March 18, 2008

Holy Cow!

Ostara is not next week. It's Thursday!

Why doesn't someone tell me these things?

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January 26, 2008

Perhaps ...

Perhaps, since we put the candy in the piñata, and then sealed it up with more paper-mache ... perhaps we shouldn't have placed it in front of the fire for hours to dry.

My, it's going to be interesting, isn't it? Perhaps, if it's falling out of a blasted planet, one should expect one's candy to be melted and deformed?

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November 1, 2007

This Is Just Not Right

Halloween. I prefer to just give them the candy and tell them to go for it. Sit up all night and eat it. Candy for breakfast? Sure thing! Just EAT IT, and then it will be GONE.

So what did they do? They ate some. And then stopped.

They ate some more today, realized that it gave them a stomach ache, and made them feel weird and not good, and then stopped.

Argh. So yes, this is good. It's nice that they are old enough that they can actually recognize, for themselves, the effect all that sugar has on their bodies. This is a Good Thing.

Except that there is still CANDY in the HOUSE!

I'm about to have to resort to underhanded tactics. I'm glad that they recognize that eating at bunch at once is maybe not so good for them, but I cannot have the stuff hanging around for weeks either, slowly dribbling through their systems, building up their tolerance. No, no no no. And no, I'm not eating it.

Silly children.

This year we had a Power Ranger, Harry Potter, a Sith Lord and his Dark Apprentice. The highlight of the evening was when the dark Jedi ran into Obi Wan on the street. Apparently they all shouted: "YOU!" and brandished their lightsabers. And no, I did not take a single picture. Bad Mommy.

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August 30, 2007

I Make a Lousy Jedi

We are playing our first role-playing game as a family. Connor (11) is DM-ing - his first time.

It's certainly an experience. Actually, we're having a blast. It's great fun to see what the kids come up with, and how they react.

We're playing a game in the Star Wars universe. I am a Jedi, and wow, really, I stink. I charged into a fight with my lightsaber tonight, only to end up hurting not a thing, except my pride. I am not the Jedi you want on your side. However, the other members of my party, the Wookie and the psychopathic Ewok, are stuck with me. Ha.

Actually, I'm surprised to realize that so far, I'm really not very good at this game. This is ironic, as I'm the girl who spent most of her life making up imaginary friends and living in a fantasy world. I'm still at the level where the other players turn to me, expecting me to do something, and all I can think of is .... um ... nothing, really. Does it get easier? Should I drink more?

I've decided that perhaps Microsoft should seriously think about a d20 operating system, to follow on the success of Vista. Can you imagine the possibilities? Every time it asks you if you want to complete and action, it could generate a random number to determine if you are allowed to complete your action or not. From what I understand, this wouldn't really be any worse than Vista is at present.

Anyway.

On Tuesday, we went to our last concert for the summer - Rush. It was fantastic. They played for three hours. They played songs I didn't know, which is saying something (like, I should have listened to "Permanent Waves" more). Here's the setlist, if you like. At our show they played "Distant Early Warning" in place of "Summertime Blues." I can't quibble with the list, because really, anything they play is just fine; however, I am glad they did not do "The Trees," I'm glad they did do "Dreamline," and I would rather have heard "Earthshine" than "One Little Victory." But I'm not complaining. Really.

They played at least eight tracks off their new album, all of which were far better live. They all sounded absolutely fantastic - I mean, really, really good. Plus, you've got to give them credit for handling the music and the catering: While Alex Liefson had the expected stacks of amps behind him, Geddy Lee had large cabinets of rotisserie chickens. Yes. Rotisserie chickens. A chef came onstage, here and there throughout the show, to check on them. The best part was that the band never, not once, referred to the chickens in any way.

As I said, that was the last show. I guess it's now time to buckle down, admit that summer's (almost) over, and get back to work. Or something. Maybe I should spend the days practicing my lightsaber skills, instead?

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July 24, 2007

Wedding Meme

Look! Here I am!

