Friday, December 29, 2006

Noles Strike Again!

FSU 44, UCLA 27
December 27th, 5pm pst. ESPN

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????!!! The Noles finally showed up for a game this season (unfortunately it's the last one)! GO NOLES!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What a GREAT holiday!

O.K. This really rambles, but it truly represents the laid back kind of holiday we had here. What a cool holiday we had. Dad was in town and we had a blast. One day we hopped on the metro and headed over to see the National Christmas Tree right in front of the White House. It was tall, very tall, but it wasn't too crowded there so we got to get up close. There was no one on the Metro and not very many people downtown. There were also little trains running all around the tree, and there were trees from each state decorated by folks in that state. We hung out there on Christmas Eve Day, which was a good decision as it rained on Christmas Day all day.

We had decorated our tree at home with a garland of scrapbook paper that the boys (and our good friend Sami) helped me loop around and make. I wasn't quite into the whole holiday thing when we put up the tree initially, but I had to decorate the tree somehow nand this is what I settled on. The tree already has lights, but I wasn't excited about having to drag out all of the decorations only to pack them up a few days later. I'm all about having the Christmas tree up in February, but we're moving in January, so that was out of the question. But, as it grew closer and I started wrapping presents, I definitely got into the spirit of Christmas. We had a nice relaxing Xmas and it will definitely rank up there on the good holiday scale.

We opened stockings on Christmas Eve as we always do, then Dad let us sleep in on Christmas morning (gotta love Baba for that!!!). The boys were very patient - cranked up, but patient. We finally dragged out of bed and headed upstairs and started opening presents. We all wear Christmas Hats and the kids hand out presents (now that they can all almost read the names!). The boys had a great time, as did Baba, Tom, and I.

Here are some assorted pics of the day. Hope your was as good as ours!

Tom attempting to tear into a gift

Each of the boys picked out a game for Daddy.

My new SKATEBOARD! Tom got me one that I had to put together so I could learn a bit more about it! Watch out - here' I come (all decked out in wrist, elbow, and knee guards of course...and some bruises and scrapes, or which I am already the proud owner!)

The Callanens gave us this COOL game - Hullabaloo (from the Cranium folks). The boys LOVED it, and everyone was playing.

Ian playing Santa

Sam was so careful at first opening gifts. That was until he realized that everyone else was done
and he was only half way through!

Sam and Ian studying their new Dora Game Boy game.

Phipps men never do read the instructions...unless they can't get their Transformer to transform.

Trash Man Max

Ahhh...Game Boys...

Baba enjoying his new toy

And last but certainly not least - my new slippers! These are sooooo cool. They are comfy and stuffed full, and warm. You can get them at I think I'll get a few more pairs...Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 22, 2006


I found the coolest thing ever... One of the IRW Instructors posted a link on our message board to a web cam in Africa. It is just about the coolest thing ever. I'm not behind the times - I've seen many many live web cams. But I've never seen a live animal web cam where you weren't guaranteed any action (it's not like htose at teh zoo where they are pointed right at the animals in their cage - you have to "catch" them on the screen). This one has cool sounds and centers around a watering hole in Africa. As I type this it is pitch black and nothing is on the screen (aside from the pond itself and the stuff around it which you can see in night mode), but you catch it at the right time and there are all kinds of animals. I've heard, but not seen, all kinds of birds and bugs. There are zebras, wildebeests, some kind of antelope type things, baboons, and these cool stork type birds (who knows - maybe an Ibis?). There's someone operating a remote because periodically it zooms in on some unaware animal or group of animals. Anyway, go check it out - it is fun to see and the kids like looking at the animals too (although of all the folks in the house I think it's the coolest!).

Monday, December 18, 2006


First off, I'm messing with my template, so this puppy will look a little different as I figure this whole blog template thing out. I really wish I had the Matrix trick where I could download the knowledge right into my brain and I'd know it. But since I don't, I get stuck with these not so cool blog templates on my way to the ULTIMATE template. Enough geeking out for now - blog might be different or I might just leave it back at that first pink blog if I get mad at it.

So, the second day of house hunting was much shorter. I went with Jennifer (our realtor) and the three boys on Friday after school to the first of three houses and knew right away that it would definitely work for us. It's a beautiful house nestled in a nice area amongst **cough, cough, sputter sputter** a few million dollar homes and right across the street from a TWO million dollar home. As Tom pointed out last night - "Yeah, uh, can I borrow some sugar? " He he he...anyway. There are some more reasonably priced homes (well, if you think that $500,000 to $900,000 is reasonable) nearby as well, and ours falls into that category - asking price was $800,000. We're renting of course, so it is MUCH less than that - WHEW! The house itself is a nice big house that has three levels - two stories and a basement that is fully finished for about 3/4 of the footprint of the house Rest of it is the laundry area and storage place). It has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, plus this big basement space, this monster deck - and one of the coolest parts - a MUDROOM. Who knew that a girl born and raised in Texas would get so excited over a mudroom? Well, it's happened - I am certainly excited. It also has a two car garage plus a bunch of extra space for your stuff. We are definitely folks with stuff, so that's a super double bonus for us. The house sits on almost an acre, so we have a great big old back yard. Unfortunately it is right on a busy street. But, while we were inside we didn't hear any road noise. Also, since the property is so big you can play out back and there's no concern about the ball rolling into the street. Well, there is a basketball hoop out front, but not sure how you can play out there unless you are a big kid or a grown up. The driveway is set up such that you don't have to back out onto said busy street, and there's also room for four or more cars plus the two in the garage, so people can park there easily when they come visit.

Max can stay in the same school that he's in because he's in a magnet program, but he'll either have to hitch a ride with Dad on his way to work or catch the bus to school from the local elementary. Not sure how long that ride is, but we'll get that all figured out in due time. For now I'm just so excited to be getting out from under this landlord who doesn't have a clue. We'll sign the lease in the next day or two and then hopefully get the keys and such on Jan. 15.

The best part of all this is that Tom, in his infinite nerdiness, has decided that it would be "cool" if he rented the place sight unseen, How's that for pressure? No, really, no pressure - I'm just so excited about it and he hasn't even seen the place! Anyway, he'll see it before we move in, but he's being a dork and doesn't want to see it before he signs the lease. Doesn't even want to drive by it. What a goofball.

