Sunday, July 30, 2006

Butterfly Invasion!!!

Apparently San Antonio has been invaded by American Snout Butterflies. Actually, loads of cities in this area are being invaded. The recent weather conditions have been just so that their natural predators did not wipe many of them out. So, there are butterflies everywhere. Normally, this would be a cool thing (and I certainly thought it was kinda neat at first) but folks around here are complaining. Seems that they get stuck in car grills, get run over and attract birds into traffic lanes, and so on. You need to wash your car at least a few times each week to get rid of them. Makes you feel like you are in that movie "The Birds" both when you are outside and when you are in your car (except for the size thing - these guys are still pretty small). The bummer part is that they are not the pretty butterflies like you'd imagine (not the ones with pink and purple wings like we chicks really imagine, but the beautiful Monarches - all black and yellow - that come to mind when you thing of butterflies). For starters these guys are called American SNOUT butterflies, so they are oddly shaped to begin with. Then, they are brown and kinda look like moths. That doesn't really endear them to anyone. The whole swarming thing is no fun either - while outside you are constantly swatting at the air as they fly around - makes me look like a mental patient (don't need any help in that area - thanks though!). So, I'll post some pics of these little butterflies and let you decide - cute? I think not.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Is it so wrong to want to BLING out my phone? Before you answer that, listen to my logic:

1. I don't often wear jewelry, so that would be my accessory.
2. I'm barely in this century as far as style goes, so this would certainly improve my status.
3. The BLING looks soooooo cool!
4. Pink it it baby!

(Yeah, those last two aren't really reasons, but I ran out of steam.) Tom basically stood there and laughted at me and told me that I really wasn't going to bling out my phone. This from the man who said that I couldn't get personalized license plates. Who is he to judge - my style impaired hubby? He's puzzled by the purses so I can't expect him to get the whole sparkly phone thing.

The only catch is that the phone that I have now is TERRIBLE. Not just bad connection terrible, but drop your call for no apparent reason terrible. Drop your call because it's Tuesday terrible. Can't think that I'll have this phone for a whole lot longer, so I don't want to sparklify a phone that I am not going to keep. Currently I have General Grevous on the outside of my phone (the creepy guy from Star Wars). I also have a great ring tone - Darth Vader's theme song - the Imperial March. Can't beat that with a stick, but I do want to get me some BLING! OOOOHHHH YEAAAAAHHHHHH!

Best Way to Travel

I saw a funny thing on the way to the airport a few days ago. I saw an RV loaded up with all the stuff - the family was on a road trip and they took all their bikes with them. Looked like there were four people in the family - Mom, Dad, and two little folks. One was old enough to ride their own bike and the other had a jump seat on the back of Mom/Dad's bike. Very cool to hitch a ride with your folks. But, the funny part was in the details. Take a close look at the picture and you will see something that I'm pretty sure you've never seen before. There's a Cozy Coupe strapped to the back of that RV right along with those bikes. Guess the little person on that RV didn't want to be left out, so Mom and Dad tossed their ride on the back as well. It was just about the funniest thing I've seen in a while as Cozy Coupes aren't usually spotted outside of a backyard, with the occassional sighting on a neighborhood sidewalk. This Cozy Coupe was in for a grand adventure - and it certainly brought a smile to my face.

Apologies for the quality - this was taken on my phone's camera. Technology only goes so far...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Clean Underwear

It was bound to happen eventually as I have been travelling a lot more these days. I finally got the note that the TSA opened my luggage and inspected it. Seems some man was digging around in my underwear. It's an odd thing to think that you not only have to have clean underwear on your body (in case of an accident like you mother told you) but that you need to have clean underwear in your suitcase in case the TSA guys inspect it.

So, I open my luggage after I got home and to my surprise was this nice little note that said "your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items." Meaning (at least to me), some man was digging around through your stuff - you better not have had anything naughty in there...sigh...

