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.

What Floats Tom's Boat

So do you want to see what floats Tom's boat these days? (Don't worry - this is still a PG rated blog and will continue to be so unless you are warned...)

He was looking for something else online and stumbled across this NEW Lego Star Wars game. You see, we have the first one that Lego came out with - and it really is cute. All those little Lego people and creatures running around with Light Sabers! When you kill them the bricks just come apart - no blood or guts (my kind of game!). Tom saw this one and started giggling in anticipation - yes, giggling (and I know he'll read this and that's exactly what you did!). You could almost see him doing a happy dance right here in his chair.

Max is basically addicted to the first one (bad mom, but hey, it has a cute little Anakin and even a cute little Darth maul - he really is cute as a Lego dude!), and now there's a second one. The second one covers the original three movies, while the one we have covers the more recent movies (of which Max has seen two - but not the last one [Ep III] as it was WAAAAAY to dark and violent for his little mind).

Anyway, we're ordering it straight away and we're going to put it to good use I'm sure...

Monday, September 04, 2006


Florida State just beat Miami!!!!

Oh, crikey.

Man, what a weird thing to hear. Steve Irwin, famous for his crocodile exploits, was killed by a stingray of all things today. He was filming a segment called Ocean's Desliest off the Great Barrier Reef when the ray shot it's barb right into his heart. Normally stings from these animals aren't fatal, but it punctured his heart and there wasn't anything they could do to save him.

This is a man who wrangles snakes, alligators, and some pretty creepy looking spiders, and here he was taken down by a stingray. It's just a terribly odd thing, and I never expected some creature as delicate and as plain (for lack of abetter term) to get him. Guess I figured it woud be a crocodile or deadly snake, or mayeb even one of those spiders. Regardless, we'll certainly miss seeing all of his exploits. We are Crocodile Hunter fans here and I'm sure that a good chunk of the rest of the world is mourning his loss.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's SOOOO Hot Here

Well, not really. It's currently 60 degrees outside and it's the 2nd day in September. I never thought that I'd see this in my life. What I am used to (and this holds true for today in Texas) is that it is the hottest time of the year - hovering around 100 degrees. But, we had a storm (and we moved to VA), so it's oh, FOURTY DEGREES COOLER than that. It's so very strange to be sitting here knowing that it will be in the 50's tonight, and that it might, might get up to 80 tomorrow. I actuallywore jeans and asweatshort andit's only September 2!!!! It was in the 60's yesterday and today, which is well below the average, but it is so nice not to have the 100 degree temps roight now. Maybe I'm not such a cold ninny...but only the coming of the winter will tell. I still won't give up my flip flops for a parka...

...then again I saw some really cute coats the other day...

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Why do some people task me so? I was happily driving to Starbucks (yeah, it was the Barnes and Noble that drew me initially but I just couldn't pass up the Starbucks while I was there), when this foul woman changed my mood for a brief moment. I had gotten my nails filled, picked up some stuff at Home Depot, and was driving around the corner to the Starbucks when this woman snaked my parking spot. I was driving up the aisle to a spot - not a close spot but a spot - when she zipped around the corner and honked at me and drove right into the spot. It's not like there weren't other spots around, but that's the one I was in the process of pulling into. My mistake was pausing when I saw a car careening around the corner - so as not to g et hit. After parking she jumped out and RAN into the B & N. Guess she needed that coffee more than I did (or she saw my stunned face and was afraid), but it put me in a foul mood for a brief moment none the less. But, books and magazines always cheer me up, as does coffee. It's that Pumpkin Latte that filled my belly and the scrapbook mags that put the sparkle back in my eye!

There's just no need to steal spots, regardless of how thirsty one is. Didn't we all learn to share when we were little? Guess some people missed that day of life.