Friday, September 26, 2008

Out of the mouths of third graders...

As I just mentioned in my previous post, Gabe is growing up. In fact, he now demands to be called "Gabriel". I guess I should comply...it IS, after all, his name. And a name that I gave him, no less. I'm just not used to the grown up Gabe...riel. There have been lots of fun parts. He's a good kid. Responsible, respectful, helpful...well, mostly. But there is one part of growing up that is hard to deal with. And by hard to deal with, I mean hard to deal with without laughing. He does like to test the waters on what he can get away with now and then.

Last week, we were just home from school and in the kitchen. The boys were having a snack, and I was washing out lunch boxes. There was a sudden howling and growling from the porch. This isn't unusual. We do, after all, have ten cats living in or around our house. But the weather has been nice and the windows were open so it was very noticeable. Boris and Horace have never exactly learned to live in harmony. As long as there are three food bowls on the porch, they normally do pretty well, but as soon as a bowl goes empty, they can no longer tolerate one another. Gabe jumped up from his snack and ran outside to check the food status. He came back in, slung himself down in his chair and said, "I figured out what the problem was, Mama!" I didn't look up from the dishes. "What was going on?", I asked innocently. "Oh, the usual," he replied. "Horace was just PISSING BORIS OFF AGAIN!"

A shocked silence followed. Then I asked him to repeat himself. He did, with a little grin. I explained that the word he had used was not appropriate for an eight year old. He then went through a list of all the people, parents included, who he has heard use that word. I reiterated that just because adults use a word doesn't make it ok for children to use it. I finished washing lunch boxes and went to my room to laugh hysterically with my face buried in a pillow. What next???

Third Grade Bible Presentation

First off, I just have to start by saying...HOW ON EARTH DO I HAVE A THIRD GRADER??? Wasn't he three last week? Shouldn't he still be in preschool? But no, instead he insisted on growing up and being old enough to be a part of our church's third grade bible presentation. I didn't get many pictures, but they called us all up front and gave the kids their own bible, complete with a card to get their name engraved on it for free at a local store. Then, after the service was over, there was a reception with cake. Here is Gabe, getting the church's sticker put in his bible.

Now, for the really great part! Cake with his buddies. Josh and Logan are both friends from Scouts and fellow third graders. Don't worry, Timothy didn't miss out on the cake! He was on the other side of the table, chowing down with Josh's younger brothers!

Last Fifth Night Concert of the Summer

With summer officially drawing to a close this past Monday, I guess it's high time I finished posting pictures from the summer months. As I mentioned in previous blogs, most Thursday nights of the summer were spent at Utica Square, at the Fifth Night Concerts. We met with a group of friends and everyone brought food to share. Gabe had a couple of school friends who came with their families, so he was pretty well entertained. Timothy is mostly entertained by food. The picture below is an example of the face he makes when he demands to have his picture taken. Someday, I think he will probably regret the large number of pictures of him making this face.

Yes, it has happened again. An actual picture of me on my own blog. That is all I have to say about that.

Since it was the last concert, Nichole splurged on cake balls from Mallory's Mud Pies. Andrea has mentioned these little bits of cakey goodness on her blog, and they are every bit as good as she says they are. Chris is trying to perfect the recipe so he can make them at home, but so far, he's succeeded only in making a gooey mess. If he does succeed, we'll all gain 50 pounds. They are pretty irresistible!

Here is Gabe, with his buddy, Caroline. She is also known as Care-a-lot, because apparently, Timothy has her confused with something from the CareBears DVD. Luckily, she thinks Timothy is cute, so she answers to both.

Have I mentioned that my children are weird?

Friday, September 12, 2008

POPCORN TIME!!

It's upon us again! Gabe and Chris are very involved in Cub Scouts through our church, and our annual fund raiser started on Monday. So, I feel a little bad about the plug, but not that bad because it is, after all, MY blog! So, if you're interested in popcorn...here's what we have!

