Thursday, July 31, 2008


Can you imagine the let down from this? Sheesh.

Wannabe Chippendales Rip-off Crowd in Culpeper
From - posted 3:35 pm Thu July 31, 2008 - CULPEPER, Va.

A crowd of people say they were scammed by dancers posing to be Chippendales in a Culpeper bar Pepper's Grill in Culpeper didn't have too many happy customers Friday night when men posing as Chippendales dancers performed for a crowd of 250 people. The crowd expected to see men donning the famous white cuffs and black bow ties during the performance, but instead was shown men dressed as "Top Gun" characters, firemen, and policemen. The local newspaper looked into it and found on the real Chippendales website the dancers were in Canada. More than a few women at the show said the men in the fake show didn't seem as professional as they expected. "My friend said it wasn't like shows she'd seen before." Chippendales' officials disregarded the show saying their tour didn't include a stop in Culpeper. They are trying to smooth it over with customers by giving them free calendars for anyone who sends them their tickets. Chippendales want the audience in Culpeper to send them photos and video of the event. If it helps them track down the fakes and shut down their shows, they'll give them free tickets for their shows in Boston or Las Vegas.

The Rules

In case you weren't aware, we have some rules at our house. No running, no smacking, and of course, no stepping on juice boxes. Who knew that we needed that rule, but we did. The kids made the list and for the most part have stuck to it. Well, except for the jumping on the couch part - they can't seem to get that one figured out, and it's enforced strictly in this house. Oh well, at least they are posted in case you ever stumble into our house and wonder if you can play Game Boy before school.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I BROKE the Corelle

Yes, I'll admit it - I broke the basically unbreakable Corelle bowl. And I quote "CORELLE® dinnerware is the original break and chip resistant glass dinnerware. Introduced in 1970, CORELLE is recognized worldwide for its legendary strength and durability." Yeah, I broke the bowl. And it didn't take much - I must have hit the sweet spot on the bowl. They all have them and I found it. My bowl is similar tot he one in the picture - but no pattern. I dropped my poor square white bowl and it just didn't make it. Truly a tragedy. Tom laughed, and the kids had no idea why I was taking a picture of the bowl I just broke. Silly children - they have no idea what I've done.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Two years later

Two years ago my mom died after a very short battle with cancer. She had all of about six weeks to say everything to everyone in her life that she wanted to talk to, and about six weeks to come to grips with the end of her life. As I look back I realize what a remarkable person she was. She knew that she had a terminal disease, and the last few times that I saw and spoke to her it was all about her making sure that I knew that she loved me and that she was proud of me. She left me with a wonderful memory of her last two months, and here I sit two years later proud of her and all that she accomplished in her life. So thanks mom for being such an inspirational example of how to live your life. I'm sad that you are gone, certainly, but glad that I had many years of my life to spend with you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I found it on the floor outside my bedroom one morning. It reads:
Mommy, I think Sam needs glasses. Me and Sam tested my glasses on him. We tested from the huch to to see the itme onthe black microwave. Love, Max

I'm a big dork sometimes

OK. So maybe this is more exciting for me than for you, but I'm posting a picture of the screen saver from my new desktop. I saw this screen saver several months ago and even after begging my husband to get it for me (I couldn't find it anywhere online) and having him tell me that it ONLY came with Vista, I never gave up hope. I knew that one day I would have my bubbles:

And here they are! If you haven't seen this particular screen saver before, the bubbles float around on top of whatever screen you have up there. If you have seen it before - NO LAUGHING AT ME. I'm definitely a big dork at times, and this is one of those times.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So I committed what might have been a social faux pas the other day. But honestly, I'm not sure what I could have said differently other than not responding. But fortunately I think the person to whom I was speaking just didn't give a rip what I said, so I'm covered.