Oh. Maybe that isn't the best part. According to Tom, the address is the best part of this house (remember that he hasn't seen it yet, so it's not like he's swinging for the outfield with this one) is the name of the street. Initially I had seen this house but had ruled it out because of the name (well, that and the distance but come to find out it isn't really that far). I told Tom that we'd never live on a street with this name, but once again I find myself in that position of being utterly and completely wrong. We are moving onto...don't laugh too hard..Hummer Rd. Yes, Hummer Rd. ...sigh... That's enough house stuff. I'll get some better pics up as soon as I get then scanned in or as soon as I take a few myself.

So Sam decided that he'd wear underwear over the weekend. Daddy apparently has that effect on the kiddos. He (Sam, not Tom) was wearing the underwear just fine and has had a few accidents, but is starting to pee in the potty - and we count that as a BIG score. We were out for about three hours today, and aside from hitting the head three times in Target, he did a pretty good job. Baby steps I keep telling myself, and Tom keeps reminding me. One day all the boys in this house will wear underwear. Can't imagine, but I went out WITHOUT a diaper bag today. How bold of me to do this when we are not quite out of diapers. I did take a spare pair of underwear and shorts (yes, it was 70 degrees here today), and yes, we did need them in the end (after Target of course), but no, it wasn't a disaster without the bag. It's been six years with a diaper bag (current bag only about two years, but who's counting just how many bags I've gone through???!!!). What an odd concept.

That's all for now. We had a good day, which was a nice thing. Good days are coming more and more often lately. Seems like the turmoil of the summer has settled and things are slowly getting back to normal, whatever that might be in our new adventure we call living in Virginia. The boys are causing all kinds of trouble, the grass is growing, and the sun is shining. Perfect day if you ask me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

House Hunting Day 1

Saw four (actually five) places today. Four were on the list and the fifth we saw a sign and ducked in.

Place #1 - a beautiful townhome. Four bedrooms, modern, raised ceiling, two car garage and plenty of space (bigger than our house in Texas!) but no lawn or place for the kiddos to play. It was also FOUR STORIES. At least two and possibly three flights of stairs up to the bedroom - just hope that you don't break a leg while living there. In general very nice - still under consideration.

Place #2 - T/H right near place #1. Big problem - backs up to a fire station - you can see the trucks pulling out from the back windows. VERY LOUD sirens, and nice, but not quite what we want.

Place #3 - a house that sits on some land. Very nice farmhouse style. First on my list, but a bit more than what we are willing to pay. Turns out that the owner is a realtor who owns a bunch of rentals (like 500 or something crazy like that) and won't budge on the price. Plus, he charges more for cats. No go on this one.

Place #4 - another house that was kind of weird. House itself is beautiful but the layout is strange. Three BR right next to each other and a HUGE basement with another BR type space. Lots of room, right near a school, and great lawn for kiddos to play in. On a semi cul-de-sac, so not a lot of traffic. Weird things were that there was a pedestal sink in one of the bedrooms (not the master), and that the island in the kitchen was crooked and partially blocked the egress from the kitchen. Odd. Landlord won't budge on the price as it was just listed and the folks before were paying more than what it is currently listed for, and it's more than we want to pay.

Place #5 - a house around the corner from #4 that is for sale. BEAUTIFUL house. Owners inherited it from deceased parent. Big open picture windows up front and beautiful wood floors. The basement is the same size as the house, and the house is a good size. Basement fully carpeted and finished - very nice. Not sure if Tom would go for the big open windows, but it is open to what would be a formal living room and the kids play space, which gets cleaned up each night. So, very lovely house. Owners might have a contract on it, but if not they want least want to wait until the spring to rent it as things pick up around here in the spring. Bummer. Very nice house.

So, we're off today to look at #6-8. He he is on Hummer Rd., and Tom voted for that one sight unseen. One has ugly blue shutters and the third is on a weird plot of land who knows where. Hopefully one of these will work out. If not, then we might just hit up the first townhouse and park it there. Like I said, it's a very nice house, and I'd be all over it if there was a yard or a place to play and ride bikes, or if it didn't have FOUR stories. Maybe we'll end up there and I'll have the most beautiful legs on the planet...I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 11, 2006

They dug through my undies AGAIN...

Who knows what the TSA is seeing in my luggage when they scan it, but for the SECOND time in the past four months they opened it up and searched it. Problem is, they searched the luggage full of DIRTY CLOTHES that we wore for four days at Disney. We were ripe after a day at the park, as were our clothes, so I can only imagine their faces when they opened up our luggage. Then again it can't be the worst they've seen...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Very Random Thoughts

Today was one of those hang around the house in your PJ's kind of days. I love those days when you drag out of bed and never quite get going. It's wasn't for a lack of energy or a lack of ambition, we just had nothing pressing today, and our wonderful children (called this today because of how they behaved...) let us sleep in. We all just hung out and did basically nothing today.

Well, I guess one thing I did do was call a realtor. I met her when I visited the open house of a property that I refer to as "The House I Lust After." They have been trying to sell this place (around the corner from here but in Lake Barcroft - so they have lake access) since last March. She took over the sales contract in September and dropped the price down and had an open house. Me being the nosy neighbor stopped in. It was a beautiful house. I cam home and told Tom that he shouldn't let me go to things like this as it only causes trouble. Anyway, we weren't looking at buying and they weren't renting. Then, a month or so ago, to my amazement and complete glee, they put it up for rent. The House I Lust After was available - out of our range - but all things are negotiable in this market. Now all we needed to do was to get our landlord to figure out if he was going to make the repairs (long story that will come later) or let us out of our lease. So, he agreed to release us from our lease. When we got back into town last week I immediately checked on The House and it was under contract. I am crushed, but I'll get over it. It was a beautiful house though.

Anyway, called the realtor after hunting up some places around here that I'd like to see. Hopefully she will find some others and we will start our hunt. We need to move quickly as we need to be out of here by Jan 31., but we have time to look and be picky. As one friend said, "It's where you live and eat and sleep - of course you need to be picky." Hopefully won't be too tough in this market.

