Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Lil Man

We always have a wonderful reason to celebrate New year's Eve!

After the weeks of activity and rush rush cough cough, we kept it extremely simple. Literally. Cake + ice cream+ one family= dassit

Daddy baked the cake this year.




Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Boys who play with dolls

My heart just overflows with tenderness when my boys play with dolls. I love that we aren't hammering our children with nonsensical gender messages. I love that I have a man who parents the way he should, with open heart and hands, who encourages his sons to be good fathers. No doubt, my daughter leads the charge and is far more into her babies and their care than my sons are. They don't nurse their babies, or pretend to birth them like G does, but they do act like, well, Daddies. They'll sling them, feed them, toss them around.

Big brother bought baby brother a doll for Christmas. He chose it, wrapped it himself and gave it to him on Christmas Eve. ~D~ named it "Born," after Big Sister's doll "Newborn." As I write this, the children are breakfasting and ~D~ has his baby with him. The older children are just totally into ~D~'s pretend world, doting on him and his baby, helping him arrange the highchair, talking to him about baby wanting Daddy.

I am enraptured by the circle of love my kids have created.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Darling D

I know the fishtank is in the same place as the guinea pig cage used to be, but
please
do not feed
cabbage to the goldfish .



Incidentally, Samwise Gamgee's new homers
e-mailed me this morning to let me know he is purring.

Purring.

Day one and the Piggy Gen is purring.

That's another item for the gratitude journal.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

The day after, but Merry Day nonetheless.

We have grown to love love love our private Christmas mornings together. Nonetheless, I missed my Washington family, who we will see for our own private Christmas on Friday. BUBBLE! I like our BUBBLE! The kids woke early but not TOO early, with Nicholas rising earliest again. We ate like piggies all day, too.

It was a pretty low-key Christmas in terms of activities, despite my best efforts. The power problems, the resulting illness and clean up.......Oy. The house isn't tidy enough even for our tastes, much less up to hosting standards.

We did try a Candlelight Christmas Eve service but I remain, as always, a little apprehensive of the not-St.-Matthew's-ness of everywhere else. I have issues with "praise teams" (choirs with microphones) and churches with large projection screens that let you read the lyrics and whatever-else they want to drive home for you. The possible worst moment was by far the kids' favorite: to call the children forward for their circle, the church blasted the Blue's clues theme song, complete with a giant dancing Steve in surround sound on the screens. I am as open-minded and liberal a Christian as they come, but I don't think there is a place in my heart for the melding of Lutheranism and Nickelodean.

Nonetheless, this church has a huge outreach program local to Gig Harbor, they're very ELCA Lutheran (read: liberal) and they have a very active community. The women's circles are labelled with biblical names, two of which are Naomi and Rebekah. I am hoping this wasn't a representative service, especially given they were doing four of them on Christmas Eve, and then one again on Christmas morning.

Just about everything the kids received was open-ended and designed to fulfill them in some capacity. Except the goo balls. Both big kids received digital cameras, acoustic guitars and land-to-sea robot cars. Santa blessed G with two hermit crabs, N with a workbench and D with a barn set.

D. D will be TWO this week. I can hardly believe that. We have no plans as of yet, either. How convenient for a New Year's Eve baby, to have the whole country party all day.

We gave away Elvis today. I could have shed the Cavy months ago, but the kids did love him, and I have never re-homed an animal ever. Unfortunately, the kids didn't change his bedding or clean the cages or buy the hay bales. Little dude ate a lot. I am so excited for Samwise Gamgee (that's his perfect name now, and I had nothing to do with it!!!!!!!!!!) that he is home now with a true Guinea pig enthusiast. She's a homeschooler, and she is a big Cavy nerd. Like, guinea pig show prize winning, "no, Cavies are closer related to cows than to rodents" kind of nerd. This couldn't have BEEN more perfect of a placement. It's like I dreamt her up, except I have known her for over a year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

There, and back again

Today is my first day online since December 14th. The windstorm that hit the NW hit us hard as well, and we were without power for EIGHT DAYS. That means no phone (cable modem), no cell (no way to recharge) and no heat. We have a woodstove, but we had it serviced in October and learned the catalytic converter is stuck. That's no big deal for a casual romantic fire, but we burned it for 6 days sick and nearly put me in the hospital with bronchitis; I am now on Z-pack and another med, P-daddy is on a Z-pack and albuterol, for the first time at 40. We finally gave up and spent two days with wonderful friends, before coming home on Friday. Within half an hour, we finally had a truck come and we had power at last.

