Sunday, December 11, 2011

This is My Father's World

Great job kids! They both practiced this song for several weeks alone, and twice with the pianist from church. It's a hard song to play because all three of them are playing different pieces, and they had to really learn it themselves. We're so proud of them and their special gifts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reindeer pops...omg these are ADORABLE

My sister shared these with me on Facebook and I wanted to share them with you.  I think these look soooo much easier than making the cale based pops because, well, there is no cake to bake or frosting to mix in.   is the source of these bad boys, with step by step instructions with photos (love with photos).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some good news

Mr. Smartypants just received his tenth patent. I don't know what it was exactly (OK yes I do, it's a Method for indicating a band plan for trunked radio systems but what it MEANS??). I do know that with your tenth patent comes a nice, fat bonus check $$,$$$ and me muttering "invent MORE THINGS" under my breath. Momma needs a new kitchen....

The guys on either side are affectionately known as "the big bosses."

And we got a nice photo of the two of us taken together. We look old. And I am being throttled by a pashmina.

I was cold, COLD!!

Please continue to pray

for Catherine's back problems. She has many days lately where she seems pain free, and then out of no where, when we start to let ourselves believe it might all be going away, the pain returns. Not excruciating pain, but uncomfortable enough for her to not want to do much more than sit on the couch and read. The pain comes for no reason at all, not under strain or stress. We have an appointment with a neurologist from Children's Memorial in December to hopefully shed light on this. We know what it ISN'T (cancer, broken bones, slipped disks, arthritis, Lupus, Lyme, West Nile, mono etc) but not what it IS.  Could it still be related to her scoliosis? Not sure except two orthopedist agree it ISN'T likely. Sigh.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Love, love, love this stuff

We've known each other a long time, right? We can confide in each other, no? Well then I'm here to sit beside you and confess I have the oiliest skin known to mankind. It's awful. And that little lie I told myself all these years that goes something like "I'm sure it won't be so oily when I get older," yeah, well that one is a big fat FIB. My skin may be wrinkle free (ahem) at 43, but I am still on the speed dial over at Exxon.

I hate oily skin. I hate it in the summer. I hate it in the winter. I hate it. Can you tell? Powders, blotting paper, none of that did anything for me at all. So little did I realize that there is something that makes the oily go away. As in for EIGHT HOURS A DAY.
And no, no one is paying me to tell you this. Seriously. Where do you think you are? The pioneer woman blog?  I thank my old college friend and fellow oily skin compatriot Jennifer J for hooking me up with Murad Oil Control Mattifier.

Hello, my love.
For $39 a tube (I ordered online), I've been using this for the past couple of months. And it works. My hand to God it works. It isn't a benzole peroxide type thing to dry out blemishes. It simply keeps your face from becoming an oil slick all day long. It has SPF15, too, which is fine by my book. I don't want to know what's in it. I might be scared to find out, but as long as it keeps my skin looking nice and shine free all day, I'm happy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Money well spent

I just ordered my 12 year old a set of pastels that cost a whopping $70. After seeing the latest work from art class I'm thinking money well spent. Now if only her back would stop hurting while she did her drawing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

$1500 worth of bloodwork later...

And my daughter is as healthy as a horse-- a horse with chronic back and leg pain. How bad is it when you wish your kid was sick with something they can treat instead of something they can't. Now we're off to a neurologist at Children's to play the which specialist is next game.

Thank god we've met our insurance deductible for the year.....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mr. Happy

If you finally got it to speed after a week you'd be thrilled, too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Because a girl can dream

Someday one day. Meanwhile my dated white appliances will have to make do.

On another note, we still have no resolution to Catherine's back pain, though thankfully it seems to come and go.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good enough to eat

Apparently you can use frosting dye to dye hair. Freaky hair day here we come! And you smell like cookies, too!

The creeper

Thanks to the prior owners of our home who painted a mural of Tuscany in the basement. They left tons of barely used quarts of green paint. This guy is The Creeper from the video game Minecraft. I don't know what a creeper is except he's boxy, green and not a robot. There you go.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back aches and doctors and MRIs oh my!

We're off to the doctors again this afternoon, to see a specialist from Childrens Memorial regarding Catherine's back ache. I haven't been blogging in a while because of this. When stressed, I somehow find other things to do it seems, like pace and worry.

Catherine has moderate scoliosis (25 degree lumbar/thoracic curves) and increasing back pain. Her ortho told me that back ache isn't common with scoliosis at all, unless it's pretty severe, which her's thankfully is not. But her pain in the morning and night, as well as leg pain, concerned him enough that he sent her for 6 weeks of physical therapy (ostensibly to strengthen the back--didn't work--made it worse) and then for an MRI last week.