I know. It's been so long that I couldn't remember my MT password. That's bad. And now that I'm here, all I'm going to do is give you a meme:

Today is our fifteenth wedding anniversary, so here’s the wedding meme that everyone else has already done.

1. Where/How did you meet? At school. Score one for public education.

2. How long have you known each other? Er ... wow. Twenty-three years.

3. How long after you met did you start dating? Two years.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? That would be easier to answer if I knew when we got engaged.

5. How long was your engagement? See above.

6. How long have you been married? Fifteen years.

7. What is your anniversary? Today, July 24.

8. How many people came to your wedding reception? Er ... not a lot? I think we invited only 40 or 50 people to the wedding.

9. What kind of cake did you serve? A white cake with raspberry filling, and a flourless chocolate cake.

10. Where was your wedding? In my parents' back yard.

11. What did you serve for your meal? I have no idea, as we didn't actually get to eat any of it.

12. How many people were in your wedding party? Two bridesmaids, two groomsmen, and two flower girls.

13. Are you still friends with them all? I think we're about half and half.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? I don't think so.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Getting married was kind of the high point.

16. Any funny moments? Well, let's see ... there was the part where the minister got his notes mixed up, and said "You may kiss the bride" at the wrong time.

... There was the part where the minister asked for the wrong ring first, which went on the wrong finger first. I wasn't wearing my glasses for the ceremony, so I didn't know about the mixup until I looked at my finger. It had Jeff's ring on it. I realized that meant that the minister was going to put my ring on Jeff's finger, and lost it. I was laughing too hard to say my vows. They had to stop and wait for me. Rumor has it that my mother thought I had changed my mind and was attempting to back out. Or perhaps she was just holding on to her last shred of hope. ...

... There was the part where the intrepid videographers set up the video camera in the master bedroom of the house, which had a window overlooking the ceremony. And after they got the camera set, they opened the window ... you know, to get the sound. And didn't check the camera again to see if the sash was blocking the camera. Which is why, in my wedding video, no one has heads.

17. Any big disasters? Just small ones, like how the limo the best man hired never showed, and we were whisked off to the reception in a tiny little Honda. Let me add that my dress required two sets of petticoats. You try getting into a little Honda in two sets of petticoats.

And like how everyone in the place got champagne with which to toast us. Except for us. We got sparkling apple cider. That's a cruel joke, considering we probably needed the alcohol far more than the rest of you people did.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Vegas! Where they did give us champagne!

19. How long were you gone? A long weekend.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? Are you kidding? It was all very fitting.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? I never know how to answer this question. Is that standing at the foot of the bed facing it, or is that in bed?

22. What size is your bed? King.

23. Greatest strength as a couple? We’re best friends, and we’re really willing to work at it. (I copied that from KathyJo's answer.) Plus we have great senses of humor.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Golly, I guess that's where I have to admit that as a team, we're totally impulsive and financially undisciplined.

25. Who literally pays the bills? Me.

26. What is your song? The Cure, "Friday I'm in Love"

27. What did you dance your first dance to? ... ??

28. Describe your wedding dress: It was gorgeous. Linen/cotton, none of that shiny stuff. Simple, very Southern. And two sets of petticoats.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? I wanted gardenia, but they wouldn't hold up in the heat. Roses, carnations, stephanotis, etc.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Yup.

31. How old were you when you got married? 22 and 23.

Y'all ask a lot of questions.

We're celebrating by going to see Def Leppard, which is exactly what we did on our last anniversary. If they play here on July 24 next year, I'm contacting their tour manager to demand that they dedicate a song to us. Now ... which one would be appropriate?

Happy Anniversary, Dear.

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May 18, 2007

And more funnies from the small one ...

Because I just can't seem to blog lately.

Lachlan: Mama, the kitty peed on my pants!

Me: Oh ... er ... do you mean the pants you're wearing?

Lachlan: Yes.

Me: Are you saying that the cat peed on your pants while you were wearing them?

Lachlan: Um ... no.

Me: So did you take off your pants?

Lachlan: Um ... no.

