Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm Going to Buy Myself a Christmas Present

I received a catalog from Hallmark yesterday and they have this fantastic ornament in there. This always happens to me this time of year - I start finding little things that I'd like to have or that I need so I buy them for myself, wrap them and throw them in my stocking. Christmas morning I open the gift and ooh and aaah and thank Steve with big wet kisses for being so thoughtful. He just laughs and rolls his eyes.

Sadly, sometimes I forget that I am the one who bought and wrapped the item!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Life Is Perfect

Your Life is 96% Perfect

You truly have the perfect life. And you probably feel like the luckiest person in the world.
You have a great career, family, and personal life. You have it going on!
How Perfect is Your Life?

Thanks for the link Lara!

Hello Pneumonia

Poor kid, I didn't really believe her that she was feeling as bad as she said she was feeling. It didn't take but a few minutes before the doc said her throat and ears are clear but she has a nice crackle on her left side when she breathes. Fortunately pneumonia isn't contagious. Unfortunately the cold that causes pneumonia is. I told her I have four children so we'll probably be seeing her again soon.

Now I want to take this opportunity to say that Eckerd drug store sucks. There are two in my area and I always get crappy service at the one so I thought I'd be so very clever and try the other one this time. Other than the store being larger and therefore less crowded, the service was just as crappy.

Here's how it goes every time I need a Rx filled. I drop off the Rx and give our address and phone number and ask how long it will take to fill. I'm usually told a standard 15 minutes so I wander around in the store with my children trying to keep them from touching everything they see and generally failing. Once 15 minutes of this torture have passed, I re-approach the counter only to be told that they can not find my insurance information. It happens so often that this time I looked at the lady dead in the eye and I sneered, "Oh I'm sorry, I guess I missed your page?"

She squirmed and outright lied to me, "Oh yes, I did try paging you once." Pants on fire.

Anyway I gave her my insurance card and hovered right at the counter until it was filled, about two minutes later. It turns out it is cheaper for me to just pay for the Zithromax outright than to use my insurance and pay the co-pay so it was a complete exercise in futility anyway. I hate Eckerd.

So we're home now. There's a pot of home made chicken noodle soup stewing away on the stovetop and Christmas tunes on the radio. I guess we'll just have a quiet rainy day, resting and recovering. See you tomorrow!

'Tis the Season

Poor little G has had a cough for a few days but was otherwise fine. Last night she went to bed with a fever and this morning she woke up worse. She's home from school so I drugged her up pretty good and she's snuggled in my bed watching tv. I guess I'll be calling the doc later when they open.

Now E came down a little while ago coughing. Here's hoping our very healthy winter last year doesn't catch up with us this year.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Apple Red Happiness

You'll have to forgive me for all the posts at one time. There was a lot going on this weekend and I didn't get a chance to post as things were happening so there is a half a week's worth of updates all in one day!

Every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving our church holds a praise service and this year G, E and Ty decided they wanted to sing. I made them practice but other than that, they picked the song and they separated out the different parts. At one point Ty messed up and sang when G was supposed to be solo (in the video you can see she giggles a little) and I guess when she looked around she saw the congregation smiling and laughing a little - not because of the mess up but because they were just so darn cute. Anyway after the song was over and she was back in her seat next to me she burst into tears. I think some of it was stress - she used to cry after her soccer games too - but she told me she thought everyone was laughing at them for messing up. I actually had to take her to the bathroom to help her settle down. Poor little baby!

And as a total aside, if you look behind the kids you can see the back wall I painted a few years back. It's my favorite faux finish of all that I've ever painted.

Soccer Pictures

Painted Ornaments

E and I were hanging out in AC Moore recently where she picked out a few unfinished wooden cut-outs to bring home and decorate. I saw a few ornaments in the same category and it looked like fun (I do like to paint!) so I brought them home and here is the result.

Unconscious Mutterings 11/27/06

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Rhyme :: Reason

  2. Substantial :: Solid

  3. Instant :: Gratification

  4. Greed :: Money

  5. Brad :: Pitt

  6. Season :: Holiday

  7. Accomplished :: Talented

  8. Invite :: Party

  9. Sparkle :: Glitter

  10. Rainbow :: Brite

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Only Big Girls in This House

We have been working with E for nearly a year now to try to get her to stop sucking her thumb. She got to the point where she would do very well all day and then suck her thumb in her sleep or when she was distracted. Finally about six months ago I struck a deal with her. I told her every time she went a day (24 hours) without sucking her thumb I'd give her a dollar and if she could go a whole week (7 days) I would take her to the toy store and she could pick out a Doodle Bear (She chose the Doodle Doll). Well guess what?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Notice Anything Different?

