Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Mini-Me won a prize at our first ever Passover celebration. It was a gift card to W*l-M*rt. I had to make a grocery run, so she went with me gift card safely tucked in my purse.

We went back to the toy section. I figured we'd look at the dolls that she loves. There are 3 sets of them that she really likes. She looked at one and then told me, "I want to look over here."

And off she shot.

I followed slowly and she met me with a box in her hand. This is the girl who weighs her options and is often overwhelmed by too many choices. Not this time. This time she knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted a "Fish in Space" aquarium. I was a bit surprised, but, okay.

So we walked back to look at the fish. They didn't have any great selections for Betta fish. while standing there among the fish stuff, I opened the box and pulled out the instructions. We were going to have to condition the water before we put the fish in anyway. We decided that we would go elsewhere to find a "Galactic Wonder Fish".

I have to say, the instructions are a hoot to read for this aquarium. And it doesn't come with a lot of extra stuff. So a betta fish was going to be the best bet. We got the tank ready the next day. We rinsed it out - twice - per the instructions. We soaked the "rocks" for 15 minutes - per the instructions. We put the water and rocks in the tank, left the lid off (per the instructions) and we were going to have to wait 24 hours before we put the fish in.

I think she must have asked once per hour if the tank was ready. The next day, Friday, I took her to a petsm@rt to look at Betta fish. I never asked why their fish were in blue water, but she found a fish that looked promising. In the water, it looked really blue.

We took him home and began the acclimation process. He didn't have a heart attack when we finally dumped him in the fish tank, and he began to swim around. Success!!

We were a bit surprised to see a PURPLY fish... and mini-me made a bit of a groaning noise- until we noticed that there are markings in his scales that look much like Roman Numerals. Mini-Me LOVES Roman Numerals. On his Right side, it looks like the IV of a 6 and then an "M". Which, of course, stands for Mini-Me (and 1,000). She was thrilled.
I was thrilled and claimed it as a God-Kiss for her.

The only problem we came across was the feeding of our newly acquired space fish.
He didn't like fish flakes.
A&EMom, who wears the shirt for a fishy 'been there, done that', told us about bio-gold betta pellets. So we got some - and he loves them.

So now we have a happy space fish.
and I have a happy Mini-Me.

I also have a G-man who is now saving his money for a fish tank, and a J-man that wants a fish, too. I may soon have a line of betta fish on my piano.

We have definitely gone fishin'. Or maybe, it should be "fishy".

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tomato lover...

I am a tomato lover.
Next to Strawberries, I think Tomatoes are my next favorite fruit.

I know a good tomato from one of those un-ripened pink tomatoes that they sell in the store. You know the ones, I'm talking about, the ones that are only good in salad (Because you'll cover them up with a dressing.)

I took matters into my own hands -- so to speak...

Last Saturday, we went to a local herb fair and I found a man selling tomato sets. I bought three and planted them when it wasn't raining. I needed to make them container plants, because the soil in our yard is mostly clay.

I've planted a beefsteak, cherry and a yellow sweet. I'm hoping that my watching my grandfather with his tomatoes will help me remember how to take care of mine.

I'm waiting -- but just barely.
I keep wanting to go out to check on them each day.
I need to get cages for them before they grow too big to cage -- and, well, e.i.e.i.o. I'm going to watch my tomatoes grow!

The benefits of speech therapy

J-man is blossoming in speech therapy. He's having a great time and learning oodles of things that just make my heart swell.

Last night, just before bed, he came to me and jabbered away. Sometimes, if I'm doing something and he's not putting space between his words and talking fast, I just. don't. understand. I don't care how many times he repeats it.

Last night was one of those nights. He had something important to say --

I'm not going to quote him exactly ... because it would be impossible. I also wish I could quote him phonetically.

I present to you -- a benefit of speech therapy.

"Let's play rock, paper, scissors. The winner gets to stay up."

The art of the bargain. And, he wanted to play me!!
I did not even risk losing. He went to bed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Drive by photo-op?

Apparently, I didn't have to clean up the playdoh under the table, but I did.
The inspector guy came by today - he was very pleasant. He was in the house and stirred up the curiosity of the kids - and then he was gone.

He wanted to take pictures of the following: The kitchen, the hot water heater, the breaker box and then the bathroom.


He told me that it was just something that the insurance company likes to check on to make sure what's in the insurance policy is what's really there.

I never got around to doing the dishes. I was too focused on other stuff. So he got my kitchen, dishes and all.

then he took a picture of our breaker box.

He couldn't get to the hot water heater. THere was a ladder in the way - so he took a picture of the pipes under the kitchen sink.

That left me scratching my head. I guess if we have pipes, then we must have running water.

then he wanted to take a picture of the biggest bathroom.
both our bathrooms are small... so he took a picture of the hall way bath -- where the kids towels from their showers were on the floor. (I thought about it later - the other bathroom was slightly bigger - and no towels on the floor.) And I think he only took a picture of the vanity. Go figure that one.

I guess our insurance company now has proof that we actually live in our house. And I mean really live.

After making sure we had no dogs (for the second time), he took a picture of the back of the house, he went through the gate and took a picture of the front of the house -- -- and then he was gone.

Just like that.

It was a very strange thing to have happen.
It was almost like a drive-by photo-op.

On a happy note - The Professor's work place has once again recognized his genius - and he got a raise.

Speaking of "Genius" - Today (or was it yesterday?) Jeremy (remember, he's 4) told his brother (who's 7): "I'm a genius".