Me: So the cat peed on your pants while you were wearing them?

Lachlan: Um ... just a minute, Mom. (He leaves the room, runs upstairs, then back down.) I forgot that I needed to change my pants. Mine got wet, somehow.

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May 11, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Lachlan, age 5: "Hey, Mom ... you have a grandma and grandpa, and Daddy has a grandma and grandpa! Wow! That means there's two sets of old people that love us!"

(He's talking about his grandparents. He still doesn't get that relationship quite right.)

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March 22, 2007

Pysanky

We color our eggs this week, for Ostara, or the spring equinox. This year we tried our hand at psyanky, the traditional Ukranian form of decorating eggs. You can learn about the art here and here.

We're beginners, remember. Beginners. Looking at the samples of eggs online, we must be the worst beginners ever. Still, it's fun to do. Time consuming, but fun and challenging. I can't figure out how to do non-wiggly lines, and so far the dyes seem to often seep into my white areas.

Here are our first tries. Note, please, the traditional Ukranian Enterprise design. Actually the two top eggs are of traditional design, and the two bottom designs are my own, one of which was done at the direction of my son. Obviously.

pyseggs1.jpg

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March 9, 2007

Catching Up I: Birthday Edition

We had more birthdays, it being January and February. In the space of just over two weeks, my oldest turned 11 and my youngest turned five. Wow. Five. Now I can go on all those field trips that specify "not for children under five." If they went to school, then in the fall they'd all be in school.

Okay, I admit, some days that's tempting. I'd better not let my inner introvert think about that too much.

The 11 year old did not have a particular choice of cake, and so I just made a cake. His brothers decorated it. I know I took pictures, but I can't find them. I bet, though, that you can imagine a cake decorated by a nine, six and almost five-year-old, can't you?

His big present was Ogre. He's a happy, happy kid.

The five year old specificed a cake FROM THE STORE. Oh, fine. But he was happy, and that's what it's all about:

Lbday07.jpg

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February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

How was your Valentine's Day? Ours involved:

Steak grilled on the stove


cooking_fire_250.jpg


(Not our actual kitchen. I didn't stop to take a picture of the flames. And I just want to note that I was not the one cooking.)

A scrumptuous desert:


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And depressing romance, as we decided to introduce the boys to:


west-side-story-DVDcover.jpg

Do you think they'll always associate Valentine's Day with gang violence, murdered love, and spiffy dancing?

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January 31, 2007

Wow

After I posted that last entry, I looked at the time.

This is the exact minute Connor was born, 11 years ago. The minute my world changed.

Sniff.

He got his Arrow of Light award tonight. (Scroll down to the "Top of the Mountain" story; we used that for the cermony.) Like an idiot, I did not bring the camera. Someone else will have gotten pictures, and I'll get them son.

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January 28, 2007

Why I Like Michigan

I miss Texas. I miss my friends. Y'all know I do. And I emphasize this with the "y'all."

But.

I love snow. I mean, I love snow. It makes me happy. It refreshes my spirit.

This is what the Cub Scouts did today. See this?

Sledding Hill

This is a sledding hill. And all those people on it are sledding. Or getting ready to sled. You get the gist.


Last time we went sledding, Lachlan was little. I had to carry him, and sled with him. This time, he never looked back:

Lsled.jpg


A playground's a playground, whatever the weather:

GSled.jpg

(Since I homeschool, I feel obliged to point out that I did knit that hat.)


We brought a cake, and called it a birthday party for the two January birthday boys:

CASled.jpg

Honest, Aidan's making that face on purpose.

It hasn't snowed much yet - half an inch here, an inch there. We haven't been above freezing in a couple of weeks, though, so whatever small amounts we get stay. I'm still rooting for a good 4-6 inch fall.

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January 11, 2007

Nine

Aidan and the Borg Cube cake

Or should that be, Two of Four?

