Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
What Your Halloween Habits Say About You
You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.
Sneaky and devious, people should really watch out for you. You are usually underestimated and forgotten.
Your inner child is stubborn and a bit bossy.
You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.
You're logical, rational, and not easily effected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.
You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.
I love Halloween and I thought this would be a fun little thing to do for All Hallow's Even.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Max also likes foxes. I'm not sure what precipitated this, he just started to draw them. He made one on his mini etch-a-sketch that was very good, but sadly was erased by his sister before I could photograph it. He was very upset and that was when I found out about his interest in foxes.
Yesterday, as I was going through his take home folder from school, he declared "I make very good foxes."
Shortly there after I pulled out a story picture he made at school from his folder.
For those of you not conversant in first grade writing and spelling styles I'll translate:
I like foxes because they (not really sure about this) cool and they can walk in the snow and they can run.
These are his best foxes yet. It's a momma fox with her two cubs, with one cub playing in the snow. The handwriting and the spelling are quite rough, but the picture is perfect. When he sits down and really decides to draw a picture he can do wonderful things.
I must agree with Max, he really does draw good foxes.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here is my current obsession. This song by the Ting Tings has popped up a few times on my not so local alternative, public radio station while I'm tooling around in the van.
I may not be the intended demographic, but the song certainly rocks.
Monday, October 27, 2008
When we first learned of Max's CF diagnoses Larry wrote to Dean. Larry read his blog and knew that Dean too had CF. Amazingly Dean took the time to respond.
Today Dean was taken from us by the ravages of Cystic Fibrosis. He was only 41, far outstripping the projected lifespan a newborn with CF when he was born in 1967, but still too young.
And that is what I hate most about CF.
Most of us live life with the thought of death far far out of our minds. For those affected by CF (not just the patient, but family and friends as well) are just able to keep death at arms length. Everything we do, the endless treatments, the countless doctors visits, the never ending meds are all to get us a little more time. To keep Max just that much healthier. We strive to give him a normal life as possible, one with death kept at arm's length.
I'm so sorry at Dean is no longer here, but he did give a good fight and did the very best that he could do and lived life as fully as possible.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
So far we've been to Kuba Kuba and The Starlight, both have excellent food (I like Starlight a bit more, I'm not into the bean thing over at Kuba Kuba) and are extremely reasonably priced. We toyed with the idea of going back to the Starlight, but... they don't open until 10:00 and the kids are dropped off by 9:15. It takes far less than 45 minutes to get there, so we're stuck cooling our heels for quite a while until we actually get inside. Instead we decided to drive around and see what we could find.
We headed down Main st ( which turns into Ellwood ave) and then cut over to Cary when the road ended at Thompson. A few blocks down we noticed that Can Can was open and we thought we would give it a shot. Can Can Brasserie is Richmond's "hot" French Restaurant. We have been thinking of going there for dinner, but it is always booked out. This would be a great opportunity to check it out.
We strolled in and were immediately seated. After a decent interval our server came by as asked us for our drink order. We were hungry and told him we would be ready to order now. He politely updated us on some changes in the menu and then left with our orders in hand. In a flash he was back with some lovely freshly baked bread and some truly outstanding fresh squeezed orange juice.
Sadly the rest of the meal was not up to snuff. It was by far the blandest meal I have ever eaten.
My Egg's Benedict was saved from obscurity by the saltiness of the ham. My crispy potatoes were interesting, but completely lacking in substance and had only a hint of flavor. Larry's omelet was even less inspiring. It looked bland to me and he said it had no taste. The cheese was bland and the sausage was flavorless. We both availed ourselves to the pepper shaker, but it really wasn't enough. Freshly ground pepper may have helped, but it was never offered.
After our meal we window shopped for a bit (nothing was open yet). Upon returning to the car I espied in the window of the restaurant a few reviews of Can Can. They were, of course, all positive. Then I noticed a little blurb about the chef. He was trying to get away from all the butter found in most French cooking.
