March 31, 2010

An Exercise in Futility

Why, Mr. Tiger, are you attempting to clean yourself while you continue to lay in the mud?

What? What's that you say? Why... yes, I am cleaning my house today. Point taken.

March 30, 2010

I Love Post It Notes

Do you have any random thoughts today? You can play along on your blog by clicking on Supah's Post It Note below OR leave a comment here OR, even better, play along AND leave a comment!

March 29, 2010


Do you ever feel like you are going and going and getting nowhere?

This guy was determined to get into the other side of his exhibit. Unknown to him, the zoo keepers had cleaned his pool and were in the process of refilling it. That side wouldn't have been safe for him. He was frustrated and just kept walking in and backing out... over and over again.

Perhaps your frustrating delay is for your own benefit too? Often only time will tell. So what do we do? I think we just do what we know to do and try not to "borrow" worries about tomorrow. Sometimes it just helps knowing you are not alone.

March 25, 2010

Everyone Gets Tired Sometimes

And I'll be sure to snap your picture when you fall asleep... especially on a road trip.

This is Micah. He is using the Slump method. It's when you just relax where you're sitting and don't even bother with the head nods. It's a good way to prevent the Open Mouth side effect though you may have Stiff Neck syndrome later.

Holly used the I'm Going to Get Comfy and Sleep method. This method requires a pillow and whatever else you can put between you and the hard wall of the vehicle. This method does have its risks. Notice the slightly parted mouth but her neck muscles will probably remain unknotted.

Dave goes for the Relaxing at the Beach method. This requires a seat in front of you to either prop your legs against or over. The Slump and Slide move keeps you from the Open Mouth and Snoring risks. Although I could say he was snoring and he couldn't prove otherwise since he and all the other witnesses were sleeping at the time...

My Dad managed to pull off the I'm Really Awake but Resting my Eyes look. He was definitely out though. It's a good thing he didn't use the Head Back method; he would definitely have the Snoring effect and startle himself awake.
And since I'm a good sport... I took a picture of myself sleeping.

It took me a few tries since I couldn't stop laughing and then I woke up everyone else with my hysterics.

But I was determined. Pretty good, huh? It's the I Don't Have Anywhere to Lay my Head but Back method. Open Mouth is a given with this particular sleep position. Micah told me the only thing missing with my picture was some drool. I wish I had thought of that.
Or maybe I should be mad at Micah for insinuating that I drool...

March 24, 2010

The Effects of Spring

Spring is here!

And with Spring came Spring Fever. Noah has a severe case of it. His case of Spring Fever is so bad that no weather conditions dampen his pull to the Great Outdoors. No amount of "Wait" "After lunch" "In a minute." "Not today." or other related terms are acceptable. His mantra is Must. Go. Out!

It is so bad that I've had to bolt the doors. No, not the dead bolt (he knows how to undo those), I have to do the latches that are up so high he can't reach them with a chair. Otherwise, if I do such things as shower, vacuum, go upstairs, or turn around for a moment, he's gone!

Welcome, Spring. I do hope you are bringing your warmer weather with you too. For Noah's sake. And, well, all of us. Hopefully before I find a tower built to the heights of the door latch? Please?

P.S. The flower pictured above is in the Dominican Republic. I wish my yard were so green.

March 23, 2010

Freedom is Work

Noah recently moved into his "big boy" bed. He is thrilled about it. However, he is adjusting to the freedom this bed offers. He quickly realized he can get up and investigate the rest of the bedroom after the door closes for the night.

We'll hear movement above us as John and I are downstairs. Sometimes Josiah or Nathan will come downstairs to file their latest grievance. "Noah is opening and closing the closet door." "Noah is turning the nightlight on and off." "Noah keeps talking."

Then one of us, usually me it seems, will go upstairs and "remind" Noah that it is bedtime and he must lay still, be quiet, and go to sleep. He will reply, "Okay."