And yes, it is too a cube. So it's short. Shuddup.

cube.jpg

Completely Trek obsessed, this kid is. He's a walking, talking, nine-year-old Star Trek encyclopedia. Cute, too. And smart. He has a talent for music, and a great sense of comic timing. He chirps. I think he started the chirping. You see, after the second parakeet died (yes, it died too), he decided to take the philosophy of be the parakeet. He started chirping. Now they all chirp. Sometimes, they chirp songs. "Chirp?" is most often used as a way of saying "huh?"

I thought he realized that chirping was maybe not for outside-the-home interaction, but no: The first time we visited the orthodontist, the doc asked Aidan a question. Aidan cocked his head to the side, and asked, "Chirp?"

Ah, those crazy, unsocialized homeschooled kids.

He certainly makes life interesting, but he's always worth it.

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December 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!

We had a wonderful evening, after all. We ate our chicken soup. We picked at the Yule log cake that was anything but log-shaped. We lit our candles and did our Solstice thing. We opened presents. Everyone is happy.

We're up in the morning early for a loooooooong drive to Texas.

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December 20, 2006

Bah! Humbug!

We celebrate Solstice or Yule as our main holiday, and Christmas secondarily. That is, we celebrate the Coming of Santa Claus, and the spirit of peace, goodwill, and good times with family and friends.

We're traveling for Christmas this year, so Solstice is going to be big here. We're going to open all our Christmas presents on Solstice Eve (tomorrow night), leaving just the Santa presents and a couple of others for Christmas morning. I've got our traditional Solstice dinner ready to go. We've been doing Advent, and that last candle is ready to be lit. Before all that, we need to get packed, and clean the house.

So you know what's happening, don't you?

We're sick. Every blessed one of us except, perhaps, Aidan (it's hard to tell sometimes).

I still think we'll leave on Friday as scheduled - the question is, do our intrepid friends with whom we're staying still want us? We could be bringing more gifts than you bargained for. Oh, and on that note - I'd like to extend an apology to all of the Scouts and their families who came to the pack meeting last night, played with my kids, and ate my cookies.

More pressing, our Solstice dinner is Not. Gonna. Happen. I think I'm going to turn the roast chicken into chicken soup, and save the big dessert finale until sometime in the new year. We'll light candles, sip soup, and open gifts in the most low-key possible way.

The suitcases, though, are not going to pack themselves. I've begged. I've threatened them with Griffin's light-up Harry Potter wand. But no. Nor will the washing machine manage the laundry for me. Hmpf. Labor-saving devices, indeed.

Posted by lynx at 2:52 PM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2006

Solstice/Christmas

BooMama thought it would be a fun idea to do a blog Christmas parade of homes. (I found the link at Dy's.)

Here are our Solstice/Christmas decorations for this year. The living room:

cmas06.jpg

And a better look at the tree:

tree06.jpg

We're a bit minimalist this year, what with the moving and renting and all.

And for refreshment on your tour, we have our traditional Solstice dessert: Pumpkin Roll Cake. Without the nuts.

For your listening enjoyment I once again recommend Jaiya's Firedance, because it's the very, very best Solstice or Yule music, period. Did I mention that it's the best?

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December 2, 2006

We Had Too Much Stuff, Anyway

I'm from Texas. I don't know anything about basements. Or sump pumps.

Now I know what it looks like when a pump breaks, and your basement is covered in half an inch of water. That's not a lot of water, all things considered; unless your basement contains several cardboard boxes, holding your stuff. As it turns out, half an inch of water is enough to wreck a great many boxes. Especially boxes full of books. Especially when no one noticed the water for hours, so it had plenty of time to thoroughly soak into the boxes.

Really, though, I don't care about the stuff. It's stuff, it can go. I'm irritated about the inconvenience of now having to move everything out of the basement, while the carpet is replaced, and other repairs are made.

The one thing that upsets me is that one of the boxes which got completely soaked was the box full of the kids' artwork. Oh, that hurts.

Update: There's also the inconvenience of not being able to send the boys down to the basement to do their crazy-making running around.