So in the course of a conversation about swimming lessons for my kids, the man with whom I was speaking said that today his divorce was finalized. This came up because he was new to the area, was new to the club, and was actually in training to be the aquatics director at the location that will be opening soon in another city nearby. Great, I thought. All my friends who have been divorced are glad to be divorced - some even having mini-celebrations when it's finalized. So what do I say? Well, "Congratulations" was the thing that spilled out of my mouth. Now, for most this would have been met with a smile, or a cheer, or who knows what. But this particular man didn't want to get a divorce and proceeded to tell me that he didn't really want to leave his wife but she was done with him. OOPS. Not the thing to say in this particular situation, but what the heck was I suppose to say? He was a complete stranger and I just stuck my foot in my mouth. After a bit of small talk centered damage control, I left him with a smile, and went on my merry way. But this bring sup the questions - what on earth DO you say when someone tells you that their divorce is final now/today/yesterday/whatever?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A favorite image of mine

Whenever I miss the evening news I pop online at Yahoo to start reading all about the day's happenings. In the sidebar of some of the stories that I'm reading pops up a little box, often with a brilliant picture. Yahoo advertises The Week in Photos in this little box, and let me tell you, some of them are incredible. This weeks pictures are no less spectacular than last weeks, so take a peek when you get a minute - it is well worth your time. Here's one from Nov of 2006: Week in Photos and then here's one that has one of my favorite pictures: May 30, 2008 A radio station in Montreal collected 67,000 bras and strung them up in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Quebec. How cool is that...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My missing I's

Apparently the letter "I" on my kids computer doesn't always work. The reasont that mention this is that I have notced over the past two weeks that some of my posts have weird spelling and strange syntax in them. While spell-checked by Blogger, it doesn't catch those letters that are just mssing, and doesn't always catch those mssing I's in the middle or at the beginning of a word. I'm honestly not sure what the reason it - obviously they do show up occasonally, but not always. So, I'm leaving this post with you - mssing I's and all - unedited so you can feel my pain.

And this all stems from the hard drive crash. My beloved laptop bit the big one and we need to replace the hard drive to get it back up and running. Yet my replacement hard drive which was supposed to be here last MONDAY has yet to even ship. Nice work there big computer company. (Let's just say that ths new system that we ordered to help save our sanity in the future better be one hot HOT computer.) In the meantime I'm using the boys' computer and the monitor, and well, it's trying to show all the colors but it just can quite make it happen. The connector probably has a pin that's busted and so most mages show up on my screen as slightly purple and green. Makes my new, adorable nephew look like an alien. If I had the software to plug my camera in I'd show you a picture of it, but that too is MIA and is on the way from Canon.

So apologies for the missng I's. Soon this will all be fixed and I'll be back to happy letter land.

No honey, you don't have West Nile Virus.

Since Tom is out of town I get updates about him from his co-workers - well, at least this time I did. The kids and I attended a cookout at his boss' home, something his boss hosts every year at this time. The boys love it because they get to drive the boat, run around like crazy, and play with friends, and I loved it because it was a nice break from "quality time" with the kids and an opportunity to talk to adults. And talk they did.

You see, Tom got sick prior to the Fourth of July week, has had a few lingering symptoms, and jokingly (I think) told one of his NEW co-workers that he has West Nile Virus. She was at the same work site this past week that he was at and somehow didn't get that he was being sarcastic. Tom, it's probably not West Nile and you need to stop telling people that don't know you very well that that's what you have. They might just believe you.

Now apologies will certainly be coming if you DO actually have West Nile, but for now let's just not tell folks that and stop freaking everyone right the heck out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yes, I made my kid cry

Honestly, it's not what you are thinking. A few days back Tom and I saw an ad for Burger King. (Yes, this story begins with BK.) They were showing their newest Kids Meal and the toys that come with it. They were also introducing some new food options, ones which I figured that Max and Sam would go nuts for. Little did I know how right I was.

