Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Perfect little snowflakes on the car window.

I've been trying to figure out how to express our gratitude to Dad B and his new lovely wife Laurie for extending their offer to come over and spend the holidays with them.   It boils down to this:  I can't really put into words how grateful we are.  We had such an amazing time with you guys.  

Laurie, thanks for letting us stay in your home.  You didn't care that we have two very active boys and a dog.  You opened your home up to us and let us stay there.  I hope we left it in good condition. I think we did, but one can never know.  

I would also like to thank Laurie's amazing mother.  You included our family in everything and made us feel like we were part of your family.  Tim is still raving about the stuffed grape leaves.  I'm going to have to look up  recipe to make some, but I know they will be no where near what yours were!  

I would also like to thank Aunt Mary and Uncle Terry for an amazing dinner before we left.  It is so nice to hang out with you guys.  Like I was saying when I was there , your home is like home base for all of us when we come into town.  

Melissa, thanks for watching the boys for us. I know they had some good quality Aunt Melissa time.   It was great to see you again!

Dad, thanks for being a great dad and a great grampa.  The boys had a lot of fun shooting darts around the house with you and Laurie.  I won't post the video of you and Tim dancing with the Wii....although it's really hard not to because it's a great video.  =)
The boys sporting their new night vision goggles.  These things are really cool and I think Tim is playing with them more.

Connor flying down a hill in his Star Wars inflatable jedi cruiser.  He was so scared to go down the hill in this and then after he went down once, he couldn't stop.  I don't even know how many times he trudged up that icy hill to ride it down again.
Tim and Aidan shared a saucer down and then Aidan wanted his independance.  

My boys climbing the hill for the umpteenth time.  Patchy was so happy to be let loose and allowed to run.  He's smiling in this picture.

Last, but not least, I had to show a picture of what was in Uncle Terry's front window.  I can't even explain how awesome this is.  It's funny because a couple of years ago we tossed around the idea of getting one of these for Tim's dad.  Tim wsn't too keen on the idea.  I'm glad someone got one.  I don't think Aunt Mary is as excited about it.  =)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New member of family

This will be a short post to introduce a new family member.  His/her name is Rhino.  

Rhino making him/herself at home on the wheel.

Tim and I decided that the kids were at a point where they could take care of a pet of their own. Tim had a hamster when he was growing up so he felt pretty good about the decision.  I have a couple of memories of hamsters that friends had.  One of those memories was that their bites hurt!  This hamster is named Rhino.  Yes, it's after the hamster in Bolt.  Connor and Aidan managed to pick a hamster that looked a lot like the one in the movie.  

The ride home from the store was hilarious.  Rhino came home in a little cardboard box that had little tiny holes around the top and a little handle on top.  After we got him I had to run into Barnes and Noble not thinking about the fact that hamsters like to chew cardboard. I  don't think I really knew that.  I was freakishly fast in Barnes and Noble and we were driving home and we were having fun watching Rhino's nose peek out of a hole.   Then we would catch glimpses of his sharp little teeth.  Half way home I hear the cardboard tear.  The little bugger was chewing his way out of the box.  Thankfully we had picked up a plastic hamster ball at the store.  While driving, I'm trying to get the hamster ball out of the box and get it to Tim who was now holding a piece of paper over the ever growing hole that Rhino was chewing.  We got the open end of the ball up near the hole he was chewing and we watched him (while driving) work his way out of the box into his ball.  It was so funny.  I think they picked out a hamster on steroids.

A blurry picture of Rhino's escape route.

So we have Rhino placed in his lovely little home out in the living room and we are sitting here listening to him run and run and run and run on his little wheel.  Life is good!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm laying here with Frank(my laptop) and watching Princess Bride and decided to play around with photoshop a little bit.  I'm a little irked because when I transferred everything to Frank I lost my favorite font that I used on my pictures.  I'm also not too happy that I have for some reason lost the function of cut and paste in blogger.  I don't know if this is a blogger issue or a Vista issue.  It's annoying though.  I'm going to try and figure it out.  Oh, and another thing.  When I was blogging earlier the first paragraph ended up all underlined and I had to go in and edit the html.  Thank God Tim was here because I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

This is a picture that I took out my airplane window coming into Philadelphia when I flew home from Florida.  I thought it was really neat how it was all grey and cloudy except for the main center city.

I still need to figure out what is up with my cut and paste problem.