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November 30, 2006

It's Only a Model

We spent exactly one day in D.C. Actually, it wasn't even a whole day. With such limited time, we let the boys pick what to see.

They were in unanimous agreement.

Boys in front of the Enterprise


Boys in front of the Enterprise II

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November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're off on a road trip to D.C. for the holiday.

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November 13, 2006

'Cause When We Die, We All Go to Egypt

Understand that we've been reading a great deal about mummies. But first, let me stab you through the heart with how terribly sweet my fourth child is.

The other day Lachlan found a picture of my grandparents, and asked who they were. Then he asked if they were dead.

"Yes, honey," I said. "They're dead."

"Oh, that's so sad!" he sniffed. "They're dead, and I didn't even get to hug them!"

When you recover from that ...

Tonight we read another book about mummies. Later he found the picture again.

"Mom, your grandma and grandpa are dead, and I didn't get to kiss them! That's so sad!"

"Yes, honey, that is sad."

"So, are they in Egypt now?"


Clearly we have some 'splainin' to do.

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November 11, 2006

Still Here

Thanks to all of you who keep checking in here. So far I'm not convinced that Michigan is any better for us, health-wise, than Texas. However, we were healthy in Chicago. I think the answer is clear, don't you?

We're visiting relatives and friends for the holidays, but I think all of my relatives and friends had better stop to consider: Do you REALLY want us in your homes?

Connor has strep. Again. We still get great looks from the receptionists and nurses when we take him in:

Nurse: And what are we seeing you for today?

Me: He has strep.

Nurse: Oh, what are his symptoms?

Me: He's tired, and he talks funny.

Nurse: Ah ... any fever, sore throat?

Me: No.

The nurse thinks "riiiiiiiight," and does the test to humor me. And he always tests positive.

School has become a matter of "Who's sick today?"

But Connor has his drugs, and the rest of us are recovering. I'm going to go clean my house to very loud music, and put lots of positive mental energy towards next week being better.

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November 6, 2006

The Obligatory Halloween Picture

The boys in their costumes

That's a soldier, a Borg, Captain Jack, and Buzz Lightyear. In case you needed help. The Borg costume was an entirely homemade affair. You couldn't tell? Oh, you're too kind.

Posted by lynx at 7:35 PM | Comments (6)

November 3, 2006

Because We Needed a Little Adventure

We all have big, scary watchwords that loom up in our worst parenting fears. One of mine is "meningitis."

It's so much of a scary word for me that I used to drive Jeff nuts every time one of our kids had a fever. If the fever was high, I was likely to hysterically order him to the nearest ER with the sick child - him, because I'm a coward. (And the one time I took the sick baby to the doctor, the doctor sent me to the ER because he thought it was meningitis.)

Time has passed and I've gotten much better at being calm and waiting. Really, I have. But when Aidan had headaches last night that were so bad he woke up crying, I worried. When they were no better this morning, and he had a high fever, and he started vomiting, I packed them off to urgent care. Still, I kept my cool and went on with the rest of the kids. Until Jeff called to tell me they wanted to transport Aidan to the hospital for a lumbar puncture.

I had psyched myself up to think that we weren't looking at a case of the scary word, and everything would be fine. So much for positive thinking. I went to my room and cried, making sure no kids could hear me. Then I was able to come out and play Competent Mommy for the rest of the day, while I walked around with a phone in my hand, waiting every moment for it to ring. The other kids somehow got the message that they should just run off and play today. I cleaned. You wouldn't believe how clean my kitchen and downstairs floors are.

In the middle of all this, my next-door neighbor dropped by to mention that huge amounts of water were gushing out of the side of my house. I was waiting to hear about Aidan; the amount of mental energy it took to give a damn about water gushing from anywhere was staggering. Okay, we have a handyman to deal with these things. But I couldn't find the number. Jeff had the number, but it didn't work. Hmm. His office number was disconnected. Hmm again. I called information to get his home number, and information wouldn't work. And that is when I was sure I was losing my mind. In the end I found the right valve and stopped the water, though I don't know why or how it was gushing in the first place. If this were a Miyazaki movie, I'd call it symbolism.