The lights returned, poetically, the day after Winter Solstice.

We were fortunate in many, many ways. No one we know,much less in our little family, was hurt. The trees downed in our neighborhood were not ours and did not fall on our property. Coming from the South, we were imminently prepared for extended outages in terms of food, cooking, and lighting. (We were not prepared for the dark, and for the smoke.) The absolute lack of communication was jarring, but so appropriate for the season. The people who love us made that clear in word and deed. It has been as ever, a season of gifts and blessing.

I am gleeful to discover I missed the internet not one whit.

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Outage antics part three




The kids getting tired, finally. They curled up with B-Goddess for a neatly translated storytime while I was packing to take us home to the cold and dark .

They finally restored our power that evening at 5.15, exactly 8 days and 45 minutes after it had gone out. The paper later read that we were in the last 500 homes restored.

Outage antics part two






Day 8-- Trader Joe's escape.

We ran into Brandywine and R-lady when we escaped to TJ's for a bit to plan dinner. BrazilianGoddess got to hold Mr Smiley for the first time in months!

At this point P-Daddy and I were growing concerned that we would have to choose between a Christmas at home or a Christmas in a hotel.




Sunday, December 17, 2006

Outage antics part one


We were without power for 8 days. I have to admit, we were very well prepared for the subsistence angle: we have city water which stayed with us for the duration, and we had a lot of alternative heating sources which we used to cook, heat water and our home.

We did not, however, anticipate the effect of the dark and cold on us. Even with the wood stove burning for 6 days straight, we never got the living room above 63 degrees F even during the day; usually it hovered around 57 F. With the light fading at 3.30 and dark falling at 4.30, there wasn't a great deal we could see to do in one room by candlelight. Too dim to read or knit or even color, we had to entertain ourselves in other ways.

We used to own five oil lamps, but the moving company required us to leave those behind when we came across country. We'd never replaced them because they'd always been a novelty item, something we used infrequently. They did shed much better light than our little camping light!
The power took with it the phone, as we have cable telephone service, and my cell phones, as I have no car charger for my cell phone. With the grid disrupted, when my phone was charged, it still roamed a lot more than usual. P-daddy still had his, so he would call my friends, who would in turn hear from me. It was convoluted because Qwest sucks like that and my phone wasn't ringing the whole time. But that's another post.

The kids slept in their own rooms under heavy blankets, as did we. When P-Daddy had to leave for a busines strip, the kids all slept with me. That was the coldest night, 24 degrees outside. The stove stayed stoked for 6 days until the pine finally took it's toll on me and I could no longer fight the bronchitis. We stayed two nights with a friend, returning home to pack to go to a hotel. As I sorted clothes, the power returned.

This series starts with pix from when the outage was still fun.

Day three: Storm's Aftermath



Trees on Danforth. As bad as they looked, they didn't really impact the power situation.



Cuddling after baths heated by water we boiled in the turkey fryer.



Playing continued, no matter what! It just all centered in the living room, by the woodstove.
Doesn't she look like an urchin, all smudged with soot?



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

July, 2007



And the circle of mothers
continuing
love, perpetuating
friendship, nurturing

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Happy Holidays



(click to see it better)

If you're invited, you know who you are.... please let me know whether you're coming so I can plan for your little darling(s)!

Art by GRF "
Wintertime"



Saturday, December 09, 2006

~N~

My sweet tooth is the boss of me!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winter Sublime

Much is idyllic in our lives right now, and it has me in the silken web of family tether.

This time of year, since meeting my lifemate and beginning our family, has become increasingly more potent and powerful as the years come to us. From self-proclaimed and cheerful Grinch of the holidays to where I am now, the dark days of the winter solstice and the surrounding holidays have always been family to me. When family was a harsh, brittle entity, I hated these days. Now, I revel in them as much as anyone can.

We cut our Christmas tree this year at Alpine, a huge tree farm atop a hill in Port Orchard, almost to Belfair. The farm literally crests a high point in Port Orchard so high you have a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Olympics while you hike around looking for the perfect tree. Acre after acre of snow-covered farm lay stretched out before us in rolling hills of evergreen. We had our first family snowball fight of the year, and came home to trim the tree and drink hot cocoa by the fire, as we always do.

