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July, 2007:

Captain’s Log – Star Date 07/31/07

After 13 hours in the car Saturday and Sunday, a stop at Uncle Pat’s house for lunch, and fun at Grandma Sue and Grandpa Mike’s house playing cards, climbing apple trees, swimming, driving the golf cart, driving RC cars, and having a birthday party for Jason, we got them in the car for yet 90 more minutes of driving to head to Noisy Grandma and Monster Grandpa’s house. They both crashed on the drive – too much fun was had apparently :-) My MIL gave me a big tote with all of their family pictures . . . photos of Dan and his brothers when they were little all the way up through graduation. I can’t wait to go through them and do “something” with them . . . scrapbooks of some sort of course, but I’m not sure exactly what, yet. I’ll have to see what we have. I’m so excited!

This morning, Dan and Grandpa got ready for fishing while Jason, Keira, and Grandma checked out the flower beds and found a teeny tiny toad to play with. I would post a photo, but with this dial up connection it would take for-EVER! The guys are gone fishing and the girls are gonna have some fun today – not sure exactly what we’ll do, but we always have fun, so we’re ready! Later we get to head out to Grandma Sherry and Grandpa Miller’s farm – Jason and Keira are way excited – they get to name a couple of the new kittens. And NO, we are not bringing a kitty home! Never. Ever. Not on your life (although that’s what my parents said when they both unwittingly agreed to let me bring a kitty home, thinking the other would surely say no . . . so I had Tuffy the hugest black cat on the planet for about 6 years – but no, we are not bringing a kitten home!)

And, sigh, tomorrow my little dude turns the big 7 – yup, 7 – I can’t believe it!

Off to have fun – 3 generations of women out on an adventure!

Captain’s Log – Star Date 07/30/07

Well, we made it to Monday Morning! We did end up leaving on vacation, but not until 6 hours after our scheduled departure because little dude was still not feeling well Saturday a.m. Since our drive is a 14 hour drive, we decided to get a hotel room Saturday evening about 2/3 of the way here – thanks Dan for having free hotel stays will all of your travelling points! Some voices from the back seat . . .

Kid: “Mom, the sign said the speed limit is 75. Why are you going 85? You’re going to get a speeding ticket!”
Mom: “Yup. I might.”

Kid: “I’m hungry.”
Dad: “You just ate lunch!”
Kid: “I know. But I didn’t eat for 2 days and I’m making up for it!”
Dad: “I know. OK. We’ll stop at the next gas station.”

Driving by yet another large cow farm . . .
Kid: “Ewwwww! Mommy – what do you say!”
Dad: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Good one buddy.”
He’s teaching them well!

In the hotel that first night…

Kid: “Mom, you’re a crazy driver!”
Mom: “No I’m not. I got us here safely didn’t I?”
Kid: “Yes. But you’re still a crazy driver.”

Kid: “Why do WE have to sleep on the pull out couch and YOU get that huge bedroom?!”
Dad: “Because we’re the adults and we said so. Get your jammies on.”
the next morning…
Kid: “Um, did you guys even SLEEP in THIS bed? It looks all nice like when we came in last night.”
Dad: “Nope. We slept in this bed.”
Kid: “What?! You didn’t even sleep in this bed and you made us sleep on the couch bed? That’s not fair. We could have slept in this bed in the sa…”
Mom: “Dude! Zip it. Do you know how old I was before I even got to ever stay in a hotel, especially, a nice one?”
Kid: “I know. You don’t have to tell me how I get to do stuff you never did.”

Mom: “Uh oh. Mommy’s going to get a speeding ticket. The police man just pulled out after I went by.”
Kid: “I TOLD you so! I TOLD you not to go that fast!”
Mom: “Well, I did anyway.”
the cop drives by to get the other guy that was driving right with me…
Kid: “How come he pulled over that white car? You’ve been driving way too fast the whole time. He should have pulled you over.” Uh . . . thanks for the support dude!

Kid: “Cool swimming pool! Where’s the diving board?”
Dad: “Um, that’s not a swimming pool. That’s a waste water treatment place.”
Kid: “Oh. What’s waste water?”
Dad: Insert description of waste water treatment place here
Kid: “So if I stuck my head under the water with my goggles on, would I see poop floating around?”
Dad: “I wouldn’t stick my head under that water to find out dude.”

about 90 minutes later…

Kid: “Oh gross! I just saw 2 ducks swimming in the toilet water!”

Dan and I made this same drive many times before we had the kids. I have to say that the trip was quicker back then, but definitely  not as entertaining!

Today . . . golfing, swimming, driving remote control trucks around, playing with cousins, and driving to the other G’ma and G’pa’s house. All in 90 degrees and 85% humidity – woo hoo! Good times, good times.

I’ve Won! I’ve Won!

