Monday, April 30, 2007

SeaWorld Weekend

We decided to head down to San Diego this weekend to get some SeaWorld fun passes for this year. It's a great deal - go once before the end of April, and get a fun pass good for the rest of the year. Only two blackout dates, unlike the crazy D-land passes with a whole calendar of blackout days. Anyway, my sister-in-law and her daughter came down to hang out with us, and we had a really good time. We went down on Saturday, went to SeaWorld for a few hours, stayed in a hotel Saturday night, and then went back to SeaWorld for most of the day on Sunday. The new Shamu show is fantastic - I really liked it. We had to see the Pets Rule show, but it's the same as the last four times I've seen it, so I'm in it just to watch the kids' faces. We sat in the soak zone for the dolphin show, but we only got a little bit wet. Too bad, because it was hot by then. The kids ran around in the kid area, which has some climbing playthings and a big sand box (very very big) and a jump area and all kinds of fun. At the beginning of the Shamu show, Anheuser-Busch showed a tribute video for our military heroes, then a trainer came out and asked any current or retired military from the US or any of our allied nations to stand, and the whole staduim applauded them. It was very moving. They have a program, Here's To The Heroes, where members of our military and three of their dependants can get a complimentary pass to one of the parks. Very excellent.

And on the way down, we saw this. We had a big laugh about that.

At SeaWorld

Sally & her cousin

Friday, April 27, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Pictures on Monday.
It will be worth the wait.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Three Places I Knit:

(1) At the soccer field (game & practice)

(2) At the park while the kids play

(3) At the doctor's in the waiting room

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Can Sheila Come Out And Play?

Last night was Sally's soccer practice, and the coaches decided to do an adult/girl scrimmage. So since I was wearing tennis shoes, I got up and joined the parent team. I have done this before. Those girls are tough. They play hard and love to beat us. As a parent, it's always a bit of a struggle to find the balance between challenging them and playing nice. Last night I didn't play nice. My inner athlete came out to play, and she is aggressive and doesn't like to lose. After knocking down a girl (technically she tripped over my shoe, but the end result was she was down and I wasn't), I kicked the ball and it popped up right into her face. Same little girl that I knocked down a few minutes earlier.

She cried.

I felt like a huge idiot. The mean mom that can't play nice with the kids.

And then there was the assistant coach (my husband), yelling from the sidelines, "Who's wife is that?" (Luckily, he can take it just as good as he can dish it out.)

Oh, she's fine. She got up and kept playing. She didn't even want any water. Later Sally took a ball to the stomach and was down. Another girl hurt her shin and had to sit out for awhile. It was a brutal practice. But when it was over, the girls were still running around and playing. We had to make them leave. Soccer players are tough, tough girls.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "I love you sixty-two."
Me: "I love you one million and three."
Samuel: "I love you sixty-five. Oooh, SNAP! Gotcha!"

The Quoteable Samuel

(Samuel walks out of his room wearing only a shirt and heads to the bathroom)
"Sally, don't look at me, 'cause I'm naked. Very, very naked."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Daily Bread

I've decided to try my hand at baking bread. I've baked bread before, but this time I'm trying sourdough. (I know, I know, I don't live in SanFrancisco so it won't "work". I'm trying for "close".) I blame my friend Stephenee, who has me reading The Tightwad Gazette III. (No, I didn't read I or II - this is the only one that was available at the library) In that book, there is a long discussion about sourdough - how it really is the cheapest bread you can make, and that the only disadvantage is the need to make and keep a starter. My husband *loves* sourdough, so I thought I'd give it a shot. My first batch, while not very sour or tangy, was very tasty and was consumed quite quickly. Sally gave it this compliment: "It tastes just like the kind of bread you can get in a restaurant." Nice, huh? So I am trying batch #2 today - thanks to a google search, I found Chef Michele and I added a tablespoon of vinegar to the water and we shall see what this does to the taste of the bread. Also, Stephenee is bringing me a different brand of yeast, and I am starting the starter over and seeing if it will produce a nicer tangy flavor. (By the by, if you are tempted to try your own luck with the sourdough, please take this advice: start your starter in a LARGE container - at least six cup capacity - because the yeast gets all happy and bubbles up in a big big way. I overflowed twice before I got it.)

We have also been watching Planet Earth. Wow - is that show amazing! As we were watching one episode, it struck me anew that some animals do not need to eat every day. In fact, many animals only eat in the spring and summer, when food is available. It is amazing to me that God made the animals that way. At the same time, it also hit me again that people are not like that. We need to eat every day. We need daily bread.

