Thursday, January 31, 2008

Project 365: Day 31 - January 31

This corner is clean.

Cleaner anyway.

We kept it so cluttered with school stuff, and club stuff, and holiday stuff, and pet stuff - you get the picture - that its cluttered-ness made the kitchen look smaller!

Now it's clean...and we're finding that we really didn't need all of that other stuff after all.

Except the play-doh.

Project 365: Day 30 - January 30

Aww. Here's Charley. He's sleeping on the pillow of the only person in the house who is allergic to cats. Nice.

Did you catch the lavender wall behind the pesky kitten? David and I live in the room that was originally Katherine & Caroline's. They couldn't decide on a room color so we ended up painting two walls lavender and two walls light blue.

Fairly soon (could be years) it will be painted again. I'm working on a more grown-up color.

Project 365: Day 29 - January 29

Will, Gabe, ... and Carter too! The boys were having so much fun that they were all exhausted by the time they were dragged to their vans.

Now they're counting the days until it's time to have another playdate!

Me too. The moms had homemade pizza and apple dumplings! Yuh-uh-umm!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Project 365: Day 28 - January 28

This is the dog
that ran out of the house
into the freezing cold.

This is the dog
that stayed out in the yard
because she didn't come when she was told.

This is the dog
that needs a long bath
after going into the barn, where she rolled.

This is the dog
who was gone so long
that it would be a waste of breath to scold.

This is Gracie!

Jumping the Gun

after preschool,
after grocery shopping,
and after Christian's pizza,
Will and I (and Gabe and his mom) ventured into A&N.

The store is going out of business so the prices are fairly low so assuming you can find what you want it's a good time to buy.

We bought Will his kindergarten backpack, which in his words is "cool".

The tower is his way of putting away the canned goods.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Project 365: Day 27 - January 27

Simba didn't stand a chance with Charley around tonight.

In the end, in an effort not to have a 4-year-old freak out and tears from who-knows-who, I put him on the top shelf in Katherine's room.

Problem solved for now...he's gone to Will's room for another animal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Super Size Me

We (all but Will) just sat through Super Size Me, an indie film by Morgan Spurlock, released in 2004. I'd advise against it for younger children, in fact Katherine went to bed just 30 minutes into it because of the language and not so subtle references to sex. OK, so maybe we should have known she shouldn't watch it, but do you all always pay attention to those things? I just (naively? stupidly?) figured it was just a big rant on McD's.

I can say that at least 4 of us will not be begging to go to the golden arches any time soon. No major surprises really, we know fast food is bad for us. But did we know just how bad it was for us? Probably not.

Take the fries. Any mother who has driven through the McD's drive-thru knows that fries last forever on the floor of the minivan. So what do they do to our insides? We know that the burgers can't be good for you, but did you know that some of the salads are worse? And all along we thought the salads were a healthy option. The parfaits are worse in some cases than the sundaes - what a bummer. We can't even pretend to be healthy.

Now, the film is dated, so maybe, just maybe there are some better choices out there. But the best choices are nowhere near Ronald's beckoning smile.

Project 365: Day 26 - January 26

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Challenge Update

I've already got another pile of books stacked next to my bed that I want to read but I'm forcing myself to get through this list first.

Laura Lippman's Baltimore Blues - done
Laura Lippman's Charm City - done
Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild - done
Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner
Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle - done
Katherine Paterson's Jacob I Have Loved
Lois Lowry's The Giver
Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue
Lynette Long's Painless Algebra
John Bul Dau's God Grew Tired of Us
John Townsend's Boundaries With Teens

I was right about reading...the laundry has piled up, and my blogging has taken a hit. So far my children are still fed and warm.

Project 365: Day 25 - January 25

Gak! Every quarter the 4th grade holds an AR party for the students who have met their AR goal. Gak is always a messy hit!

These girls auditioned for the school talent show today. They danced to a song I'd never heard before...I must be getting old!

Project 365: Day 24 - January 24

Project 365: Day 23 - January 23

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


No really.
Go Back.
I'm catching up - finally!

Two weeks behind but slowly catching up. Just don't put my book list in front of me...or my Bible study homework...or the laundry.

Project 365: Day 21 - January 21

I think it's time for this to go.

Project 365: Day 22 -January 22

PJ Night at the elementary school.

The kids all go to the library in their jammies and hear stories read by their teachers. Afterwards they get cookies and milk. The best part is after brushing teeth, they're ready to hop into bed!

