Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A job well done!

Recently I was running, and I pushed a little further than usual. I run with the Nike + Ipod device that measures my distance and calories. Occasionally, when I end the work out a certain famous athlete will tell me if I hit a milestone such as a new longest distance, or fastest time.  I've heard about my success from Lance Armstrong, and other really amazing people.  It's a pretty neat feature.

Tonight, at the end of my 4 mile run Tiger Woods congratulated me on an awesome workout!  He told me I burned an amazing amount of calories. I couldn't help but laugh! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A FL Must See

If you are ever in the Tampa area and have time for a day trip, you have to go see Stump Pass Beach. It's about two hours from our house, but with beautiful weather, and boys in need of some hiking to get their energy out, it was a lovely Saturday. 

On the way, we stopped by the TECO Manatee Viewing Area, which is another favorite spot (and about an hour from us.)  The manatees are great to see, and there are also many other creatures there. Rays, sharks, fish galore come to the warm waters in the winter time. 

The picture in my blog header is the boys at this same spot a few years ago. My how they've grown!
You almost forget you are at a power plant, except for these "cloud makers" as Ben called them.
We arrived at Stump Pass beach and started on our hike!  I can't believe our boys were big enough to make it the entire 1.3 miles and back!  We took our time and stopped along the way to play, but it was a long way for small legs. The boys spent a fair bit of time throwing shells in the water and it was reminiscent of our Georgia days when a favorite weekend activity was going on a hike and throwing rocks in the water.  Some things never change.

I love this picture!  The waves, the boys!  Just spectacular!

We had to mark the trail with sticks along the way.  Zachary was even writing "NO" in the sand at certain spots to make sure other hikers didn't go the wrong way!

We found many shells along the way, as well as sharks teeth.  All in all the day couldn't be more amazing!  A much needed day away from our norm. Thank goodness for beautiful FL weather in February!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ben's Birthday

This is the first year Ben's been super excited about the days leading up to his birthday.  I can't believe my wee little baby is FOUR!  It was just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital after all!

look how teeny tiny his feet were!

We knew when he was born he would change our lives and complete our family, but we never knew how he would absolutely give us a run for our money every single day! Ben, you are full of energy and silliness. You climb to great heights (and jump from them!) You have made our family complete, more than just being the last in a line of amazing little boys. We just wouldn't know what to do without you! 

Glad you had a great birthday little Valentine!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Project

The assignments formerly known as book reports are now apparently book "projects."  What's the difference, you may ask?  I'm not sure other than my children take great delight in correcting me when I use the term book report. "It's a book project mom."  *Insert 7/8 year old eye roll.*

This particular book project was over a president (Abraham Lincoln) and was declared done. When I looked it over I noticed a certain peculiarity in the answers.

"What was the most important thing this president did for our country?"  He freed the slaves.

"If you could ask this president a question, what would it be?"  How he freed the slaves.

Then there was another question that I can't remember and he answered with something about freeing the slaves. 

When I made him erase two of the three and think of different answers for each there was much attitude.  It got done, however.. he didn't put a whole lot of detail into it, but I keep reminding myself it is 2nd grade. 

This project also required a visual aid, and where his written work lacked originality, I thought he had a great idea to make a log cabin out of lincoln logs was pretty great.  Only, we didn't have enough lincoln logs to build a great cabin, and I worried even if I acquired them the thing would fall apart on the way to school.  After a quick internet search*  I found an idea for a log cabin with frosting, pretzels and a milk carton.  Awesome!  I never managed to get a milk carton, but we made due and Mark turned out a fabulous log cabin!  I was pretty proud of him!

*How did moms DO it before the internet?  Google is my best friend!

The cabin made it to school, but they devoured it on the way home.  Apparently it was quite tasty!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


For Ben's birthday (need to post on that still!) he recieved from Granny a castle!  Daddy put it together and all week the boys have asked for a sleepover in the castle. Finally the weekend came, and they were able to sleep on the floor in the family room in (and around) the magical cardboard creation...

Friday, February 18, 2011


I always wonder when I'm supposed to have certain conversations with my boys... you know the ones.  How babies are born and such.  But I don't think they are quite ready for the talks about *that word* that starts with s and ends with ex.  Maybe I'm just naive They are too small. 

However, certain conversations tend to bring up these questions about babies being born.  Today, on the way home from school we were talking about their middle names.  Then that morphed into a discussion on last names and why we all have the same one. 

As our conversations tend to do, we bounced around a bit and talked about how babies who are adopted get to have the last names of the parents who get to take them home. We talked about our friends in Georgia who are adoptive parents.  They asked why someone might give their baby to another family to raise and I explained  how some people feel like they aren't able to give a child all they need. 