Aha! That explains the blandness of it all. Butter provides fat and fat is what carries the flavor. If you take away the fat, you take away most of the flavor.
Butter is your friend for tasty French cooking.
It was an expensive lesson, but I'm glad it was just for brunch and not an expensive night on the town. Can Can is now on our No No list.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Of course having John and Dell in your lap means at some point you will get your face cleaned.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I snapped this photo of them just last week at Rebecca's soccer practice. Jake had brought his DS and the three of them were peacefully sitting together. They were able to entertain each other for the whole hour with minimal fussing.
They really are good kids.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
He's pictured here with Dell inside of Dell's crate. The reason he is in the crate was I had just commented to him that I was amazed when earlier both John and Dell had piled into the same crate at the same time. They both fit with some room to spare. Nate announced that he could fit too and proceeded to get into Dell's crate. Dell, never wanting to be left out, also climbed on in with Nate.
As you can see they both fit and Dell was not at all crowded, Nate , however, was a bit squished since he needed to bend over to fit inside. I then closed up the crate and offered Nate a biscuit which he politely declined. They were happy as two peas in a pod, but they were also equally happy to be let out.
Obviously Nate has no problems with close quarters, but he would rather be outside, ideally playing some sort of game.
Currently Nate is playing football for his old school.He is having a great time and he'll probably play again next year. So right now it's all about football. He has practices 3 times a week and a game every Saturday. Football is a very important part of his life right now.
So when Nate brought home our invite to attend his school's open house I was not at all surprised by his choice in subject matter for front of the card. It's a neat little picture of a football suspended in midair with a set of goal posts on the far end of the field. I think it is a great illustration that looks even better in person.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Or as I liked to call it, grudge match of the century (which is totally absurd because they actually get along very well).
Anyhoo, we got to the field early enough for the dynamic duo to warm up with their respective teammates. I deposited water bottles on the players' side of the field and told the coaches about the game's sibling match up. I then retreated to the spectator's side and carefully positioned my chair at the midfield line and discovered I left my camera in the car. There was no way I was going to miss this photo opportunity and I had plenty of time so I trekked all the way back to the car to fetch it.I got back just in time to see the start of the game.
And what a game it was.
Max's team was just a wee bit better and they led for most of the game. It was an interesting experience for me because I knew pretty much all the kids out there and I really could not root exclusively for either team. I ended up cheering individual plays and players.
The best part was right at he end. Rebecca's team battled back and at the last 30 seconds of the game they were able to make the tying goal. In my eyes it was the perfect end to the game.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This year the dynamic duo wanted to decorate their own cupcakes and some cookies during their party. This sounded like a great idea, it would give the kids something to do and they would get to eat their creations.
We also did the party a little differently this year. Normally Max and Rebecca would both be inviting the guests, both names would be on the invites. Since they had a common pool of friends this made sense. Now, what with their being in separate classes and different soccer teams (more on that tomorrow), the pool of common friends is shrinking. So Rebecca had her list of invitees and Max had his own guest list.
It worked out very neatly, five guests apiece accepted the invitations. Ten kids is a fairly manageable number and we were able to divide them up for different activities, in a way creating two parties at the same time. The only hiccup on party day was tat one of Max's guest didn't show up, but Max never really noticed.
The day before the party Grandma, who had come down the day before with Grandpa, and I took Max and Rebecca party shopping. Our first stop was at Baker's kitchen, a truly amazing cake and candy supply store in the Richmond metro area. I have learned over the years that if I need something special for baking, it really is the only place to go.
Then we picked out some party plates, got a pinata, beverages and party favors. All that was left to do was bake the cupcakes and the cookies.
The cupcake decorating was a definite hit with all the kids. We set up Rebecca's party first and let the girls frost their cupcakes cookies with chocolate or vanila frosting and let them go to town with the decorations. Rebecca's effort is pictured here and if you click on it itwill lead you to a photo set of all of the girls' cupcakes.