The MRI itself was nothing short of scary to me as Catherine has a pelvis full of 18 platinum coils from a surgery 6 years ago. Although all the doctors confirmed it was perfectly safe to do an MRI with platinum coils, half way through the procedure she started complaining of stomach pain. The tech adjusted something on the MRI and that made it better, but I was sufficiently freaked out from it. Nothing seemed to come from it afterwards and she was fine.

The MRI came back showing, well, nothing abnormal at all. That's great, except she's still in pain every morning, and her legs hurt sometimes so much she doesn't really want to get out of bed. Once she's up and about, things sort of fade away, unless she's playing the cello, or sitting in a chair without a back, and then it flares up again. Regardless, he tells me she should not have back pain at her age. So we're off to see a super duper Ortho doc for a second opinion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hooooos making an owl mask?

We've got flying feathers and we're all sneezing but Catherine is in her art-element with her home made owl mask. A banged eagle or horned owl to be exact. Wait till you see the feather boa for wings down her arms. Thank you Hobby Lobby 40% off coupons and half priced bagged feathers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Last words of my soon to be ex husband

I have a chicken taco soup recipe that calls for one can of beer. I don't really drink beer so I went to the grocery store with dh to get some. Oh how FUNNY dh found it is to ask loudly if I was going to finish that tall boy in the parking lot. Oh we had a jolly laugh about that at the check out, too. Grrr

Monday, September 26, 2011


The BuzzBook cover is a BIG deal in this house. Every year DD enters but this is the first time she won. And a doozy of an entry it was. She drew the wolf in pastels, then scanned it into the computer and added the text digitally. It was a lot of effort but it paid off with $50 in cash and the honor of being sent home with several hundred middle school children on the cover of their phone directory. Great job Catherine!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh yes you are

That's my boy out there pitching his very first baseball. His Fall Ball team started this weekend, and with it came the opportunity to throw a baseball as fast as you can and as hard as you can and not wallop another kid in the head.

This is our first year of Fall Ball, so we didn't really know what to expect. Last season was pretty stressful and the team played to win, and win we did. That translated into William never on first base, never the catcher, and sweet Jesus no way ever the pitcher. I think every pitcher on the team last season had a personal coach, a perfect game, and a shoulder wrapped in ice after each game. Maybe a steroid shot. It was THAT kind of serious season.

It caught me by surprise then when the Fall Ball coach mentioned to his assistant half way through the game that he'd run out of pitchers with experience and who could he put in. Who could he put in? Was this the moment? Suddenly I went into full-on mommy mode. I sided over to the dugout and told William to tell the coach you want to learn how to pitch. And since William pretty much does what mommy says, my little automaton, I mean son, did just that.

Good boy.

Another inning goes by and I see a dad call William over and start to teach him how to throw the ball. This dad is the dad of a great pitcher. He knew what to tell him to do and how to stand etc. Wonderful! Maybe he'll get to play some time.

Sometime turned into the next inning.

William: I...I don't think I'm quite ready to pitch yet.

Dad helper: Oh yes you are.

And so began William's journey as a baseball pitcher for one, glorious inning. Was he great? Heck no. Did he strike anyone out? Not by a mile. But he threw that ball over the plate, he didn't hit anyone in the head with it, and a couple of kids actually could hit the balls he threw. Success!!

William later recounted that the inning seemed a whole lot longer when you were the pitcher. And he overheard two boys on his team comment that William wasn't really very good (to which my boy turned around and said in his very William way: you realize this is my first time EVER pitching?).

My boy was over the moon and he got a Slurpie to boot.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Congrats Anne!

Your Yoplait prize pack is on its way from My Blogspark. Thanks for offering to set out the collection box at the community college.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So we winner!


Will try again by posting to my Facebook profile.

New deadline, Friday, September 9th.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A giveaway--with a catch

It's been ages (ages!) since I'd heard from My BlogSpark about any sort of giveaways or promotions. I kind of thought they had gone the way of coupon deals these days....

This one is a different kind of giveaway to me, because it isn't just about the cute little tote bag or the notepad or the key ring or the pen, it's about helping to raise money to support breast cancer research. The program is called Save Lids to Save Lives, probably something you are all already familiar with. For every lid you collect, Yoplait donates 10 cents.

My BlogSpark is asking me to find someone who is interested in collecting Yoplait lids and mailing them in to help raise money. In other words, it's not about the minor swag MyBlogSpark is providing, it's about taking the time and making a commitment to put the little box together to collect the Yoplait lids in your office or school. It's not hard to do, but I don't want to give away something to someone who isn't going to do it, know what I mean?