A few days later we were driving back from the first day of gymnastics camp and the boys asked to eat out for lunch. I told them that we could, but they needed to agree on a place. Sam wanted McD's (he pretty much always does), Max wanted to eat at home (that's generally his first choice) and Ian wanted Wendy's. This is where I pulled out the trump card - the meal deal that would beat all others. I told then that we should go to Burger King instead - and Ian pretty much instantly agreed (he's a big fan of their chicken fries). Max wrinkled up his face and so I told them that they now had Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and apples in their kids meals, and Max and Sam started cheering (well, yelling and screaming but they calmed pretty quickly). Then I told them that they should guess the toys that they have currently. They guessed Cars and Kung Fu Panda, and I mentioned that it was their favorite thing. Ian and Max yelled "POKEMON!" and Max burst into tears. I nearly drive off the road. Fortunately we came up to a stop light and I was able to turn and look him in the eyes. I asked him if he was OK and he said, through the tears in a weak little boy voice, "Yes." Ian piped up and said "Mommy, those are happy tears -Max is happy." I asked Max if he was OK again and if they were tears of joy and he kinda smiled a little smile at me. He took a few minutes after that to collect himself.

So you see, I made my kid cry. I didn't hit him or yell at him and wasn't mean to him in any way. I simply told him that they had two of his favorite things at Burger King and his little hormones kicked right into overdrive. Needless to say he demolished the Mac and Cheese, downed the apples, and enjoyed his Pokemon toy and card. Funny how early those hormones kick in. And he's only 7.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reading with Max

Our kids read. They read a lot. Every night Tom reads the boys stores, and has done so since they were born. Max actually got stores in-utero as well. Max is now going into Third grade and reads everything he can get his hands on - the morning paper, the Sunday ads, magazines lying around (he seems to avoid my scrapbooking magazines though), and books. At one conference in First Grade the teacher mentioned that Max reads so fast that he was missing a lot of the story, and his reading comprehension was quite low for the amount that he was reading. So, we told him to slow down, and we started asking him questions about what he was reading. He hasn't looked back since.
Several weeks ago Max asked if he could go see the Prince Caspian move in the theater. After a bit of research I said "Sure, after you read the book, and after you see the first movie." You see, he had already finished the first book, and had started on the second - Prince Caspian. But I realized that it has been a bajllon years since I read those books (he was reading my old copy) and I had no idea what the story lines were or who the heck Prince Caspian was in the first place. So, in a moment of pure insanity I said to Max "I'll read it behind you and we can talk about our books together." He was so excited.
The problem is - I have barely enough time to read the morning paper let alone several books. So, I threw the second book in my purse and went about my business. What I've discovered is that I wait around a lot. I wait at the doctor's office, I wait at the gym. I wait for the kids to finish up this activity or that, and I have tons of time to read. So now I am about halfway through Prince Caspian. As soon as I finish it Max and I will head off to the movies to watch the movie (after we rent the first one, of course). Who knew that plugging into his reading effort would be so rewarding to me. Watch out Harry Potter - I think you are next. But we're going to need to find some paperback versions as I don't think you'll fit in my purse quite as easily...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Put Your Viking Helmet On - It's Weasel Stomping Day

This post is NOT FOR KIDS. I wouldn't let my kids see this and I don't think you should either. You've been warned, so don't gripe at me if you get grossed out.

However, I need to share this with you, my favorite blog readers. This song has been stuck in my head, for no apparent reason, for DAYS now. I didn't see this episode recently (we love Robot Chicken - but it's kind of gross to be honest). Anyway, the song Weasel Stomping Day has been in my head, so I figured that I'd spread the love. So...terribly...sorry. But you have to love Weird Al - he's the man when it comes to songs like this (and kudos for Robot Chicken for grabbing this and running with it!):

If the video doesn't work for you - defnitely go check it out here on YouTube: Weasel Stomping Day

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Things Kids Say #7

I know we just had one of these a few posts back, but they are coming out with doozies these days. This was a conversation that took place in the van a few days back. If this is what they talk about in front of me, I can't even begin to imagine what they are saying when no grown-ups are present.

Ian: Sam's a gir-ral.
Sam: NO I'M NOT!!!
Ian: Yes you are - you are a gir-ral.
Me: No he's not. He has boy parts.