So far it hasn't been necessary... but the crib is still up and I'm not afraid to use it.

So Noah is learning that you must be responsible with freedom or you can lose it.

March 22, 2010

Speech Meet: The Showdown

Josiah participated in a Speech Meet on Friday. It all started with memorizing a poem and reciting it for his class then he came home excited that he was selected out of his first grade class to advance to the Speech Meet. This meant that he would go to another school and recite his poem there.

I didn't know until last week that it would be an all-day event. When I brought Josiah to the school Friday morning I learned that there were seven other schools involved and over 200 students. The day would be packed with speech, science, math and reasoning.

His group was to recite during the first session and I was able to stay and watch. After finding the correct classroom, there were 24 first through third graders reciting their selection to the other 23 students, three judges, and the parents that were there.

I was nervous for him. He knows that poem extremely well but I wondered if he would recite it clearly and loudly or if he would rush through it. I noticed his face blush when it was his turn... but he did it! He recited the poem clearly and loudly enough. (When I was in school I purposely misspelled a word in our Spelling Bee so that I wouldn't have to advance and do it again in front of a big crowd. I was that shy.)

At the end of the day, John and I were able to come to the award ceremony where he got a ribbon for doing an "excellent" job.

You may notice in this picture how much he loves being in front of a crowd. (Did my sarcasm come through?) How did all the other kids do? Pullease. I'm sure they did fine but I only had eyes for my son. I am so proud of him!
This is the poem which he chose to recite:

by Arthur Guitterman

He sits and begs, he gives a paw,
He is, as you can see,
The finest dog you ever saw,
And he belongs to me.

He follows everywhere I go
And even when I swim.
I laugh because he thinks, you know,
That I belong to him.

But still no matter what we do
We never have a fuss;
And so I guess it must be true
That we belong to us.

And this is Cairo, Josiah's very own chum. And mine.

March 19, 2010

Manual Speed Golf

Either Josiah created a new game or.....

There are high levels of cheatin' goin' on!

March 18, 2010

Awkward Moments Day

As I drove home from work this morning, I heard on the radio that it is Awkward Moments Day. Finally! This is definitely my kind of holiday! Now..... What is the best way to celebrate this day? Do I reminisce about my awkwardness? Do I purposefully go out and put myself in new awkward positions? That could be fun ... AND more awkward for the other person. Then I could laugh and say "Happy Awkward Moments Day!" and, of course, they would be relieved that they were supposed to feel awkward and they would then "pay it forward" as any good deed should be. Or else, they may get really mad and hit me. In that case, I would feel awkward calling the police. I wonder if the police have any funny awkward stories to share...

All this rambling is somewhat awkward. Somewhat awkward is probably not good enough for Awkward Moments Day though.

I will confess an awkwardness: A lot of the time I will over analyze what I say in person to someone I don't know well. I rule out conversation starters as "too much information", "not interesting", "don't want to go there" and instead of conversing since my brain has locked up, I just stand there trying to come up with something anything to say. That's awkward. Why can't I just blurt out my weirdness and deal with that awkwardness instead?

Can you think of your most awkward moment? Or a recurring awkward moment? OR if you make someone else feel awkward today, please tell. Thank you and Happy Awkward Moments Day!

March 16, 2010

Random Thoughts Post It Style

After reading Shell's Post Its every week, I decided today is a good day to participate. Click on SupahMommy's Post It below to join the fun.

March 12, 2010

It Was the Best of Both

We had a taste of Spring yesterday....and it was delicious! Do I dare pack away the winter gear?Spring and Winter Meet

March 11, 2010

Don't Stop Now!

Some days you just have to wake up and get a head start on the day.

That's today for me. I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished so that I can "cling to the clean" again. Alas, my previous clean abandoned me.

I don't get a head start the same way that Noah has been -throwing everything out of his crib except himself while waiting to get out of bed- but I have managed to attack the dirt and clutter this morning. The biggest task is yet before me: the boys' bedroom. If you don't hear from me by tomorrow... please send help.