Well, not yet I haven’t – but I’m feeling lucky. I won’t even give you the shpeel about how I never win anything – because I have won lots of things. But I would LOVE to win this. Who wouldn’t want a flat screen TV to watch Finding Nemo on for the thousandth time?! Thank you Best Buy for donating this TV for the contest. If anyone else wants a chance to win, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

No, I do not have breast cancer – soooooo thankful every day! I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned from other women since I started blogging. When I started the blog, I thought I’d be blogging about my daily challenges with my kids, offering advice on things that have worked for me in the past, and asking for advice on what to do next. I am AMAZED at how many people I’ve “met” through blogs and how much support you can get from a humonstrous group of people you don’t even really know.

I’m linking to a post from a woman with 2 small children who just found out she has inflammatory breast cancer. Read her post for more. It’s very enlightening and something I hope you all take to heart and keep in the back of your mind.

TGIF – Random Ramblings

TGIF! What a week, finishing stuff at work, getting ready for the trip, and getting ready for Jason’s birthday party. I’m SOOOO glad it’s Friday!

Jason wanted to know why they didn’t call giraffes long necks. He figures it would have been much easier for people to remember than “giraffe” since they do have long necks and giraffe is just a word that doesn’t mean anything.

All the plastic army men have been stuffed inside a tank pinata and are ready to attack the kids when they break it open.

All the clues are printed and ready to be hidden so the kids can rescue the kidnapped cake.

It hasn’t rained for 2 weeks, but it’s supposed to rain hard today – just in time for the birthday party so I can have 10 kids in my house for 2 hours! WOO HOO – good times.

All our bags are packed and ready for a 6:00 a.m. departure tomorrow. I’ve NEVER been packed early – I always pack the night before. This is weird. I don’t like it.

Tainted Love was on the radio on my way in to work today.

Oh yeah – and Jason threw up last night, so we probably won’t have that birthday party today I talked about above and we may not be leaving for our trip tomorrow if he keeps being sick.

UPDATE: Jason is still sick so we postponed his party until after vacation. He’s so disappointed – I feel bad for him :-( Now I have an army tank cake that nobody can eat . . . my good friend is going to take it to a company picnic with her tomorrow :-) She’s also coming up to celebrate with Jason tonight anyway – Queen Taunya rocks!

UPDATE: I spilled Coke on my keyboard and had to get a new one. The important keys like x, w, and q continued to work, but some unimportant ones like u, o, and r decided they’d had enough. IT told me to enter an issue to get a new one – that’s kind of like telling someone to drive their car to the shop so they can tell you why it won’t run. This is what the message I sent them looked like…

e, d we ave an exta egnmic kebads laing aund? Mine stpped wking. Nt all f the kes wk. It culd ave someting t d wit me spilling Cke n it abut 10 minutes ag. 

They got a good chuckle out of it. Hey, 9 years with the same keyboard isn’t a bad investment!


School Supplies

Dude is moving from Montessori to public school this fall – he’ll be in 2nd grade. So, we had our first experience shopping for school supplies – oh joy! I can’t complain that the store was packed or the school supplies area was a zoo – Target actually does an OK job with their layout so you’re not tripping on each other. What CAN I complain about? First, when I was in school (walking both ways up hill in the snow with no shoes), the supplies we brought were ours. We put our name on them and put them in our desk and that was that. My markers were MINE . . . little Tommy couldn’t wipe his snotty hands all over them and little Susie couldn’t push down so hard on them that the tips broke. I ws free to color as beautifully as I wanted. Now, the supplies are “community” – fine, but when they ask you to buy specific brands of some items, that’s ridiculous. For example, one item on the list was 24 Dixon brand pencils (SHARPENED!) – yes, capital letters and explanation point. Apparently Target does not carry that brand. But really? A specific BRAND of PENCIL? Come on people. They’re 2nd graders . . . lead is lead and a pencil is a pencil . . . unless someone who knows more about pencils can enlighten me. Basically, I refused to drive somewhere else just to get a specific brand of pencil. The ones we did choose do have the straight sides so they won’t roll – I did think that far ahead. But silly me . . . guess I’ll be “that parent” on the first day of school. The other item was a scissors . . . groovy, I can pick out a scissors at Target in the school supply aisle! Um, apparently not . . . specifically, Dude needed a sharp pointed Fiskars brand scissors . . . that’s exactly what it said on the list. We looked everywhere in Target and no such scissors existed there. Oh there were tons of scissors available for purchase – tons of $2 scissors. But alas, none of them had a pointy tip on them of the name Fiskars etched in to the steel blade of the cutting surface – safety first! So I went to Jo-Ann Fabric, and of course they had a pointy Fiskars brand scissors – I mean, they are the craft store to beat all craft stores! Do you know how much this lovely pointy Fiskars scissors was? $13! Really – $13! We got out of Target with every other school supply on the list (and it was big for a 2nd grader!) and paid only $26. Then, the friggin’ scissors cost $13! I couldn’t believe it. It’s still in the package, in the bag, with the receipt. I’m not sure we’ll keep it. Did I mention he’s SEVEN? Really, do they HAVE to have the $13 scissors for arts and crafts at school? And the ruler . . . they ask every kid to bring a ruler, which will then be community property. Shouldn’t this have to happen only the first year? Then they’ll have 30 rulers in the classroom for next year? Or do they hand them out at the end of the year to each of the students to take home? And if they do that, then why don’t they just let you label it and keep it in your desk all year?

