Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yes! Sometimes they get it!

Sometimes I worry about some of the things my kids are picking up from me.

Tonight Amelia said something that let me know we are on the right track in some areas. After finishing Math homework she asked, "Well, I have reading, but it's not due until Thursday. Should I do it tonight?" I said, "Well, let's look at it and see how long you think it will take".

With no further prompting from me she looked at it and said, "I think I should do these two pages tonight, and then I can do the last page tomorrow."

Yay! I think she's getting it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How time flies!

How did this happen? Count the candles. And this is my baby! The older will be 10 in February. Wow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Please don't say five minutes...

Yesterday my daughter asked me, "Mom, how long until supper is ready? And please DON'T say 5 minutes." (She was really hungry).

Methinks I use the term "5 minutes" a bit too liberally around her, and she has figured out that 5 minutes is not 5 minutes.

Reminds me of the discussion between her and Margaret about the answer "maybe".

"When mom says "maybe" that means yes. When dad says "maybe" that means no."

Our kids know us better than we know ourselves sometimes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Now where did Linda put that?

I have been blessed to be able to afford and to find a house cleaner. We do try to pick up before she comes so she can focus on cleaning and not neatening. But she obviously does need to move some stuff around.

As a result of this, we have a new tagline in the house. That line is "Now where did Linda put that?" Instead of blaming our own laziness, memory, or messiness when we can't find something, we just "blame" the housecleaner.

Of course none of this is actually due to her (and I remind the kids of that), but it's kind of funny to say so. (We did have one thing the first week we couldn't find that I had to call her up to find it. That was the ONLY time, but I guess they remember that time.) And that item was part of my daughter's Halloween costume. That she LOST when she went trick or treating. How ironic.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Parenting Chicken

I have coined what I think is a new term... "Parenting Chicken". I discovered it because my husband has been out of town a few times this fall. I have discovered I seem to have evenings that are in more control when he is gone. I think I have discovered the reason.

I think we play parenting chicken sometimes. You know, you have done it I'm sure. You hear the kids do something they shouldn't. Or you see toys that have been left out. When home alone, you know YOU have to deal with it. So you do.

When the spouse is home? Hmmm. Maybe he'll deal with it. I'll just ignore that for now. Of course, he is dong the same thing. And things spiral out of control.

Yep. Chicken. I usually lose.

(Oh, and if you don't have kids, you can do the same with household chores. I always lose the bathroom battle on that one.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My computer knows more about me than I do

Sunday I had a bit of a mishap with my computer. I'm not sure who pushed which buttons when or in what order, but my computer decided to "restore" itself to the factory shipped state. Which is thankfully different than having the hard drive re-formatted. But a pain nonetheless.

I am having to re-install most of the programs I installed since getting my computer. And I have had to un-install most of the crap and trial programs that came with the computer.

For many software packages, this means checking your account on their website, or checking your e-mail for some key, since there are very few install CDs sent out anymore.

Do you know how many different passwords you have? I don't. I have had to request so many new passwords, and change so many passwords, and rifle through papers for information to restore everything to its previous state (which wasn't perfect, but at least I knew where everything was).

When I think about that too much, I worry. How many websites know how many things about me that I don't even remember anymore? It's mind boggling.

I'm lucky that at work we have single-use sign-on (or whatever it's called). I sign into my account and every program that is web-based uses that same password. It works nicely at work because of firewalls and security and all that. I hope the outside world never comes to that, because then surely my computer would know more about me than I do.

Which I fear may already be the case.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Plans

I always take something to my mom's to work on over Thanksgiving. I won't be shopping on the day after!!!

This year I am going to take a run at my negatives again. These pictures are of my boxes with negatives and the two binders I already have filled with negatives in sheets. We'll see how far I get this year!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall Chores

The weather here has been beautiful!!! Sunday we cleaned the yard for winter.(mostly... we did leave this one small pile of leaves for the girlies to play in)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

You do enough of these and eventually one of them pegs you straight on.

Here's my "color" profile. Thanks to Nicole for the link. If you don't know me, I can tell you I think this describes me pretty well. As for the color? Love it.

you are seagreen

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tagged again

Leah from TallyScrapper tagged me. I had done this earlier, but no harm in doing again...
and yes, I know #1 is a repeat, but Leah probably doesn't know this about me...

1. I do these tag things when they come my way, but I never pass them on. I also break every chain letter sent to me. I never do those chain swaps..recipes, socks or anything else like that.