So I'm kneading bread dough and thinking about how we need food daily and how God made us that way to teach us dependence upon Him and also to teach us how to plan and be good stewards of our resources and maybe also to teach us something about how needy we really are as fallen creatures. And I thought to myself, This would be a really good post for my blog.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

Quote of the Day

"Some things are true whether you believe them or not."
~ Seth, the angel played by Nicholas Cage in City Of Angels (which is a wonderful and awful movie that I love to hate and hate to love ~ I love the way the movie depicts angels all around us, ministering to us when we need help, and the way that children can "see" them ~ I hate the idea that an angel would want to become human ~ I love that the movie ends tragically sad (yes, I am sometimes dark and twisty))

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Three Places I'd Like To Go

(1) Egypt - I went through quite an intense Egyptian period (I blame Elizabeth Peters and the Discovery channel) and I would love to see the pyramids. And the Cairo museum.

(2) New York City - I've been there once (at least I think I have) but never as an adult. After watching You've Got Mail about twenty-three times (not to mention Sex&TheCity), it's become one of those idealistic places in my mind. I'd like to spend about a week there. Walk through the park, eat at that famous hot dog place, shop at Zabars.

(3) London - I was in London for one and a half days about six years ago, and it was not long enough. Of course, in picking London, I'm also assuming I'll get to travel to Scotland and Ireland. (LOVE those accents!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Knit Bit: Fetching

Here they are: The Purple Fetching Fingerless Gloves.
The yarn is Wool of the Andes "Amethyst Heather" from KnitPicks, and I used one ball to knit the pair. Yes - one ball. For the pair. Color me happy :)

In other knitting news, the sleeves on The Brown Sweater are coming right along.
I should finish in time for fall . . . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Dance

So I've been listening to my Garth Brooks CD (yeah, I know, pipe down there in the back) and today as I was running around doing errands I listened to the last song, The Dance. (Here's a live version if you've never heard it.) It made me remember this student I had about nine or ten years ago. It was the year our dog died. She had cancer, and after the battle of figuring out how much we would spend on her medical bills (more than we should have, but really, this is a painful thing to have to decide) and taking her to the emergency animal clinic several times, our exceedingly kind vet took me aside and told me it was time. She was suffering. I brought our dog home and we said our goodbyes. This was before we had kids, so that dog was like our child. It was difficult. Anyways, this one girl I had in class was a real animal lover. She was one of the few people I told about our dog dying. If you aren't a pet owner or an animal lover, you just don't get it. Anyway, when I told her that we had to put our dog to sleep, she got tears in her eyes and told me to go home and sit alone in the dark and listen to this song, The Dance, by Garth Brooks. She was pretty smart for a teenager.

Another time, I'll tell you about what we decided to do with our dog's ashes. (Seriously, it's a funny story.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good Common Sense

Samuel: "Mom, if you fall, you have to put your hand out to catch yourself. Like this. You have to put your hand out."
Me: "OK."
Samuel: "And Mom? If there are bad guys, you have to kick them so they won't get you."
Me: "Yep. Got it."
Samuel: "And Mom? When you put the crown on, you have to put it on gently and not push it down."
Me: "Huh? What are you talking about?"
Samuel: (meaningful pause and gives me The Look) "MOM. I'm talking 'bout GOD."
Me: "Oh! Well, tell me again."
Samuel: "You have to put the crown on gentle because all those thorns can hurt you."
Me: "You're right. Good advice."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Knit Bit: Turning The Heel

I am still knitting that second sock. This weekend, I turned the heel. Let me tell you, turning the heel is every bit of knitting magic that I was promised. It's just cool. I can really see how knitting socks can be very addictive because of this heel business. I took some pictures so you non-knitters can share in the magic.

So this first picture is the heel flap complete. Mine is more of a rectangle than a square, but no matter. I start to turn the heel by knitting part of the row, turning the sock, and knitting part of the way back. These are called short rows, and they make the heel shaped instead of flat.

This next picture is the middle of turning the heel. See those blue stitches in the middle? Those are the ones I am knitting. The black and white stitches on the sides are waiting, and they are brought back into the knitting just two per row. That way, the heel gets it's proper shape.

Here is the finished heel. Doesn't it look like a heel? Seriously, this makes me feel so clever. The book in the background is Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I followed the step-by-step directions for knitting socks, since I have never done it before. Her instructions and explainations are very clear and my socks (a) look like socks and (b) fit me, which I think is really good for my first pair.

A Necessary Bother

Sorry about this, guys, but I had to turn the word verification back on for the comments.

Some blogger spam hack started posting comments here and it was really annoying. I hope you will still leave your comments because they really make my day.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

This week we went to the park and the trees are beautiful there. The kids played under this tree that was shedding pink flowers. We also watched the ducks diving in the pond and did some swinging at the play area there.