March 10, 2010

Familiar Yet Different

The Dominican Republic is still on my mind. And believe it or not, there is still a lot to share about my one week trip there. These are some pictures of things with which we are very familiar.... and yet they look very different. Go ahead. See if you recognize everything.

This is the kitchen of a family we visited. A lot of homes have outdoor kitchens because it is cheaper to cook over an open fire. She fed us some of her delicious jucca. Mm mm good! (I think it is yucca root?)

Not exactly the ladder you see at the local hardware store... but I LIKE it.

We saw this kind of fence a lot. We even saw one man making his fence. They use these green branches as the posts and a lot of the time, the branches take root and grow again.

This one is a little bit trickier. You can barely see it through the mesh... but there's a chicken living in that chicken coop.

And last but not least. Some call it a parking brake; I call it the emergency brake. It works!

March 9, 2010

I'm Tri-Topical

I have an issue with google maps. I entered my address and my destination and *tah dah!* got directions. So far, so good. I left early so that I would have plenty of time to arrive at my appointment but something went wrong. The directions were faulty! It said to turn right on Old French Road but there was only a left! My sense of direction was telling me that the home to which I was going could NOT be left and then I thought, "If one part of the directions is wrong, how do I know how much more of it is wrong?" I did the only logical thing: I drove around hoping to see the other roads I needed.... and I called Holly and complained to her until she hung up on me. But really the hang up was accidental and she was getting me directions from, hopefully, someplace other than google maps if only I could find her an address as the starting point. Thankfully my keen sense of direction and a miracle brought me to within a mile of my destination. Holly gave me the Cherry Street directions which google map logically should have given me in the first place since Cherry is closer than Glenwood Park. duh. I arrived at my appointment 10 minutes late. I hate late. I jotted down my new directions and as I drove home. That's right. I drove and wrote because texting is dangerous.

Later... I drove home the other direction just to see how google maps was trying to send me. There was an Old French Road on the right side only it didn't attach. You can't turn right onto Old French from Glenwood! You first have to turn on Old Perry Hwy THEN Old French. Google maps, you may now update your information. Thank me.

Thinking of driving, I'm looking for new vehicle. A big vehicle and a teeny tiny price.

This car may be discounted... but it's not what I need. The paint looks great though, right?

This car is in the Hip and Knee Joint ward of the hospital. It is used for physical therapy. Definitely not for speed because I don't think those itty bitty wheels on there will work well for that. What? Oh. Why was I in the Hip and Knee Joint area? Well, it wasn't for car shopping....

I spent most of yesterday at the hospital with my mom, Roger, and my brother while my dad, who recently won the fight with Tim, was taking on a new battle with Ben, a.k.a. knee replacement surgery.
My dad was feeling good when he woke up. Mainly because he was feeling nothing. So they hooked him up to a torture device, a.k.a. physical therapy machine, that lifted and bent his leg with the new knee over and over again.

I wanted to take a picture of the machine's workings but Matt said that there were decency issues at stake. So I didn't dare lift the blankets myself lest I inadvertently expose my eyes or yours to some indecency.

Anyhow, my dad is at the hospital for the next few days pushing himself and being pushed to use his new knee. I know he can beat Ben. You can do it, Dad!

Hm. I wonder if that leg is the one that already has a scar running up it. He seems to have quite the scar collection going on. Any more and I might get suspicious about his motives for surgery.

March 8, 2010

I've Been Robbed

It seems that regular people are learning more and more about forensic science. Even the very young ones seem to know how to cover their tracks.

Hey, Noah. You need to wear TWO gloves in order not to leave fingerprints. Also, don't let the camera catch ya in the act of stealing your mom's Dr Pepper! Better yet. Hands off!

March 7, 2010

This Makes Me Laugh

At the Salvation Army Family Store.....