5-way Chocolate Lover's Tin $50
Chocolate, Caramel and Cheese Tin $40
3-way Cheese Tin $30
Trail Mix Tin $20
Microwave Kettle Corn (15-pack) $20
Gourmet Caramel Corn Tin with Almonds, Pecans and Cashews $17
Chocolatey Caramel Crunch Tin $17
Caramel Corn Light Tin $17
Unbelievable Butter Microwave Popcorn (15-pack) $15
Butter Light Microwave Popcorn (15-pack) $15
Caramel Corn Tin with Peanuts $10

We are aiming to sell $2,000 this year, so that we can get Gabe a scholarship fund set up. Once the fund is set, a percentage of each year's sales will go in the fund, and it will accrue interest. Families in our pack have told us their older sons have ended up with a few thousand dollars for college. Gabe mainly wants to make his goal so he can win a Nintendo DS. So, if you're interested, you can leave a comment or e-mail me. Shipping can be arranged if you're out of town, and payment is due when the popcorn arrive, which I think is some time in late October or early November. Thanks for putting up with my shameless plug!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My children are weird, Version 5.0

Ok, I'm not entirely sure why it would be "Version 5.0", but I do feel the need to share some of our more...interesting...stories from the last few weeks.

Timothy has clearly been watching far too much television. He seems to be addicted. He has a little one in his room that has a built-in VCR, so that Chris and I can occasionally watch grown up shows in the living room. However, he was watching it way too much, so Chris put the tv on a timer so it will only work at certain times of the day. The other evening, I was in my room getting ready for work when I heard him talking to himself in his room. "Oh, NOOOOOOO!" he exclaimed. "My tv won't work! Needs a 'verter box! Have to go to the 'verter box store and buy a 'verter box so my tv will work!" Apparently, PBS has really gotten through to him!

Gabe is discovering the joys of being a big brother. I mean, he already knew some of them, but it's really hitting home now that Timothy is getting older. Several nights ago, both boys were playing outside while Chris and I fixed dinner. Gabe came in, giggling, without Timothy. This is unusual because where Gabe goes, Timothy usually follows. "Gabe," I asked, "where is your brother?" Gabe feigned innocence. "Seriously, Gabe," I warned, "You'd better tell me where your brother is!" Gabe giggled again. "He's in the backyard," he answered. Not seeing Timothy out the window, I put on my you're-about-to-be-in-big-trouble-mister voice and asked again. Gabe finally lost it and began laughing hysterically. "I locked him in a box!" he gasped. Sure enough, a big plastic storage box next to the swing set was moving a lot, and there was a leg sticking out one side. Not to worry, Timothy was fine! He was mostly worried he was going to miss dinner.

We have also developed rather a preoccupation with our private parts around here. And before you get any naughty ideas, by "we" I mean Timothy. Mom and Dad kept the boys overnight last weekend so Chris and I could go out. Since Timothy has been potty trained, he has much easier access to...his parts. Mom told him, "Timothy, you need to stop touching your weewee." He looked at her calmly and said, "I'm not touching my weewee, I'm touching my balls!" I have no explanation or comment on this, except to say that his father and I did NOT teach him that word. And if Gabe knows anything about it, he's not talking.

Lastly, on a similar note, we were at the drug store, picking up our pictures today. The boys were getting a bit antsy in line, and I was tired of telling them to stop touching things so I told them to put their hands in their pockets. Clearly, this was a mistake. Gabe complied, but Timothy wailed, "But I don't HAVE pockets in these shorts!" Gabe was quick to the rescue. "Well," he reasoned, "just stick 'em in your pants, then!" Our cashier nearly fell over laughing. I told Gabe, "See, now she's going to go home tonight and tell all her friends that some kid told his brother to stick his hands down his pants!" Gabe thought about it for a moment and came back with, "Yeah, but at least she doesn't know our last name!" It's hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fabulous yarn!!!