Project 365: Day 20 - January 20

Once you hit 4th grade at our church you get to become an acolyte.

Sunday was Katherine's first time! She was a bit concerned about carrying the flame down the aisles but she did great and no one was singed!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Project 365: Day 19 - January 19

Today marked the end of the racecar bed. Will happily said goodbye to his beloved racecar bed in exchange for a big, red bunk bed! It was sad for me to see it go, just one step closer to big.

Will loves his new bed and has already decided when he'll move to the top bunk.

Oh, and another step to big - look at his shirt - we call it a kindergarten shirt because it really won't fit him until next fall.

He had to have the shirt, probably because it came with a Lightning McQueen key chain!

Project 365: Day 18 - January 18

The lump slept until mid afternoon and woke up ready to go!

Later in the evening he even went outside for a couple of sled rides down the hill.

The girls played outside all day after completing some long term homework assignments and cleaning their rooms.

We always end up with the cutest snowpeople!

David even came home early after being challenged to a snowball fight by Caroline and Katherine.

Project 365: Day 17 - January 17

As is the norm here when winter weather is forecasted, it doesn't come quite soon enough to make cancelling school easy on folks. Decisions to close or delay must be made by 6am, in time to keep the buses from running or to send them on their way.

So, with no show-stopping weather actually in place, the schools were on a regular schedule. I made the decision to keep the younger ones home because we knew the storm was coming, but the older two had projects due and tests that they didn't want to miss so they went on as usual to the elementary school to volunteer before their own buses would arrive to take them to their schools.

It wasn't even 8am before the snow was coming down hard here, and it wasn't even 8:30 when the girls called to say that schools were closing early. At that point they were still at the elementary school and decided not to go on to their schools. It was a good thing, the buses were running late and the drivers didn't always know how to put on their chains. The elementary school closed at 10, and when my kids left at 1 there were still kids there waiting to be picked up. There were accidents all over town and delays in traffic that left people stranded for hours. Crazy.

There were complaints that the schools should have been closed or delayed. I'd hate to be the one who has to make those decisions. You just never know here, there have been times that they've called school expecting a big dump only to have no snow at all.

So, after Will did his happy dance at all the snow, he promptly decided to have the stomach bug that we'd avoided all fall. Yay!

The girls played outside until they were soaked!

Project 365: Day 16 - January 16

This is the state of all of the bookshelves in our house.

We love books, so we buy books, and we keep them...forever.

We are the black hole of books.

Do we keep them because we love them, or because the thought of going through them is so overwhelming that we've turned a blind eye to the absolute ridiculousness that lies in having a book on trauma surgery?

We do have lots of really good books that are keepers. I've just run across two more to add to my reading list, and another three to pass on to a new mom. Now that I'm out of mothering a toddler I think it's time to pass them along, don't you? My inclination is to keep them for my kids, but I suspect that they'll want to find their own.

On a side note: that little stuffed creature on the shelf is a geoduck. It's a clam.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Reading Challenge

Thanks to Trish I have a new goal.

Throughout the year(s) I accummulate piles of books that I'd like to read. I rarely get to them all and always have a steadily growing pile. One of my book issues is that when I read I tend to block out everything else, inlcuding children, husband, pets, dinner ... everything that might need my attention.

As a result, I tend to read at night which means I read well into the wee hours.

Add to that my anal attempts to keep up with my Bible study homework and my children's needs for a homework overseer, and it's pretty obvious that there are not enough hours in any day for pleasure reading.

So I've joined the Winter Reading Challenge, and here's my list. Since my kids have no problems getting to their lists, I won't list any books other than the ones on my list. David, you're on your own too!

Laura Lippman's Baltimore Blues
Laura Lippman's Charm City
Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild - done
Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner
Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle
Katherine Paterson's Jacob I Have Loved
Lois Lowry's The Giver
Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue
Lynette Long's Painless Algebra
John Bul Dau's God Grew Tired of Us
John Townsend's Boundaries With Teens

That's all for know. That's quite a bit of reading to add to my already busy life - we'll see what I can get accomplished! Wish me luck!


What Jennifer Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.
You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.
You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are loving, compassionate, and ruled by your feelings.
You are able to be a foundation for other people... but you still know how to have fun.
Sometimes your emotions weigh you down, but you generally feel free from them.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

Project 365: Day 15 - January 15

...banished to the attic to await more little kids.

Project 365: Day 14 - January 14

We love our dentist. We just don't love going to see him. It's hereditary...we can't help it.