So I'm not in the Christmas spirit this year yet. Weird as I usually have all of my decorations up before this time. Matter of fact I'm usually driving Tom nuts about the decorations by this time. I'm sure he doesn't mind, but I'm just not quite in the spirit yet. Hopefully something will snap and I'll get those Thanksgiving clings and door decorations down and get that tree and all the rest of the Xmas and Hanukkah stuff up. I at least need to get the tree up. That would be so uncool to NOT have a Christmas Tree this year. Maybe I'll get the tree up and then get the boys to make stuff and we'll decorate it that way. For some reason getting the tree up seems like a daunting task. Not sure why. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

I wish everyone who has a blog would update it regularly. Not daily necessarily, but on a regular basis. I have one friend who has pics from Halloween sitting on the last post that she wrote. I'd LOVE to hear more about her exploits and that of the newest addition to the family, but man, nothing. Also, there are some bloggers who I have come to really enjoy reading - mostly because of their wit and obvious enjoyment of writing. Occasionally they take a lot of time between posts and it's almost like an addiction. I feel a longing when they don't post and want them to hurry up and write something more. I wonder if you can get addicted to reading blogs. I guess it isn't all that bad since I don't get to read as many books as I used to. It's not as stimulating intellectually, but it's reading. Aside from the newspaper and it's daily delivery I rarely read anything above a First Grade level. Blogs are escapist for me. So please, if you do have your own blog, keep up with it. I can't wait to read the next installment.

On this topic, I love seeing pictures with blogs, so I'll toss a few this way. I have lots more Disney pics, but here are a few that I'll share now. The important piece of info that you need to know is that my kids LOVE the Power Rangers. They dressed up as Rangers for Halloween, and watch an episode almost every day. They are not picky about their Power Rangers - they love them all (did you know there were like 13 different incarnations of Power Rangers? We are currently on the Mystic Force set!) Anyway, we were at breakfast at MGM and saw that the Rangers along with the Cars characters were going to be out there just as we were finishing up breakfast. So, we headed out to the back of the park and hit pay dirt (or so I thoughts). Max was stoked - ran right up and started posing for pics. Ian on the other hand was mortified and wouldn't leave Grammy's arms. He kept asking to go home. Poor guy was surrounded by Rangers wanting to play and he wanted to run and hide! Sam, on the other hand, found his hood and did try to hide. The Pink Ranger managed to coax a small grin out of him, but he too wanted nothing to do with them. Guess seeing them in real life is waaaaay different than watching them on TV. Gotta keep that in mind for the next time. Hopefully they will be as excited as Max was! (And too bad I didn't get a pic of the back end of the Red Ranger. He had some very nice assets if you catch my drift.) Enjoy!

Max's Power Pose

Sam's Hiding Spot

Ian and his three Power Rangers

Friday, December 08, 2006


It's been almost five months now since my mom passed away and I have yet to share her obituary here. Not quite sure why the oversight, probably nothing special, but I thought I'd share it now. While it's tough to really sum up someone's life I think this does a pretty decent job of conveying the person that mom was. She was a strong woman who excelled at surviving, and it was something from way out in left field that got her in the end. Glioblastoma. What an odd smallish sounding word for this killer tumor. A brain tumor. Who knew that something so far off from all that she had wrong with her would end her life. She was a fantastic person and I'm crushed that I didn't have more time with her nor do my DH or the kids, but there's also a peace that I feel in her death. I guess it's those years of "training" that she has given me in dealing with death and dying, in realizing that life not only has a beginning but an end, and that we do not get to choose when that end comes about. It's also that understanding that life is not about what we are missing out on, but who we are and what we choose to make of the life we have.

So, here's the obituary to read. Enjoy the fact that you knew her if you did, but don't mourn her loss, for she is dancing wherever she is now.

Joan A. Meltz Born in Newark, New Jersey on Sep. 21, 1946 Died Jul. 26, 2006 and resided in San Antonio, TX.
Joan DeVaney Meltz, a 35-year resident of San Antonio, died peacefully in her home on July 26, 2006. She was 59 years old. Joan was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.

Joan was born in Newark, New Jersey on September 21, 1946. She married Martin L. Meltz in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, on August 7, 1970. She earned a B.A. degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in Speech and Hearing Disorders in May, 1974, and earned a M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from Trinity University in December, 1978. She worked as a psychotherapist and counselor, both part-time at the Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health, and in private practice.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John DeVaney and Grace McLaughlin DeVaney. Joan is survived by her husband of thirty-five years, Marty; daughter, Suzie and her husband Tom, precious grandsons Max, Ian and Sam; sister and brother-in-law, Ann DeVaney and David Sonneborn; niece, Kristin Becker and her husband, Michael Henninger and their child Oscar Beckinger; nephew, Erik Becker and his wife, Michelle Nord; sister, Suzanne DeVaney; brother and sister-in-law, Hugh and wife, Norma Solena DeVaney and their children, Melissa DeVaney, Ana Sofia DeVaney and Alan DeVaney; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Gail Rubman, Lewis Rubman and their son, Aaron Rubman.

To know Joan was to know a caring, loving, and accepting woman. Everyone who met her genuinely adored her. Joan was a strong woman who demonstrated her strength through her struggle with her chronic illness, always managing to remain upbeat and joyful while showing a true zest for life. Joan was rarely without opinion on political issues, and actively supported causes related to women’s issues, separation of church and state, and quality education. She was a staunch supporter of peace, and was intolerant of violence. Her beautiful soul will live on forever in everyone who knew her.

Joan’s ashes will be distributed in the Pacific Ocean near the Golden Gate Bridge. A celebration of her life will be held for family and close friends in Sausalito, California, and another in San Antonio in September for her many friends and family here.

You can see it here and leave a note if you like: Mom's Obituary

cold children and an odd request...

As I was tucking in the kids tonight I realized that their little fingers were freezing cold and that their rooms were a bit colder than the rest of the house. The temp is set to 72 degrees, but our downstairs master rarely gets above 65 unless we have the space heater on. I can't imagine what their rooms are - quite chilly. Anyway, I started piling blankets on them and was wondering if this is the right solution. For years I never quite understood the function of the comforter. I always thought it was nice cover for the bed once it was made. Guess it really does serve a purpose after all - it keeps one's toes from freezing over night. Maybe I need to dig out those comforters for the two little guys so they can un-bury themselves from those 8 or so blankets that they do have (from their family though - I tell them the blankets are giving them Grammy hugs, Mimi hugs, Cousin Kris hugs, etc.). Need to study more about this - still haven't mastered the cold weather gear - and it's about 22 degrees outside right now.

O.K. cold children covered, I received an odd request, sort of. The newspaper guy stuck an envelope in our paper a day or two ago, with an envelope with his return address on it and a Happy Holidays card in there. All printed out on labels, nothing handwritten, and I have no idea who this person is. I've never had any interaction with my newspaper delivery person other than getting my paper every day, and I'm not honestly sure if I should be offended about getting this in the paper. I think that it is odd for a service person to ask for a holiday gift directly. I have no business relationship with him, I tend not to tip folks extra for the holidays, and I have never made cookies for the mail carrier or the newspaper delivery person. Does this mean that if I don't give him a tip that my newspaper will end up on the roof, in the middle of the street, or on top of the car? Does he expect a tip for good service? I'm already paying for delivery of the paper, and generally you tip for service above and beyond. It's like rewarding your kids for behaving at the store - we don't because we expect it of them. No clue what the local etiquette is here though. That might be the kicker. If folks around here tip all their service providers, then this might be par for the course. I just think it's a bit odd to be so forward as to ask for a holiday gift from a customer.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I LOVE a Parade!