I don'tknow whether it's because we were done quickly with purchasing our gifts this year or whether it was because we moved to a different city, but the Christmas Crazies don't seem to be effecting us as much this year. Especially in this region, people tend to freak out out at Christmastime. We've done well to avoid that. This week I took a Toys for Tots gift into Starbucks when I went for knitting night. As I carried it in, another family was leaving, all aglow. The Mom said "See? She's taking one in, too!" The gift receptacle was so full I had to cram mine in. I made my way to the counter to discover that the person before me, who was no longer in view (the family maybe?) had purchased my drink already.

G sat on Santa's lap for the first time this year, and earlier we actually got to SEE it when the GH Santa made his neighborhood rounds with the firefighters. The kids, the parents and the neighborfamily all waited together. The cheering and candy cane slurping that went on after that made the little bit of cold and waiting worthwhile.

We have Christmas parties planned this year, which will be very nice. We haven't really done one since we've been to Washington and we're looking forward to the holidays.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

St. Bernard


G has some serious affection for the watercolors we got from IKEA, as they are full colored. I don't blame her.

Here's one of her latest creations, and it really stood out to me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Amazing Mommy Powers!

Dude! I got someone else's velcro baby to want to go home with me!

WHOA!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitty

Yay, I am finally knitting. I have finished enough projects now to say "I can knit" or "I knit." I really need to get this soaker done for my boy before he potty trains, but I am afraid of knitting in the round! Well actually I am less afraid of that than I am of the pattern (which I still haven't decided on) and I haven't been able to go to our knitting nights in three weeks to get help!

Today, I spent early morning casting on a boucle sweater for G. She chose the yarn at a Black Friday sales and I have to admit I despise working with it. For me, cute yarn makes for a hard time seeing stitches. Even still, sitting by the fire and watching the snow falling on the evergreens outside made for a nice coffeetime.

P and I are starting our pilates together time today. Yesterday was my first pain-free day for two weeks, and I am looking forward to strengthening myself enough that this doesn't happen anymore.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Home Alone with the Kidlets today

Emotionally we had a good day. No tantrums, no big spats between sibs.

My back was throbbing by the time Paul came home -- there is no way to get through the day without picking up your 22 month old-- but I took my first motrin when he came through the door, so I think we did well.

Each day is better, and that's all I can expect. I'll take it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Getting Jiggy With The Homeschooling

Oh YES! Will and Jada Smith homeschool their kids. I am so chortling right now. Rock on!


Apparently I am no longer sobbing in my sleep, so I am happy to think tomorrow will be a good day, even though Paul is going to work.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Curriculum Fun

I have been making some more materials for the Learning Room, and having a lot of mental fun while doing it. I am working up their geography exercises.

First on tap is continent cards. You print out the pictures of the individual continents and then keep relative pictures in separate envelopes. You also match animals to the continents where they originate.

Next is the felt globe, where you cut out felt pieces in the shape of the continents and the child can then do much the same thing, but with a felt board, or if I get a chance, a felt covered beach ball.

They've been studying the real Thanksgiving, which has made me happy. I don't want to teach our homeschooled children LIES, but I am also determined to balance historical accuracy without burdening children as young as ours with adult concerns like war, genocide and rape. There is a nice sanitized, but historically accurate set of activities on Scholastic.com It's been a good launchpoint for discussion, and there are always your standard printables on enchanted learning . The whole family is looking forward to watching the History channels new presentation on it as well: Desperate Crossing

And, more details for their quarter collecting, which is teaching currency, math, history and geography. That does not an inefficient curriculum make.

Back's Out

Wednesday night I was roughhousing with the kids and my back went out. This sucks and is very painful, but normally it's a finis by 48 hours. Here I am, Sunday morning, still spasming and miserable. It hurts AND it's causing anxiety. I literally can't function when I am like this and P-daddy has had to be Mommy and Daddy. He came home Thursday morning and took off Friday.

I have finished knitting hats for G and for N but I need to be better. I need to be better. Moms can't be Moms without use of their backs. He's holding his own so far but I NEED TO BE BETTER.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MNO

Last night the PCCM went to the melting pot for a mother's night out. I haven't been to a MNO since, well, the last time I went to the melting pot. It was delicious, as expected, but also somewhat surprising. The woman who arranged it learned of happy hour pricing. If you eat in the bar, the salads and the cheese and chocolate fondue pots are half priced. They're full sized, so that made for haaaaaappy cheesy mommies.

And I think it would take a wedding to make that amount of us show up in cosmetics again!

It was a fun time, and I felt like a ME.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I've been holding out

and I would normally be in trouble for it, but I bet this bribe will work to get me off the hook:


Gasp




Anyway, I have posted pictures from:

our homeschooling conference at the art museum

our Halloween playdate

and again, our Halloween playdate!