Before After
(Don't mind the writing on the window. The pic is from my birthday in May.)

All week I've been asking S3 how he thought he and his friend J have done. J is in 6th grade so he was convinced he would be cut from the team based on that if nothing else. J is very athletic so I thought barring the 6th grade thing, he'd probably make the team. S3 came home every day telling me he did lousy and he didn't think he was going to make it.

Friday the list was posted after second period. I wanted S3 to take my cell phone to school and call me but he wasn't allowed to use the phone during school time (which I understand and respect but you've got an insane soccer mom going crazy with impatience over here!) so I had to wait until he got home from school. My first question of course was, "So, did you make it?"

He gave a huge sigh as he plopped down on the couch, "Well, J did."

My heart sank. I started thinking how awful that his friend in 6th grade made it when he did not but I didn't get to fully articulate that thought in my own mind when G blurted, "He made the team!"

The boys' heads swiveled in unison and they yelled, "G!!!"

We've decided she's getting duct tape for Christmas.


Last year, just before Christmas, Steve's dad bought a new big-screen tv. This year he bought himself a flat-screen tv and offered to give us his "old" big-screen. We gladly accepted! However the new-to-us tv is larger than our current center can hold and after a while I started to have some regrets. This free tv was going to end up costing us a few hundred dollars for a new tv center.

Saturday we hit Sam's Club for a few groceries and they were having their open house. It was mobbed in there! Because of the croud, we were re-routed from our usual direct path to the food side of the building and ended up somewhere around housewares. In the middle of an aisle, sitting on a flatbed was a nice looking entertainment center that had been marked down to $100! I found an associate and we asked why the heck this thing was marked down so much and were told it was the last one and all the parts and pieces should still be in the unopened box (sorry the pic is from the box so it's not great).

Now we just have to wait for Mel and Jer to get their living room ready for our old tv center and I think I'd like to repaint my living room now since this thing is black and my living room is blue and yellow. I was thinking of a nice coffee color...

Unconscious Mutterings 11/20/06

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Teacher :: Pupil

  2. Fifty :: Bucks

  3. Crossword :: Puzzle

  4. Stuffed :: Full

  5. Family :: Fun

  6. Purr :: Cat

  7. Toad :: Stool

  8. Cocktail :: Party

  9. Insecurity :: Annoying

  10. Magical :: Romantic

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Fingernail Fun

The last time I was at Borders, I came across this really cool Klutz book called the Klutz Nail Art Book. Looking at the book, I figured I could paint nails like that with out spending $20 for the book/kit so I bought some small containers of acrylic paint and then coated the finished result with clear top coat nail polish. We've been having a lot of fun coming up with different designs and I wish I had taken some pictures of some of the others that I painted. Anyway, here's the latest...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rainy Day Crafts

Well I may have spent a million dollars and the entire day at AC Moore but it sure was timely! Our weather here today is miserable so E and I have spent the day painting and gluing and cutting and stringing. What fun!

P.S. She dressed herself today. Didn't she do a fantastic job? Even her socks match!

Always Look On the Bright Side of Life

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.

When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten

There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of $&#!
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...

Thank You Eric Idle!

Now that I'm done singing, here's a top-ten "What Good Has Come of the Paint Incident:"
10. In a state of utter frustration and disquiet, I blurted out something to Steve that has been bothering me for months. We dealt with it and I feel peaceful and happy again.

9. After cleaning windows, curtains and slipcovers last week and now the carpets this week, my downstairs is about as thoroughly clean as it has ever been at any one time.

8. When I was cleaning a pile of clutter in the corner of my dining room to get ready to clean the carpets, I found my favorite stitching snippers! Hurrah!

7. I learned new things such as, if you have carpet cleaning solution on your hands, do not rub your eye no matter how itchy it is.

6. The paint pretty much all came up!

5. E and I couldn't be confined to the upstairs all day yesterday so we had to go out shopping. We spent the whole day in AC Moore.

4. Since we had nowhere to sit and eat we had to go out to lunch and dinner.

3. I got Steve to admit it's time for new flooring and he's considering my request for hardwood - either to refinish what I know is under the carpet or to put down a new floor.

2. The whole thing makes for a good story.

And the Number One "Good That Has Come of the Paint Incident" is........

