Monday, October 11, 2010

Let's Talk About Disney

First, I used a cell phone to post to FB.  Based on my past technological mishaps, this is nothing short of a miracle.

Second, it's good having a police officer living right next door.  They moved in and he volunteered to have a car swing by and check on things while we were gone.  Not necessary since I live in a neighborhood that makes Beaver's look like crime central.  It's that safe.  But what the heck.

Then, I make a mental note to myself to drive around Georgia on the return trip so that I don't have to hear BN sing "Georgia on My Mind" every few minutes until we cross the state line.

A toy soldier from Toy Story called me Private Blue (color of my shirt) and Mama and refused my refusal to get up and dance at the Hollywood Studios Block party parade.  We Macarena'd, Saturday Night Live'd, and some other dances that I'm not hip enough to do.  I have to admit it was a little fun.  Then he gave a me a bouncy ball.

I'm too old for the whole Disney shebang.  My feet were killing me.

I almost got all the smooshed pennies from the parks.  Actually, I only ended up with about 20 or so, and there are sooo many more.  I could plan a Disney vacation around getting my pennies smooshed.  Note to self:  bring rolls of quarters next time.

Lion King at Animal Kingdom is the best show ever.  I never get tired of seeing it.

Trick or Treating at Magic Kingdom is so worth the over-priced tickets.  It's too bad our feet were killing us by then because we didn't ride any rides and the lines are extra short on those special days.  Of course, October is the best time to go - rides are no more that 20 minutes and most are only 5.

4 trips in 7 years and we are officially over Disney.  We still love it, but the novelty has worn off.  I think we'll wait another 5 years before going again.  Or maybe more.  Sorry Mickey.

BN and I are no longer economy people.  We've chosen each of the four "economy" resorts because we figure, why pay for a room we only sleep in.  I'll tell you why.  It's crap.  On our other trips, the trips part was less expensive, so we splurged for better rooms.  Suites, in fact.  Once you sleep in luxury, you just can't go back.  Neither of us slept well, had enough room, we had to share a bathroom, etc, etc.  I know I shouldn't complain, but it's like that.  Of course I have myself to blame because BN wanted to splurge, but I was being a tightwad practical.

We took cash but ran out so had to use our check cards for a few items.  (we don't do credit)  Of course, someone swiped my number and gave $5.00 to March of Dimes and then tried to spend the rest of our account at an online tool shop, so I had to cancel my card.  Thankfully, Debbie at ToolUp dot com saw a problem with information given and didn't complete the charge. Thank you, Debbie.

And that about sums it up.  Now to relax.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Dental Dismay

I love the dentist.  I'm probably the only person I know that does.

I don't love the dentist for my kids and I don't mean a specific dentist, I just mean dentists in general.  There's a reason a pediatric dentist's office is almost always connected to an orthodontist's office.

Pete has never had a cavity.  He's never had fluoride.  His teeth are strong like mine.  His are also big which makes sense, since I'm pretty sure he'll hover around six feet tall when all his growing is done - he's going to need big teeth.

RePete's mouth has a been a mess since he was about two.  Even though I nursed him for nine months, even though he only drinks water and takes a good multivitamin and even though he has well balanced, nutritious, organic foods to eat, his baby teeth didn't calcify completely.  They have been very susceptible to dental caries and we haven't been able to do anything to stop it.  He's had four fillings so far and is set to have a fifth.

We found out about the fifth one at our checkup visit today.  The dentist also informed me that his permanent teeth were HUGE and he would need to have some pulled to make room for them all.  When dentist tell me things like this, I just nod my head and eventually leave having no intention of allowing them to pull my six year son's teeth.  Because I know that in two years time, his mouth will have grown and he'll have more room.

Will his teeth be perfectly straight?  Only time will tell and really, are we that vain?  Pete grew into his teeth and his are straight (no braces).  I grew into my teeth and they are straight (no braces) and BN grew into his teeth and his are mostly straight.

What is up with these professionals thinking it is okay to just pull teeth all willy nilly like that?  I'm sure there are plenty of moms and dads out there that trust these professionals and allow all sorts of things to be done.  I'm sure they trust that these folks went to school and know what they are talking about.

But not me.   Without giving me a specific VALID medical reason, there isn't one single thing that anyone can say to me to make me think this is okay.