Cookies part two

I have a few minutes to blog while I'm waiting for Connor to write his descriptive sentences.  I was able to finish my cookies yesterday.  Again, when it was all done I questioned whether or not I would do it again next year.  I remember last year when I was done saying that I was not going to do it again.

The first cookies I tackled were the lemon coolers.  A single batch makes only 2 1/2 dozen.  I doubled the batch so that there would be enough for all the tins.  Even with it doubled it only made 3 1/2 dozen.  The recipe says to use 2 tbsp of dough per cookie. I did that for the first dozen and  a half.  I could only fit 6 cookies per sheet and the first 6 that came out all melded together. I was not happy and grumbled a lot.  For the rest of the dough I just made them into 1 tbsp drops and was able to fit a dozen on the sheet.  If I do these again next year, I will make them smaller.  I have done these lemon coolers for a couple of years because they are one of Tim's favorite cookies.

Lemon Coolers

After the lemon coolers came the Almond Crisps.  Again, this recipe only made 2 1/2 dozen so I doubled the batch.  With the batch doubled it still only made 2 1/2 dozen.  I don't think I'll be makng these again.  Although Aidan had fun putting the almonds into the dough. Some of the cookies ended up looking like alien heads.

Almond Crisps

By this time it was time for a beer.

Yes, I bought this bear soley because of the snowman on the front.  And it was a tasty beer.

After the beer I was left with one type of cookie to make.  The chocolate Pixies.  These cookies are one of my favorite cookies ever but I guess because it was the last cookie in a long weekend of cookie making this batch bombed.  I think I made the balls too big when I put them on the sheet because every single one of them melded together and looked like crap.  I was slightly bummed but realized that I had enough cookies to fill the tins and didn't really  need them.

Ugly Pixies.  They taste great but aren't as pretty as I like them.  They are just sitting on the counter now while I figure out what I'm going to do with them.  They are either garbage bound or freezer bound.

While the pixies were baking Tim went to deocrating the cutout cookies.  The kids helped out a little bit but they were more interesting in eating the frosting than actually frosting the cookies.  Aidan loved the way Kirby turned out so at least he was happy about that. 

Pretty little trees.

Kirby and some candy canes.  These cookies are awesome too.  They are soft in the mouth but firm to the touch.  And they look so cool.  Thanks Tim for painting them.  I don't have the patience to do stuff like that but Tim really gets into it.

These are the soft molasses cookies from yesterday that I forgot to post the picture of.  They taste way better than they photograph.

The finished product.  All bundled up and ready to go.  I don't even know how many dozen cookies we baked.  I kept track of it when I was baking, but can't find my paper right now.  When I do, I'll let you know (really just to let myself know so that I know how much to bake for next year).  Yes, I'll probably bake them again next year.  There is just something nice about being inside where it's warm and looking out my kitchen window and seeing the brilliant white sparkly snow and smelling the cookies baking.  I hope we'll still be here and that I'll be baking for the same people for a third year in a row. 

Well, not only has Connor finished his descriptive sentence, he's read his story, written his draft of a descriptive journal entry and is now typing his final draft into word to be sent to his teacher.  We have a Science lesson to go and a Math lesson.  Back to the books.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What was I thinking?!

What was I thinking that I could make 8 different kinds of cookies in one day after a week of being laid out because of my back? 

Let's start with the beginning of the day.  I slept in until 8 and Tim  slept in until 9:30.  He earned it after a rough week.  We all went outside and played in the snow for a while.  It was crazy cold out (14 degrees) but we had a lot of fun...up until I had snow go down my neck.

Tim was launching some pretty big snowballs.  Luckilly, this one didn't hit me.

Patchy had a lot of fun catching snowballs.  

After frolicking out in the snow for a bit, we came in and the kids had hot cocoa (thanks Deb for the super yummy Raspberry cocoa) and Patchy had a bath.

Not a particularly happy dog.  He's a really good boy getting baths though.  We don't have to wrestle with him like we did with Corky.

I don't know if you can see it in this picture or not, but when Patchy's fur is wet and in the process of drying, it looks like he's crimped it.  It is so funny and cute.  He's the softest dog I think I've ever seen.  I really thought when he lost his puppy fur it would get more coarse, but it has stayed so soft and cuddly.  He smells much better now too.

While Tim was bathing Patchy, Aidan and I were starting our cookie day.  The first dough we made was the sugar dough for the cut outs.  They had to chill for a while so we got those done so we could throw them in the fridge.  I didn't get any pics of the cutouts yet.  I will get them tomorrow after the boys (and yes, Tim is included) do all the painting.