2. I grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Georgia, went to Graduate school in California, got my first full time job in Colorado, and now live in Minnesota. I think a move to the Northeast or Texas would complete this. But no thank you...I'm happy here!

3. I'm an obssessive organizer. I love having everything labled and in order in category. Books, music, scrap supplies, photo, albums, everthing. I don't always have time to do this, however.

4. Reading is not very high on my list of things I enjoy doing.

5. I dread the short daylight hours in winter. The whole going back to standard time has gotten me sort of down.

6. During a 6 month period about 7 years ago the following happened:
We celebrated 15 years of marriage
My husband turned 40
I had a baby.
I turned 39.

I don't know what the craziest part of that is...probably having a baby at age 39. Really...I do recommend getting that taken care of sooner in life if you have the chance. :-)

7. I can knit. I like making mittens because they go fairly quickly. Sweaters take way too LONG. I want to learn to knit socks.

This makes me happy...

Here are my new ribbon jars and pink clock from IKEA. I do have more ribbons than shown in these jars, but I hope having them on the shelf above my desk will encourage me to use them!!

Also, I missed out on posting Halloween pictures. Here are a few...
Margaret is (obviously) a witch. I called her my princess witch, because she had PLANNED to be a princess for the FOURTH year in a row. Until she saw this costume. It's kind of pretty like a princess costume...but black. Hence, princess witch.

Amelia is Betsy Ross. She really loves to pretend to be characters from books she has read and is all over non-fiction (i.e. real people) so she was drawn to this costume right away.

And here's one from Margaret's Brownie Halloween party. She is doing the eat the donut off the string thing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Speaking of fourth grade..

Amelia's Monday night homework had problems like this:

4 + x = 7

12 - 5 = u

18 - r = 9

Um... I was confused because I thought this was algebra!! I was all concerned that she would be confused.

So I said: this is the same as 4 + BOX = 7. (You know...they have been filling in the box for ages). Turns out she really wasn't confused by the letter variable. She just doesn't know her facts very well.

I guess the difference is that they are not writing the answer as x = 3, but they just rewrite the entire problem replacing the letter with the right number. Plus all the problems were based on facts that they should know.

Now are you confused? I probably didn't explain that well. Anyway...that assignment just threw me for a loop.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gonna' have to keep an eye on this...

My older daughter is in fourth grade. In fourth grade they have planners and a parent is supposed to sign them every night.

Earlier this week when I went to sign, I saw this suspicious activity in the previous day.

The top signature? Mine. Below it? I think someone is trying to copy it!!!

Egads! Isn't it a bit early for that? I think I'm going to need to make my signature harder to copy!!!! I think she did a pretty good job!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joke from a 6 year old

"Why are you hiding under there?"

"Under where?"

Total laughter. "You said underwear."

Somehow I missed that one when I was growing up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I caught myself yelling at my daughter in the other room after she had yelled at me. I said "Don't yell from the other room! Come in here and talk to me face-to-face."

Ummm. Major league busted. I guess now that I know where she gets it from I can start retraining. Her or me? I'm not sure.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Music to my ears...

When I walked in the door last night, Margaret said.. "Oh. I haven't finished my homework yet, because I was busy reading." I guess she didn't read the part where her 1st grade teacher wrote that reading every day is the most important homework!!

And Amelia said: "Mom, I want to practice violin 15 minutes EVERY DAY." Well see if she remember that when I remind her it's practice time....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Conversation with Margaret

Margaret: "Are the Green Bay guys going to win the Super Cup?"

Mom: Well, maybe. But that is a long ways away. A lot could happen before then.

Margaret: "I bet they'd be happy if they won. Because you get a really big trophy"

Sad Days

Well, I haven't posted lately.

My father-in-law died a week and a half ago. It was a bit whirlwind at the end, with a swift movement from our knowing he was sick (because he finally went to a doctor about it) to his death less than two weeks later. Charlie was obviously tied up with that, including a trip to Albuquerque for a week. The girls and I flew out for two days for the funeral in the middle of that. He was 87. He was a kind and wonderful man.

I tried to post a few pictures from the day, but blogger isn't letting me. I always feel weird taking photos at the reception following the memorial service, but know from pictures of my family growing up that sometime that is the only time everyone gets together. (which is kind of sad, too)

Anyway, I have had a lot of blog worthy thoughts lately (well...worthy for my blog, at least) but just haven't had the gumption to write them down. October will be better. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Four Years ago

Four years ago, this is what the backside of my house looked like...