So go look and have fun! (and forgive me for taking so long!!!!!!!!!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another American Tragedy


December 12, 2006

Drawing for a 2 night stay

at the

Ramada Hotel & Water Park

in

Ocean Shores!


Tickets for the drawing will be available starting Monday, November 13th. Though there is no purchase necessary to enter this drawing, we are asking a donation of $1.00 per ticket. All proceeds will go to the Zander family. For more information on the Zander family see below.

Zander family:

Tami Zander is the Chemical Dependency Program Manager here at SCCC. Her son Matt serves with the US Military and was recently serving in IRAQ when he fell victim to a IED bomb. Matt is currently fighting for his life at Walter Reed in Baltimore, Maryland. Family members from Aberdeen, WA have flown in to be with him, however are being faced with additional financial hardships as well as the loss of wages from being away to tend to him. Any donation would be beneficial to this family!!!!



[GRAPHIC--injuries described]
This is a woman who works for P-Daddy in Aberdeen. Behind the scenes: The company has given her as much pooled sick time as they have. The soldier has lost a leg, an arm, his buttocks and an eye. Some days he can't remember where he is, and insists he is whole. Other days, he wants to die. He is very young, single and needless to say this is a tragic situation.

I told P-daddy I would help raise funds for their family.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Penrose State Park


9-11 in music class

5/2007: transcribed from homeschooling board. I can't believe I didn't include it in the blog when it was happening. This will be disjointed.



G has been enjoying her ancillary classes with the school district, but last week she was in the back seat telling me about her day when she asked me if there were really two towers in NY that were knocked down by a plane.

Frankly, I was really pissed off. I have done what I can to somewhat shield the kids from the gory details of all that. I won't shirk from it forever, but dd is SIX YEARS OLD. This is a music class for first graders. The song they were learning was apparently inspired by the events, (*Eagles: There's a Hole in the World Tonight) but I firmly question the necessity of that in first grade.

Now that I have completely calmed down, I want to confront the teacher but I am not sure what to say. I know I will ask her exactly what she taught them about that day, because *I* need to know, but beyond that....

------------------
It gets better!

Music Teacher didn't tell me the name of the song*, I heard G singing it, and it's one of my favorite songs.

Apparently there was an assembly yesterday at 2.15 where she was supposed to sing it with her class and the 4th grade class. Of course, no one told me that when I picked her up from PE at 2.10. I only found out there was an assembly at all because when I dropped her for music (she has music + pe on Thursday) the teacher was in the gym, not the music room, "working on seating for the assembly. G, you can sit over there."

So..... if G was supposed to be in an assembly, someone should have damn told me. I asked then "should I leave her? is there going to be a music class today?" and the teacher kind of tersely said "yes there will be a music class" so I left G there. But after PE, G came right out the same door where some parents had gathered for the assembly. I took her away, completely clueless as to what she was missing.


-------------

It's not the song that bothers me; it's that Graham a. was taught something politically AGE inappropriate and then B. was prevented from performing something she'd rehearsed and anticipated.

I would not have held her back, but I wasn't able to support her either because I didn't know about it.

-------------

[In a nutshell, some friends online suggested that I was expecting too much from a public school district, and that since I released my child to their care, they would not see anything wrong with any exposure they gave her.]

But you're right about me too, as a homeschooler I wanted to avoid all this horseshit, and here I am dealing with it anyway.

I am going to allow her to go through the December break, and then she's coming back home. I will tell her (truthfully) that's it is the end of the semester and (not so truthfully) that class is all done. Our financial situation has improved again and I can send her to something private or join a homeschool choir that I recently discovered.

This has been a surprising learning experience for me. I find myself agreeing with the (perceived, never stated) attitude of the PSD that she should be in or out altogether. They've never done anything aside from this issue to make us uncomfortable or to make us feel unwelcome, but I feel like she is so conspicuous and I want to make commitments to our own community, like the WashNFL.
------------------------------------
This is the pic my dd drew after the class dh and I were upset about. I have been cleaning my desk off today and I found it.


At least, in her vision, there was a ladder for the people to escape.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Not bad for a state of emergency


Yes. State of emergency in 19 counties so far because in three days, we've had 12 inches of rain. And this week, I chose to babysit three extra kids... twice.

But we had a good day! :) They are also a homeschooling family so the kids are well accustomed to the rythym of our lives here.