So the weather has improved over the past few days, and it's actually nice. It's been in the 60's for two days now, so after the blisteringly cold day before Thanksgiving and the nasty rainy T-Giving Day, I was ready for my parade. We were planning on meeting the Brockman's over in Reston and were going to watch the parade together. Woke up on Friday and it was a beautiful day - perfect parade weather. So, we scrambled out of the house, and as Tom and I were getting the boys ready to go, I asked Max to run out and see if there were diapers in the diaper bag. After about three minutes we hear this blood curdling scream. max had smashed his hand int eh door, and it was still in there. Tom scrambled down the stairs and out the front door faster than I've seen anyone move, and he opened back up the side door of the van and removed Max's hand. I grabbed my purse and headed outside, knowing that we were either heading to the parade, the doctor, or the ER.

As it turns out, we hit the doctor first, who was a little concerned about the shape of Max's ring finger (kinda crooked looking but probably just tissue swelling). She sent us the the local children's hospital to get x-rays (the regular x-ray place was closed as it was the day after Thanksgiving). No breaks, no fractures, and three hours later we missed the parade. We were all sad, but life goes on and you do miss some parades along the way, so the boys understood (good kiddos we have here!). After we got home and Tom went to work, I settled in to watch UT dismantle the Texas A & M football team. Once again I was sorely disappointed. Texas didn't show up for the game, and lost to a team that they should have easily beat. A & M was out for blood and they brought their A game, and I guess UT just wasn't there for it. So, another disappointment for the day.

But, it was beautiful weather, as it was again today. Tom took the kids and went to the park with the Brockman's, and I headed to M's to grab some lights for the house. So, not such a bad day today, and tomorrow looks like it will be just as nice. FSU lost their football game today, but we were expecting that, so not a big surprise at all. It wasn't the parade that I wanted, but a sunny day hanging out with friends sure does beat all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Almost Thanksgiving Day

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Not sure what to say about that yet. We'll see how it goes. It should be a great day of football and food, and we're hanging out with some great old friends, so all should be well. But, it's SO FREAKING COLD HERE!!! I thought I was getting used to it, but man, today was a cold one. I'm also getting that chilled to the bone feeling a lot more these days. You know the feeling - where your fingers are so cold that they hurt..then you can't feel them anymore. Eventually you can't really move them unless you have them under the hot water. Or there's the cold where your toes, which are inside socks AND slippers are so cold that they tingle. Man oh man - what did we sign up for? Today was really the first COLD cold day. It's been this chilly before (30's and 40's) but the sun has been out. Apparently that makes all the difference in the world. TOday it was overcast - even Ian was askign where they blue was - why was the sky white? I think a snow sky will blow his little mind. Anyway, it is quite chilly outside - currently it says 37 degrees on a thermometer right against our hosue in the back, so it's pretty close to really freaking cold here. Yes, I know that it will get worse, and yes, I know that I'll get used to it, but I'm allowed to complain right now aren't I? And here I thought I was doign so well - LL Bean jacket, fuzzy scarves, warm gloves, warm hat...guess they aren't doing the trick in the house. Must be missing something here - there's a secret that Northerners haven't yet let me in on. Gotta hunt one down and find out what that little secret it.

..then again there's always Tom's solution - snuggle up with him. Hah!!! Yeah, right...

(No, it hasn't snowed here yet, but there's a pic of the lake in the neighborhood behind us and what it looks like when it does snow. Apprently they play hockey on the lake when it gets cold enough. Ice Hockey - what a strange concept.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time with New Friends

Last night I went to Mom's Night out for the fourth time (or so). Of the time's I've attended it was the most relaxing and enjoyable one. PLUS, I smell like a bar-b-que! We had MNO in someone's backyard and she had this great fire pit there. It was cool out but not cold, and the fire warmed us right up. We stayed and visited until 11pm, and we were all enjoying ourselves so much that no one really knew that it had gotten so late. It was the kind of relaxing night out that I really like. You can never spend too much time out with your girlfriends, and certainly as a SAHM that's an important thing to do.

We roasted marshmellows and made S'mores, and there was wine and good conversation. I haven't had S'mores in years, so this was a nice treat (mine were sans chocolate, of course.) Next month we're off to a new restaurant for our Dec MNO, and if last month's restaurant is any indication, it will be yummy. But, there's something about spending time with your friends and then coming home smelling like a home cooked bar-b-que. Maybe it's the Texan in me, but you just can't beat that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

One of those weird things...

So I need to make plane reservations to go to the IRW Convention in Savannah, Ga in March. I've been waiting for the prices to drop and they finally have. Problem is, I am apprehensive about getting these tickets. It's not about the convention, but the tickets themselves. You see, all this goes back to about two years ago and me making plane reservations while drinking a glass of wine. I'll start by saying, in this day and age, it is SOOOO much easier to make reservations online. HOWEVER, never drink while doing so. It is a fast and relatively painless process, but since the wine incident I approach it with some trepidation. (Bet you never knew that I was afraid of online ticket booking...did you?) The story is thus. I was getting tickets for the family to go somewhere fun (probably Florida as we were in Texas at the time). I had to get the tickets in two separate transactions for some reason - like FF miles or something similar. Can't remember off the top of my head, but it doesn't matter. So, I get all the tickets and start in on the second batch (which, if I recall correctly was my ticket only - everyone else's had been purchased). Anyway, I was enjoying my glass of wine throughout this transaction. Having purchased countless numbers of tickets online in the past, this was nothing new. Pick the airline, date, flights, even seats, all in under 10 minutes. Got the credit card info in there and printed out my itineraries. Called Tom and told him they were purchased. he glanced at the tickets and jokingly said that they were on the wrong day. Hah! That's Tom's standard joke - wrong name, wrong date, etc. Well, he wasn't joking this time. I just purchased tickets for me to fly one day after my family flew out - same flight just one day later. Now, after a slight panic I handed the transactions over to Tom so he could call and correct. You see, once they print the tickets out there's a change fee. Even for online ticketing, if you don't catch it immediately, it's too late. We learned all of this from the lovely person who helped us change the tickets to the correct day so I could join my family in flight.

