Friday, March 27, 2009


My goodness, I had a lot of pictures to post today! I doubled the size of March's photo album from 25 to 50 pics! If you scroll over the slide show, it'll give you options to flip through them faster. If you click on it, it'll make the show bigger. There's pics of our worm hunt and Juju's first table food attempt. Above is one of my favorite pics. I was upstairs sewing and had set Juju on the duvet beside a mirror and caught her raising her arms, as in the picture, over and over again. I got a short video of it, but she'd already been doing it for at least 5 minutes before I shot this:

The last one here, I shot about an hour ago, right before her nap. I love when she gets all giggly when she's tired. It's not very steady because she kept kicking my arm or grabbing the camera. It's another piece of grandparent candy. I think I'll coin that phrase. Be warned, if you're not a grandparent of Juju, you may want your money back after this film.

My Dad called today from Afghanistan! He said it was a morale call. Not sure if it was for his morale or mine. I miss my folks something fierce. I wonder if they sell cool afghans in Afghanistan. I should have asked him to look.

Check out the cute stuff on Happy Green Baby. Like this bowling set! Love it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wrinkle in Time...

For many years I've had a bag in my basement full of treasures and I didn't even know it. My mom had asked for her grandma's old fabric scraps when she retired from quilting and since they live overseas I'd been storing it for her. Finally, my husband said, what's with that bag downstairs? So, after my mom went through it last time she she visited me she told me I could have what was left. Well, there was a lot left and I'm finally getting to post about it. Here's what I found in the bag of fabric from my Great Grandma G. who's 96 and still going strong.
I'm not sure, but I think the yellow fabric above is from my mom's going away dress from 1975.

These two are my favorites, of course there's only enough to make a head scarf out of each.
There's been a couple of surprises in the bag too, like when I opened up this fabric, it turned out to be almost finished pants. Look how high they come up! I love it! I'm wondering who Grandma made these for!!!

There was a finished dress in the bag too, it just needs a belt. What's weird is that it fits me perfectly, could it be...genetics? Ben wants me to wear it as my Easter dress, whaddaya think?

So, I'm modeling my new dress for Daddy and Z walks in and sees me. He immediately runs to my stash of aprons and finds my Texas flag apron and wants to put it he can match Mommy! Aaaaah!
There was also a beautiful quilt that just needs a back to it. Anyways, it's been really fun to go back in time. I've already made a couple of hair bands out of some of the fabric and used some for the pocket of this bag:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

History of St. Patrick

Born to wealthy parents in England around 370 AD, Maewyn Succat, as he was first named, was brought up in the Christian tradition. When he was 16 years old he was kidnapped by a band of pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. For six years he was either imprisoned or tending sheep and during this time he turned to God and it is said, prayed over a hundred times a day. Then, when moved by the Spirit he walked over 200 miles to the coast and boarded a ship going to France. He soon escaped to England and began religious training. During his fifteen years in school he reported God came to him and told him to return to Ireland to bring the gospel to the pagans there and to support the Christians already there. When he was ordained a Bishop he was given the name "Patrick" and he left to minister to the Irish. Instead of eradicating their pagan beliefs he attempted to use some of their symbos to educate in or celebrate Christianity. For instance, he used the three leaf clover as an analogy of the Trinity, and he put a sun (an important pagan symbol) behind the cross to help them more easily receive it. He died on March 17th 460 AD and was later canonized.

Friday, March 13, 2009

No cameras please!

Do you think she's trying to tell us something?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Man's Dryer

How is it we've been married for nearly 12 years and I'm only now hearing about "The Man's Dryer" my husband helped create?

Here's what his teacher said about it:
A group of college students attempts to create "The Man's Dryer" during the 1990s when "Home Improvement" was popular on TV. The heat source is a Solar APU model T41 (a small jet engine) circa 1959, originally used for auxiliary heat and electricity in KC-135 tankers. ... - Lawrence Robinson

Who me?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Long Distance Storytime

The following are a couple of videos of our lazy Sunday evening at home yesterday as we watched a video my parents (who live overseas) had done by United Through Reading of them reading to our kids. The program is free and they got to pick out books (5!) and were videoed reading them to our kids. The program then mailed the video AND THE BOOKS to us here in Ohio. We had such a lovely time watching them on video last night. My mom got the giggles during one of the books my Dad was reading which then gave him the giggles too. It was fun and I'm so glad I have it on DVD. I hope to show my grandkids someday.

If you are a grandparent in the California area, a military serviceman, in jail or any combination of the three, you may be able to participate in this fun program (see link above)! I hope they branch outside of California someday, but that's all there seems to be for the grandparent program. My parents are government service overseas, and this is brand new in their area. They said they plan to do it again, so perhaps we'll have several videos to pass on to the kiddos.

This last one is hard to hear, but he's echoing words as his Grandma reads them.