Based on RePete's growth charts, he'll probably end up around six feet or more just like his brother.  And he has big teeth for a reason...he's going to have a big mouth just like his mother.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When in Doubt

have a nightmare.

Yesterday, our schooling didn't go so great.  None of us had any energy and it all just felt blah.  Because of this, I started to doubt my ability to actually provide a decent education for my children.  I started to doubt my methods, my curricula choices, whether we should use wood or mechanical pencils.  It went bad really fast, I tell ya.

As I watched my young sons work on math, I started a list in my head of what I needed to do to get them in school.  Should they both go, should one go one stay home, where would the school place them grade wise.

When BN came home, I worried over it with him and then I got online and started looking at "curriculum in a box" thinking there's no way I can miss anything if I use one of those.

And then we went to bed and my last thoughts to BN were along the lines of, "How could they miss anything - they live life."  When I was in school, I would cram, cram, cram and then dump, dump, dump.  Sure I picked up lots of trivial information and can perform math computations without a calculator, but what did I really learn that was so important from a textbook.  And then I recounted folks who unschooled their kids who are now in college or already graduated and are now productive little American workers.

And then fell asleep and dreamed social services walked in my front door, only it was the door to a tiny apartment, not my house, that was in total disarray and it was the middle of the day and BN was taking a nap and I was showing the apartment to a realtor (why I don't know since apparently I didn't own it) and the clients were asking if the storage closet always smelled like food and I don't even know where the kids were because they weren't in my dream.

And then I woke up.

Today, Pete showed me a story he wrote and it was cute little story but there were spelling errors.  It occurred to me then that we would use those words for spelling today instead of the next chapter in our spelling book and it also occurred to me that if Pete were in a class all day, he wouldn't have time to write that story, or the comics he's written, or the movie he's written and will work on producing this weekend.  It also occurred to me that if he were in school, he'd get the same spelling words that everyone else crammed and dumped on a test and that the teacher, no matter how wonderful, would never be able to tailor her spelling test to my son.

And then I relaxed.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Little Bowl of Goodness

Here's my lima bean harvest.  There's only about 2 tablespoons of beans in the bowl and I plan to eat them one at a time!

This week's garden lesson:  This bushy plant needs more room to prosper and I'll probably need to plant more than one.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Times are changing.

For all of us.  I like to blame it all on last December 11th.  That's when I turned forty.

My older son Pete is 10.  Just the other day he and RePete got all dressed up (costumes) and planned out their play session and just as they were getting started, Pete decided he didn't want to play after all.  RePete was devastated but Pete explained that he just didn't feel into it anymore.  He thinks he has lost his imagination.  I explained to him that he's just getting older and he's starting to develop new interests.  What they are, I'm not sure yet and it got me thinking,

What do kids his age like to do when the "playing" stops?

I can't for the life of me remember back that far.  I know we didn't have video games and Nickelodeon.  What did I do for fun at 10?  I guess it wasn't that fun since I can't remember.  And then there is the fact that we homeschool and he's not preoccupied in a classroom all day so he has to entertain himself or be entertained - and that's a long day.

So what can I do for poor Pete?

RePete is having a hard time losing.  Of course he's 4 years younger than his brother so losing is a daily occurrence around here.  He just started his soccer season and I'm worried he'll have a meltdown on the field.  He's very hard on himself and gets frustrated so easily.  There was a time when he never got upset or had opinions about anything.  Now he upsets daily and will share those opinions, which usually includes the words, "this sucks" or "this is stupid".  Ugh!  There must be a book on sportsmanship out there that I can read.  Need to look for that.

And then there's me.  I walked into that baby super store I used to frequent when mine were little and immediately felt out of place.  I was by myself and didn't have a baby bump.  And honestly, although I spent many hours in there over four years ago, I couldn't find anything.  And then when I found stuff, I couldn't make decisions.  And when did disposable diapers go up $20?  Holy cow, I'm glad mine are out of those.

I think BN is the only one not changing.  The only advice he had for me when I told him that story about the baby store was that he could knock me up if I wanted him to.  Like I said, he hasn't changed.  Still a my BN!

So, yep, things are changing around here.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love party planning.

Truth be told, I'm not that sociable.  I can be sociable, I just prefer not to be.  Until a party comes around.

As mentioned in this post, I'm hosting a baby shower for my sister and she wants a monkey theme.  So I searched around the net and stole all kinds of ideas.