What you get:
  • The satisfaction of knowing you've made a difference
  • A pink tote bag
  • A key ring with pink ribbon
  • A pink ribbon pen
  • Two free Yoplait single cup coupons to get you started

So here is the only requirement for the giveaway:

1. You promise to make every effort to collect as many Yoplait lids in the little box (provided) and mail it in to the company (envelope provided)

That's it.

Put a comment in the comment box if you are interested and I will draw one name on Monday, September 5th at 7pm  CST.

New deadline Friday, September 9th.

You MUST leave me a way to contact you (email). I will submit your name to MyBlogSpark along with your home mailing address (no PO boxes) and they will send your prize pack to you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank you strange video algebra man

I'd like to bake this man brownies right now:
For all of you with mathy kids, feel the pain of my terribly Liberal Artsy child who was in tears last night over the first chapter of Honors Geometry homework. The book was no help. I tried Khan Academy and could not even find this covered (I admit not really knowing HOW to find it there).  Stumbled on this guy's video and all was wonderful in the world. I hope to find a video for every chapter. This is going to be a looong year. Once she gets it, she gets it. But getting it can take a while. I think it does not help that one of her idiosyncrasies is that she cannot tell time on an analog clock. Sigh.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Postcards from Paris

I like to think of this post as how to go to Paris with my crazy family and avoid the hassels of air travel, being trapped in a toilet, the Euro/dollar exchange rate, the risk of dying from eating hazelnuts that are everywhere and in everything, and oh, jetlag.

Pre-departure popcorn. What is up with my kid?

Our little street in the 7th

Built in 1899, around the same time all the plumbing was updated

Our teeny little Parisian kitchen

Original tile floors

Two blocks away
At night, it twinkles:

Me, getting all artsy, with the Eiffel Tower. We only looked this day as there were about  million people in line.

Shopping at Picard, the frozen food only store. This is all I could find that didn't have nuts.

One of many million metro trips

My no flash so they're all blurry shot of the kids and the Mona Lisa.

About now we're looking for a bathroom.

Raining, and glad we aren't out in it.

Braided waiting for yet another toilet

William rocking his statue pose. He announced he'd never seen so many pee pees and boobies in one place.

Um William, that one there's about to get you....

She was not amused.

About now William's feet fell off from walking

Let's take the train to Versaille.

A special note to McDonalds: this system is neither easy nor fast.

Two bathroom trips later and we finally reach Versailles.

He built this place.

It was Les Grands Eaux (fountains) day, complete with music and water and 8 million people.

Catherine knew all about this one.

Sometimes what she knows scares the crap out of me.

This is the lady that turns on the fountains at Neptune's Basin.

There you go. William wanted to know where the special effects were. I reminded him we weren't exactly at Disney World.

After Versaille we went to dinner. This is where our car caught on fire. Weeee! I don't have any car on fire photos because I was sort of fleeing.

We obviously survived. Now the gratuitous let's win the orthodontist's summer distance travelled award!

Squished in a boat.

You can pretend all you want you're at the beach, but the water is more dangerous than sharks.

We went. It was closed.

The Feast of the Assumption parade began.

Lots of people.

More ice cream.

A Wallace fountain, originally created to give Parisians more drinking water. But don't drink from this one. Please

Catherine quite liked this place. It gave me claustrophobia.

I love all the old doors.

Finally we got to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Someone could use some ChemLawn.

Daddy wanted to visit the Paris sewers. There's no one here but us.  I wonder why.

Are those rats?

He had a great time. I thought I was being slowly poisoned by methane gas.

A poop sloop.

How the hell do we get out of here?

Yes that's toilet paper. God yes it stank!

Sea of Poo. I kid you not.

Fresher air at the Museum of Natural History.

Welcome small children!

And strange man.

This entire place was built around the turn of the 19th century. Everything, everywhere, is old old old.

Back to Versaille to see the grounds with 800 friends.

Uh oh, someone needs new windows. I know a place were I can hook them up with some Marvins....

Can you sense my sheer and utter exhaustion? And what is is with my kid and naked people?

We should do this with the yard.

Or this.

Run Catherine to see the Trianon palaces and Marie Antoinettes house. I'll collapse here on a bench.

What? Another metro?

Run free children!

Daddy not understanding the no flash = blurry photos rule

Yup, here too

ok just stop now

Army Museum.


more guns

Do you spot a trend?

Metro jazz hands.

She seemed so much bigger on TV.

Museum of Arts and Trades. Everything you've ever wanted to know about how stuff works.

And since there was no one here but us, obviously Rick Steeves hasn't told the world yet it exists.

John's got the camera again. Can you tell?

He loves him some telephones.

We've finally found the toilet. Celebration!



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