When the stories were finished he said, "Again? Again?"!
Check out new pictures in the slideshow!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'd always said that WalMart would even take underwear back, they take so many returns. Well, yesterday I bought two packages of Hanes for her and at home, I notice that one of the packages is taped shut with clear tape packaging tape. I open it anyways, figuring if I washed them, it's no big deal that they'd been open before. Well, the pair on top that I pulled out was awfully big! I checked the size and they were my size, but something told me to check the next pair. The next pair was significantly smaller. Not only was the first pair a bigger style of undies, they were "Fruit of the Loom"! What's up with that!? Thankfully I didn't notice any grossness on either pair. They're still going back.

Speaking of injustices, my doctor accidentally prescribed me the wrong dosage of synthroid. Like he told me my thyroid was low and he needed to adjust my dosage, but went the wrong way! So, that explains a whole whole lot. Now that it's been corrected, I'm hoping to get warmer and have more energy.

Updates on the WigKids:
Z: Little Z has graduated to a big boy booster seat in the car, which he likes a lot. He's been spending a lot of time in the car lately, playing by himself. I sit on the porch or watch out the window as he plays out there. We're all so ready for Spring, I think he just wants to be anywhere other than inside. Right now he's at the airport hanging out with Daddy. Yes, I'm blogging with my one free hour to myself. He's testing boundaries right and left. We can be on a happy cycle together or a miserable one. If I'm on top of my game I anticipate battles, give choices, look for the positive and find it. If I'm not, we're both miserable.

Juju: Our little muffin weighed in at almost 19 pounds at the doctor's the other day. She rolls over easily and can sit up by herself for prolonged periods. Her hair is starting to come in and it looks strawberry blond to me, just like Z's did. If she's not too tired, she's taken to playing with my mouth while she nurses. She'll reach up and flick my lower lip down so it makes the "baboop" sound. It cracks her up. Her brother also cracks her do the dogs, oh, and the kitchen chairs.

Money for Nothin'
Our dog, Atticus, puked on the corner of one of our down comforters, that's real down, not synthetic filler. He's done this before and it cost us $40 at the dry cleaners. This time, I called ahead and asked if there was any way they could dry clean just the corner as the rest of the comforter was fine. He said 'no', but gave me some valuable information. He told me to buy some ammonia and some tennis balls. The good ones, like Spaulding, that the name won't rub off easily. He said, to go to a laundry mat and find a large front loading washing machine and with just a little detergent and some ammonia, wash it. Then dry it in a large dryer with the tennis balls for a really long time. Since I have a front loading washing machine and the comforter was only a twin size, I did it all at my house. So, for the price of the ammonia and two packages of tennis balls, I have a clean down comforter. I'm so pleased! Since they were so nice, I have to put out a plug for Catola's Dry Cleaners!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Book Report

The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do by Peg Tyre
Ben and I read this together at his suggestion. The author was an investigative journalist for NewsWeek magazine. The book goes through every grade from Pre-K to College and identifies how many boys are struggling at every level. She identifies historical (Women's Lib movement) and political reasons (No Child Left Behind and standardized testing) why the problems exist and why it's so unpopular to discuss the problems many boys have.

Some problems she sites are that boys are inherently different than girls, meaning they are naturally very active, even aggressive, they are slower to develop fine motor skills and typically learn to read at a later age, and these differences are often overlooked in the typical expectations boys face in schools. She follows that boys are quicker to get referred for evaluations, get labeled with a diagnosis and get medicated or labeled as learning disabled and get an IEP (or whatever they're called nowadays) or put in special classes. Worse, little boys from Pre-school and kindergarten become discouraged because it's too hard for them to sit still or live up to increasing academic expectations at younger and younger ages and "check out" of school before they've hardly begun.

The problems continue throughout the school years and many boys aren’t even interested in continuing their education through college and many of those who do can’t pass admissions requirements. This is where it got interesting. Colleges are starting to lower their standards for boys just to get them admitted. If their ratio of boys to girls is too lop sided admissions go down all together. So, they end up overlooking more qualified girls to get more boys in their schools. That’s discouraging for EVERYBODY!

She doesn't have any miracle solutions, which I can appreciate. She mainly encourages parents to advocate for their boys. She affirmed that there are many teachers and school officials that are trying hard to find ways to meet the needs of boys, but many are not as most don’t even recognize that there is a problem. Some ideas I gleaned from her if you think you may have a super active little boy are: choose play-centered pre-schools instead of overly academic ones, wait an extra year to have your son enter school, don't assume male teachers are all sexual predators - remember boys like to learn from men, make sure Dad role models reading, and watch out for video game addiction in your son. For schools: one school has a different police officer come every week to read to the elementary kids in full uniform (gun and all), don’t limit recess and lunch times, incorporate movement in the classroom, encourage reading and writing topics that the children are truly interested in, be sensitive to inherent differences in boys – if most of the boys in the class struggle with handwriting, it may be too early to expect them to have as nice handwriting as their female peers.

I think Ben was excited about this book because there were chapters covering the elementary years that he feels depicted what he went through. He was the little boy who couldn't sit still or stay quiet and was struggling enough his mother pulled him out of school and home schooled him for a year in fourth grade. I appreciated learning some ideas to use in my future home school classroom to keep my son's interest.