At least my underwear was clean...I can't imagine what else they run across in people's bags. Not mine though. Not now, not ever. And hopefully no more men digging through my underwear.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Friday, July 14, 2006

Breakfast for dinner

Every Sunday we have breakfast for dinner. Tonight we went to IHOP. Yeah, I know that it isn't Sunday but I'm going to Texas tomorrow and wanted to have breakfast with my family before I left, so we shifted it up two days. Anyway, every Sunday we pile in the car and head to either the Silver Diner or IHOP and order all kinds of fun breakfast foods. It isn't so much about nutrition at this point, but about having breakfast items for dinner. We even have coffee, milk, and juice for drinks. The kids get pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, and whatever other breakfast foods they want. Tom and I do the same. It's a great feeling to sit down to a big old omelette, pancakes smothered in blueberries, and a cup of coffee for dinner. Try just might like it!

Burn, Baby, Burn

No, it's really not a Disco reference. It has to do with my cooking skills, or my lack of cooking skills. Don't get me wrong - my family eats, and they eat well. I go to a place that helps you prepare all the food once a month so that we can have home cooked meals. All I need to do is drag it out of the deep freeze, toss the prepared stuff in the oven/crock pot/stove and cook it, then maybe add a side dish or two. Sounds easy enough, even I can do this, right? Then you don't know me very well...

Let's go back a few weeks to the Blueberry Buckle. Did I mention that they also have a dessert once a month? This thing looked great. It was a pan FULL of blueberries and the rest of the buckle stuff. All I needed to do was to cook it for 50 minutes. Well, the buzzer went off on the oven and Tom kindly, at my request, turned the oven off. I told him I'd be right up, then I got disracted and never made it back up to the kitchen until MUCH later on that night. Well, something smelled like it was burning/had burned. Seems that the buckle had been in the HOT oven for about 4 hours or so. Blueberries don't like that very much, nor do oats or brown sugar, I'm sure. It was crispy, very crispy. The middle was a bit softer so I took a bite, and while it tasted yummy, that was probably the only bite that I could have takenfrom that whole pan. Tom laughed, I sighed, and the buckle went in the trash.

Fast forward to last night. I had these great pizzas that I made at the cooking place that were Basil Pesto and Chicken pizza. Not really something Tom would like, but no biggie. I was off getting my nails done and he ate dinner with the kids. When I got back I tossed the pizza in the oven and set the timer for the requisite 40 minutes. Then, I sat down at the kitchen table, so as not to forget or miss anything. The timer went DING and I hopped up, mouth watering. Well, seems that it was 40 minutes in someone else's oven, but only really about 30 in mine. The edges were burnt to a crisp, the bottom was dark brown and black, and the cheese on top was crispy. Man, I am just not going to win this cooking battle, am I. I thought I was so cool - I can follow directions - I can cook anything. Well, seems that I need to sit in front of the oven and watch the food cook so as not to completely screw it up. Once again, Tom laughed (referenced the Blueberry Buckle incident), I sighed, then I ate pizza. While the Buckle was paste dible, the pizza wasn't, and it was quite yummy.

Did I mention that the fire alarm went off in the midst of this? Here's a picture of it, sitting next to the pizza, after Tom pulled it off the wall...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I WANT: to go to Disney World again…soon.

I HAVE: the best family on the planet.

I WISH: that I had more time with my Mom

I HATE: people that honk their horns for no good reason.

I MISS: dates with my hubby.

I HEAR: everything…or so I tell my kids. ;)

I WONDER: what my kids will be like when they grow up.

I AM NOT: quiet in the evenings. I SPEAK LOUDLY LATE AT NIGHT.

I DANCE: with kids standing on my feet.

I SING: four words for every song…and that’s all I know.

I CRY: at anything really sappy…when I’m in the mood.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: patient.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: beautiful scrapbook pages.

I WRITE: in an attempt to improve my writing…as often as it strikes me.

I CONFUSE: words, names, you name it I confuse it!

I NEED: more sleep, but what parent can’t say the same thing???!!!

I SHOULD: go to bed earlier (see the next answer!)

I START: each day WAAAAY before my body wants to.

I FINISH: each day with a kiss from my hubby.

Now it's your turn...

