrifices that our military make for our country every day, and I hope I never take our freedoms for granted, but celebrate them, cherish them, and defend them. Happy fourth, Dad. I love you.

(My dad was in the Marine Corps for most of his life, serving in Viet Nam for two years and then in the Reserves. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. My family is very proud of his service to our country. This year, he is celebrating at a big family reunion, probably out of cell service, and most definitely having a wonderful time.)

Happy Fourth!

In honor of the Fourth of July, I'd like to re-post a life motto that I received in my email box from my sister way back in December:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!'"

Don't forget to enjoy the ride. Happy Independence Day!

Me, Jaymaire, and Summer at the bottom of The Waterslide. Thanks, Jaymarie, for the photo :) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Waterslide

We went to a block party yesterday, and our friends love having a party, because then they can rent a huge inflatable item, usually a bounce house. But yesterday, they rented the huge waterslide. Last year, they rented the waterslide for G's birthday, and it was a smaller party. This year, there was a line a dozen kids long for about three hours. They went over and over and over again. During the balloon toss, my friends and I took our chance. We climbed up the huge, slippery mountain, laughing and slipping, and then sat at the top, and counted to three, just like kids. We made much better splashes than the kids, though, and sat in the little pool at the bottom and laughed and laughed. I have the greatest girlfriends ever. Later, I watched Sally with her little girlfriend, laughing and discussing their stragety on the next slide down. It was so much fun.

Samuel was an angel. He played by himself almost the whole time. He found the toy bowling set, and set up the pins, knocked them down with the ball, did a little victory dance, and then set the pins up again . . . for about an hour. He charmed everyone. Stuart got into a water balloon fight with my friend, Summer, and I have to say she totally won. (sorry honey, but it's true) I ate one and a half hotdogs, which isn't so good since I haven't had hot dogs in about two months. (no gall bladder -- hot dogs = bad)

Great party, F family! Thanks for the fun, for the food, for the memories.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Chuck E. - me. Chuck E. - you. PEAS!"
Me: "You want to go to Chuck E. Cheese?"
Samuel: "Yeah. Chuck E. - Saaeee. Chuck E. - Daddy."
Me: "No, we are NOT going to Chuck E. Cheese today."
Samuel: dissolves into two year old fit on the floor
Samuel: "Owls. Seeping!"
Me: "Yes, the owls are sleeping."
Samuel: "Owls. Seeping! Tree."
Me: "Yes, they sleep in the tree."
Samuel: "Awwoooo!"
Me: "No, wolves say 'awooo!' Owls say 'hoo! hoo!'"
Samuel: "Hoo!Hoo! Hoo!Hoo! Hoo!Hoo!"

Happy Fourth! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005

SPF - Keys

These are my keys, and this is my front door. I play Stuff Portrait Fridays with MrsFish, who found it at Random and Odd. Thanks for the fun! Posted by Picasa