Good news on the home project front: the ceiling is now done! As is the hallway and entryway! Now the living room walls need paint, then we can pick out some new carpet.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Three Places I Have Visited

(1) Norway

(2) Italy

(3) Greece

One Of My Favorites

I got the news this morning: Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. He was one of my favorite authors when I was younger. I worked at a used bookstore at the time, and I collected almost all of his books. I read them all, too. Like most people, Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle are my favorites. Recently, I gave most of them away. I still have my copy of Slaughterhouse-Five, though, and I want to read it again this week. Godspeed, Mr. Vonnegut. And so it goes.

Interested in more information about Kurt Vonnegut?
Borders has an article, a book list, and some excerpts.
Here's the Yahoo full coverage page.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Monday, April 09, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

Sleeping With Bread is an excellent meme started by my friend Mary. The point is to reflect over the previous week and identify those things that have brought you low, and let go of them, and to highlight those things that bring you life, and hold on to them. I hope you don't mind, Mary, but today I am adding the things that have made you crazy, and instead of letting them go or holding on, let's all point our fingers and laugh, kay?

THE GOOD - These are the good things I'm holding on to this week: the laughter of good friends, the magic of Easter for my kids (Dad, you'll be happy to know that we had a test run egg hunt on Saturday, and three on Sunday (I re-hid the eggs before dinner and they loved it)), the power of Easter for me and my husband, the healing power of time, the love of my son, the gift of my daughter, and the fact that my husband is still my best friend.

THE BAD - It's there. I'm learning to let go of it. God is continually putting things in order and in my way so that I can let go of it, which is good and bad at the same time.

THE UGLY - American Idol. Seriously. Seriously? There aren't enough words to express my extreme disappointment with the fact that Sanjaya is still on the show. And Gina! Gina can actually sing and has style that is edgy (instead of, well, what can you say when someone who can't sing well puts his hair into a ponytail mohawk? seriously?). And Chris. OK, he had a few bad weeks, I'll give you that. But at least when he was singing I didn't feel the need to pace the room and yell at the TV. American Idol, I'm pointing at you and laughing. You were once a good show, but it's getting ridiculous.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter

He told them, "This is what is written:
The Christ will suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day,
and repentance
and forgiveness of sins
will be preached in His name
to all nations."
Luke 24:45-47

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In Lieu Of A Real Post

Sometimes a song can say exactly what you are feeling. Thanks to Cindee and her beautiful post here. You have inspired me, Cindee, with your solid faith. Thank you.

You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban on YouTube)

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

And because it is still speaking to me:
How To Save A Life (The Fray on YouTube)

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Three Things Thursday

Three Places I've Lived

(1) Sioux City, Iowa (yes, but not on a farm)

(2) San Ramon, California (where I met my best friend)

(3) La Mirada, California (where I went to college - the best education I could have hoped for and worth every penny - and where I married my best friend almost fifteen years ago)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Knit Bit: One down, one to go

Here is the first Fetching glove completed. I'm charmed by it. You may be wondering why I'm knitting myself another pair of fingerless gloves when I knit myself those Knucks a few months ago. Well, the other ones have each finger encased in a little tube, and while they are lovely and warm, they are too bulky for me to wear them and knit. (Yes, but this is what I do while Sally practices soccer - knit and try and keep my hands warm) Also, I really like this pattern and wanted to try it. Also, I don't have any purple gloves.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Thank You!

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

We love the bunnies filled with candy. We love you! Happy Easter!


Sally & Samuel


This morning:
This afternoon:

Pass me a protracter - I love this scarf!


Last night I was surfing the net for an address, and I found the one I wanted. Then guess what I did? Guess! I sent it as a text message to my cell phone. Welcome to 2007.

As I was thinking of a good title for today's post, that old expression about teaching an old dog new tricks came into my head, but then just as quickly the fight from When Harry Met Sally popped up:
Is someone supposed to be a dog in this sceneario?
Yeah, you are.
I am the dog?
I am the dog!
No, if anyone's the dog, you are the dog!

I'm still not done painting the ceilings. But I'm close.

I'm still not done with the brown sweater. I'm trying to get the arms to the same length and then begin the decreases. The left arm is down to my elbow. The right arm is just started. I started a new scarf because I need time to think about the sweater arms. I know I'm overthinking it, but it's my sweater and I can overthink it if I want to.

I finished a book yesterday so there will be a fresh post over at the bookshelf today. Now I'm reading the Tightwad Gazette III for my bookclub. I'm learning alot - mostly that I spend alot of money.

I'm drinking mint green tea. I like mint tea.

Well, I'm off. Tomorrow I teach kindergarten, so I'll see you on Wednesday.