Actually, I never steal anything - I'm too much of a goody goody to do such things, but sometimes I borrow. (a Spongebob episode is coming to mind here)

Here are some goodies I've made so far.

The monkey heads will be toppers for my large diaper cake (4 tiers) that will be the centerpiece for the food table and smaller ones will grace side tables around the family room.  This idea came from her and her.

These tags will go on the ribbons that wrap up the gifts for winners of games.  My idea but graphic is from her.  She offered downloads for free.

And these matchbooks (with mints inside) will just be lying around or in little bowls.  I got this idea from Oriental Trading Co.  Ignore my nails.  I had a few break so I cut the rest off in a fit.

While it might be easier just to buy these things, I never do for a couple of reasons.  First, I'm super picky and I always have an idea of just what I want.  Unfortunately, I can never find just what I want.  Secondly, paper crafts are just plain fun to do.  Nothing here was hard.  

For the tags, I had to clear out the mod monkey print and type in my sister's shower info.  The monkey heads were simple since I used my circle cutters from CM.  For the matchbooks, I had to type up quotes and figure out how to line everything up.  Btw, I have 18 matchbooks with the quotes upside down for sell.  Grrr.  That was the toughest part.  Apparently, I have spatial reasoning issues.

So that's my start and I have less than two weeks before the big day.  Thankfully, the rest is in my head.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


When BN went back to school after getting out of the Navy, he went to work for a man named Rolando.  Rolando had special gifts.

This is our grill.

 This is a tree frog that I have named Rolando.  When I saw him hiding under the grill cover, being perfectly still, hoping I couldn't see him, I immediately thought of Rolando the Boss.

Rolando the Boss once told BN that he could make himself disappear.  He was never able to show this to BN and he gave BN the heebie jeebies anyway so thankfully, a wonderful internship became available and BN moved on to bigger and better things.

Not only does Rolando the tree frog live on our grill and scare the poop right out of me every single time I remove the grill cover, but I think he hides there because he it makes him feel invisible to the rest of the swamp creatures.

Why he's chosen our grill to reside instead of the huge wooded area and marsh behind our house we'll never know.  And other than the immediate bowel release he causes in me, I'm glad he chose us.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Baby Shower Mania

My sister is having her second child...15 years later...and it's so exciting to get to throw her a baby shower since I was done six years ago and most of my friends are done having babies.

I spent the better part of my day today searching online for baby shower invitations.  I know it's hip and eco-friendly to do the evites nowadays, but there's just something about a little card with all the specifics that the mom-to-be can hang onto and cherish for years to come.  Besides I'm old fashioned and all that new-fangled stuff scares me.

I used to be a stamper and I made all kinds of beautious cards.  I cut, I stamped, I glued, I glittered and I had fun for a while.  But not having a dedicated craft room had its drawbacks.  When my free time (what little there was of it) was up, I'd have to put everything away so my boys wouldn't get into it.  Such a drag.

So I sold my scrappin' stuff on ebay and made a killin'.

Wait, baby shower, baby shower, ... oh yes, I was online looking at invitations since I no longer make cards and couldn't find the one I wanted.  My sister has decided to use monkeys as a theme and none of the cards were just right.  I also don't like the commercial looking ones and that narrowed my choices greatly.

I did find one where the style was perfect.  The block print type animals were exactly right.  The monkey... left a lot to be desired.  It was just his head poking from the vines at the top of the card.  But it was enough of a start that I decided I would make my own using those ideas.

Now I am assuming I didn't infringe on any copyright things because I actually drew everything freehand on Photoshop.  And though I sampled the colors in that card, those colors are available freely on my program, so no problem there.  The monkey I added was from a card also, but again, I drew him myself rather than using the actual graphic and I used free brushes for the vines.  Besides, I'm not selling them, right.

And here it is and I am so in love with it.

The gray background has just the slightest hint of texture and since grays, yellows and browns are all neutrals, the color scheme works perfectly.  And who doesn't love a lime green.  I was going to put the babies name in the monkey's belly but just talked to my sister and they might be changing their minds on his name.  That's alright.  She can ink that in after he's born.


Let me give credit to:
The card  And let me just say that if that card had been perfect, I would have ordered it.  The prices are so great here.  And I love that you can customize the cards.  Not just the words but the graphics a bit too.
The monkey  Again, great prices, just not exactly what I wanted.  But I'm really picky like that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Whole Lotta Work

We're planning to sell our house next year and we walked around it this weekend to see what needed fixin'.

