Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday...

Oh- the Urban Legends that circulate in emails. Have you seen this photo?

What about this one?

Or maybe you received a helpful email warning you about the latest computer virus that would send out all of your personal information, corrupt your files, freeze your hard drive, blow up your monitor, date your teenage daughter, and drink the last of the milk in the fridge without telling anyone? Oh- how you need Whenever I get a "helpful" email that sounds suspiciously urban legendesque, I take a second to check it on snopes. Not forwarding on false alarms? Works for me. To see what works for other folks, head over to Rocks in My Dryer. Oh? You want to know about the pictures? Here's the link for the shark and scuba divers. Here's the link for the bunny. Have a great week!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Did you know Rich isn't a big fan of pink? Did you also know most girl's hand-me-downs are pink?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Traveller...

Don't you love it when kids fall asleep in the car?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Extremely Rare Sight...

We had a pretty rare sighting around here. Shea was outside, in the fresh air, without a screen-TV, Computer, Gameboy- VOLUNTARILY!!!! Thank you to Uncle Gene and Aunt Bev, spoilers of children and providers of scooters, for giving me this beautiful moment.

Because you know what else he did? He fulfilled his role of bestest big brother in the whole wide world. He was teaching Atlee how to ride her scooter.

Helping her adjust the handle bars.

Oh- you can't quite see? Let me get closer.

She needs a bit of practice still. I look forward to it. Because when they work together like this, I almost can't breathe. The moment literally takes my breath away.

What was Greeley up to, you ask? She was trying to get the cat, AGAIN. Not such a rare sight.

So, the kids rode to the end of the block. Well, Shea rode. Atlee was frankly tired of riding her "wobbly" Barbie scooter. Her words, not mine. So, she did what most little sisters do- she ran behind her hero, her big brother.

Oh- you can't see them? That's because I desperately need a better camera. I've got camera envy, I'm afraid. Have you seen the power of Pioneer Woman's telephoto lens? She would've gotten a great picture. Want to buy me a new camera? I didn't think so.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday...

Hello to one and all and a happy Wednesday to you too! So, for this week's Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer, I want to tell you a tale of what didn't work for me one time. When my now 4 year old daughter was just a two month old infant, I learned a very important lesson. We lived in the Arctic Tundra known as the Adirondack Park in Upstate New York. There wasn't a lot of sun during the winter. On the first nice spring day, I decided we needed to get out into the fresh air. I put her in a long sleeve shirt and long pants. I slathered her in SPF 30. We were outside enjoying the sunshine for a couple of hours when I noticed she looked a bit pink. I brought her inside and she got pinker. By evening, she had blisters on her face. I was so confused! I had used sunscreen. What gives? Well, the lesson we learned is that SUNSCREEN EXPIRES. Did you know that? Yes? Congratulations, you've probably never burned a two month old infant until she blistered. No? Please know that sunscreen is only good for a year or so. Don't burn a baby to learn this lesson. Some sunscreens now have expiration dates on them. Otherwise, the common advice is to get a new bottle of sunscreen each year. Not burning the baby? Definitely works for me. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Important Lesson...

Again, we were all enjoying the beautiful weather over the weekend at our friends' house. They have a tremendous yard for kids to go crazy in. (oooh- I just ended a sentence in a preposition) After a bit, the pack of kids asked us to come up with a scavenger hunt list. The adults started coming up with fairly traditional tidbits: a yellow flower, a white flower, a stick, a pine needle. Then we started getting a little wacky: six bottle caps, an animal bone, etc. After a bit of discussion, we added poop. In our heads, we were imagining kids howling with laughter and disgust at this absurd suggestion. It was, of course, the adults howling with laughter and disgust when the kids brought back a piece of poop in the basket. We must remember that with kids you frequently get what you ask for.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Girls and Daffodils...

Last night we all got a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather at our friends' house. Christy and Travis had a surplus of daffodils which both girls enjoyed. Christy was kind enough to send me these pictures this morning. Isn't technology great? You forget your camera (ok, ok, you have your camera but forget to take any pictures...) and your friends provide pictures lickety-split. Shea also thinks technology is great. There are no pictures of him with daffodils. He was inside with the Wii.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another April Book Giveaway....