All that cinderblock now surrounds my lovely scrap room, more commonly knows as "my office". I love how little the girls look in this picture. Margaret was not quite 3 here. Amelia had just started Kindergarten. I was 25 pounds heavier than I am right now.

Yeah. I'm reaching for blog material. Haven't been feeling the blog groove lately.

Can you believe that the sun sets at 7:19 tonight. Wah. I hate that it's dark at 8. And soon...it will be dark at 6. The darkest days. Hate 'em.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Photo Finds

I found a plastic bag with several hundred pictures in it last night. Well, found is a bad word, because once I found it I remembered I had it. Let's just say it was forgotten.

In this bag of various eras of photos, I found two boxes of slides. Most of the photos were unremarkable landscape photos (as my dad was wont to take), but I did find a few gems in here.

First, a picture of our Christmas tree in 1974. I was our last Christmas in this house.

Next, a photo of me and my brother (he's the one with all the curly hair) and our three new step-brothers. This was taken on the occasion of our dad's wedding to their mom (now my wonderful step-mother, Jan). Circa 1975. I didn't have to tell you that, eh? I had a GunneSax brand dress with zippers on the sleeves. I remember how badly I wanted this dress and how I pleaded to have it. So happy now that my dad caved in on that request (smirk).

And my personal favorite, because it is from an era when I have almost no pictures of me. It was taken in the summer of '74. We were traveling from Wisconsin to Colorado to check out the school my brother has chosen for college. Colorado State in Fort Collins. We stopped at my Aunt and Uncle's farm in Nebraska. I got to ride their horse, Peanut. I was 12 years old. I only remember that the horse's name was Peanut because my dad did an awesome job of labeling every slide. In numberical order with the date. This was slide #1381, one of his last. Unfortunately, he switched to a Polaroid shortly after this (the kind that shot out the photo and you watched it develop). I have many photos of this ilk, all of very poor quality. They need to be scanned soon. They won't keep like all these slides will.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First day Blues

I refuse to believe that summer has ended. We had so darn much fun all summer. Even my feet are tan.

But today school started. We took the ritual pictures and put the girls on the bus. Margaret was excited to be going all day (1st grade) and is excited about eating lunch at school.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Power of the Pen

Another Incredible Article from Kerry Patterson, Co-Author of Crucial Conversations.

Scrapbookers... read and heed. Especially the last paragraph!