Gotta love the confidence.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Look out world, He's 4!

April 5th was a great day.

My uncle got married on April 1. (Yes, he really did.) And it was a great thing. We like his wife and we gathered to celebrate this great and auspicious occasion. Then after that -- it was time to really celebrate!!

It was J-man's birthday!
Birthday #4!!
I had a brilliant idea to make him a Spider man cake. I had seen the candy spidey head decorations. Well, next time I have that great idea - I really need to have it before Midnight the night before the birthday.

I went to the store to find the candy decorations. I went to the second store. Nothing.
At the second store, I bought the letters. And some red icing. And made my own cake.I thought it looked pretty good after all. Some candy sprinkles for the spots on the spider's -- and the best part came later. Someone at church asked him what kind of cake he had. J-man told them, "A spider man cake!"


I took him to church and dropped him off at his class this last wednesday and his teacher said, 'You know, he is very blessed."

I just smiled and said, "Yeah, he is."

He's always been that way. He's got an amazing amount of God-favor on him - and he has since he was born. So it's just fun to hear others say something about it. It's funny to see how much he's grown, and how big he's gotten. He's had a huge brainial growth spurt (I just made that word up.) He's getting more independent and testing all sorts of boundaries.

Just today he asked if we could teach him how to play the Wii. ;-) We'll see. I'm having a hard enough time beating Mini-me at bowling, I'm not sure I could take it if I got beat by my 4 year old.

I cut his straw today and he said, "But mom, I'm a big boy. See? I have big hands."
Note to self - don't cut his straw anymore.

At the same time he's growing up -- he's still quite little, too.
last night, we came home late and I was getting him in his jammies.
He informed me, "I a sleepy boy."

Just melt my heart.

So now he's 4.
A new stage in our adventure. It's gonna be fun!

If you want to see the house...

One of my most favorite quotes came from a plaque that was being sold in a silly magazine. It said, "If you want to see the house - make an appointment. If you want to see the family - come on over."

Or something like that. It's been a long time since I saw the magazine. I think I've had a child or two since then. And I never got around to painting my own version. Never really had to. Until now.

Someone has made an appointment to see the house.

They called on Friday. You see, we've changed our house insurance. They want to send someone to come and take pictures of the INSIDE of my house. When she said that, I almost dropped the phone. I thought they'd want to take pictures of the outside of the house. It needs paint - but the kids don't play with play-doh on the outside of the house.

I just laughed and said, "I have 4 kids."

She chuckled back and said, "he won't mind."

"I do." I could have given her the list -- but stuck with the play-doh. When J-man plays with play-doh, he not only mixes colors, but he embroils his action figures into life and death situations where they are often up to their tiny eyeballs in colored, non-toxic goo.

I'm really glad that they called and made the appointment. I can clean up the play-doh (I'd been ignoring it) and pick up the varied and many messes Mini-e has multi-tasked herself into. I think the weekend is the worst on the clutter on our house. We spent time cleaning up the yard. It was a great and productive....too bad they can't inspect the outside of the house.

Thinking about having a clean(er) house made me think of my other favorite plaque. Probably from the same magazine.

"Yesterday, I cleaned the house.
You should have seen it."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring = rain

I'm sure you've seen the blog posts, the ones where jubilent bloggers tired of Winter's duldrums take pictures of things sprouting. It means spring is on the way. Hooray.

I love to watch spring emerge. New life! Things that have gone dormant are now coming back to life. There are a lot of preachable moments in the Spring. I mean, who hasn't had something go dormant that needs a rebirth?

I want to join in. I want to celebrate spring.
But around here spring means rain.

I'm not complaining, because about July, everyone will be complaining that it's too dry.

and if we didn't have the rain - I wouldn't get this:
Our red oak, having lost some precious, shade-giving limbs from the ice storm, is starting to leaf out!! That's a great thing!

Spring is here!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

7 movies -- randomly, of course,

ClassicMama and her hubby, Not So Classic, both made lists of their favorite and random movies. I was so thrilled by their lists that I decided to invite myself to play along. The trick is, I'm challenging myself not to list movies that they've already listed. They've got some good movies listed...

I have eclectic taste in movies. I like to be entertained and I'll forgive a movie for a lot of bad stuff if it will give me good characters.

Here we go - 7 of my favorite movies...

1. His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel

2. The Hunt for Red October - the only good movie version of a Tom Clancy book...and probably the only Alec Baldwin movie I like.

3. The Italian Job -- I like the characters. I really like the way they interact with each other and that you actually seem to LIKE them. Well, maybe I like them.

4. Guys and Dolls -- It's a better stage play than it is a movie - but it's still one of my favorites.

5. Tomb Raider. I don't know why. I just like it. The plot is thin -- but Lara Croft is cool. (I refuse to acknowledge that they made a sequel)

When I was a teenager, I was introduced to Steve McQueen - I didn't want to watch all his movies...(The Sand Pebbles, for instance, is not my favorite. At. all.) but I really liked his character in two movies that rank as favorites.

6. The Magnificent Seven - James Coburn's character didn't have to die...but the movie is good.

7. The Great Escape. - awesome movie that didn't get ruined when I read the book.

There is my list of 7 random, favorite movies.
What are yours?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It was inevitable I guess. One day, I knew I'd end up in the funny papers. :-)
It finally happened.
Juggling Paynes held a contest and I won!!!
Not just me - there are others, too.

Go See!!

And while you're there you can check out her other comics!

Thanks Cristina!