Aidan is a great helper in the kitchen!

I got this lego timer for Aidan when I was in Florida and it has become a favorite fixture in our kitchen.  Aidan is my lego maniac!

Better Than Store Bought cookies

After the dough was in the fridge, we started working on the "Better Than Store Bought" cookies.  It made six dozen cookies and they are tasty.  After this batch was done, we made a batch of Peanut Blossoms.  It was supposed to make 4 dozen, but only made three.  I might have to make another batch of them tomorrow.

Peanut Blossoms.  These were Aidan's favorite cookies of the day.  Soft peanut butter cookies with a kiss on top.

The next batch of cookies we made were the mocha mudslides.  These were Tim's favorite cookie of the day.  I kept catching him sneaking them.

Mocha Mudslides

Once the mudslides were done, I made the dough for the Soft Molasses cookies.  That dough had to chill for an hour so we dragged out the sugar cookie dough and started rolling it out to cut.  We made candy canes and trees and the kids each made a couple of their own creations.  Aidan has a huge Kirby ready to paint tomorrow. 

Once the cutouts were done, I baked the molasses cookies (will have pics tomorrow) and then made dinner.  I will have to finish the last three cookies tomorrow and decide if I have to make any more.   Tim keeps telling his friends at work that I'm going to make them cookies so I'm probably going to have to make a couple more batches.  I should make Tim make them.

That about sums up my day.  A good day I think.  We are supposed to get up to three more inches of snow tonight so that will be fun.  My day tomorrow will be finishing the cookies and I think Tim is going to take the kids shopping.  They each want to get me a present.  They are so awesome!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Three inches.  That is what our ruler said at 11:30.  It started snowing here at 9.  Not too shabby.  It's 2 right now and I just checked again and it's at a little over 5 inches now.  The snow has turned into raining ice right now though.  Thankfully, our awesome neighbors shoveled our sidewalks and used the snow blower in our driveway.  My back thanks you!  I made him a batch of cookies as a thank you.  I hope he'll go inside and dry off and enjoy some warm cookies.

I love little baby pine cones when they are nestled in snow.  When I have time, I think this will be my winter banner.

Patchy loves the snow.  He was leaping through it and pushing his nose down in it.  He's funny though because when there is a layer of snow he loses where he does his business.  Usually he has one spot in the backyard where he piddles.  He's killed off all the grass there and that is his spot.  When there is snow on the ground, he forgets where he's going and he just piddles anywhere.  Watch out for the yellow snow.

The fort in the snow.  The kids love to climb up there and launch snowballs down.

Connor was ready for some serious snow missions.  And yes, he had a hat, he just didn't have it on when I took this.

Mid snow angel.  He wanted me to help him stand up and I started to pull him up and felt my back pull a little bit so he got dropped.  He didn't drop that far, but he got some cold snow up under his jacket and the cold made him jump up faster than I could have lifted him.

Aidan loves to taste snow.  He's also is wearing the very first scarf that I ever knit.  That was my learning project.  I didn't think it was still around but we found it today when we were digging out snow boots.  He loves it but still wants me to knit him a black scarf with a Kirby on it.  I'll have to finish Tim's scarf first.

Yes, I got hit with that pile of snow.  

All in all, today is a great day.  We are inside now watching the ice rain outside and looking at the beautiful white snow plastered over everything.  Tim had mentioned taking the kids out to the dike for sledding when he's done working.  I guess we'll see how thick the ice gets.  I don't think sledding on ice is too much fun. 

Aidan has a monopoly game all set up so I guess that is what I'm going to go do now.  I have to make a pizza dough in about an hour, so he'll get an hour of monopoly time.

I hope everyone else is having a great day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cookie preview

Yesterday Aidan and I scoured the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion book.  We have compiled a list of eight different cookies that we are going to attempt this weekend.  I think all of them we have made at one time of the other, but we still had fun looking through the book and deciding what to do.

The list of cookies are:  Chocolate Pixies (this recipe is one from Tim's paternal grandmother), Monster Chocolate chip cookies, Peanut Blossoms, Almond Crisps, Mocha Mudslides, Lemon Coolers, Soft Molasses cookies,  and then sugar cookies for cut out shapes.  