1. We think the area where the paint was dumped looks the cleanest of both carpets and we're considering dumping paint everywhere else next week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We've Had a Bad Moment Here Today

Is It Just Me?

Can you see it too?

It's my grandmother when she was young and E.

Review: A History of Violence & Digging to China

A History of Violence is the story of a regular husband and father who behaves heroically during a robbery of a local diner. Unfortunately for him, some mobsters from Philly see the publicity his heroics generate and come to pay him a visit. They believe he is not Tom Stall at all but rather a runaway mobster by the name of Joey.

This has to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. There is so much wrong with
this movie I'm not sure I can even remember it all. Let me start with the easy things. First of all, it's full of language typical of "mob" movies. Secondly it has tons of gratuitous sex scenes that add absolutely nothing to the story and last entirely too long, even on fast forward. The storyline was incredibly unbelievable, wandering, and finally ended leaving me scratching my head. I seriously just finished saying to Steve, "That can't be the end, it was too easy. Plus it's only been an hour and a half," when the credits rolled. I should have been grateful it was only an hour and a half. It was too boring to be an action movie and too full of gore to be a drama. I have no idea why the critics liked this one.

Please do yourself a favor and
just avoid this stinker.

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Maria Bello and William Hurt

I caught Digging to China on the Independent Film Channel on Saturday. Harriet Frankovitz is an independent ten year old girl during the late 60's living with her mother and her sister in a resort motel complex which was part of her mother's divorce settlement. One day a car belonging to a mentally retarded man, Ricky and his mother breaks down near the complex. Ricky and Harriet become fast friends and together they overcome some major life events.

I bawled off and on during this movie. It was wonderful! The relationship between Ricky and Harriet was so genuine and beautiful there must have been a connection between the actors in real life. There were no great surprises and the movie ends pretty much the way you would expect it to end but this little several-month slice of their lives was a joy to watch.

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Evan Rachel Wood, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Cathy Moriarty

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tag, I'm It!

Explain what ended your last relationship?
Mmm, I think we just stopped talking or something. We never really officially said we were dating or not dating. We just sorta started and then we just sorta stopped.

When was the last time you shaved?
Yesterday morning.

What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?

What were you doing 15 minutes ago?

Are you any good at math?

Your prom night?
I went in 9th grade with my boyfriend who was a senior and it was boring. I went in 11th grade with a friend (because my boyfriend at the time refused to go) and it was a blast. I was about 8 months pregnant for my senior prom and I didn't feel much like dancing at the time ;)

Do you have any famous ancestors?
My mother said recently that she'd found out we have a Revolutionary War veteran in our family so my sister and I are eligible for the DAR but other than that, I don't think so.

Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Not yet.

Last thing received in the mail?
Thank you note from Lisa and Jay for their wedding gift and the cake I made. She was the cupcake bride. LOL!

How many different beverages have you had today?
Coffee, Water and Crystal Light Raspberry Iced Tea.

Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?
Not unless I'm desperate. But then you won't catch me using the phone that often either.

Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
I don't remember. My dad used to take us to concerts when we were little and we'd fall asleep. If I had to guess it was probably Petra or Servant.

Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
No, never even thought about it.

What was the most painful dental procedure you have had?
Had my wisdom teeth out last summer.

What is out your back door?
The trampoline and a big mess. I am overwhelmed by my yard.

Any plans for Friday night?
I'm really, really hoping to talk my husband and our friends into the Melting Pot. I've been trying for a couple of months now. It's hard to get both us and them kid-free at the same time, especially since their business has multiplied recently.

Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
I never noticed.

Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Yes and the caramel is my favorite flavor.

Have you ever been to a planetarium?
No but the one in Reading just recently re-opened and I REALLY want to go!

Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Yes. The trick in this house is keeping everyone else from using my towel too.

Some things you are excited about?
Christmas, Christmas and Christmas!!!

What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
I don' t really like Jello. Kinda makes me feel gaggy just thinking about it.

Describe your keychain(s)

I have a pink clip that is only there to put in my teeth when my hands are full. There's a soccer ball suncatcher thing that all the white pieces of glass fell out of and there's a small blue light that Ty just insisted he must, must, must have when we went to the National Museum of American History a few years ago. He had to have it until he found something better and when I refused to get that other thing for him, he pitched a fit and I took the keychain and kept it as punishment. He didn't much care, unfortunately.

Where do you keep your change?
I wish I could remember who gave it to me but I have a jar from a gal on the old PPXS board that says "Creative Financing". The silver coins go in there and the pennies go in an old washed out mayo jar.

Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed. The kids have all been trained to knock too, for obvious reasons.

Did you read this far? Consider yourself tagged.

Mel-belle, you are it!

Unconscious Mutterings 11/13/06

Oops! I'm a day late!

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Nick :: Saint

  2. Focus :: Camera

  3. Police :: Cop

  4. Miles :: Davis

  5. Earn :: Money

  6. Twice :: Baked Taters

  7. Razor :: Shave

  8. Personality :: Split

  9. Dumped :: Break-up

  10. Reliable :: Trustworthy

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Kumihimo Necklaces

I had so much fun making the cording for my ornament that I decided to use my Diva Cord Maker to make necklaces. My mother and I picked up this handy gadget at the last bead show we attended and it's so easy a four year old can do it. I made three necklaces this weekend but one of them went to a birthday party girl before I got a chance to snap a piccie so you'll just have to imagine the pink, sparkly, girlieness that was G's gift to her friend. The other two are mine and E's. I'm sure you can make out which is which.

Ornament Exchange 2006

I am so very proud of my ornament this year. Other than the fabric, I made every single part of this ornament by hand, including the cording. The design is called "Bright & Beaded" by Linda Bird and found in the January 2005 Stitcher's World magazine. I changed the colors because the original called for the most hideous versions of pinks and greens I've ever seen. The cord is made using the kumihimo method of braiding.

Here to the left is the front of the ornament and below is the back and the detail of the cording. Of course I hope my exchange partner likes what I've made but more than that I really enjoyed making it this year!

Now I am so in the Christmas mood.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Holy Birthday Party Batman!

G was invited to a Build-A-Bear birthday party this weekend at the Park City Mall. Before she went I was browsing on their website to see if I was going to need to send her with money for a bear or if it was part of the party. I found out for $10 per guest, the bear is included. For $20 the child gets a bear and the bear gets an outfit. I figured G would be coming home with a small naked bear. You see, I've been to the Planet Teddy store we have here at our local mall and I know for a full sized bear and an outfit G was going to have to save up nearly $40.

But that is NOT what she came home with. It's a full sized bear and it's got full wedding regalia on. And by full wedding regalia I mean it has a veil, bouquet, and even a frilly blue garter! I have to give some major props to Build-A-Bear. That is an awesome party for the price. Steve and I figured they have a minimum of six guests at $20 a pop = $120. That's pretty good for a kid party!

Friday, November 10, 2006

E Ponders God's Omnipotence

On the car ride home from KOP Wednesday morning, E says to me, "Mom, God is like a fairy."

Just moments before we were discussing the small container of bubbles left over from a recent wedding we'd attended so when E said "God is like a fairy" my first thought was just like that picture over there on the right. So I argued with her. "No E, I don't think God is much like a fairy."

But she was insistant. "Yes He is. God is like a fairy."

Finally I thought to ask her why she thought God is like a fairy. She told me, "When you ask God for something He makes it come true, just like a fairy."


Wow, I suddenly and surprisingly became very busy these last few days. It's amazing how these things pop up so quickly. Tuesday was the last day I posted. Wednesday morning I drove to KOP to meet a friend who had flown in from Ohio for a business meeting. She and I had breakfast at the Corner Bakery (and I burned the stink out of my tongue!) but wow was it expensive! On the way home I stopped at a couple of stores including the grocery store to pick up a few things I'd been needing when my phone rang. Nancy, the scheduler at work had a call off and asked me to pick up that night.

When Steve is gone typically I don't like to work. It's just hard on me and the kids to schlepp all our things for bed and school and etc all the way to someone else's house and then all the way back home the next morning, not to mention the imposition on that person. Four kids tends to make a large crowd but it comes down to money doesn't it? When I am called in at the last minute like that I am paid extra for the inconvenience. So I figured if my parents were available to babysit I'd do it and if they weren't then that was a good reason to say no. They were ready, willing and able so I agreed to pick up even though I'd been up since 5:00 AM to be able to get to KOP and my friend that morning. It was a looooong night, let me tell you. I have some stories about work I could tell, oh my!

Anyway after all that it took me most of the day Thursday just to recover. I think I could have slept for the rest of the week, I was that tired. We had the craziest dinner Thursday night because I didn't have the energy to plan anything so the kids ended up eating BBQ chicken wings with garlic bread.