Fast forward to now. I sit here with the flights I want on the screen but have yet to purchase the tickets. I guess it's because I want Tom to look over them before I buy them. This isn't even a trip that he's going on, but I'll have him check it anyway. All the flights I have since that wine-altered flight - you'd think I'd be more confident than this when making the online reservation, but no. Not a chance. I guess that incident scarred me for life. Now the secret is out. Some folks don't like to do karaoke without a friend, I need a friend close by so I can purchase a plane ticket.

Then again at least I don't have to stand in line at the airport with my paper tickets. Did that once recently because of vouchers. Never again. If it isn't an electronic check in where I can check in online ahead of time and then dump my bags and run, then it's not for me. Guess these tickets will just have to wait until tomorrow when Tom's up - he's already asleep and I just can't hit that purchase button.

Update 11/16/06: Yeah, fianlly bought those tickets - with Tom's keen eyes checking the details for me...sigh...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I HATE being sick

So I've been sick on and off for the past week and a half. I have days where I feel fine but have a cough, and the next day I feel as if I can't even drag myself out of bed. Meds don't seem to be helping and sleeping isn't adding much to my recovery, you can only watch so much TV in a day before your brain leaks out your ears, and I can drink only so much tea. So, I'm declaring myself healthy and we'll see if this does the trick. I'm done being sick - finuto, finished, fine, however you want to say it - done. If all else fails (and it seems to have in this case) declare that it's over and hope that it sticks. I'll wake up tomorrow refreshed (well, I'll wake up tomorrow...) and feeling much better than today. AND, it will stick through out the day and into tomorrow night, then again the day after tomorrow. So, I'm just done.

Think it will work?

Bummer football day...

So BOTH FSU and Texas lost today. FSU was slaughtered (and I'm not kidding) by Wake Forest, of all teams. WF beat FSU 30-0. Yes, 30-0. FSU's first shut out at home almost since I was born, and certainly since Bowden has been coaching there. They played like a middle school girls' team from South Dakota (no offense to those middle school girl football players in South Dakota, of course). They were terrible, just terrible.

Texas, on the other hand, at least showed up for the game. However, coming in ranked #4 in the country with aspirations of playing int he title game, as well as being 3 touchdown favorites, you would have thought they made a better showing in their quest for oh, say, a win. They lost to Kansas State, yes, K-State, 45-42. While the score seems close, UT's #1 QB was knocked out after the first series. Texas fell behind, and their #2, who has yet to see playing time this season, had to step up. And step up he did. However, due to his lack of playing time, lack of leadership, and the lack of the rest of the team doing their job, they lost too. It all comes down to points. He who scores the most points wins.

Coach, what do you think your team could have done differently to win the game?
Well, I guess we could have scored more touchdowns.

Coach, why do you think they beat you tonight?
Well, they scored more points than we did.

Simple math here. Bummer for UT and certainly for FSU.

Not sure if I've ever seen the FSU stands so eerily quiet or empty so early in the game. They turned on the team so early and walked away. The FSU fans - who sit through some pretty sad games - walked away. By the end of the third quarter the stands had emptied out. The fans actually game up on their team. While over at the UT game, the fans were pouring into the stands. The commentators were saying that folks were hopping off the couch and driving to the game to check it out - standing room only by the end of the game. A tight one it was, and the fans stuck it out.

Then again UT scored some points - any points - and the fans appreciate that. FSU has the lovely reputation now of being beaten by...Wake their own stadium. Like I said...bummer football day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So Sam is the only remaining member of the family in diapers (at least until Tom and I are quite old...). So for the past few days he's been taking off his diaper and putting on underwear all by himself. While I applaud this effort, it has doubled the amount of Sam laundry that I have to do, and today it crossed over into bed linens. It seems that Mr. Sam decided, while he was supposed to be napping, that he needed underwear instead of a diaper. Well, you can guess what happened when he fell sound asleep and his bladder relaxed. Anyway, after a short discussion about not wearing underwear to bed until one pees in the potty, we were off and running in our diaper again.

Let me back up a year and say that Sam was the first of the little guys to pee in the potty, so we all had great hopes that he would be the driving force in the potty training area. He looks up to Max, and so we assumed that those two fact would collide and he'd drag Ian kicking and screaming to the toilet one was or another. Well, sadly, that's not the case. Sam has asked over the past YEAR to pee in the potty on various occasions, and we oblige, even encourage him to do so. The, about a month and a half ago, Ian decided that he wanted to use the potty and just took it upon himself to do so. No big deal on his part (this from the kiddo who had NEVER used the potty in his life). Well, lots of stars, very few reminders, and only one accident later, he's good to go. Sam, on the other hand has announced to me several times this past week that he will wear a diaper until he's four, and that he will NOT pee in the potty until he's four. So, we're considering throwing him an early birthday party. Seriously, no party, but I have told him on several occasions that he does need to start peeing in the potty, but for one reason or another he just doesn't get it.

So back to this week. He really wants to wear underwear, but I have NO idea how to make that transition if he's not using the potty. I'm not interested in forcing him, but I think I'll just have to put my foot down. No potty, no underwear. One minor glitch is that he wears Pull Ups to gymnastics. He's supposed to be potty trained but I wasn't going to hold him out of a one hour class just because he wasn't peeing in the potty (tried to tell him that I would but he wasn't buying it). I did tell him that he's not allowed to pee int eh Pull Up, and so far he hasn't. But, he's not peeing in the potty, so I'm taking the Pull Up off right after gymnastics class and putting him back in his diaper.

I guess I'll continue being patient. I never thought that I'd be int his spot where Ian was wearing underwear and Sam wasn't. Guess this is the beginning of a long life of surprises on my part - boys...and I've got three of 'em!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A GREAT Halloween!

It was a cold evening (for us Texans at least) but it was perfect Trick or Treat weather. We invited the Brockman's over to have dinner, go trick or treating, and then decorate cookies and cupcakes. It was fun for all, including Baba who came up from Texas to join us. The kids last throught about 10 houses, and then we headed home for the fun. Everyone was on sugar overdose, but I'll add this to the list of extremely successful Halloweens! (Sam is the Blue and Gold Ranger, Max is the Red Ranger, Ian is the Green Ranger, and Sami is the Ladybug!)

Beth and Sami

Power Ranger Mystic Force

Peeking at the Trick or Treaters

Friday, October 27, 2006

Found Ric Rac Nirvana...