Once the girls finished decorating I pulled out another cupcake with a big number seven candle on top and we all wished Rebecca a happy birthday. Then it was Max's turn. We ushered the ladies out and installed them at the table out on the deck.
The boys were tiring of the bouncy tent (I so got my money's worth on that thing) and were eager for their turn. On the whole I'd say the boys' efforts were a bit messier, but you have got to love the one pictured here. The dinosaur looks so cute peeking out of its pile of leaves. If you click on his picture it will lead you to the boys' set. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph Max's cupcake, but I did get Jake's little masterpiece. Max too got a cupcake with a candle to blow after this guests were done decorating their food.
Once all the candy was picked up the party wound down. A few enjoyed wearing the head of the pinata on top of their heads. I got a fair number of very silly photo opportunities with the burro head. I think the silliest was of one of the fathers that stayed at the party. Daddies can sometimes be very silly.
We opened up presents, Max's party got to go first, and then it was time for all our guests to head on home.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The kennel itself is decent, it's small with an old kennel building and simple outdoor runs that are used twice a day. What I really like about the place is that the owner lives a stone's throw away from the kennel and is a practicing vet to boot. The cherry on top is that Doc (as the techs all call him) grew up with dachshunds. He knows and understands the breed and really appreciates my dogs good temperaments and sound bodies.
So I know my dogs are popular with the owner and I'm fairly certain that the techs like them too, how much I didn't know until today.
My in laws are coming down today for the dynamic duo's birthday party. I finally got around to calling the kennel this morning about boarding the dogs for the weekend (Grandpa is a real trooper and doesn't make us kennel the dogs, but they do exacerbate his asthma and we want Grandpa to stay healthy).
As the person on the other end took my info and checked to see if they had space her voice lit up when she realized it was John and Dell.
She cried out "It's my babies! My babies are coming! "
An indistinct voice in the background queried who is coming and when she said Dell and John I could here a muffled "Oh those two, that's great!"
The receptionist then told me "There is always room for John and Dell, and if there isn't I'll just take them home with me."
I then found out that all the techs love my dogs and take turns just sitting in the runs being covered with kisses.
My red boys are very popular.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Yesterday was Max and Rebecca's seventh birthday, plus it was time for Artist of the Week. Because of Yom Kippur I already skipped AOTW last week, so I really couldn't pass it by again.
As for being a day late, well all can say it was a combination of being tired, annoyed and suffering from technical difficulties. Mind you the technical difficulties were in fact self inflicted and resulted in my being very annoyed with myself.
We had gone out to dinner last night at our favorite local barbecue joint, Brock's. Max and Rebecca picked it out after I asked them what did they wanted for dinner. In our family not only do you get cake for breakfast (or cookies in this case) on your birthday, but you get to pick out what we get for dinner.
It wasn't until a few hours later I realized what I had done, but by then the place was locked up and nobody was in. So I had no camera, none of the pictures I had taken and I was just too peeved to doing anything else but finish the dishes and go to bed.
At least I was able to go to sleep because I knew I would get my camera back. We had shown up at the tail end of the evening and I personally knew our waitress. Her son also plays football for our school, he was just the next age level up from Nate. And I was right. This morning she called me back and we arranged for her to give Larry the camera at practice.
Anyhoo, I'm much happier today and here are our artists.
Rebecca got to wear the crown all day at school, which is very fitting for my little princess.
As for her art I have two of her latest creations. The first one is of a fisherman happily at sea doing his thing. A sea gull is diving into the water just behind him and an eel swims along amongst the fish.
In her second picture a mother dolphin is leaping out of the water with her tiny baby just below her. It's a bit hard to make out the little one, but it is there just to the right of the larger dolphin's splash. Another eel swims in the picture along with a variety of colorful fish and a lone jellyfish.