So here it is, TGIFriday. Steve is home but he and S3 are going to a 76ers game tonight with some friends. Saturday T has a candy making party for his Sunday school class and then a pool party for a kid on his soccer team. G is going to Lancaster for a Build-A-Bear party. I promised S3 I'd take him to GameStop to trade in some PS2 games and then after that I think I can breathe again.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

C is for Cookie

Today is Election Day and the place we go to vote is my grandfather's assisted living home so we always stop in and visit a little while after filling out the ballot. Today is also "C" day for E - she learned the letter "C". Ok, ok, you're right she knew the letter "C" already but today we reinforced it and she practiced writing it.

In honor of "C" day and the visit I knew we would make with my grandfather, we made COOKIES! My friend V found a recipe that suited all my particular needs (easy, one bowl, no eggs and cookie press) and we set to work. I've had this Pampered Chef cookie press for about five years and I think this might be the first time I've ever used it. It was pretty cool. E picked the butterfly shaped disc but sometimes it wouldn't stick to the stone so I had to kinda scrape it off. We have a few misshapen butterflies but they still taste good!

Review: Victory & M:I 3

Victory, set in the early 1900's, is the story of a hermit, Heyst (played by Willem Dafoe) who travels to a nearby port in the Dutch East Indies to gather his father's belongings. While there, he stays in a hotel owned by a racist German where an orchestra made up of all women plays every night. One night the orchestra leader agrees to sell the violinist to the German hotel owner but Heyst helps her to escape. They travel back to his mostly deserted island and fall in love.

In the month that passes a new set of travelers arrive at the German's hotel. Unfortunately for him, they are disruptive and scary and he decides he must get rid of them or go out of buisness. He remembers Heyst stole the violinist from him so he makes up a story of betrayal, deceit and treasure and puts Heyst and his island in the center of the story. So the three men, Mr. Jones, Ricardo and Pedro travel to the island to find the treasure and bring their disruptive and scary lives with them.

I'm pretty sure I put this movie in my queue because of Rufus Sewell but I didn't realize it was based on a novel by Joseph Conrad. The scenery was beautiful and although it wasn't a heart-pounding scary story, it was interesting. It reminded me what would have been an adventure story in the 30's maybe. I enjoyed it but unless you're in the mood for a slower moving period piece, I wouldn't recommend it.

The cast includes: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Rufus Sewell and Irène Jacob as the violinist.

I confess I did not want to watch Mission: Impossible III. Between the lousy second movie in the series and the recent insanity displayed by the movie's star Tom Cruise, I was really very disinterested. However we were hanging out with friends and the majority ruled so I watched it.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was definitely more entertaining than M:I 2 and I managed to forget what a flake Tom Cruise is during the 126 minute show. If you like action/adventure movies, you'll like this one. I still won't recommend it to you though. Tom Cruise is still a flake.

This movie stars Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ving Rhames.

PS All the Tom Cruise links point to different places for your entertainment.

It's Tough Being the Parent

I picked the kids up from school (managed to get them all this time) and G was a little whiney. She actually dozed off during the ride home. I left her in the car to nap while I went inside to clean and E headed straight for the toy box. It wasn't but a few minutes later I heard G in the house, whining. She stopped and I heard E playing and then I heard G screech and start to cry.

She came stomping up the stairs, sobbing. I thought she was upset I'd left her in the car so I asked her if she was crying because she'd gotten scared or something and she said no. She was upset because she asked E to stop playing with this noisy toy and E wouldn't stop playing with the toy. I was annoyed. This is not something to cry about, kwim? I fussed at her a little bit and told her to go in the other room and get the duster out of the cleaning box and to go dust. I thought if I kept her busy she couldn't fight with E.

G headed to the other room to get the duster and then came back in where I was to ask where I wanted her to dust and E was following behind her with the noisy toy and the orneriest looking face I have ever seen. I could tell she'd been following G around with this obnoxious thing and enjoying every minute of it.

It was one of those moments where I had to chant in my head, "Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Don't laugh." lmao.gif

Monday, November 06, 2006

School Pictures

They started using these fancy colored backgrounds sometime around when S3 was in second grade. I think they got a new photographer in this year because these are the most colored backgrounds I've ever seen. Yikes!

S3 chose the plain grey backdrop but he wants to do retakes. His hair was wet so it looks greasy and he's got a little bit of a zombie look on his face. It's not bad but I don't blame him for wanting retakes.

Ty's came out pretty well.

G's made me burst out laughing when I saw it. That's the last time I let the kids pick their own backdrop. Could this picture be any brighter? I think I need sunglasses. lmao.gif Good thing she looks cute. It could have been really bad.