Me: You know that girl parts are different than boy parts, right?
Sam: They are? how?
Me: Well, girl parts are on the inside.


Sam: Boys are better than girls.
Me: Why's that Sam?
Sam: Because boys can do Zen Headbutt, but girls can only do Headbutt.


Monday, July 14, 2008


Yes, I have 1205 messages in my e-mail inbox. How on earth did that happen? At one point in my life I'd hover around 200 and feel bad that I was taking up so much space (back when there were limits) and would go through and purge. Those days are over. I'll go back two or three pages and purge periodically, which is why I don't have 1800 or 3500 messages, but 1205? That still seems excessive. Let's look at some of the messages that sit in my inbox:

The oldest message is from 9/28/02 from a friend with info about a company that takes kids' artwork and makes it into things like cups, coasters, cards, prints, etc. I'm sure that since then there have been a few companies that do this that have come and gone even. Probably don't need to keep that one.

The next message is from 11/30/04 (not the next actual message but the next one I'll share!). It is directions, from a fellow scrapbooking instructor, on how to make this cool glass ornament. That actually might come in handy, but no need to keep the e-mail for four years.

Then there's the message from Dell about the free training courses from when I purchased my laptop - dated 6/2/05. Grrr...not growling at the courses - just the laptop.

There are also FIVE messages from Max's first soccer coach here in VA - the slightly crazy but well intentioned coach - five messages about various soccer things that he sent in ONE DAY. All the messages are dated 4/20/06.

A reminder about the Monster Jam Pt Pass Party shows up on 5/30/06, which of course was a shouldn't miss event. We missed the Pit Party - we barely made it to the Jam itself if I recall correctly.

There are assorted IRW (my scrapbooking business) e-mails mixed in, as well as jokes from friends, travel reservations, DC area info from fellow MOMS Club members right after we first arrived, and well wishes and info from family and friends when my Mom passed away. Some of that I'm not going to be able to erase, but most just needs to go.

And we still aren't even into 2007 yet. But you see what happens here. I read them, expect to take action on them, and then they fall off the front page. I think I just need to sit down one day and just dig in from the beginning and delete, save, or print every message. That said, as I st here typing FIVE new messages have arrived. No wonder can't seem to keep up.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Painting the House!

No, we aren't painting the house we live in (although we have a gallon of paint ready to go in the kitchen). The boys made some bird houses at the Home Depot Kids Workshop last week, and they wanted to finish up their houses as well as some other wood projects by painting them. They did a smashing job, so I thought I'd share!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TV show that's just for me!

Check out this TV show: Black Gold

I dunno. There's just something about the idea of a wildcatter that floats my boat, if you know what I mean. I'm not into the dirt or grime, and certainly not into the danger, but it ranks right up there on my list with watching the cowboys walk around at the rodeo. I guess it's all part of my southern upbringing. That said, I'm not EVER going to watch this show as I have this perfect idea in my head of what it's like, and I think that the reality of it would just ruin everything...

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Day The Laptop Died

First I will start this off by saying that I did not freak out. At all. Ask Tom and he'll tell you that I was as cool as a cucumber. As I slowly realize what I actually did lose, there's more of a sadness that the stuff is gone, but still no freaking out.

So this laptop (well, that laptop - I'm using the boys' computer now - the I doesn't always work and the monitor has given up showing all the colors at the same time) is four years and about two months old. It's a Dell, and aside from a space issue (not their fault) a screen problem, and a keyboard problem (both covered under Dell's super fantastic warranty and fixed basically the next day) , this computer has done well by me. We even named her Aphrodite for networking purposes. Anyway, good computer. Recently we replaced the fan and I mentioned in an offhand kind of way that I was glad that it wasn't the hard drive that broke, so I guess that in my mind I knew what was about to happen. Regardless, right after the fan failed I started transferring MOST of what I have data wise onto a second, external drive. This meant that when the drive failed two days ago I stood there, making Cherry Jello, and didn't really blink when Tom came and told me that it really was dead this time. The part that is really terrible? Remember the age of the computer - 4 years 2 months? Well, we had a FOUR YEAR WARRANTY that insured against everything from a screen failure to a hard drive crash to a peanut butter sandwich being shoved in the CD - Rom (Yes, Tom asked). Our super warranty expired all of about 6 weeks ago, and I believe the computer knows this. Anyway, any problems from here on out are on our tab - no friendly Dell tech help or replacement parts for free. No service men showing up here to make the repairs, and certainly no overnight parts.