Both pictures are visually clean with a consistent compositional style. I love the bright colors and the attention to details without being too fussy. She was a clear style and is very confident artist.
Max is next up. I took that picture of him last month in our living room. The boxes that held our new organizational systems were very popular with the kids. Heck, even the dogs got in on the fun.
Max also has two pieces of art for this week's AOTW. His first picture features orcas, penguins and a seal. On the lower left corner he wrote "I Luv oroga!" (I love orcas!). He made this picture for show and tell. He wanted to bring in one of his plush killer whales and thught this picture, along with a book would add to his presentation.
When he first drew the picture The ocean was not all colored in. I was a bit dismayed when he scribbled in all the blue, but in the end it works. The graphically bold orca and penguins stand out in their bright blue surroundings. The leopard seal is still visible as it chases the penguins. The octopus/jelly fish things are the only ones to lose out. overall I like the final picture.
Max has all sorts of creatures in his composition. Going from left to right I'll point them out. The three (yes there are three, the smallest one is tucked in the middle) yellow creatures are sea horses, to the right is a sea otter. I only know what it is because Max announced as he drew it that he loves sea otters. I think it looks more like a monkey (hey it's a sea monkey!). As we travel to the right there is a purple octopus and a couple of bright green sea turtles. Moving on there is the ubiquitous eel and a school of jellies. Just coming into view on the far right is a whale shark. Along the sea floor is a collection of hermit crabs, snails, a lobster, a crab and a lone star fish. I particularly love all the little creatures on the bottom. The hermit crabs in all their Lilliputian splendor are utterly adorable. Max's style is a bit messier, but he is a fine artist when he applies himself.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Notes to and from teachers, homework assignments and party invitations have all disappeared into the maw a backpack, never to be see again.
Max has been tasked this week to hand out three party invitations for his and Rebecca's party this coming weekend. So far the invites have been unable to break free of the gravity well in his backpack. Monday was understandable because it was a half day, during the short day Max was a bit overwhelmed by the accelerated pace. Today he was again unable to do the task and he realy didn't have any good reason for it. I'm starting to think that maybe I should hand them out at lunch when I stopped by the school tomorrow. I'm baking sugar cookies for both Max and Rebecca's classes as a birthday treat and I'll be stopping by at lunch time.
Monday, October 13, 2008
So we decided to go apple picking up at Carter Mountain Orchard.
Of course nothing is easy with four kids and Nate woke up that morning with an ear ache. One trip to the doctor's office and a prescription for an antibiotic later, we were good to go. We got a fair distance along when I realized I had forgotten my camera. It wasn't worth going back home, so there will be no pictures for this post.
The orchard is way up high over by Charlottesville. It was an incredibly steep climb up the top with a sheer drop on the passenger's side of the car you drive up. I really don't like heights and this is just the sort of situation I loathe. I ended up leaning towards the center of the car and winced every time Larry neared the edge as he drove the car (he's a fine driver and I implicitly trust him, but it was a tough ride for me). Once we reached the top we were greeted by a spectacular view and a sea of parked cars.
Obviously we weren't the only people to decide to go apple picking. We were concerned about the crowd, but the orchard easily handled it.
After a snack of apple cider doughnuts (and boy were those good!) we split up, Larry went off with Nate and Jake and I got the dynamic duo. The trees by the edges of the orchard were pretty much picked over, but farther in we found plenty of trees with apples within reach of Max and Rebecca. In short order we picked what turned out to be 12 pounds of apples. As went went up to the barn we bumped into someone we knew. She called out to me by name and warmly greeted us. I didn't remember her name, but she was familiar, most likely a mother of one of Nate's classmates from Hebrew school. When I mentioned I forgot our camera she kindly took our picture. It wasn't until I got home I figured out who she was.
Larry and the boys showed up a bit later and they all had a good time picking apples. Nate told me with delight in his voice that he got to climb a few trees and pick a few hard to reach apples. In fact all four kids had a great time and we'll probably repeat the experience next year.