Aidan, meanwhile, had an exciting day. He rode in an ambulance. He "got" to have his spine punctured. He spent eight hours at the hospital, hooked up to an IV. (Jeff knew how sick Aidan was when he made a Borg joke about being hooked up to the IV, and Aidan didn't laugh.) In the end, he doesn't have meningitis. It's just a virus. (Although with this kid "just a virus" is starting to take on a whole new meaning. The last time he had a virus it ended in purple spots and arthritis symptoms for six weeeks.) Jeff, of course, had an exciting day too. All in all, it's really more excitement than we care for, so if we could have the next few days off, that would be just great.

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October 24, 2006

Head Shots

Heads on Sticks

This is four of the six. The blue one with the snakes coming out of its head is Connor's (not quite finished, it still needs some touching up). Griffin's is the Bug Man. That lovely orange one with the knife in his skull and dripping blood, well, that was the creation of my four-year old.

The one on the end is mine. I'm bringing cake to the party, so I'm going to set her up by the cake with a sign urging everyone to eat cake. Too subtle?

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October 23, 2006

Overheard And Out Of Context

Jeff beat me to it.

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August 1, 2006

Well, that was different.

So yesterday, Jeff was told that he had to travel. That night. To France. My husband is in France.

Life is not fair, is it?

France.

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July 27, 2006

Jeff, this is for you ...

My PC Is On Fire

Please don't have any liquids in your mouth when you start this one up.

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July 21, 2006

Rambles

I took the older boys to the dentist yesterday. My kids' teeth are awful. We don't have dental insurance, and this is all going to cost an insane amount of money.

Moving on.

The high today is supposed to be 80. Yes, 80. The forecast calls for mid-80s to high 70s for the rest of the week. Wow. The winter here might kill us, but I sure do like this summer. This is berry-picking weather, which is good because the 9 pounds of blueberries we picked a week ago are all gone. We didn't make them into pies or turn them into jam or freeze them - we just ate them. Need more. I don't look forward to trying to support this berry habit once the season is over.

In other news, I seem to have found a real, live babysitter, which means that we are about to go out, to a rock concert. I can't even remember the last time we went to a show. My bones creak when I think about it. All I know is that shows were definitely cheaper then. This better be good.

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July 13, 2006

We're Home!

Highlights of the trip:

1) The Indianapolis children's museum. Wow. It's not only huge, but it actually has content. We meant to go for an hour or two (to see dracorex hogwartsia). We stayed six, only left because they made us, and didn't see everything. Their dinosaur exhibit rivals that of many "real" science musems, including a working fossil lab and docents who really know their stuff AND can talk to children. It was a brilliant balance of real science, hands-on activities, and playscapes. I'd like to live there. My children would, too.

2) The Parthenon in Nashville, especially if you walk into it while you're in the middle of reading the Odyssey.

3) Baseball in Memphis on the Fourth, followed by a naturalization ceremony and fireworks. What more can you ask for, on the Fourth?

4) The house sold!

5) Swimming in a river full of tiny frogs, tadpoles, fish, and five kids intent on catching every single one.

6) Kids who can sing in Romanian (Chipul tau si dragostea din tei, Mi-amintesc de ochii tai.)

7) Kids who won't take their noses out of books, even if the books are "Star Trek" paperbacks.

8) Wild rabbits and deer that feel so safe they don't leave the field when you walk by - and parents who live next to a national forest.

9) "Macbeth" with Scottish accents.

10) Friends. Yeah, I remember friends ...

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July 2, 2006

Vacation

We're off on vacation today (I think). Don't have too much fun while I'm gone.

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June 20, 2006

20 Pounds of Strawberries

That's a lot of berries.

Unfortunately, many of them met with an accident on the way home, resulting in mashed berries and an interesting addition to the color scheme of my car.