Then I started thinking about what I did lose - a few things, but most replaceable. I lost all of my music. Bummer, but a bunch is on my MP3 player, so that's not a big deal. All of my MOMS Club stuff is gone too. That's not a bummer for me as I've stepped down from Activities Coordinator, but the next person will have to reinvent the entire wheel for each activity - all the canned descriptions just disappeared. All of my Flip Videos are gone. This really does kinda bum me out. With the exception of about five that I've shared here and have saved on You Tube, all the rest are gone. Soccer games, the little boys singing songs in school - it's all gone. But, I have pics of all those events, so we're OK there. The biggest hit was that all of my scrapbooking business stuff went bye-bye when the drive crashed. All of my records, customer info, sales receipts, tax info, inventory, downline stuff, everything, is now gone. Talk about a setback. This one will take a bit to recover from. Fortunately, I'll bounce back and can easily redo some stuff and recreate other things.

So in the end, I have my pictures, and we are on the hunt for a better way to back all this up. I need LOTS of storage space but I'm being cheap about this. I shouldn't have to pay the price of a brand spanking new computer to simply back up what currently have. But in the end you know that I'll pay whatever price now that I have had a close call.

Oh, and if you were in my address book and you are reading this, well, you need to e-mail me all your info. I lost my entire address book too...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Things Kids Say #6

Periodically Ian pops up with questions that simply blow my mind. He listens and absorbs so much more than even I realize sometimes. Ever since my mom died and we told the kids all about the general process of death and what happens to you after (they were all asking), he's been full of all sorts of questions about it - trying to nail down exactly what goes on. Here are a few excerpts from our last conversation:

"When you get dead, how do you not get burned?" This was his opening question, and let me tell you, it caught me completely off guard.

"I mean, when you die, before they put you in a statue, how do you not get burned?" After asking him a few things I realized that he thought that when you were cremated that you were still alive. He's too young at this point to understand the concreteness of death, so I did my best to reassure him that he'd be dead before they cremated him (if that's what he chose). Can't believe I'm having this conversation with a five year old.

Now, he doesn't seem scared of the answers to his questions, but he does say occassionally that he wants to live forever. "Mommy, I wish we could have as many lives as we want." We always reassure him that he will live for along time, but I always tell him how important it is to live each day to the fullest and enjoy life. And honestly, I think he does.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Update on Tom

I know that you clicked in on this wondering how my wonderful hubby is doing, but instead you are confronted with a picture of his backside - not his butt - but his entire back half. Shocking, I know. Yes, Tom is under our couch looking for a teeny tiny part to the game controller that he was in the midst of trying to fix. The part decided that it wanted to be free and made a run for it. Fortunately Tom was able to find said part, but in the meantime I figure that I'd harass him a bit. So, HI HONEY! Nice picture!

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Splash Park

Recently we headed out with some friends to the local splash park, and it ended up being smaller than what I was expecting, but for the kids it was way more fun than they were expecting! There were planets, water, and loads of friends - what more could a kid want???!!!!