Oh, I like to give away books. Up next is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The cover above is a first edition. Let's be clear-I do not have a first edition to give away. I have a gently read edition from 1991, but it's still a good read. So, the rules. Leave a comment with your favorite book(s) or author. You must leave me a way to contact you- email. blog name, Google map of your house, whatever. Folks may enter until Sunday, April 20, 2008 at midnight. I will draw one qualifying, random winner on Monday. I will pay shipping worldwide. Good luck and leave me some good reading suggestions!

Works for Me Wednesday...

Hello, hello Works For Me Wednesday Folks. So, last night we went down to DC to have dinner with my husband's family. It's about an hour and a half away, so not a terrible drive. However, we got on the road to go home right around bed time. That was when I remembered what my husband's cousin does, and wished I had done it too. When she knows she will be putting the kids in the car for a road trip at bedtime, she brings their pajamas with her. Before they go, she changes them into their PJ's. That way, when they all get home, she just has to unload them into bed. Oh how I wish I had thought of it last night. You could even get all crazy and bring toothbrushes or any nighttime medicine. This is what will be working for me in the future. Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for other ideas. Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Myrtle Beach Pictures...

My Dad just sent us pictures he took while we were all on vacation in Myrtle Beach. Forgive me while I share...

The view from our balcony.

This is how Greeley spent much of her vacation.

The other time was in Mommy's arms.

Although, she did enjoy swimming.

So did the other kids. Shea REALLY liked the lazy river.

Atlee, too.

But not as much as she liked the beach. The ocean was everything she dreamed it would be. She's the reason we all went to Myrtle Beach. She saw an ad for it last winter (way to go Myrtle Beach marketing team...) and was very clear about her desire to go.

It was better than puddles. It had waves.

The beach also meant sand buckets and bubbles.

Would you guess she's a Pisces?

Monday, April 14, 2008

April Book Giveaway- Results....

Thanks to all the participants. The winner for my copy of The Bean Trees is lrollins. Lrollins, please contact me so I can ship the book out to you. If I don't hear from you, I will have to go ahead and pick another winner. Thanks again. The next book giveaway will be soon!

Friday, April 11, 2008

April Book Giveaway- Reminder...

Quick reminder that the April Book Giveaway is open until midnight this Sunday. Click on the link on the right for complete details. Look for more giveaways soon!

Lilacs and Life...

I love lilacs. The smell brings back countless childhood memories. When we lived in Wilmington, NY- home of Whiteface Mountain (the 1980 Winter Olympic Mountain, people) and the AuSable River- we had wonderful lilacs.

You can almost smell them. My friend, Michele took these pictures. She's a professional photographer.

Isn't it almost romantic? You look at a picture like that- the stone fireplace, the arching lilac trees bursting with flowers- and you almost sigh. Well, at least I do. But, again, I love lilacs. I could look at a picture like that and think our time in NY must have been full of such ideal moments. But, then, Michele backed up to capture realty.

Realty includes: two propane tanks, a tricycle, abandoned potty chair and two empty beer bottles. Realty isn't quite as romantic, is it?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Greeley: Little Sister Extraordinaire

Have you met Greeley? She's the littlest little sister around here. But, something's going on with Greeley. She's getting bigger.

Her sister did the same thing to me. Just woke up one morning all big. [Did you know Kodak doen't offer a "clean face" editing option? They should. Lots of moms would use it...]

She's started standing around a lot. Here she is standing up next to the couch. Thinking she's all big.

She feels really big hanging out with her big brother. Greeley has permission to hang out in Shea's room. Atlee? She has to request special permission from Shea (or a representative if he is absent...) to enter his room. By the by, Shea was the first to pull this "growing up" stunt. Still doing it. It's going so fast I keep expecting him to tell me he's off to college now.

See- She's standing up again. It's like she hasn't read the memo about how I'm not ready for her to leave this too brief babyhood behind and become a toddler. Why won't she read the memo?

Tempus Fugit. Sigh.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April Book Giveaway....