Do you see what I see? Clever marketing? or a DIRE WARNING

March 5, 2010

Lost in Translation

On Sunday during Kids Church, the children were playing Follow the Leader.

SomeKid was the leader and began hopping. Nathan did NOT hop; he just ran. Ran and ran. Belinda told him that it was time for hopping because he was supposed to do what the leader did.

Nathan delivered a big sigh then stated, "Aunt Belinda, I don't SPEAK hop."

March 3, 2010

The Places I Went

I was told to take a lot of pictures on my trip to the Dominican Republic. So I did.

This "restroom" was not restful. It was in a separate building behind the church and there were no lights. Picture this with just the beam of a small flashlight. Three of us ventured out back to use this toilet. We made plenty of noise as we approached and Cheryl threw rocks at the building. Why? Because we didn't want "company" in there in the dark. Rats and spiders, PLEASE let the girls have a turn. The rocks and noises did their job. *whew* When someone asked if I had actually used these "facilities" I responded, "Hey, I was just glad that I would have a door!"

The next outhouse I came across was brand new. It was built at a construction site (which I have yet to tell about). Isn't it cute? Then they said we had time to use the outhouse if needed.

So, of course, I quickly took advantage of the offer AND took a picture. The door latch was a little tricky.

Here's the bathroom I used everyday. The showers were cold but surprisingly refreshing to me. The lantern was for when the power was out. (The power goes out nearly every day for hours and usually comes on again in the evening/night.) That toilet had me practicing me my patience; you had to hold that handle until it was completely done flushing in slow motion. The water bottles were for brushing teeth. You don't want to put even a minuscule amount of tap water in your mouth.

Ah! Another church bathroom. Better than the scary dark outhouse but it had its own setbacks. Notice there is no t.p. No problem. I came prepared. (The other girls called me Walmart. Not that I had packed a lot; I just packed what I remembered needing in a third world country.)

And there was no running water. This bowl was filled with bleach water for cleaning your hands. Yes, I used it. Then I used my hand sanitizer too. What? Wouldn't you?

Even the nicest bathrooms have their occasional challenges. The house was running out of water. Cheryl had ordered a water truck to fill the cistern but it hadn't arrived yet. I said, "We could just carry some water up from the other house so that we can flush the toilets here." She agreed but didn't let me do it. She had the guys on the team carry buckets. Buckets and buckets. *ahem* Sorry, guys. My fault.

I will admit that I didn't go here. Holly did. And I asked her to take a picture. That's right. I knew that Josiah would want to see a picture of the airplane's bathroom. But I totally could have gone here; I was just, well, I didn't want to get up and squeeze past the nice man sitting next to me.

So there you have it. I did miss a few places. Thank me.

My dad laughed at me for taking all these pictures. (So did Micah and Holly and Cheryl and everyone who knew) My response? "It's a lot more fun using a questionable/scary bathroom when you are collecting evidence for bragging rights!"

I hope you are sufficiently impressed. And please, please, tell me your worst bathroom experience. Okay, maybe I should clarify; please tell me about the worst bathroom you have used or the one that made you suddenly realize you didn't have to go so bad after all.

March 2, 2010

The View with a Fish

While in the Dominican Republic, we chose Friday and had a special lunch at the fish place.There were so many of us that we took two trips to get everyone here. It was not so impressive from the outside....
...but the inside of the restaurant offered a gorgeous view. No, no, no. This is not the view. This is where we stood to enjoy the view. The back wall was open to a beautiful valley.
We saw this. This.
This. (The tops of the banana trees)
This. And this. Any questions?
Then everyone had arrived and it was time to eat. I love Dominican food.
Hello, fish. I hear that you are delicious.
Oh. my. cow. You certainly were delicious! I didn't do a bad job of finding and eating all the fish meat possible, if I do say so myself.
I think Leo made have done better (but he has had more practice too).
Anyone that wanted seconds could choose their fish if they so desired; however, I was full.

Thank you Fish Place for the view and the delicious lunch.