As often happens, the discussion took a surprising turn and Eric asked if you could decide NOT to have a baby or if "it just happened naturally" and I answered (with heart palpitations with fear of follow up questions) that you could decide whether or not to have a baby.  I'm all about being very, very VAGUE.  Then Mark asked "Mommy, HOW do you not have a baby." I took a deep breath and wondered how I could avoid this question or hold it off to a later date, when Eric said "WHAT Mark? Do you think Mom is a DOCTOR?" 

I still crack up at this question.  Fortunately (maybe,) no further questions were asked about babies or the prevention thereof.  Whew!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sometimes Procrastination Works in My Favor

On Wednesday on the way out the door, I placed Zachary's glasses on his face and the lens promptly popped out.  I picked it up, and realized quickly that the screw was missing so I sent him on to school without them. He made me promise to bring them after I got them fixed, and I agreed. 

In the optometrist office, the lady told me I should bring him in after school to get them readjusted because they were pretty warped... no surprise there.  I made a mental note, and when they all got home I just decided to wait til a different day since the sun was out for the first time all week, and the kids wanted to plaaaay.

On Thursday, when Zachary came home from school, his glasses looked like they had been sat on, sat on, something... Pretty bent out of shape! I was pretty pleased I had waited a day to go in for the adjustment. 

Now, if only he hadn't misplaced them he could have worn them to school today. I have a feeling I'll find them somewhere really interesting when I clean up in a bit.

Friday, February 4, 2011

In Which I Show my Judginess

I'm pretty sure judginess isn't a word, but hey, it's Friday night, let's play fast and loose with the dictionary shall we? 

Disclaimer: I do my darndest not to judge. Truly. Because I will tell you when I do it comes back to bite me every time. EVERY time. But in this case I simply have to because I was in one of those awkward situations in which my boys where looking at me to solve a problem and I wasn't sure how to.

We were at the library to get a book for Mark for his book project on a President. At the library there was this totally cute little 2 (ish) year old boy. Long, blonde curly hair, dimples, lots of personality!  I kept wondering which mommy belonged to him because no one appeared to be watching (let's call him blondy.)  He came over to me and leaned in my lap and I chatted with him a bit because I am pretty good at talking to little boys. Then he walked over and ripped the toy Zachary was playing with right out of his hand.  Here's where I have trouble.  I DON'T get on to other people's kids ESPECIALLY if I don't know them well.  So I did a quick scan of the moms and still didn't see a likely candidate.  Until my eyes landed upon the one on the computer.  I quickly realized she was playing games on the library computer.  Blondy continued to rip toys out of other childrens hands and when Mark looked at me like "MOM help me here!" all I could manage to say was "Mark he's little and he's probably learning and doesn't quite understand sharing yet." In a voice loud enough for mom to hear in the event she might be listening. Sigh.

Look, I'm not a helicopter mom, and I'm all for kids working stuff out on their own when they can. I like to chat with my friends at the playground and let the kids just have fun, but how is little cute Blondy going to learn if mom isn't watching at ALL.

My more compassionate side thought maybe that was the mom's only break for the day, and her only outlet to relax. My Momma Bear was pretty irritated that she wasn't paying attention and it affected the fun my kids could have had.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Lately, I've become obsessed with making bread. One of our New Years Goals is to plan ahead better, and not rush to the store because we have forgotten something.  Mostly, this is to save money, but it helps me manage my time too, because I'm not running to the store for "a few things" almost every day. But I digress...


For a lot of years I had a major fear of yeast. Mostly because I was notorious for failure in the bread department.  I'm getting a little better through trial and error.  I even made rye bread* (and ground the rye flour ourselves even) and we had reubens on it Sunday night.  I still am really struggling with the heavier, whole grain flours, but I think I might have the white bread down.  (Thanks to a good recipe. Well, I think it's good, it hasn't baked yet, but boy oh boy, it is rising. The pizza stone is preheating and I'm looking forward to french dip subs on these rolls tonight! 

Now, I can move back on to the whole grains, because it is important to me that our breads are healthy, as well as yummy.  My actual goal through all of this is to not have to buy bread for sandwiches at the store anymore. I've made progress, but I'm definitely not there yet.

*  Incidentally, I think I might be allergic to rye.  When I ground the flour I immediately started stuffing up. Later, when I ate it my throat got itchy and I still am stuffy a few days later. I'm hoping it's a coincidence because I really like rye bread.  And we have an awful lot of it left!

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