Hello...hello. Before we get to our current book giveaway, a special thank you to the folks who participated in the March giveaway. Our randomly drawn winner was Sherry. If you didn't win, I encourage you to buy your own copy of last month's book, Water For Elephants. It was good. And if you're going to buy it, why not buy it from my Amazon link? It's right over there above my Currently Reading List.

Continuing on with my fabulous book giveaway idea- because who doesn't like good, FREE books- I give you the April book, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. To qualify for this month's giveaway, simply leave a comment listing your favorite book (or books). The contest will be open until Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM (EST). That's midnight. I'll draw one random winner on Monday from qualifying contestants. I'm willing to ship worldwide. Can't wait to get started on this book? There's the Amazon link over there on the right. Good luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Anniversary Notes....

A belated Happy Anniversary to our co-nuptialists, John and Monique! This past Saturday was our 7th anniversary. It was almost as good as our 5th anniversary. That was the year Rich finally surrendered and called the plumber who fixed the well pump and gave me the gift of running water. It was a beautiful day. I think that's a tear in my eye at just the memory... This year was really good, it's just hard to top a gift of running water.

On Saturday, we went to visit Rich's brother and sister-in-law, Gene and Bev, for the evening. His brothers, John and Michael, also came. We were actually celebrating two March birthdays: Gene's and mine. While this wasn't planned to celebrate our anniversary, I didn't have to cook! Bev made yummy lasagnas. There were also two different cakes and ice cream. The ice cream had Girl Scout cookies in it. Can you imagine such wonders in the world? Girl Scout Cookies IN the ice cream.

It was a particularly great day for Atlee. She had three pieces of chocolate cake and she got to visit with the fluffy, white dogs. Meet Gene and Bev's fluffy, white dogs. Atlee loves them. Whenever Gene and Bev come up to Gettysburg, Atlee hopes they bring the dogs. The absolute best is if they bring the dogs and then take the dogs and Atlee for a walk around the block. So much excitement. She may actually pass out from the giddy thrill of it all someday.

This is Odin. Isn't he handsome? We'll get back to him in a moment.

Lest any of you Upstate New York people be confused, these are old pictures. We don't have snow like that right now! If they were recent pictures, there would be blooming flowers behind the dogs. Because it's not the Arctic Tundra-err, Upstate New York- and spring arrives before June. See how you can still see the grass through the snow? Isn't that cute?

This is Dakota. Isn't she beautiful? She's innocent in the following story.

Back to that story. When we first arrived at Gene and Bev's, Greeley was sleeping. She woke up after a bit and wanted to be held and cuddled. She wasn't quite cranky, but not thrilled with life either. I was holding her while she looked around. She wasn't sure what to make of the large white dogs walking by. Right about then, Odin realized he wanted-NEEDED!!- to be petted. He's a dog, so Odin communicates this need by barking. Loudly. He barks inches from Greeley's face while trying to get me to pet him. Greeley had never experienced anything like it and immediately started crying. Not delicate whimpers, but angry, confused, scared, robust screaming-crying. This made Odin momentarily confused and scared. Since he's a dog, he barked some more. Greeley cried some more. It was a self-perpetuating cycle. We eventually got them both quieted down. For the rest of the night though, Greeley would start crying if Odin walked into the room. He didn't even have to look at her.

Greeley does not share Atlee's joy of doggies.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Waiting for Child Protective Services....

So, I'm waiting with bated breath for the knock on the door from Child Protective Services. Why's that you ask? You seem like a good mother, why would they knock? Because Shea did his homework last week. Shea's spelling assignment was to use his ten words in different sentences. He was grumbling and fussing about how he couldn't think of anything, so I helped. His first word was under. I pointed out the Greeley was UNDER the desk. There is a giant pile of laundry UNDER Shea's bed. On and on we go in this vein until we get to the word better. I point out that Shea is BETTER than his father at Gameboy. Shea likes ice cream BETTER than vegetables. You had BETTER do your homework or I'll beat you. Want to go ahead and guess which sentence made it onto his homework? Sshh... I think I hear them knocking now.