Those of you with amazing memories may recall that long, long ago, I posted a link to the Knit Witch's blog when she held her blog contest. Well, guess what? I WON! I've been meaning to post these pictures for weeks and weeks now, it just took a while to make it happen. Anyway, I won the grand prize, which was five skeins of the most lovely alpaca yarn! She included a bonus, too! She sent me deliciously yummy jelly that she made in her own cauldron! I really need to take pictures of the kids eating it. But if I do that, I would have to clean them up. Or I could just let the dog in...

She also sent me some gorgeous stitch markers. I love them!

The cats were really interested in the entire package. I'm not sure if it smelled like alpaca, or just other cats. Elinor was the first to come explore.

Unfortunately, Moses was a little too interested. I was able to snap this picture quickly, before I chased him away from my precious yarn and threatened him with death if he nommed it ever again. I also put it away, as I don't trust his self control. It's safely stored in a plastic bin, as I search for just the right sweater pattern. I'll keep you posted on my progress. This will be my first grown up sweater, and I'm a little frightened! And if there are any yarn addicts reading this, you really need to check out the Knit Witch's blog and her website! She dyes gorgeous yarn. You need some. Go! NOW! What are you waiting for???

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation...

So many of my favorite images from the last month cannot be categorized in any logical fashion. I decided that I needed a truly random blog post to put them all together. Try to think of it as that dumb essay that every teacher assigned the first week of school.

First, it should be understood that a lot of my time is spent rescuing my children and pets from carnivorous furniture. In this case, Moses was being devoured by the sofa. He was horribly ungrateful when I rescued him. Perhaps he was offended that I risked his life by taking pictures first. Yes, his head is actually falling into a large hole in the couch.


Here is Timothy, in much the same predicament. For two solid days, I got called every five minutes or so to get him out of the bins. I finally refused to rescue him again, and after ten hours or so, he managed to free himself.

I also enjoyed working on my swap package. It was a pirate themed swap. I made this for my lovely swap partner. There isn't much more I can say about this.

Then one day I came home from the grocery store and found this. Chris had lots of points at work, and the points system has all sorts of goodies available for the busy bees at his company. Chris decided we need a kayak. It's actually really cool, I was just a little shocked to come home and find it in my living room.

Somehow, this is the only picture of Gabe I could find for this post. I'm fairly sure Gabe did live here this summer, so this is perplexing.

Timothy took a summer job as a Chippendale dancer. The hours were awful, but the tips were great. Ladies can't resist a man in pull-ups.

His portfolio was really impressive. I like this shot. Pensive, yet rugged.

Miney spent a lot of time watching Star Wars. Can you guess his favorite character?

So that sums up the last month. It probably also leaves you with lots of serious questions about my grip on reality. Luckily, people have been questioning it for so long, I no longer notice.

Erqsome and KTB tagged me...

Several eons ago. And I'm just now responding. So, here we go.

6 quirky things meme

The rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged me
2) Mention the rules
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself
4) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged

First Quirky Thing:
I was totally inspired by the story of Erqsome's whistling nostril, so I have to tell my own story about a nose whistle. Sorry, Dre, you can kill me later. When I was a teenager, my younger brother and I noticed that our dear sister's nose whistled. We would sit with her between us during church, and I don't know if it was because we noticed it more and more as time progressed, or if it really got louder, or if we were just really bored, but by the time we'd been sitting there half an hour it seemed deafening. And nobody noticed it but the two of us, so we'd get into trouble for leaning over her to discuss it. Why this is still funny to me, I can't tell you, but it is.

Second Quirky Thing:
I hate making phone calls unless I know the person I'm calling really, really well. Thus, I refuse to order pizza. My husband thinks this is hopelessly weird.

Third Quirky Thing:
I have a freckle underneath my left eye, on that little weird ledge between the eye lashes and the eyeball.