And don’t even get me started on the “other” items on the list . . . hand wipes, a box of facial tissue, Ziploc bags, package of copy paper . . . I’m 100% sure those items were never in my school bag on the first day of school.

Wordless Wednesday – Missing Maggie

Maggie Drives the Boat

Not quite wordless . . . We’re missing our wonderful dog Maggie and longing to get another puppy. Here’s our Maggie driving the boat many moons ago.


Keira is my mini me in many ways – not only does she look exactly like me (if it weren’t for the plaid pants I was wearing in the 1970s photos, you couldn’t tell her photos apart from mine), but she also has this sentimental thing about her . . . she doesn’t want to get rid of anything, and she loves old things that have been passed down.

My MIL and FIL have been very generous to us, giving us things from their house when they no longer need them – for example, our entire living room is furnished with items from their house – their couch, the chaisse lounge that I absolutely love, and my FIL’s family kitchen thingy (yes, I’m very in tune to what these things were called). You know, one of those things that went in a kitchen “in the olden days” that had the flour sifter and the pull out counter. I had mentioned one time when I was at their house that I loved it – and it showed up at my house the next time they drove out to see us! Thank you thank you thank you – I get so many complements on that piece. I also have a great rocking chair and a beautiful vanity in my bedroom thanks to them. My maternal grandmother gave me the bassinet that my mother and all 6 of her siblings used when they were babies. The hubby fixed up the legs so they wouldn’t collapse and even stripped off all the old lead-based paint and repainted it so we could use it for Keira. She loves to look at it and say that she slept in the same bed that Noisy Grandma did.

When we bought our popup a couple months ago, my MIL asked if we needed any blankets and stuff for it. I said absolutely if they had some old ones they didn’t need. When they came to visit, they gave me a stack of blankets – yeah! In that stack of blankets were some beautiful quilts that my MILs mother had made. THOSE are NEVER seeing the outside of my living room, that’s for sure! Unfortunately, I never got to meet my hubby’s grandmother . . . she passed away before I met Dan. But from what I hear about her, she and I would have gotten along wonderfully. One evening, Jason, Keira, and I sat down to watch a movie. Keira asked for a blanket so I gave her the red one that was on top. She said “No mom. Can I please have one of those beautiful ones that Grandma Sue brought us? They’re so beautiful that I want to snuggle in one!” I explained that Grandma Sue’s mommy made those quilts, and Keira said “When can we meet the old grandma that made these?” I told her that we couldn’t because she was no longer alive and was up in Heaven with Old Grandpa Hodapp (old is what she calls her “great” grandparents). She started to cry and said “That’s sad that Grandma doesn’t have her mommy anymore. I wish I could see the lady who made these beautiful blankets and give her a big hug. And maybe she’d give me a cookie.”

Me, too sweetie! I wish I could have met the lady who made these beautiful blankets, too.

Under-Dos and Don’ts

To start off, my son will be devastated if he ever reads this entry – let’s hope he doesn’t find it for another, oh 15 years.

On Tuesday when I picked them up from school, I asked him how swimming lessons were (they have swimming lessons every day at school). He said they were great – he had fun and dove to the bottom in the 5 foot deep end etc. etc. And somehow we got on the subject of where they change in to their swimming trunks. He said that he changes in the big stall in the bathroom. I said it must take a long time for everyone to wait their turn to get in that stall to change. He said only he changed in there . . . the rest of the guys change in the big open area in the bathroom. I questioned him about why he was the only one who changed in the stall and his response was . . .

“Well mom. Wearing Nemo underwear in front of the other guys just isn’t cool.”

I was like Buddy, you need to tell me these things! We can buy you new underwear! Sheesh. 3 months ago HE picked out those exact underwear from the store . . . but that was before group swimming lessons started. So, on Wednesday I went to the store and replenished his underwear supply – none of which had any character whatsoever on them.

He was thrilled when he got home to see brand new plain underwear next to his new soccer shoes. He couldn’t open the package fast enough and get them in the laundry so he could get rid of everything else in his underwear drawer.

Under Do – Do let your kids choose their own underwear.

Under Don’t – Don’t assume that 3 months down the line they still like chosen underwear, because quite frankly, their coolness factor may change overnight!

Organic Dairy Products

I don’t know about you, but I’m spoiled with organic dairy products – and chicken and beef and vegetables. They just seem to taste better. Maybe they taste better because I feel better about eating them and serving them to my kids. Anyway, we get milk delivered to our door every Tuesday morning. If we ever ran out before the next delivery and I had to go to the grocery store, I dreaded it because the taste of store milk was so “off.” But then I discovered Horizon . . . and we love it! We still get our milk from the milk man, but we now buy Horizon on those few occasions the store calls our name. My kids also LOVE the Horizon yogurt tubes . . . we take them on our picnics all the time – much easier than trying to eat yogurt out of a cup when Mom forgets the spoons!

The whole point of this post is to tell you that 5 minutes for mom is giving away $300 worth of Horizon products! I would SO love to win – what a break on the grocery bill that would be. Check out 5 minutes for mom for details if you want a chance to win.