A Lot.

Much of it is cosmetic.  With two small boys, I find it extremely difficult to keep the paint in perfect repair or blinds.  What is it with blinds?  We have the two inch faux wood blinds which are pretty sturdy until my boys walk by.  It doesn't help that RePete think those pole things that open and close them is the perfect vine for his Tarzan routine.   I'll never have blinds again.

So anyway, BN likes to wait until it is absolutely necessary to fix things, but I think we should start now.  After compiling the list, he thinks so too.

His little boxes for checking them off crack me up.  And there's 8 more things on the back.  Time to get to work.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting it Done.

I've used many ways to organize our home schooling and the filing system works the best for many reasons.  First, I'm too lazy to worry with workboxes.  Every week you've got to unload them and reload them and frankly, that doesn't work for me.  Then there's the big plastic bins that have to sit in plain site in our dining room where we do school.  Again, that doesn't work for me.

Last year, I pulled together about 4 weeks worth of school work and for four weeks, our school days were smooth sailing.  Unfortunately, I never got around to doing the next four weeks or any week after that and we had to wing it all year.  We ended up doing whatever was next in the books, which works, but I always felt discombobulated.  So last month, I sat down with all of our books for the year.  Hardcover, softcover, pdf (all printed out) and workbooks and got to work.  I can't destroy hardcover books, so those were safe.  For the rest, may they rest in peace.  I despined them.  Is that even a word?

Whatever.  So I determined what needed to be done from each book to complete it in 36 weeks.  Then grouped the pages together and stapled.  It was as simple as that.  I did not tear apart my All About Spelling book or our Easy Grammar books.  All spelling exercises are written in a spiral notebook and the grammar has it's own spiral bound workbook.  

I keep the spelling, grammar and supplemental books in this cabinet above my computer.  My computer area is just inside the kitchen on the other side of the dining room wall.  Everything we need is close at hand.

Here's the **FILES**.  I feel like music should play when this comes into view.  All 36 weeks are in here and a few extra things are in a folder in the back.  When we complete a week, the whole folder with the completed work is filed in the back.  We don't make the fancy notebooks as suggested in the WTM because my boys just aren't into all that.  Once the work is done, it's done.  Neither have any inclination to go back and reminisce.

Here's what a typical weekly folder holds.  From back left to front right.  Mind Benders, History (SOTW), Writing with Ease (student and teacher pages), Math Mammoth for RePete, Classic Science, and Pete's Math Mammoth.  Again, spelling and grammar are on the shelf as are the Usborne and Kingfisher history encyclopedias.  I use online sources for RePete's reading and writing so no space is needed for that although I do have a few reading resources on the shelves in case he needs a little extra help.

And finally, I use Homeschool Tracker (the free version) to type lesson plans if I'm feeling sassy.  Although, it requires dates, I just plan all the work needed (based on what is in our folder) for that week and we don't look at the dates.  For instance, we are working on Week 2.  We're in our third week of school, but visiting relatives have forced us to split the work between two weeks.  ***Update:  Forget this paragraph.  WAAAY too lazy for this program.***

It used to be that if we didn't complete what I had planned for August 17, I would have a nervous breakdown.  Not any more.  ***I should add in here that sometimes we take two weeks to finish a folder or maybe we don't get to science due to visiting family, dr appts, etc, and that's okay with my folder system.  We either keep plugging along the second week until the work is done or that one subject gets moved into the next week.  Our schedule is not so jam packed that we don't have room for extra science experiments.  In fact, they are relished.***

I've also started making Pete his own weekly planner.  He's in fifth grade this year and I'm trying to groom him for more independent work.  He completes his math, logic, history and grammar on his own and we work together on science, spelling and writing.  He also has free and required reading that we are working in this year.  Art and music are sourced out although BN teaches Pete drums and I teach art to the boys.  We use the art and music classes through our co-ops more for social time and a break from the work week.  Pete also takes drama through a local theater group and both boys are in sports.

I love having this file system.  No more flipping through 8 different books and their workbooks.  Everything tidy in one place makes me happy.


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Fruits of Our Labor

We ran outside everyday to check on the progress of this watermelon.  We use the vertical method to grow viney plants and this watermelon became so heavy, the vine was choked off and the watermelon fell off before it was ripe.  We cut it open to find this..