Fourth Quirky Thing:
I once went into McDonalds and ordered a hamburger with no meat. I was five at the time, and my parents have never let me forget it.

Fifth Quirky Thing:
Having my picture taken professionally by anyone other than my sister makes me so nervous that I literally nearly make myself sick. I discovered this a few days ago when I had to go get head shots taken for my studio's website.

Sixth Quirky Thing:
Beer tastes slippery to me. I cannot explain what I mean by "slippery", but it bothers me so much that I can't drink the stuff.

There, now you all know how neurotic I am! Well, most of you knew it before. Now I have to tag people. I don't remember who I tagged last time, so I will try not to tag the same people again!

1. Dre
2. TheKnitWitch
3. Jesh
4. April
5. Brooke
6. Halcyon (should she ever rejoin the online world!)


Finished projects

I did get a few things accomplished while I was sick. Not many, but a few. Here are some pictures of the baby gifts I completed this past month. First, Baby Evelyn's layette.

Crocheted hat, sweater and booties, size 3-6 months, which will hopefully fit her when it cools off!

And here's Anne Marie's baby shower gift, a pumpkin hat. Her son, Evan, could be arriving any day now. This was my first project to knit "in the round". It was a learning experience. Since then, a new friend has taught me how to magic loop (Thanks, Kat!), so next time it will go a lot more smoothly!

How does my garden grow?

In the last blog before my long absence, I promised pictures of what was left of my garden. Well, here they are! The basil was (and IS!) still going strong. The purple basil we tried this year was a huge success, but as always, the lemon basil (planted from last year's leftover seeds) was my favorite!

I'm a little perplexed that out of all the zinnia seeds I planted, I ended up with only pink ones. Once again this year, we have resident praying mantises that like to hang out on the zinnias. I think they might be the sons and daughters of the HUGE one we had last summer. They are all fairly small, and none of the pictures I've taken have been clear enough to show anything but a bunch of leaves and a green blur.

The marigolds are gorgeous right now. I might be the only person in the world that loves the way they smell! They seem to be the only thing that didn't get attacked by little green worms this year.

Last, my garden's crowing achievement! The first ripe cherry tomatoes! Since this, I've picked about a dozen in the last week. There are lots more on the vines, if the sun stays out long enough to ripen them! I also have three more tomato plants that have lots of tiny green cherry tomatoes on them, but whether they'll have time to ripen before the weather turns remains to be seen. The geese all started flying in formation awfully early this year. I hope that doesn't mean we're going to have another hard winter!

May as well dive right in...

Yes, it's me! After taking the entire month of August off, I am back! I would like to pretend that this is something I did on purpose. Many European countries take August as a holiday, from what I understand. However, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. It is partly laziness and partly technical difficulties. Let me 'splain! No, too much. Let me sum up.

First I was sick, then the computer was sick, then school started and the kids and I all got sick. That's about the sum of it. I am still snorting and coughing, but I have run out of excuses, so I will start the long process of catching up. Whether or not I still have readers remains to be seen!


video

Timothy more or less learned to swim this summer. Sure, he forgets to come up for air now and then, but we're always there to help when he needs it. He couldn't have less fear of water if he had gills. He would have gladly spent the entire summer in the pool all day, had that option been offered! This video took forever to upload, and it won't play beyond the first 14 seconds for me, so you'll have to let me know if it plays for you. Also, I apologize in advance for the the swimsuit shots. If I could, I would edit out myself (and probably Dre, as well, since she'll probably murder me for posting this!)


video

I think this is video of Gabe diving. I can't watch it so I can't be sure. He is very comfortable in the water these days, and diving was a new skill for him this summer. The disclaimer on all Gabe footage is that I really do feed the child. He is the skinniest kid I've ever seen, although my mom assures me that he looks just like I did at his age. But in case anyone wondered, I do feed him daily, and he even gets ice cream and cookies, but he still never gains any weight. He's getting so tall, and yet he only weighs about ten pound more than he did when he was 4!