So I ducked into what I thought was a teeny weeny fabric store today right next to our Barnes and Noble/Starbucks. Needless to say we were heading to SB for coffee while we were waiting for Tom to get his car inspected. We never made it to SB. I walked into what I thought was a small fabric store. i didn't see a register anywhere and only one employee. The room was about the size of my living room - not very big for a fabric store. So, the little boys and I were peeking at the Halloween fleece (it's cold here - fleece is always on our minds!) and I noticed a woman going down an escalator. So, we followed her downstairs and WHAM! This place is HUGE! It's basically a little tiny place on top and on the bottom is underneath the Barnes and Noble and about five other small shops. It has all kinds of upholstery fabrics and stuff for sewing and ROWS AND ROWS of ric rac. There were all kinds of sizes, all kinds of colors and some cool sparkle ones too! And this was just the ric rac aisle. I was simply amazed by how large this place was. And they say everything bigger in Texas...I beg to differ after seeing this place!

So, now I'm loaded up on some basic colors of ric rac and know where to find all the ribbons, ric rac, and other types of sewing themed embellishments that I will ever need for my scrapbooks - right under Barnes and Noble!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Decaf coffee may still pack a mini-caffeine punch

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Decaf coffee is often not totally caffeine-free, a new study shows. In fact, while these beverages have far less caffeine than a cup of regular coffee, they still may have enough of the stimulant to cause physical dependence on them.

As Dr. Bruce A. Goldberger of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville told Reuters Health, "The concentration of caffeine in these brewed decaf coffees does have physiological and behavioral effects on a person."

Goldberger and his colleagues tested the caffeine content of decaf from 10 different coffee establishments. Only one -- Folger's Instant -- contained no caffeine. The rest contained anywhere from 8.6 milligrams (mg) to 13.9 mg for a 16-ounce cup, the team reports in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

The researchers also tested six samples of decaf espresso and six of decaf coffee from Starbucks, and found a wide variation in their caffeine content. Decaf espresso shots contained from 3 mg to 15.8 mg of caffeine, while decaf coffee ranged from 12 mg to 13.4 mg.

A previous study by Goldberger and his colleagues found caffeinated specialty coffees contained an average of 188 mg per cup.

While the decaf tested in the current study contains only a small fraction of the caffeine found in a regular cup of java, Goldberger noted, the amount could be harmful for people who must restrict their caffeine intake for medical reasons. That might include people with a type of kidney disease, individuals with anxiety, or those taking certain types of drugs.

Also, he and his colleagues point out, people who drink several decaffeinated beverages daily may wind up taking in a considerable amount of caffeine.

"For people who need or want to abstain from caffeine, they should also abstain from decaf coffee," Goldberger advised.

SOURCE: Journal of Analytical Toxicology, October 2006.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Handwriting Analysis - DO THIS!

One more thing for today while I'm thinking of it. Go check this out when you have a minute- very funny handwriting analysis and one of the best marketing tools I've seen in a while:

To costume or not to costume?

Well, Halloween is creeping up on us again. For some reason this year I'm seriously tempted to wear a costume. Who knows why, but the thought still lingers in my head. I really dig these two costumes over at the Disney Store, but not really sure if I want to wear them or if I just like the idea of wearing a costume. The boys have already told both Tom and I that we will be dressing up, but Tom has already bowed out of that semi-gracefully. I guess the figure that since they are we should too. Again, I like the idea, but am not really sure if I actually want to dress up or not. Guess I'll see as it gets a bit closer and will run out at the last minute if I'm moved to do so.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sam's Pants

We were at the Silver Diner tonight after Max's soccer game as it is Sunday and it is breakfast for dinner night. Dr. Auntie Ray was there with us - she's visiting us until Wednesday. So we're sitting there and Ian announces that he needs to go t the bathroom. So he and Tom head out. Then, Sam starts digging in his pants and As I'm telling him to get his hands out of his pants I notice that it looks like he has underwear on. Well, after a quick realization that Sam doesn't wear underwear yet as he's not anywhere near potty trained, Max announces that Sam has underwear on. I feel the front of his pants and while it feels dry, I realize that it must have been wet and dried as he's been without underwear for at least two hours and he's never successfully worn underwear for more than 20 minutes. So, we head quickly to the bathroom and I put him in front of the potty and tell him to pee. He does not, but explains that he doesn't have to right now. I warn him that he should not pee in his underwear and we head back to dinner. We make it through dinner, through the drive home and play for about 15 minutes before a bath without any accidents. Who knows. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of diapers for Sam! Ian's good to go with only one accident in the past week and a half (he was in the bathroom and was washing his hands between eating and peeing and just didn't quite make it), so we count him as potty trained - he goes by himself and hasn't needed any reminders other than to wash his hands. So, two down, one to go!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Here it is quite cold and me without a warm coat. Actually I have several varieties of coats that suited my needs in Texas, but now I find that they are just not enough. Tom told me today that 30 degrees was about the coldest that it gets here....yeah...he was kidding...I know. But, my lovely jacket that's carried me through so many winters in Texas really doesn't fit. It fit before I was pregnant (with the little boys I should say...) but hasn't really fit since. It's the ideal coat but not the right size. Then, I have a nice new trench coat that I wore in New York in February (in the snow I'll add). It was nice and fit the bill at the time, but how odd is it for me to go out of the house in sneakers a ball cap and a trench coat. The other jackets that I have are all too light. I have those great coat that Becky's mom passed along that looks great on me and keeps me warm, as long as it doesn't get too cold. I wore that one today and was quite comfy, but the sun was out and it was hovering in the 50's.

So, I guess I'm off over the weekend to find that just so perfect coat. I dislike clothes shopping not because I dislike clothes shopping, but because I dislike trying on three thousand different ________ (shirts, jeans, pants, jackets - you fill in the blank) until I find the one that fits me properly. Same problem with the coats. I need one that covers everything properly and does not bind, but at the same time doesn't make me look like a little girl wearing her momma's clothes. So, the hunt is on, and hopefully it will be a quick (and not too terribly expensive) one. I won't even go on my whole buying a coat at the beginning of the season tirade....I'll save that for after I find the perfect coat.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Cautionary Tale

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

That was the story in our house, and here's a picture of the sad little monkey:

Then, of course, there's Battleship on Mom's PDA while we wait for the anesthesia to set in:

And the finale to this tale are the SEVEN staples in the little monkey's head,

and of course the wise words from the doctor, the nurse, the triage nurse, the children's triage nurse, the patient services lady, the nurse's aide, Mom, Dad, and the discharge lady " NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!"