The incredible never-sleeping baby, however, fell asleep while I was changing her diaper and her Daddy was loading the carseats. :)




Sunday, November 05, 2006

I feel like I am not in a neighborhood

My daughter doesn't seem to like the concept of suburban life. She likes our neighborhood, but like her Mom she likes having an identifier to go along with her residence. We live in the country, along a beach, but we also live in a neighborhood. Horses and riders, rabbits, raccoons and deer are all familar sites; we've even had a pair of random escaped bulls come through. But it still looks like suburbia when you're standing in the driveway during the day.

Today we had a cord of wood delivered. It turned into a fun cooperative family effort, as the kids and parents all donned our working gloves and staked the load in the wood crib. When most of the cord was put in, D woke up from his nap, so I went in to get him. He stared while the "big kids" were working right alongside with Daddy. He looked at me and said "N strong! G strong!"

D and I went inside and made a round of hot chocolate, which the big kids sat and sipped while watching P-Daddy split some of the bigger pieces. G looked up at me with shining eyes and said "Mommy, I feel like I am not in a neighborhood!"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Snow in August

The kids and I stayed in. Totally. The kids refused to change out of their very comfy new pajamas, and I failed to see any reason to make them do so. The wind, so blustery it howled through the cedar shakes, swept our giant, tan and bright yellow maple leaves with the leaves from the other deciduous trees and whirled them about the yard like a colorful hurricane. It looked like snow in August. N and I stood at the back windows while I did dishes, watching the leaves fall.

Their focus on materials always ramps up on days like this. It was a day for Giant Creations. We watched Snaybaby for the afternoon, and he folded in well with the others as they, for hours, built an elaborately detailed tent house in the living room and a giant railroad depot in the schoolroom.

N broke from this long enough to vaccum the house. Really. I plugged it in and he vacuumed it. His joy at not having to walk on spilled cereal was voiced with "My feet are happy! No poky sharp things in my feet!" while he bounced up and down. Since his conception, bouncy boy.

After dinner, the big kids chose to work on their wooden construction set. "My Ls can fold up into Is," said G, showing me her construction letters creations. N chose to build airplanes and gutbugslayers.

I love watching them work together at the double desk, little heads bending close to their task, chatting and interacting well. This day, G learned from N how to makes best use of some of the tools, and she made a working helicopter. N followed theme and made a plane. As I write this, they're racing about the house like children out of a Hearthsong catalog, zooming their flying machines together.

P came home tonight from out of town. It's a somewhat peaceful evening.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Planning the assault..........


"This is my sister, (her pumpkin is on the right) angry with me. And this is me, laughing at her!"

Truer words were never spoken!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Stupid Savings Book

You will rarely see me do this, but here goes:

Buy This Book.

You know my stupid sale coupon book? A lot of you have asked me how to get it, so here's your chance to get the new one at free shipping. Anywhere you live, there is likely a book for you. I had and loved it in SC, and I am getting one for my MIL in MI for Christmas.

Even being broke and frugal, we have saved an enormous amount of money in the past year with this book, and had coupons to share. It's one of those things that is a win win situation. The book costs 37.00, but you can make that up in ONE VISIT to the zoo, or the gas station, a restaurant, or the grocery stores. Yes, folks. Free gas. Free food.

Among the places where we have actually used these coupons have been Albertson's, Safeway, Northwest Trek, PDZA, Mandolin Cafe, (oh lord help me, McDonalds), the movie theater, Tully's, Shell gas, Elephant Car wash. Chevy's, The Glass Museum, Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Children's Museum, and so many other little places. That doesn't include the coupons we gave away to our friends to places like Taco Del Mar, REI and
Seattle Home Show. It just goes on and on.

Anyway, if you decide you want one (free shipping), please click this link: http://friends.entertainment.com/r/cf530fc0b8d010298b39 because if you do buy one, I get to get a nice gift card.

See? Easy Peasy! Shameless endorsement, but I have successfully encouraged so many people buy this book over the years just because I wanted them to have the wonderful savings, that it doesn't bother me at all potentially to get something in return for being Entertainment's unofficial salesman.

Never Pay Full Price. EVER.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Where, oh where could my camera be??

I have much playdate cuteness!

But I can't find my camera! Do you know where I put it?

The card filled up at the table during storytime, and I put it somewhere safe.

Oy. Help me!

Update:

RING RING

"SchnAAY!"

"Francais! Your camera is in the side pocket of the green chair!"

"OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOO SEXAyYYYYYYYYY!"