Article start here>>>>>

Today's thought comes by way of my neighbor, Dr. Alan Christensen, a professor of Maya history and language. For those of you who don't have the benefit of living close to someone who knows more about the Maya than most of us know about our own home towns, let me share a fact or two. The Maya are the indigenous people currently living in Mesoamerica. Over six million of them make their homes in a region that runs from the Yucatan peninsula down through Central America. Around four thousand years ago the Maya developed astronomy, a calendrical system, and hieroglyphic writing. In fact, they developed one of only five phonetic writing systems known to the world. During their golden age, the Maya were more advanced than almost all of the civilizations of their time.
The story that caught my attention goes back a few years to when Alan was helping create a Maya dictionary. One evening as he closed up his work in the mountains of Guatemala, he realized that he needed to descend to his base camp before it grew too dark. He would be hiking through a dangerous jungle known for, among other things, packs of wild dogs.
As Alan hurried along an animal trail he stumbled upon a tiny Maya village. It consisted of a few huts surrounding a central courtyard. In front of one of the huts stood a bench, and sitting on the bench were the village elders. Rather than ask for directions (his pressing issue), Alan gracefully started the conversation with what is known as the Maya introduction ritual. With the Maya you can't merely walk up to someone and ask, "What's happening dude?" Instead, you must introduce yourself and all of your known ancestors along with what they did during their lives! After over an hour of ancestor talk, Alan finally was able to ask for directions down the mountain. By now it had grown so dark that he was quite worried about the wild dogs. The locals assured him that his journey would be safe. One of them would accompany him to his destination.
Before Alan could continue his hike down the mountain, one of the villagers asked him what had taken him up the mountain in the first place. Dr. Christensen explained that he had been compiling a dictionary of their language. His answer took them by surprise. They had known that the Spanish language could be written, but it had never occurred to them that their own language could ever be captured on stone or paper. Alan assured them that not only could it be, but that their language had been written centuries earlier but lost. In fact, the land around them was replete with ancient temples that contained a great deal of early Maya writing.
"What did our ancestors have to say to us?" one of the elders asked. Alan just happened to be carrying the translation of one of the more famous passages (to archeologists, not to the Maya), so he pulled it out and read it to them. The villagers sat in silence, eagerly listening. Tears ran down their cheeks as they heard for the first time the wisdom of their much-honored predecessors. "Are there other words? Where can we find all of what they had to say to us?"
As Alan explained that scholars were working on translating other writings, one of the elders asked, "Could I speak aloud to you and then you write down my words—for my children?" "Yes," the others chimed in, "Could you write our words?"
Alan didn't make it down the mountain that evening. Instead, he played the role of scribe as eager fathers composed words of wisdom to their offspring. Finally, the chief invited him into his hut where he privately composed a document for his only son. He had already lost seven children, and now his only remaining son had been struck with tuberculosis. He wanted to write a message to him before he was inevitably taken by the disease. He poured his heart out as Alan sat and wrote.
As I listened to Dr. Christensen tell this story I was intrigued to learn that upon first hearing of their long-lost language, the villagers wanted to hear the words of their ancestors—to learn from the wisdom of the ages. Then they became consumed with the ideas of writing down their thoughts to benefit their own children.
How different we are from these Maya villagers. For the Maya, who saw and heard the written word for the first time, the value of the written word was incalculable. To those of us who live in a veritable sea of text, the marginal utility of the next written word approaches zero. Our indifference is understandable. Since a codified system can be applied to any and all words, including a list of ingredients on the side of a box of Cocoa Puffs, most of us have developed methods to insulate ourselves from the unrelenting deluge of minutia, sales pitches, and unsolicited advice that streams before us each day.
As a natural consequence of nearly drowning in words, most of us don't write much—well, certainly not much of any substance. Unlike the Maya elders who, after knowing of their written language for only a few minutes, had already composed heart-felt notes of love and advice to their children, we haven't done the same with our own offspring despite the fact that we have known how to write for decades. Somewhere between penning our first "I love you Mommy," and writing a term paper on the digestive system of the worm, we stopped writing for pleasure.
Writing simply isn't our medium of choice any more. As leaders we certainly don't write serious thought pieces or calls to action, and as parents we rarely write words of adoration or instruction. Today we compose e-mails and text messages—often unpunctuated and almost always brief. The coin of today's verbal realm is idle chit chat, acronyms (LOL), and abbreviated business-speak.
To put this change in communication style into perspective, consider the following: Thomas Jefferson wrote over 20,000 letters during his career. Of course, if I wrote with the majesty and eloquence of Thomas Jefferson, I'd write more letters too. But it's not merely a matter of ability. Most of us no longer desire to write. We choose not to. Maybe we're reluctant to express ourselves in writing because our first attempts to capture our thoughts and dreams typically fell under the chilling gaze of grammarians who accused us of dangling our modifiers and splitting our infinitives when all we really wanted to do was tell a story and have someone read it.
So today we rely on other media. At work, we write precious little of any real substance. Instead we hold meetings. Talking is fast, cheap, and interactive. Talking requires no style guide, spell check, or grammar review. And let's not forget the really big benefit of oral argument: If you don't put anything in writing, you aren't committing to something that people can rub your nose in later. Nobody ever made a photocopy of something stupid you said in a meeting and circulated it around the company.
And yet, writing remains a powerful tool for influence. I once worked on a massive corporate change project where I wrote a weekly e-mail to all of the leaders. In the document I described what we had done that week and why. I shared theory and philosophy. I honestly described both successes and failures. I even expressed my concerns and feelings. Often the document was a full two pages long.
At first I worried that the weekly two-pager was out of step with the corporate culture, but soon learned that the documents were becoming the voice of the change project. People would stop me in the hallway and ask questions or make comments. The letter drew people together in a way that I hadn't imagined. Water-cooler talk transformed from light-weight sports analysis and petty gripes to thoughtful discussions of where the leaders were trying to take the company and what it would require to get there. An atmosphere of concern and criticism slowly shifted to one of guarded optimism. The ailing company was on the mend and everyone was playing a role in the healing. And strangely enough, the weekly letter played an important role in propelling the change.
And how about parents? Should they make more use of the written word? When my oldest daughter took a job in Ecuador, I wrote her a weekly letter where I expressed my love and concern for her along with daily chit chat and updates on sports and current events. These were the first letters I had composed since 1966, when I was living in Brazil and wrote to my own parents. I hadn't written a letter for over thirty years because the phone had replaced my pen. However, since the cost of even a brief phone call to Ecuador was the equivalent of a steak dinner, I returned to writing letters. Since writing down my thoughts seemed more formal and important to me than merely chatting, I made an effort to express deeper and more meaningful ideas than I would have left to my natural proclivities. My daughter still has all of those letters.
I'm reminded of the movie The Great Santini. When the Santini's oldest son turns sixteen, his mother writes him a letter and places it in his lunch bag. In it she expresses her love and appreciation for the man he has become. It's a beautiful piece of writing and I've often thought of that scene, wondering how many of us have the courage to do the same. Will we take the time to write our thoughts on paper, where they are recorded forever and can be easily recalled years, even centuries, later? Probably not. Either we don't think to write down our thoughts or we're afraid of placing them in public view.
But like it or not, fear it or not, the written word still can play an important role in our lives. The day will come when we're gone and the only thing left of us will be hundreds of still photographs that place us in front of tourist attractions, a handful of short video clips where we ritually mouth, "Get that camera out of my face!" and lastly, perhaps most importantly, our written words. The Maya understood the value of the written word the minute they learned that they could write their thoughts to their own children. And now, through their eyes, I'm coming to the same understanding.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Whooping Cough anyone?