Today it was Katherine and Caroline's turn. I divide the kids' appointments up because I can't take the stress of all of the trauma in one day.

One of us doesn't seem to mind...I guess he gets that from his father.

Project 365: Day 13 - January 13

They're just earning their keep.

Katherine made breakfast, I made lunch, and Caroline made dinner.

Project 365: Day 12 - January 12

We think maybe Charley ate a couple of these bugs.

That's okay. Will has decided we need to give them away - they "scare" him.

Who knows.

He can't say, but he's so over these critters.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Project 365: Day 11 - January 11


Charley, too.

Project 365: Day 10 - January 10

Project 365: Day 9 - January 9

I don't have a picture of the finished project, but you can get the idea. The students had a choice of making a 3D replica of the Wanderer (from Sharon Creech's The Wanderer), or a picture, or something else.

Not able to settle on the first two, Katherine chose the 3rd option, and after getting permission from her teacher, had a great time putting it all together. She drew and cut and colored for days.

And then I spilled my water on her boat...good job mom! That's okay, boats are supposed to get wet, right?!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Project 365: Day 8 - January 8

It doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed since this small child was working on this project. Since I took this picture, she has finished the project, turned it in, gotten it graded, and moved on.

As usual, I'm just trying to keep up.

Katherine's Almost Backpack

Does anyone out there remember back in July or August when we were at the beach and Katherine went online and ordered backpack?

Well, she did, and it was supposed to come the week after school started. So she started back to school with her same old falling apart backpack, thinking her new one would come any day. It never did, and we heard through a classmate friend who'd ordered the same one that L.L. Bean couldn't fill the orders.

Then came December, she's still using the same backpack and it's still falling apart - there are no working handles so she has to hug it to carry it, or roll it. Rolling doesn't work too well on a gravel road!

On a lark we went back to the website to see if there was any other backpack that might just do the job - cute but functional! There it was -her backpack was back! We hopped on that ordering machine and got our name right in there for one of those fast-selling packs!

Long story getting longer - it came Saturday!

We're so excited!

What in the world?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Project 365: Day 7 - January 7

We don't normally start lacrosse practice until late February or early March, but today the weather was so warm (71!) that Coach had to get a practice in - there were 15 girls out there!

Project 365: Day 6 - January 6

Not the greatest picture, but it does show K's bright red cheeks.

Jeez, this poor thing just finished her antibiotics for Strep and now she has Fifth Disease, which once it shows it's ugly rash is no longer communicable. What she's left with, besides having to go to school, is really rashy, itchy skin from her head down to her toes.

Say it with me now.

Poor girl.

Project 365: Day 5 - January 5

What a wonderful birthday surprise!

The kids made and decorated the cake all by themselves without any parental input! How cool is that?!

They decorated the table with a tablecloth and cloth napkins! They even got out the crystal and candlesticks!

The cake was served on paper plates decorated specifically for each person! David's said "It's your wife's 44th birthday" Pretty neat, huh?!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Project 365: Day 4 - January 4

That's me, third from the left, the one with the Breck girl hair that I really want. It's me in all my birthday happiness!

On a side, and totally related, note, we played the Wii for the very first time. I have to say it's a darn good thing we don't have one because as much as we don't get done now, we'd get even less done then.

Thanks to all who made my birthday memorable!

Dinner Out

We celebrated tonight at The Melting Pot! Ooh!

I've been wanting to go there and we all had gift cards left over from last spring's Orange Crush lacrosse season so we figured we'd better get over there.

Meals at TMP begin with a long explanation of a very confusing menu - way too many choices, if you ask me!

We started our meal off with the Mediterranean cheese choice using fruit, veggies and french bread as dippers. Then we had a choice of salad - no dipping.

For the meat course we chose the coq au vin into which we dipped & cooked all kinds of meats and raviolis.

See Mark.

See Mark dip.

Then they made us choose a chocolate - we chose s'mores - so we dipped strawberries, bananas (not me), coated marshmallows, brownies, graham crackers, rice krispie treats (the best!) and pound cake into the chocolate.

Oh, and we got mints on the way out - like we needed something else to eat!


First came something called The Big Brain Academy - hysterical fun for non-coordinated, slow thinking people like me. Mark and I won, but mostly because he can answer math questions before they're even asked.

Then the guys moved on to horseback riding, tanks, boxing and hockey. Mark won most of those matches... games... events... wars...whatever, but David did manage to pull out a few wins.

Totally fun and highly recommended!