-Suzie (the sad little monkey's mommy)

Robot Chicken

I have found that one show that puts me to sleep. Regularly. Funny thing is, it's a fast paced animated, slightly off color humor show that is only about 10 or 11 minutes long - Robot Chicken. But, every time I turn it on I fall right to sleep. Tom has to wake me up to get me to turn the TV off. I guess I should preface this by saying that I generally only watch this with Tom, as it has to be one of his favorite shows (right up there with Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, and that animated show Tripping the Rift). So, there's the problem of me being tired and it being the end of the day when we are settling into bed, but it happens pretty consistently. As Tom said last night after I told him i had a new Robot Chicken "What, you're going to turn it on and fall asleep?" Yup. Again. At least I've found my answer to sleepless nights...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One More Thing

So Ian is wearing underwear today. He has peed in the potty several times over the past few days and he has also gone #2 twice in the past two days, on his own, in the potty. So, I told him that instead of tearing through diapers (he wants a new one each time he goes to the bathroom) that he needs to wear underwear. He's fine with it and seems to understand that he's to go tot he bathroom and not in his underwear. So, Ian was sitting on the potty and Sam was keeping him company. Sam says 'Mommy, diaper LEAKING down my leg!" with a BIG grin. I see that he is correct and wonder why the heck his diaper is leaking. He pulls his short down and he's got NO DIAPER ON. He says again "Mommy, diaper LEAKED!" a bit more insistent this time. In an attempt NOT to burst out laughing I go get him another diaper then calmly explain to him that he cannot take his diaper off and then pee on the floor. If he wants to pee in the potty, he can wear underwear like Ian, but for now he has to wear his diaper. Guess it's just one of those days.

A Max Funny

So every day after school I ask Max how his day was and what he did in class that day. He always spits out all the things that he did in Spanish class (which is his math and science class) and periodically pops out that he read with a partner in his English class. This immersion program is a partial immersion program, so he spends half the day in Spanish and the other half the day in English. He's picking up the Spanish very quickly and hasn't had any trouble understanding the teacher nor has he complained once about the stuff that he's learning in there.

So, I asked him last week what he did in his English class, because I suspect that he does things in there too but that I rarely hear about them. He pipes up and replies "Nothing! We don't do anything in there!" Knowing full well that this isn't the case (and that's he's 6 and this is what six year olds reply to just about any questions that you ask) I pushed him a bit further. He then went to to describe reading partners and his journal. I asked him what he writes about in his journal and he says...SPANISH CLASS! He absolutely cracks me up!

Thinking back I realized that most of what he does in his English class he doesn't see as work. They read, they write, and he is really enjoying himself. The reason that the talks about the Spanish so often is that a) it is a novel thing still, and b) it's science and math and he really seems to enjoy learning all about that stuff.

So thus far this year Max is having a stellar time in First Grade!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Our Soccer Whiz

So, while Max really enjoys playing soccer and likes his teammates and all, he is actually quite good at it. He seems to have an instinct to know where to go to on the field. Today he and a few of his teammates were passing, moving to the open space, kicking crosses, and doing other cool soccer things that they don't teach to the U-6 crowd. There are a few boys on his U-6 team that also get it, and they are slowly finding each other and rolling over the other team. Max alone scored about 10 goals today, and that was with him passing to his teammates. We were continually encouraging him to pass, but he couldn't resist drilling it into the goal when he had a clean shot. He really does enjoy playing, which is the whole point of all of this, so it's a super double bonus that he's good at it. It really is a bit eerie though to see him do these things as he hasn't really learned any of those skills yet...guess it's just instinct.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Breaking out the Halloween Stuff!

A few weeks ago I bought a few small Halloween decorations. Tom looked at me as if I were insane (which he generally does at holidays). It was mid-September and here I was wanting to hang up the end of October decor. Well, it's almost officially OCTOBER, so I hung it up a day or two ago and LOVE IT! We have this cute spider on the front door that has purple feet and orange spots, and a ghostie windsock out front twirling in the wind. I think that I'm not a only a window cling person, but a windsock person as well. Heaven forbid we ever own another home - Tom is in BIG trouble with my decorating affliction (or so he calls it). Anyway, since I broke out the house decor (the rest can wait until we find out if we are actually going to be living here on Halloween, but I can't talk about that just yet as we might go to court on that one) but the digital decor can come out. Here's one of my favorites siggys - the Ghostie family. I skipped over the football siggy this year, but football season is long and I can use that one after New Years (yeah BOWL SEASON!!!). So here's my little Ghostie in all of it's glory. Later!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Customer Service

Often we hear gripes about customer service - especially those located in call centers in other countries. I wanted to add to the discussion - not about bad customer service, but about good customer service.

So I was sitting here typing, like I am now, and my pinkie brushed across the up arrow on my laptop keyboard and it popped right off. This was several days ago and I just got around to mentioning it to Tom last night. After he fiddled with it he told me that I have the super duper warranty which includes phone tech support and that I should try that. I didn't want to do any further damage as the whole thing still works aside from the missing key. I have the key, I should mention, it just isn't attached - and nothing in particular appears to be broken.

So I pick up the phone late at night and call and get someone in India, presumably from her accent. She is very nice and goes through the inital ramblings of all customer service calls quickly. Then she asks if I would mind if she connects to my computer so that she can show me what I need (to reattach the keyboard later on in the call). Sure, why not? After mentioning that I saw a commercial about this, she took me right to the page that shows me how to replace the keyboard. Wild! Anyway, after giving me instructions (several times in several different ways to be sure that I was getting what she was saying) she determined that while the arrow key was now attached, that it was not attached correctly and I needed a new keyboard. She gave me some more numbers and a web address as well as contact info in case the keyboard wasn't here on time, and informed me that she'd call back on Tuesday to walk me through the steps of removing the old and installing the new keyboard. The whole thing was over in about 10 minutes, and I have a new keybard on the way!

I got off the phone feeling like I accomplished something in a reasonable timeframe without having to fight for or justify why I was calling. That's how I ususally feel after I get off the phone wit any customer service folks - regardless of which country they are in when I call. Seems these people are doing it right - at least this lady get it. So, kudos to Natalie (gotta love the Americanized names) in some other country who did a great job fixing my broken up arrow key. And kudos to Dell for stepping up to the plate with their customer service.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

More Bees - UGH!