Hopefully I'll remember the camera.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This video is popping up all over and for a good reason.
I'm impressed by the crafter's execution, but the end result... ewww.
To help clear the air after this video y'all should next check out Amy Sedaris on Martha Stewart.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Max picked his out in no time at all, he opted for the sports themed one and that was that. For Rebecca I found three that we both thought she would like. I tossed them all into the cart, whichever ones she didn't like I would return. When we got home I set out the one I thought she (a little puppy with a birthday hat) would like the most on the table next to Max's invites.
Turns out the whole thing was possibly the worst idea in the world and was grossly unfair according to Rebecca. The second she saw them she burst into tears and declared that it was not fair that she did not get to choose and Max did, that she never gets to go shopping and that everything was just plain wrong. I tried to talk her down and show her the other invites, but it was too late. Everything was wrong now.
She cried and fussed for a long time. Jake oblivious to the start of this tragedy and emotional distress was very concerned about his little sister.
"Rebecca why are you crying?"
"Rebecca, please tell me what's wrong."
"Mom what's wrong with Rebecca?"
I told him about the invites and he was stunned. "Mom, that's just ridiculous! All that over some stupid invites."
"Rebecca, you need to get over it."
After about an hour and some ice cream she did finally calm down. She picked out the ones she wanted (which of course were the puppy ones I thought she would like) and slowly returned to normal.
I then asked her "So who do you want to invite?"
"I don't know, I can't decide!"
Thursday, October 09, 2008
| You are a |
You are best described as a:
Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test
Jordana did this test and came up as a centrist. I've noticed over the years that the older I get the more Libertarian I become, so this really wasn't a big shock. As far as I'm concerned more government is not the answer.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
We had drama queens and divas, mostly just the human kind. I only screwed up one thing, but it is fixable. The rest was just a whole lot of noise.
Mind you I did have a good time, I got to stay at my friend's house and ride up with another good friend and fellow club member K. K and mesh very well. We are both "standard smooth" people (ie we have standard smooth hair aka the big short haired dachshunds), our dogs get along and we have complimentary schedules. We chatted the whole way and had a great trip.
Meanwhile the second drama of the week was the club's insurance. It was due to expire and nothing had been done. With a few phone calls, a bit of faxing I got that mess straightened out with a day to spare.
In the end it all worked out, dogs were shown and people were fed. But it'll be a long time until I tackle anything like that again.
As for the flowers, they are crepe myrtles dotted with raindrops on the edge of our lawn. I thought they looked gorgeous with the rain drops on the petals. I'm very pleased with how well my photos came out.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Your result for The Classic Dames Test...
Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.
Of course the one I really wanted to be was Katharine Hepburn, but at least with Jean Arthur I get Cary Grant.
Courtesy of two other great dames Jordana and Diane.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Donors Choose is a great idea, teachers write proposals for classroom materials which in turn are screened then posted and you get to pick which one to fund.
Her initial goal this year is $50,000 and her overall goal is $100, 000. If she reaches her overall goal she'll don her tomato costume and travel on to DC via train to see the sites. I think it would a great thing to have a traveling tomato in our nation's capital. Last year she donned the suit and danced at Rockefeller Plaza.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
She is playing soccer this season and she has doing quite well. So far she has gotten quite a few turns as goal keeper and has proven herself up to the job. I would like her to stick with soccer, but this could be her last year. Every time we pass by the girls practicing cheer she announces that she really wants to be a cheerleader. A little part of me dies inside when she says that because I really could not stand the cheerleaders at my school. They were a rather nasty and idiotic lot and my girl is better than that.
But enough about my hangups, this is about my daughter and her latest creation.
I was so taken with the picture that I brought it to one of my dachshund club's meetings to show it off. Everybody was very impressed. They all could tell it was a dachshund and thought she had gotten the essence of the breed.
My little Miss Rebecca can be quite an artist.