It smelled heavenly, but was so bitter.  No sweetness yet.  It was such a disappointment.  So I decided to make hammocks for them.  My dad calls them diapers but I read this can help with the issue we had and so far so good.  Can't wait for the first one to be ready.

And cucumbers have been coming out since the first of July.  They are doing so great that I had to send four home with my dad the other day.

The exposure in my house is not conducive to indoor plants but I do have three that I bring in in the winter months.  The one in the front and back right are both from the tops of pineapples.  I planted the one in the front about three years ago and the one in the back right about a month ago.  My MIL has one she planted about three years ago and it has a tiny pineapple growing from the center.  Of course she can grow something from nothing, so I don't have high expectations for my pineapple plants.

The one on the left is a peanut plant.  We went to the Peanut Fest here in Suffolk last October and the boys were given a peanut plant.  We brought it home and BN cultivated and babied it over the winter.

Out of curiosity we dug around in the pot this past weekend and found some peanuts!  BN tasted them and they weren't quite ready.  I'm thinking since the peanut festival is in October, that's probably when peanuts should be ready, so we'll check again in a couple of months.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our 2010 Garden

This is our second year growing a garden.  And while this year hasn't been anymore profitable in terms of vegetables consumed, I think we are learning bit by bit as times goes by.

I did not start the composting bin as I wanted.  That's still on my list of garden-type things I want to do. We did change the location.  Last year's site was constantly in peril.  Boys, basketballs and gardens do not a stocked pantry make.  And that ancient Chinese proverb, out of sight out of mind, er, okay so maybe the Chinese didn't say it, but not being able to see the garden from the house made it easy to forget watering on the super hot days of summer.

But not this year.  This year, I can see the garden from both kitchen windows and the rear glass door.   With that door right off our laundry room, it is no wonder I can never forget the garden.  I spend a lot of time in the laundry room.  sigh.  Anyhoo, we can also see it from the upper deck and the lower deck.  Here's how it looks from both angles.

You are welcome to biggen these, although the lighting was horrible when I took these with my point and shoot, but please don't leave comments about the sad grass.  This is the first year we've had grass since we cut down a buttload of trees last fall and we are proud of it, no matter how pitiful.

I know there is some other proverb about not airing your dirty laundry but since this is clean, I'm free to share it with the world.  We also switched from untreated lumber, which the termites LOVED! to concrete blocks, and weed paper and chicken wire for the base.

What we're growing:  (all seeds are from Heirloom Acres Seeds)
  • Eggplant - currently growing, no fruit.
  • Watermelon - many fruits growing, none edible yet
  • Cucumbers - haven't had to buy one since the first of July - yipee
  • Zuchinni - RIP
  • Broccoli - RIP
  • Roma tomatoes - one tomato so far, bushes are beautiful and flowering
  • Cherokee purple tomatoes - no fruit, but beautious and flowering
  • Cantaloupe - currently one fruit on the vine - anticipation!
  • Asparagus - shoots above the ground, have no idea if anything below ??
  • Lima beans - huge flowering bush, one bean, was so excited and then it turned brown and fell off
We also planted strawberries, lettuces of all kinds, spinach, green beans and peppers all of which never showed up for the party.   We'll try the cold varieties again soon when we plant the pumpkins.

Tomorrow, I'll show pics of some of the fruits of our labor. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dragonfly Whisperer

RePete was so excited about his new friend.  This little fellow allowed RePete to carrry him (I am assuming it was a he because I doubt a she would have stayed long on his dirty little hands) all over the yard and around front to show me.  RePete has such a gentle touch with nature and it shows when he helps me in the garden.


Friday, August 6, 2010

I know I shouldn't gripe...

because it's free, but...

I just drove over to the library to pick up my long awaited Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris and was DENIED!

I had my little ID/change wallet instead of my big one that had my library card in it. The librarian stated I could not check out books without the card. So I waltzed (literally) over to the membership desk and asked for a new card.

I figured two dollars for a new card was less than the gas it took to get there, drive back home and come back.

I asked the membership clerk why I couldn't check anything out without a card and she said she didn't know. Normally, I would have demanded an answer. Get me the supervisor, get me my state representative, whatever. I mean you're listening to a woman who beat the IRS at their own game. But I wasn't feeling well.