So it was my turn to get stung by bees today. Tom and I were out dealing with the back yard (it has rained a BUNCH lately and the grass is thick, so it's a task for sure to mow). Anyway, I was dealing with the edging around all the stumps and bushes and trees in the yard and Tom was mowing. We already discovered a bunch of bees in one spot it eh yard, but they were bumble bees - all black and yellow stripey and kinda fuzzy looking. They didn't seem to mind too terribly much when the mower was going. Anyway, I was almost done edging when I thought I brushed up against a rose bush near the back fence. But, it started stinging and I ran over to Tom asking him to get whatever it was off of me. He sees one spot where I have a pink dot, no stinger or anything- just a dot. Then it swells up. Then, I let him know that it's burning further down my leg, and low and behold two more red spots and now some swelling there as well. So, these little critters DID defend their nest. They were all swarming around the spot where I had the weed whacker, so I went about my business elsewhere in the yard. The back of my right leg itches like the DICKENS!

So I guess our family has a thing for flying stinging insects...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Dongle

Did you know the little cord that you use to connect the camera to the computer (and many other things to the computer) is called a dongle? It has it's own Wiki entry even: "Dongle can also refer to something that plugs into a computer, especially something with wires that "hang" (dangle, or perhaps a more suggestive origin) from a laptop computer."

Anyway, I'm missing mine. i know that Tom has another one (or five more likely) but my little white one that's about five inches is around here somewhere...hopefully. I'm sure it is on this desk, but I can't put my hands on it. So, until I do, no pics.

We did some cool picture worthy things this past week, too. Ian has some exciting news to share - he pooped in the potty all by himself. I'll leave the story for the pics - pics of him putting the stars on his chart, nothing more ;) . We also went to San Antonio for Mom's memorial luncheon and I had this GREAT looking shirt on. Also a pic of that on there. Missing dongle can bring life to a grinding halt apparently.

Guess that's my task for tonight - cleaning off this desk - AGAIN. I pile, and I like to pile, but this causes me to occasionally lose things. So, the unpiling is tonight, and the picture posting will commence manana. ( <- Like the Spanish, huh? Gotta bone up as Max is learning it left and right!).

Monday, September 11, 2006

George and the Sink

So there's a member of our family that you might not have met yet. His name is George and he's all of about 16" by 24" (maybe - I'm terrible at guessing inches...) and white with a coated black inside. He is our George Foreman Grill, and he's been part of our family for several years now. Tom and I bought George (as Tom affectionately calls him) so that we would not have to fire up our big grill. Well, ever since then we have not fired up the grill, nor do we currently own one. George has a place of honor in our kitchen - on top of the fridge. He cleans up nicely, gets hot quickly, and cooks a mean steak. What more could you want from a man???? Seriously, though, George is the best. He is a portable easy to use grill that allows us to eat steak, even in a rainstorm, and even on short notice. I love George, as does Tom, and he will always have a place at our table (just not on it!)

So there's something else that you may not know about me. I like to clean the kitchen sink. In general I don't like to clean anything, and since we moved to VA have been without a cleaning lady. I had a wonderful person cleaning my house in Texas every other week, and here, in a bigger house I have no on to clean for me (yet - but that's another discussion). So, in general I keep the place clean, but I LOVE cleaning out the sink. There's something gratifying about the shiny silver sparkly sink. We have a one basin model with a tall faucet that is also very shiny. I'm not sure what it is about cleaning the sink, but I don't mind, even after cleaning up the dining room and kitchen (which seems to take longer as the boys get older and messier...) I like to take the time to clean the sink. It's not that I like to wake up to a clean sink (Tom is usually the first one up after I boot him out of bed) but the instant shine that you get after you've scrubbed the sink out. So, whatever it is that draws me in, I will continue cleaning my sink out, and enjoying every minute of it. Weird? Just ask George what he thinks of the clean sink - he sits next to it often.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Things Kids Say #2

So we were riding in the car today and Ian asked to call Baba. We called him on my cell but Ian left a message as he wasn't home. A few minutes later Sam wanted to call, so he called and left a message. A few minutes after that Sm asked to Call Mimi. I reminded him that Mimi had died and that we can't talk to her anymore because she died. He asked why she died and I told him (the same thing we've told him before) that she was sick and had something wrong in her head and that she died. Sam went on to talk about how Grandpa (Tom's Dad) fixed up his head once and then said that "Grandpa fix Mimi's head and then she not die." He went on telling Ian and I all about how Grandpa fixed up his big bonk (which honestly I don't remember - but Henry did fix several of the kids' bonks, so who knows!). He probably talked about that for five minutes, but he moved past the whole wanting to talk to Mimi thing, and seemed to be O.K. with it for the time being.

Later on we were coming back from Max's soccer practice (first one of the season) and I asked Max if he had a good time. He replied with a big grin, "I had a SWEATY good time!" How funny is that????!!!! He was covered in sweat and quite stinky, which he wore like a badge of honor. Hmmm...maybe I should have had him bathe before bed...that's poor planning on my part. Oh, well.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Second Day of School

Since I kind of glassed over the first day of school, I'll sneak these pictures in here and tell you all a out the first TWO days of school! Max is in a class with a new teacher not a teacher that is new to his school - but a brand spanking new teacher. She seemed a bit overwhelmed at the open house and I certainly don't blame her. She's not only teaching for the first time (and meeting parents for the first time) but she's teaching at a school that has a weird set-up - it has a Spanish partial immersion program. We'll see how it all unfolds, but max seems to like her.

Anyway, Max is in that Spanish immersion program where they learn math and science in Spanish. The teacher speaks ONLY Spanish to them in class. The first day she explained this in English, then today only spoke to them in Spanish.Max said that he understood a great deal of what she was saying, so he's still excited about it. That, and they went to the math lab today. He also said that they had recess and PE today, but that they didn't get to do anything fun in PE.

A side note here. When we were at the open house going down to the front office the PE teacher stopped Max and asked him how his summer was. This is the same PE teacher that stopped us onthe way in the very first day and took the time to talk to Max and introduce himself and make Max feel welcome. Funny thing is - he's a big huge Egyptian man that goes by Coach A - because no one can pronounce his last name! Anyway, he told me that Max is a very fast kid - at which I laughed and said that I wasn't really sure where he got that from! According to Max he can run faster that everyone except Mahad Z., but he's taller and older than Max, which is why he's faster (according to Max). Everyone else in his old class he could run faster than (even though they were ALL older and most taller than he). The things that 6 year old think are important...

So, Max is riding the bus, liking his school, and making new friends, and apparently learning a new language along the way. It will certainly be an interesting year to come.

P.S. - We had lots of rain the first day, which also dropped the temp back down to the upper 60's, thus the rain coat.