Yeah. I think that is what it is. Doc also said it might be drainage from chronic sinusitis. Perhaps with asthma. Yikes.

All was calmed (in my head anyway) when I read this. It pretty much exactly describes my journey the last six weeks. I don't feel poorly, but I had to go to the doc since I had been coughing for six weeks. And "whooping" for the past four. (I didn't know that the intake was the whooping part. I thought it was characterized by a whoopy outflow. (Kind of yelping like a seal.)

Yeah. I was vaccinated as a kid (Pertussis). Doesn't work anymore (turns out most of the vaccines you have under age 12 don't do any good when you're an adult.)

My kids are vaccinated so they won't get it. I guess I had always thought of it as a child's disease (so does WebMD, notice the name of the link). Not so.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Button Rack

A year and a half ago I took a Donna Downey class where we covered these 8" chipboard letters with paper. I had them sitting haphazardly on a shelf. I finally put them up today...suspended by thread from the header on the vertical blinds in my office. (This would be the office that is my scrapbook room that I want to call my studio but it just doesn't seem right. Too pretentious or something!)

Then I had my hubby put up my new button holder...an old cassette tape holder painted white and flipped on its side.

Margaret helped me sort a jar of buttons into different jars by color. Then she wouldn't get out of the picture! funny.

Ya' gotta' love that I found these baby food jars when I was looking for paint for this. They are the perfect button holders..right size and fit on the shelves nicely.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

From the mouth of babes

From Margaret today:

"Mom, How come you take pictures, and put them on your computer, and then print them out and scrap them and then take picture of them and put them on your computer?"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Home again!

Made it home. We drove the last hour in the rain. And it's chilly here. Like a different world from the 90 degrees and humid when we left.

Laundry is started. Mail is being gone through (Two boxes for me!!! One from Tally Scrapper and one from Jenni Bowlin!)

Now to download and order pictures!

Margaret jumping over the "waves" on Lake Michigan

This is a porcupine in a tree. Trust me on this. We saw this guy and his mom several times, this was the only time I had my camera with me.

Amelia learned to kayak with help from the waterfront crew. Pretty cool!

There were tons of monarch butterflies all over the place.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New picture!

Michelle's comment reminds me I need to have a new picture taken. This one is by my 6 year old.

I am 6 pounds away from my weight before I had kids. That was ten years ago. That's my next goal! I can tell you the weight has shifted around however. I lost a lot of weight in my back end but not much on the top. Very weird, but I won't complain about that too much. (Oh...and I still don't have a waist...never really did)

After I hit that goal we'll see how it's going and if I want to work at this some more. The eating less (i.e an appropriate amount of food) has been easy. Doing exercise has not. That is my downfall...I am a couch potato.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I remember posting earlier about some of the silly things I've done that I find pretty unbelievable. This weekend was no exception.