It's not about the two dollars. It's the principle of the whole durn thing. I have items checked out sitting on the table at home. I had two items on hold and I held them by using my library card, at home, on the computer. Why couldn't they just use my ID?

When this head cold clears up, I will go back and get my answer. They can have the money - it's for a worthy cause. I mean how many places let you borrow stuff for free? But at least know why you are doing it and it better be for a good reason.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Distracted Much?

Yesterday, I drove the boys down the road a piece to the headquarters for the Great Dismal Swamp.  I wanted to get a map so we could all (including BN) go for a bike ride this weekend.

The ranger was great.  Very helpful.  Actually, she was too helpful, because one minute I was getting a map of bike routes and the next, the boys and I, armed with a combination lock, were taking the driving tour.  In fact, Gilligan's Island comes to mind because it was three hours later that I deposited the aforementioned lock on the park rangers desk.

Swamp was used as part of the Underground Railroad

The ranger said it was a 20 minute tour.  It's quite apparent that she doesn't know me very well.  I love nature.  I love adventures.  I love looking at nature during an adventure.  And that's what we did.
Here's a few SOOCs.

Beaver dam

This how the drive looked when we entered. And no I didn't stop driving to take this.

According to the park rangers, the black bears have been bored lately.

My fearless black bear hunters. 

Proof of the elusive black bears. 

I told the boys these guys were waiting for our car to break down.  I was only half joking. 

The lake spans 2-3 miles and is only 7 feet at its deepest. 

RePete tries out the binoculars.

I caught Pete adding liquid to the lake.  He's saying, "Hey!" in an "Aww Mom" sort of way.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Facebook - Best of 2009

Once I started Facebooking, I stopped blogging so much and I needed to "preserve" some moments.

Oh my God, I can't believe I found you. I have seriously missed you!!!! No my Mom hasn't changed a bit, trust me. How is Miss Judy your Mom doing? I hope you are all well. I can't wait to catch up. -Katie

Why haven't I packed? Off to the Land of Mouse in two days. - R

Time to celebrate my man's birthday! It's hard to keep topping the last when you've celebrated more than 20 birthdays together. - R

I can see so much of BN in Pete. - Mel

Realized I don't know what to pack to go camping! - R

We FINALLY did our required testing today. Pete is now a 4th grader. The best part of the test was hearing Pete say repeatedly, "I learned this in pre-school." - R

Farm Town is giving me carpal tunnel. - R

NEED FOOD DONATIONS!!! I have my boys (aged 9 and 5), brother (almost 13) and nephew (14). Who knew 4 little people could eat sooo much. - R

How much do you value your photos? Our Mac crashed and I lost all of 2009. I was ready to dig through the maggoty garbage for a disk I threw out. Thankfully, I found a backup. - R

Our boys are bouncing a basketball in their room upstairs while singing along to High School Musical's "Get Your Head in the Game". Sounds like they might come through the ceiling. Is that possible? - R

RePete's first game today. He scored two goals. Added to yesterday's album. - R

Surry Nuclear Power plant and Jamestown tomorrow. Should be interesting. Saying those two in the same sentence is akin to an oxymoron. :o) - R

Petespilledwateronmykeyboard.Nospacekey.Crud! - R

Busy week. Dentist, 19th wedding anniversary and ACL surgery. Fun, Fun. - R

Surgery last Thursday went well. Still very tight and sore, but healing nicely, I think. Post-op visit this Friday. My men have stepped up as I knew they would. Couldn't be in better hands. :o) - R

Brag alert! My son is finally reading chapter books. In fact, we picked up book two in the series and he started reading it on the way home. Woohoo! - R

Off my crutches and drove to the corner store today. Look out! - R

RePete found a locust shell at the zoo today and brought it home. He was thrilled that it stuck to his shirt and named it Sticky. - R

Mark woke me up to "Happy 40th Birthday"! That doesn't seem like a real number. Now to decide...grow old gracefully or stay at 39 forever. lol. - R

RePete got a whoopee cushion from the chiro today and my "not seeing" it everywhere I step is worth every single belly laugh from him. woohoo. good times. - R


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Lovin'

It is quite impossible for me to get back into the school groove.  On the other hand I can't be tied to a Sept - Jun school schedule either, which is why I must get this show on the road.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I can't believe I am saying this again, but I can't believe I just posted the title "April" and it's already July.  Apparently this has become a quarterly blog.