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Man, can this little man rip a big one! He seems so nice and sweet looking, but he is ALL BOY!

We were sitting at Silver Diner tonight (Sunday is breakfast for dinner night) and Sam, like usual, ripped a big HUGE burp. Then, after laughing at hinself, in a little tiny voice, said Excuse Me! While we insist on the politeness, there's just something wrong about the whole big huge burp followed by politeness. It's like pounding on your brother then aplogozing, then pounding on him again because you know that you can apologize an get away with it (he does that too...sigh...boys...).

The best part, or the worst, depending on which side of the table you sit, is that he sits there and tries to burp more! Over half the time he is sucessful...but polite again. DRIVES ME NUTS! When did this cute little guy turn into a BOY??!!!

I guess one day I'll look backon this time and say "Remember when Sam was POLITE after he burped? Now he just burps and LAUGHS!!! AAARRRRRRGGGGHHH! Gotta catch that on video though - it's TOOOO funny...and very unexpected. He really does rip a mean burp - if I weren't is mother I'd be so proud...I mean appalled...I guess if I was his Dad I'd be proud - and you can GUARANTEE that Tom is proud of him for this...BIGGER SIGH...

Starbucks Keeps Her Clear

So as my Mom walks down this path, she goes to Starbucks almost every day. She went to Starbucks occassionally and really liked it, but now she believes (and this is the important part) that it keeps her "clear." As long as she keeps doing things taht keep her clear, like getting out of the house, walking around, drinking Starbucks, then she will be able to maintain her cognitive abilites. They will still slowly drift away as the tumor touches other parts of her brain, but Starbucks seems to not only keep her clear, but going these makes her happy, and that's what it is all about these days. She and Dad, or whomever else is there, hops in the car and drives to a local Starbucks and gets their coffee. They also drive around a bit more, but they are both out of the house and enjoying thier coffees.

So, I'm sending her a Starbucks tumbler with pics of her grandkids in it - that will make her VERY happy. It's two of the most precious things that she has - grandkids and coffee. Who wold have thought that coffee would be such a powerful tool? Now all I need to do is to crank out some more of these inserts so she can see different pics of the kids over the next few weeks!

Man, gotta love the Starbucks...but I already did.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

That perfect fireworks picture...

Sam, Max, and Ian July 4, 2006 Falls Church Fireworks Display

So I'm a HUGE parade and fireworks junkie - to the point of dragging my kids off a plane (3.5 hour flight), putting them down for a nap, and then keeping them out until all hours of the night just to see some fireworks! We rolled off the plane and drove an hour arriving back home at about 2pm. We all crashed until about 6pm, except for my soccer junkie hubby who was watching World Cup (can't blame him for that though - he said it was a GREAT game!). Needless to say he crashed out early tonight. Anyway, after we woke up, I waffled (as is the VA Phipps way) between hitting the big DC fireworks and the Falls Church toned down version. Well, after considering that I'd be seeing the DC fireworks with 500,000 of my closest friends, I fugured that the FC variety would be just fine. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't just fine - it was PERFECT for us! We got there aobut 1.5 hours ahead of time and the boys goofed while it was getting dark. Then, we enjoy a 1/2 hour show. I am still on my eternal quest for a picture - a good picture I should say - of fireworks, so I took about 80 or so. I snapped a few that might quality, but I'm off to try again next time now that I have played once with out reading the manual of my new digital SLR. (Yeah, didn't check ahead of time about taking pics of fireworks - but I'm sure it's in there. At least I brought the tripod!)

Anyway, while the boys were EXHAUSTED (it was 10:30 when we got home and we started this day at 5:00 am Texas time), everyone had a blast. I'm so glad that I dragged everyone out for the show. Tom just smiles and shakes his head any time I mention fireworks or parades, but he always goes with me. It's in the wedding vows: promises to honor, cherish, attend parades (or so he says). So, here are a few pics, first of the boys then of the fireworks. I haven't looked through them all to see if I FINALLY caught my perfect picture, but maybe, just maybe I finally did...

Is this the one?

Or perhaps this one?