You are never too old to go back in the pool

If you ever thought that having kids or getting older was a reason to stop, read this:

By Christine Brennan, USA TODAY
OMAHA — The last time Dara Torres unretired and went to the Olympics, she was sitting on a folding chair in the press tent at the 2000 Sydney Games. Her last race had just ended. Her astonishing five medals had been won. She was waiting to be interviewed by reporters, then she had a date with the drug testers.
It was then, sitting alone during a rare quiet moment during those Games, that Torres, the star of the show at age 33, began fighting back tears.
"I can't believe it's already over," she said. "It was so much fun, but now it's done. It goes so quickly."
There may be no one in the history of swimming who loves the venue of the Olympics as much as Dara Torres does. Eight years ago, while other swimmers celebrated when their races were done, Torres lamented the passing of time. While the rest were thrilled to never have to swim another lap, Torres was crestfallen that her Olympic experience was over.
It would take nearly eight years for Torres to find this out, but she was going to be given one more chance to swim at the Olympic Games. She would unretire once more after having a daughter, and she would train, and she would swim faster than she ever had before, and she would make another U.S. Olympic team — not once, but twice, with two relays potentially thrown in for good measure.
What a magical Fourth of July weekend this was for Torres. On Independence Day, the 41-year-old mother with a 2-year-old daughter, hoping to finish somewhere in the top six in the 100 freestyle to qualify for the 4x100-meter free relay, won the event in a time of 53.78 seconds, upsetting U.S. recordholder Natalie Coughlin.
Then, Sunday, she swam faster than any U.S. woman has ever swum in winning the 50 freestyle in 24.25 seconds. In second place was Jessica Hardy. She is a stunning 20 years younger than Torres.
"I think I've shown that you don't want to put an age limit on your dreams," an ecstatic Torres said minutes after pulling herself out of the pool.
Torres is the story of the hour in the U.S. Olympic world — and perhaps about to become the story of the summer, and not just in sports. Along press row, someone called her "Hillary in the pool," and that might not be far off. She certainly is doing things that once would have been unthinkable for a female athlete.
"You see people who are late bloomers, but she's just a continual bloomer," said Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a teammate of Torres at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. "What I love about her accomplishment is it really stretches your idea of what people are capable of doing. When I think of Dara's career, I think of someone who is adapting with the state of knowledge (in swimming training). It's a new thinking about athletes and what they are capable of."
Of course, because this is the Steroid Era in sports, and because some Olympic sports deserve a lifetime achievement award in this area, including hers, Torres is dealing with her share of broad-brush questions about how she is accomplishing such remarkable feats.
But unlike Marion Jones and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and all the other scoundrels of our time, Torres is undergoing not only urinalysis, but also blood testing in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency pilot program for which she volunteered. Torres said she has had both her urine and blood tested 12 to 15 times since March. That's a lot of drug testing, more than Bonds and Clemens likely had in their entire careers combined.
But the cacophony will continue to build — that she must be on something to swim faster at 41 than she did at 21. So I contacted U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive officer Travis Tygart to ask him how much faith we can put in the pilot testing program that Torres and 11 other U.S. Olympians are undergoing.
"Any athlete's involvement in the pilot program proves they are committed to whatever it takes to compete clean," said Tygart, who is the nation's toughest sports doping cop. "You'd have to be a fool to be dirty and be in this program."
That won't end the conversation about Torres and drugs, but she asked to be in this program, and that's very important to keep in mind.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th from Us!

Well, it rained, and then was humid, then it rained some more, and then it was 10pm, and THEN the fireworks FINALLY started! And the best part - my kids didn't complain about it ONCE! And this was after having been dragged to a parade in the AM, having been forced to take a nap in the afternoon, and staying up two hours past their bedtimes. They were compete troopers, but I'm sure that the glow sticks and Ring Pops helped! Happy Fourth of July from us - slightly drippy but happy that the show went on!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Space Chimps

I saw an ad for the next movie that we're probably going to see (well, after Kung Fu Panda, of course!):
So you see the draw - Chimps AND Space? Can't beat that combination! Hopefully it's as good as the last one we saw!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Worldly Travels

Ian just came in and asked me to take them to Nevada to get aquamaries. Then Max yelled from the other room that he wanted to go to Columbia to get diamonds. Gotta love the gemstone book.

PS - Told them YES to Nevada, just not today, and probably NO to Columbia.

What Color are you?

you are aqua

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

And now it just all seems to make sense...NOT! ;)