The summer is flying by and the boys and I have been busy.  I've managed to get all of our school requirements done, with the help of a good friend, to appease the government gods.  I also managed to gather all my materials and organize them so that we can start school in the near future.  I had planned to start this week, but real life is so much fun that the books have been pushed to the back of the shelf and we'll try again on Monday.

We've had lots of visitors already and we've done a fair share of visiting.  Recently, we attended my family reunion in NC and then we headed northwest from there back into VA to bike an old rail trail.  New River Trail Park, in Galax, VA is beautiful.  Thankfully the weather was perfect.  Poor little RePete couldn't hang for the long haul but he finished with a very respectable 8 miles.  Not bad for a 6 year old.  BN took Pete and my nephew T-bone a little further and then turned around so RePete and I wouldn't have to wait too long.

Other than that, we've been visiting with local friends, hanging out at the pool and I've been hanging out at the gym on a regular basis.  All positive things.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I can't believe it was just a few posts ago that I typed, "December."

I decided to cut back our extracurricular activities this year so we could focus on school and get some downtime. The constant running was taking its toll on me and the boys. It's worked but it equals Boring Robinella!

We've started back letterboxing. A really fun way to explore areas around your town and spend time with your kids. Or friends.

Speaking of friends, Pogo and I have been reunited. Pogo went back to work full time last summer and as it will happen, things haven't been the same. No mid-week visits. Just a sad, sad state. Not to mention we live 40 minutes apart. We've emailed a couple times promising to get together but it never panned out. Her lovely daughter and I are friends on facebook and she finally talked her mom into getting online and that's how it happened. We pm'd a few times and immediately got together for a girl's only night. I hadn't laughed so hard in, well, since last summer. I missed her.

You know, I have always been someone who tries not to impose. BN says I take it too far, meaning that in order not to impose on someone else, I cheat myself. That's what I think happened with Pogo and I. We are a lot alike in that respect. Because she was working and her kids were into nightly school activities, I didn't want to impose on her by trying to take some of her limited time. We are both big on spending time with our families on the weekend and since that was the only time she wasn't working or driving her children to activities, I never tried to get together with her. She had her reasons for not contacting me as well, similar to mine. And then it just snowballed.

After a while, we began to assume the other wasn't interested. It's a confidence thing. And more and more time lapsed between half-hearted emails. We've gotten together with kids and without a few times in the last couple of weeks and I couldn't be happier.

In just the few short months since December and my turning 40, things have become clearer to me. What's important in life is more clear and good friends are right up there at the top.

Robinella and Pogo 3/2010


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sun Addiction

I have it.  Now that the sun is out more, I am waking up from my dreary winter blahs.  Brrr.

The boys and a friend of ours went to the Nauticus Maritime Museum in Norfolk today.  They have a pirate exhibit there until April that we just had to see. "Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship".  The boys got to see real live pirate booty and cannons and guns.   A really good exhibit.

A bonus exhibit was also there.  "Marking Time - Voyage to Vietnam" showcased graffiti art from the bottom of the soldier's bunks.  I was in total awe of it all.  Drawings and writings from men on their way.
Here's a shot of what the bunk looked like assembled.

I loved that they included this on the bottom bunk and was equally in love with Playboy for being a bit more modest back then - especially with three little boys in tow.

I only wish I had been by myself so that I could really take it all in.  I was really touched by something as simple as this one:

Giggled at this: (I know it isn't politically correct, but it was what it was)

Understood this:

Loved this:

Left me wondering if the ones who left these marks made it back.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tricked my boys into cleaning their room.

They were arguing and fighting over who was supposed to clean what and who was doing the most cleaning.  Yada yada yada, I made a threat.

I don't know where I heard this, possibly one of you out there, but one mom said when her boys were fighting so much, she tied them together and they had to figure out how to get along for the remainder of the day.  Eating, playing, etc.  By the end of the day, they were agreeable.

So I told this story to my two little boys, as a threat mind you.  THEY decided to try it.  They stood side by side and tied their inner legs together and then their inner arms.  Laughter began almost immediately.  Then talks of how to pee and poop.  So off to the bathroom they went together to pee.  They decided it would be hard to do the other.  Thank goodness.

Then back to the room, falling all over the place, giggling because it was hard to put this toy away or that one without cooperation.  This went on for about 30 minutes before the luster began to wear off.

The room was almost clean and they were no longer fighting.

Boys 4,849,394
Mom 6