Still, there's a pie in the fridge, berries waiting to be turned into freezer jam, and plenty to eat. I'd like to go back this weekend and get more. And cherries. And sweet peas. And beef from the local farmer, and fresh milk from the local dairy - oh, joy!

The two younger children hate going to pick things. On the other hand, I think the older boys made a new friend. One who knows how to explode many various things. What more could a boy want?

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June 17, 2006

Tally an Ace!

Jeff is in love.

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June 10, 2006

Not Exactly

Hey, did you know that you can't get onto 280 in Toledo from I-75? That the ramp is closed?

Neither did I.

We were very late for the ferry. We had been shooting for the 9 am ferry. I think we made the 11 am. At any rate, we made a ferry. It was the kind you drive your car onto, and the kids were impressed. Aidan said, "Now we can get seasick and carsick at the same time!" He's a pretty ambitious one himself.

The ferry took us to Kelleys Island out in lake Erie. It's a very pretty little island, with a nice beach that isn't overrun with people. The trip was even educational, as they have a nice sample of glacial grooves to view. The picture on the website does not do it justice. The grooves are impressive, and the landscape around them (an abandoned quarry) is gorgeous.

The schoolhouse there hosts 28 students in grades K-12. A sign outside the school showed the name of one student, and then "Congratulations Class of 2006." I would think that if you are the only student in your graduating class, and if there cannot be more than two or three students in any class, that you'd face some sort of the same socialization "issues" that homeschoolers supposedly do. What's the difference there, beyond walking out of your house and into your classroom for one? At any rate, it must be hard to get a nice social clique going. And what about dating?

At any rate, we left the beach at 3:00 to catch the 3:30 ferry. So far so good. But guess what? You can get onto 280 coming from the east ... as long as you follow the detour that takes you through the heart of downtown Toledo at the beginnings of rush hour.

Google said the trip would take us a little over two hours. Three and a half. Three and a half. So we missed the picnic entirely, and we should have just taken an extra hour on the beach.

Oh, well.

My kids are good travelers, and we had a great time, even if too much of it was spent in the car.

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May 28, 2006

Chicago

We went to play in Chicago for a few days.

Have I mentioned that we love Chicago?

We only made it to one museum, which is bizarre for us. However we'll go back. It's not a problem.

The one museum we made it to was the Field. As we drove by the Field, we couldn't help but notice the huge banners announcing the return of the King Tut exhibit. I thought we had just had to write that exhibit off. Tut is there until January, so we were excited at the idea of coming back to Chicago to see it. The exhibit was set to open May 26. We were there May 25. Oh, well. We needed to pay a visit to Sue, anyway.

At the ticket counter we jokingly asked if there were any Tut tickets available for opening day. The lady assured us there were not. Then she gave us kind of a funny look. Now, we're used to funny looks, but this was a different, speculative kind.

"Well ..." she said, "how much time do you have? Do you want to see it today?"

Uh, yeah. That would be fine.

It seems that WGN had incorrectly announced the opening date as the 25th. As a result the exhibit had to open a day early, though they were being hush-hush about it so as not to mar the planned opening. Whatever. We grabbed the tickets and ran! No crowds! No lines! Cackles of glee!

The exhibit is good. My favorite pieces were the necklaces, headdress, knife, etc. found on the mummy itself, and the container that had held Tutankhamun's liver. (This picture does not do it justice. It's gorgeous.) The kids loved the various canopic jars and the sarcophagus.

The exhibit does a nice job of placing Tutankhamun in context, with information on his family and the state of Egypt when he became pharoah. Very well done.

Other than that, we played, we shopped, we ate, we walked. We walked along the lake. We walked up and down Michigan Avenue and State street. We played in the fountains at Millennium Park and Navy Pier. We rode the ferris wheel, and the carousel.

Right before we left we popped into Europa Books on State St. and found this. It's gorgeous. It's made to look like an illuminated manuscript. How can you resist? We also picked up an Asterix in Latin.

Happy.

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March 29, 2006

Family Pictures

The Boys

Lachlan

Griffin

Aidan

Connor

Us

Us in our natural state

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