I decided to clean out my Scrap Bin. I keep scraps in a tote that I sometimes take to crops. I found our cell phone down the edge of the bag. One that I lost about a year ago.

I found an electronic token from work that had been missing for months. It's part of the security to get on the company's intranet from home.

And did I ever tell you I lost yet another badge for work? It was the second time in about 4 months.

In other ditzy items...I went to get adhesive at Scrapbooks Too last week and didn't check if I needed any of the other type I use. I ran out of that type on Friday.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

School Shopping

We went to Target tonight to get school supplies. I like going early so there is a better selection of backpacks.

I was a bit sad about one thing that happened. Margaret was so excited! She found a Hello Kitty backpack and matching lunch bag. (She's going to be in first grade... excited about the lunch at school thing) I don't know what happened when, but about 10 minutes later she put them back and said, "I don't want anyone thinking I'm a baby" and she picked out a plain purple backpack and lunch bag. I so wanted to make her get the "Hello Kitty" stuff, but knew I shouldn't. I was kind of sad about that. Peer pressure starts way too early (and I'll bet there are plenty of high school aged kids with Hello Kitty stuff, but she wouldn't believe me, I'm sure)

Amelia had a hard time choosing between the "High School Musical" backpack and the "High School Musical" book bag. She chose the book bag...which was good because it doesn't have a HUGE picture of Troy on it (just a smaller one).

We got all new pens and pencils and everything, even though we likely had some used at home. I like the feel of all new stuff when school starts. Charlie didn't understand.

School doesn't start for over a month, but at least we have that part done. Now on to school clothes shopping. Ick.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tragedy in Minneapolis

The Clauss family is ok. Just a quick note in case anyone is checking here for news.

I'm shaken. Very surreal.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Harry Potter is in the House

Here's my layout on the recent Harry Potter release. I hope you all enjoyed reading it! I know I did. I'm going back and reading the older ones and I'm on Goblet of Fire right now. I love going back and tying in all the pieces after reading to the end! (I also love using this old Paper Loft paper with the book spines on it. I really do still love most of the old scrapbooking supplies I have. And it's fun to find something old and use it on a page!)

Here's the text of the journaling:

In July 2007, the final “Harry Potter” book came out. It was quite the to-do, with midnight parties and people reading into the wee hours of the morning. Charlie went out and bought the book on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. He finished at about 2am. I had started reading the previous book early that day, so when I got up on Sunday I was able to start “HP and the Deathly Hallows”. I finished at about 11pm.
I didn’t get into Harry Potter until I listened to the first book on tape. Then I was hooked! I finally started reading them when I was on a business trip to Singapore. I was in the hotel all weekend alone, so I bought the first and finished it, then the second, then the third! When I went back to Singapore a year later I was able to get the fourth book, but I still want to get the matching set (meaning I have to get the last three there). I like that I have the “British” version of the books. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to complete the set, but I certainly wasn’t going to wait for that to finish reading them!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some Scrapbook Layouts

Goodness, I haven't posted in over a week. Let's see...

Margaret lost tooth #2. The tooth fairy brought her a dollar coin. She was disappointed that she only got one quarter...had never seen a dollar coin before.

We have been at the pool a lot. The wading pool. That's good enough for the girls and it is close.

I finally did a few more layouts. It's been a while since I've posted any. Those of you who go to Tally Scrapper have seen these...but for my other readers...here they are!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Camp Like a Girl

That's the theme for Girl Scout camp this summer. I got a great T-shirt. Amelia and I just got back from Camp. It was nice. Amelia loved hiking. She hated the beds. I hated the beds, too.

Of course we did S'mores and Pudgie Pies. Mmmmm.

Ghost stories were told.

My main disappointment was no singing around the campfire. Darn. How can it be camp without that?

I'm tired. Two nights of sleeping on camp cots is not refreshing. But I did have so much fun watching Amelia explore camp and camp life. Looking forward to sleeping in my Serta Pillow Top bed. (With a bathroom in the house) Sounds dreamy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A lovely weekend

We all had such a lovely weekend. We drove over to Merrill, Wisconsin on Friday afternoon. (About 20 minutes north of Wausau, if that helps you). We stayed in a hotel with a really nice pool and hot tub. In all, we spent about 3 or 3-1/2 hours in the pool this past weekend. The girls are not big on putting their faces in the water. But Amelia finally figured out how to "swim". Yep. It's classic dog paddle, arms and legs flailing with head held above water. But she figured it out. And she was sooo proud of herself (as she should be) I heard "Mommy, look at me!" more than 100 times this weekend. The girls both did a maneuver called the "flying squirrel", which was basically pushinng off the steps in the pool into the water. I pretended to be a dolphin (and they would be baby dolphins and I would give them rides) or a whale (and I would jump up and make big splashes). Both moves would be met with claps and glee and asking for more. Even with just the pool experience it would have been great.