...
...
...
"How was class today?"

"What class?"

"Isn't it Saturday?"

"OH SHIT! FAUX PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS!"

[oops sorry Jesse! We had people spending the night and I totally forgot!]

Friday, October 27, 2006

Playdate Pictures!





Yup, it's in retrograde

I woke up to G screaming "No, you're getting poop on the walls!" When I stumbled bleary-eyed into N's room, it was indeed on the walls, but on the floors, toybox and bedding as well. She'd attempted to change a diaper, but got more than she bargained for. D escaped and well, there you go. Pre-coffee, two loads of laundry. Yum.

We have phones through comcast as well. I hosted a bigantous playdate and the frakking phone service was out most of the morning. I called them on my flagging-battery cell phone , and got a generic "lapse of Service in your area" message.

WELL THAT'S JUST SWEET!

Whilst entertaining the first guests, my phone rang. "Yay" I thought, "It's working again!" Ah, but my joy was short lived when it was the elementary school on the phone. They had a doggie there, one who was a "medium sized, German Shepherd mix, escape artist with one milky eye."

"The kids are saying it's G's dog." the secretary said.

"How would they know? "

"They say they know G's dog. I don't know. Is your dog there?" I checked, and well no, Presleydog was indeed not in the yard, and his radio collar was tidily inside, on the window sill, not on his neck. Sigh.

I asked my extra Mommies to watch the kids while I raced the ten minutes to the school. The teacher who'd trapped the dog said a sensible girl in her class (whose name I recognized) ID'd him. How he would travel that far, I didn't know. I met the dog. Not our dog. Grr. Same body, way different head.

So I go BACK home, and as I come in the front door, Presleydog came up the back stairs. Yes. he did.

We went on to have a fun Halloween playdate, with much cuteness, but oh goodness.

Speaking of retrograde, my friend got a speeding ticket on I5 as well. Seriously. 65 in a 60 zone. Shouldn't we citizens of Pugetopolis rejoice when I5 is moving along at 65? Really? Gawd.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bennies, Baby

Among the myriad other benefits of my MIL's visit is that she brought scads of baby pix of D, err, I mean P-Daddy as a baby. The digital camera just isn't gonna do a good justice to the copies, so I finally hooked up our boss scanner that's been hiding underneath the desk for quite some time.

Quite. Some. Time.

It's screamin' fast and I foresee much obnoxiousness on my part now that I have a scanner once again.

She's leaving tomorrow and we are very sad.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm tired.

I really adore my MIL. I do.

But the only person I've ever wanted in myhome this long was P-Daddy. She's adorable, and she is loving, and bends over backwards to ....just be. She's awesome, affirming, supportive, hard-working and omigosh, such a good Grandma to the kids.

It's just the houseguest thing. If we lived closer, she could come over any time she wanted, and we wouldn't feel the need for having marathon visits. I miss knitting night. I miss hanging with my extended homies. I need to just stare.

But oy, then I'd have to do my own laundry! :p

For those of you who know my kids personally, this is how she effects them:

D thinks he owns her. Schnaybaby thinks she is his gramma, too, which is right in line with being Cousin Schnaybaby. G includes Gramma into all her plans, wants to make jewelry with her, shares her coins with her and wants to work Halloween plans around her. She's dragged Gramma all over Washington showing her The Things Gramma Must See. N has given up his bed (voluntarily; we don't play that way here) to her and wants her to come back anytime, and she can sleep in his bed again.

So, one can not begrudge one's children their web. Not one bit.

And did I mention she's a laundry machine?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

150 things-- I've done the ones in bold

Hijaked from ~A~ because I don't have time to update much with the MIL here. This was memeasy!

Things I have done (in bold):

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candle lit bath with someone
8. Said “I love you” and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise.
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking .
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day.
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was really drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip.
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving (snorkelling, but sipped off the tanks)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie.
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (it was actually my poodle, but I made it!)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo.
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert (space shuttle science program when I was a tween)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage.
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music.
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten Fugu (my turn to say huh?)
89. Had a one night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Ridden a bike
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi.
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (No just stomped on them![I say this counts])
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident.
150. Saved someone’s life

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Homeschooling at the Art Museum



Today we met a bunch of wonderful mothers from around Washington as we gathered at the Tacoma Art Museum. It was overrun with public school children, but the moms did manage to get in snippets of getting-to-know-you conversations in some stolen moments, while the children had a BLAST creating their own masterpieces.