But the reason we drove four hours was not to go to a pool... it was to go to a family reunion. This is an upbeat, fun, organized family. We had a horseshoe tournament (my cousin Todd and I won) a water balloon toss, a pinata, a craft (glue tissue paper on glass votives), a campfire with lots of singing, and lots of motorboat rides with tubing and skiing. It was cold there on Saturday (I'd say low 60s with a 20 mph wind off the lake), but that just meant we sat up near the cabin and talked more. I got to spend more time with family. Very nice.

Margaret went tubing with 3 other 6-7 year old girls. Cute factor off the scale!!!

The girls are 1st or 2nd cousins and they really had a blast playing all weekend. Margaret especially enjoyed playing with Madeline, my cousin Kathy's daughter.

My brother Mark's family from Missouri was all there. No small feat since their boys are a 9th grader, a 12th grader, and a college junior.Let me tell you, they ate half the ham all by themselves! I don't know how you can afford to feed three young men those ages. It is amazing to see how they have grown and their areas of wisdom and their areas of silliness and immaturity.

Amelia also enjoyed the motor boat rides this year. She is a bit more timid than Margaret and I don't anticipate her tubing anytime soon. She also hasn't liked riding on the motorboat in past years. This year, however, you couldn't get her out of the boat! Fun to see her grow up, too.

At the campfire, there was a lull in the songs at one point and Amelia plunged in with "My home's in Montana, I wear a bandana, My spurs they are silver, my pony is grey" Three verses. She knew all the words and everyone sat and listened to her. She got big claps at the end. She has a pretty voice and it was fun to see her using it.

Speaking of singing, Sunday morning my Uncle Bill set up for the family to sing at their church service. I wasn't really that interested in getting up for church at 8:15, but I was glad I did. It was fun to sing with my Aunts and Uncles and mom. There were only 3 of us "cousins". My cousin Anne is a music teacher and has such a lovely voice. I could tell that my mom was very happy and grateful that I came and sang...that was worth it all by itself. I guess we were on the radio. Hah! My brush with fame.

After that, we went back to the "lake" for another afternoon of boating and tubing. Margaret went out again.

It's hard to watch, because I'm always so scared they will fall off. That would really scare her, but no incidents!

After our drive home, we got into the cities just in time to take the girls straight to choir practice. A woman at our church is a music teacher and is having a choir over the summer. The girls are performing at the Episcopal Church home this coming Saturday and at church next Sunday. They were sooooo tired. Margaret looked like she was going to fall asleep on her feet. Amelia has a speaking part and sounded good talking into the microphone.

Let's just say we were all tired. I downloaded pictures from my camera to my computer (I will put some on this post tonight) and then we basically went to bed. I'll have to do laundry tonight.

It was a perfect night to sleep with the windows open. We have windows on two sides of the bedroom, so we get a nice cross flow. With the big elm tree overhead, it feels like sleeping in a tree house sometimes. I woke up this morning just grateful for everything... my family, safe travels, my house, my job. Everything.

That, my friends, is what a weekend is supposed to do for you.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I wish I had a camera phone today...

I saw a Hummer with an E85 sticker on it.

Unbelievable. I suspect the owner has an attitude about environmentalists and did it to stick it in their faces. Or maybe the owner is just stupid.

OK..I thought of two more possibilities.

1) Some environmentalist tagged the Hummer with the sticker.

2) The owner of the Hummer owns an Ethanol plant. (Charlie thought of that one).

But I really wanted a picture of it.

Southwest Minneapolis Playground Tour

The girls have been wanting to go to the playground or wading pool every night. We have been going around to new parks to try them out. Most of the playgrounds in the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation chain have a community center with a bathroom and a wading pool. Very nice. Here are our stops so far:

Fuller: 48th and Grand. Our "home" park. We go here most often because we can walk there.
Lynnhurst: 50th and Minnehaha Parkway. Our other "home" park. It's right by the girls' school and has more equipment for older kids. Fuller is kind of a "baby" park.
Linden Hills: 42nd and Xerxes. A drive around the lake. The girls love the "pirate ship" play area. The pool is round, which is kind of cool.
McRae: 47th and Chicago. The coolest play equipment. Neat climbing stuff. Lots of unsupervised kids there, however.
Pershing: 48th and Chowen. Almost Edina. You can tell. The playground in next to the tennis courts and there was a lady playing in a pink tennis outfit and pearls. When she was done I noticed she climbed into her Lexus SUV to drive away. Why was I not surprised?
Lake Harriet Play area by the bandshell: No pool. Old, old equipment like the kind I used to play on as a kid. Great memories for me.

We still need to hit the following:
Martin Luther King: 41st and Nicollet.
Pearl Park: Diamond Lake Road and Portland Ave.
The one at 40th and Colfax/Bryant near Lakewood Cemetery... Can't recall the park name.

I'll have to pull out the map and find a few more. Kind of fun to visit new parks.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tagged again!

This tag comes from Minda. Per my standard MO, I will not be tagging anyone else. Feel free to answer if you are so led!

This seems much harder than answering questions. Plus I think maybe I did this one once..maybe tagged by Scraploft?

1-post these rules
2-each person tagged must post 8 random(... hopefully interesting) facts about themselves
3-tags should write a blog post of these facts
4- at the end of the post 8 more bloggers are tagged and named
5-go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged

My ranDoM fActS:

1) I like to watch baseball on TV. I even recorded games at one point to watch off season (sad, I know). I am waiting for the last game before the all-star break tonight. I'd be willing to have a TV in my scrap room just for this. And I could record games to watch off season. You see, I don't really watch the games in any detail. I don't remember the scores, the inning, or even the teams sometimes. It's just a comforting background noise to me. I do remember watching a pitcher for the Cubs throwing a no-hitter once. During a day game. I remember his last name started with an S... now I'll have to look that up. I kept score during the Twins' world series games. I still have the score sheets. It's the only way i can pay attention to what's going on. I also keep score when I attend games.

2) We are trying to decide on whether to get a dog or not. I think about the mess and the cost and I say no. I think about the petting and the walking and the protection and how much Amelia would love one and I say yes. First I have to buy a new car and a new couch. (And why would I get a dog if I had a new couch? Another mark in the "no dog" column.) Oh. And we need to have the trim on the house painted. And the elm treated for dutch elm disease. Our neighbor across the street and one down just had one marked with the "ring of death". I'd hate to lose ours.

3) I grew up in a house a LOT like the one we have now. A small boulevard between the sidewalk and street with a big elm tree, a built in buffet, house built in 1920s.

4) I was terrified of tornadoes and lightning storms growing up. I was always afraid the lightning would hit the elm tree and the main branch would fall on my room. The main branch on our elm tree is right over our bedroom now. I don't even think about it falling on the house.

5) I love sitting in a tent or cabin in the rain. With no other noises except the bugs and the birds.

6) I am basically lazy. I am always willing to leave stuff for the last minute. Read #2 for examples. I can't believe I'm pre-approved on a loan for a new car and I haven't spent another moment looking for one or thinking about it. Except when I'm driving the piece of crud car I'm driving now. Then I think about it.

7) I just bought a Silhouette! I used the proceeds from the rummage sale at the local store to finance my new "digital craft cutter". Hah! I wasn't so lazy about picking that up, was I? I had it up and running within an hour after getting it home. We must have priorities here, eh?

8) I just hand wrote TWO letters this past weekend. To my Great Aunt and my Aunt. I think they both have e-mail addresses, but not sure how to find them out. Now I'm remembering that I didn't ask for their e-mail addresses or tell them mine. Well, that was silly, wasn't it? Handwriting a letter was weird. I used to do this fairly often? Not enough. I remember getting a letter from my dad every Wednesday when I was in college. He wrote me every Sunday night and I would get them on Wednesday. I think I didn't keep them. Very unlike me...and I wish I had them.

Tag to.... whoever wants to answer these. And now I have to go off and find out what 8 random facts I used last time I did this.

Enjoy the rain! I know I am.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's July

Goodness, I've been neglecting this blog. What do you do when you sit at the pool for two hours? Read the manual on your camera and snap 100 pictures. Of course, the first and the last were the best.

Oh. And I took 100 at the fireworks on Wednesday. Here are two I liked.