Every year we make up cookie tins for our neighbors and Tim's team and I was worried that this year because of my back problem that I would not be able to do it, but I am happy to report that I am slowly regaining mobility.  I've just made up a list for Tim to go to the store and get all of our supplies.  I told him to make sure he has his phone with him because I can see him now, lost in the baking aisle.   The cashier is going to know what is going on when he goes through the line with 4 big packs of butter and 15 pounds of flour and assorted sugars and chips.  

I think it's going to be a perfect weekend for cookie baking too if the forecast stays the same.  We are under a winter weather watch.  They are saying that starting tonight and through tomorrow we will have between 5 to 10 inches of snow and ice.  If it doesn't ice, then it could be 12 inches of snow.  I can't think of anything nicer than being in our warm, cozy home with the smell of cookies baking. I'm sure Tim will take the kids out sledding if we do, in fact, get that much snow.  I don't think my back will be up for it yet, but he's already been talking about getting a snow tube for the kids to take over to the park.

So it appears I have a herniated disc.  I've been doing some research on it and basically I'm going to have to slowly get back into moving around and not stress it too much.  I found some exercises to strengthen your spine and I will start doing those probably over the weekend.  I'm also going to get back to doing my Wii Fit.  There were a lot of balance and core exercises on that and I think that will help me.   I don't think I'm going to be able to hit icy sidewalks on dog walks for a while.  One slip and tug on my back and I'm going to end up in bed for another week.  I have been able to get out of bed today and do a couple of loads of laundry and sweep the floor so I'm pleased with that.  

That about sums up today.  If all goes well we will have a regular cookie factory humming here on the weekend and I'll try to get some pics of my little helpers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We have a feral cat that is in our yard every day looking for unsuspecting squirrels and birds.  We can pretty much tell what time of day it is when we see him slinking around in the back yard.  The other day he/she did something I had never seen before.  (S)he followed a squirrel up into the kid's fort.

We are still debating what to name this cat.  Connor wants to name it Mittens, after the cat in Bolt.  Aidan wants to name it Mark because, well, I don't know why.  Me, I want to name it Killer.  We've yet to see it get any prey but we have a lot of fun watching him/her.

The fort.  It will get some work done on it in the spring.  You can see our lovely compost next to it.

Killer on the prowl.  Watching and waiting.

Note to self.

Self, when you get into the car to go food shopping with your kids and you feel and hear your back pop, you should get out of the car and go back in the house and lay down.

I should have done that but I didn't.  I figured I would be ok to drive to Wegmans, shop the whole store for a weeks worth of groceries, drive home and then unload heavy bags.  Half way through the store I had problems walking.  My lower back was screaming pain and pain was shooting down my left leg.  I grit my teeth and kept on going.  I called Tim as I was driving home to tell him that my back was out again and that I had concerns about carrying the groceries inside.  He told me to leave them in the trunk until he got home.  A couple of days earlier and that would have been fine but on Monday it was 60 degrees out and I didn't want anything to go bad in the trunk.  

Fast forward to today.  Wednesday.  I have been on my back since Monday afternoon barely able to get up to go to the bathroom.   Thankfully Tim's job is flexible and allows him to work from home.  He's been great in making sure Patchy gets outside for his duties and making sure the kids are fed and happy.   I am getting tired of laying down all the time.  I have things to do and places to go.  I get to feeling a little bit better and get up to make dinner.  Then I'm back at square one.  Tim has told me not to move out of bed today and I'm trying really hard to do that.

I'm glad I have Frank.  He's the only thing that is keeping me sane.  Who is Frank you might ask.  Frank is my new laptop.  Tim got me a beautiful 17 inch screen laptop and I've named him Frank.  I've been working on getting my things transferred off of the old computer and onto Frank.  All has been pretty good so far.  Photoshop is up and running.  I'm trying open office instead of Microsoft office and that appears to be a good program.  My camera program is on Frank.   My skype is up so that I can video call my bro and parents.  The one thing that is giving me the most headache is my stupid Itunes.  What a pain in the arse.  I'm trying to transfer my 5000 + songs, videos, books, podcasts over to the new itunes on Frank.  I figured out how to get most of it over but am having duplicates show up now.  I'm trying to figure out whether to go one by one and delete the duplicates or just uninstal and then reinstall.  I think I only have the capability to have itunes transferred a couple more times and then I'm stuck with it on the old comptuer.  I suppose since I have nothing else to do while I'm in bed I'll just play around with it for a while and do it manually.

The kids are doing well.  They have inherited the other computer and they will use that as their school computer and gaming computer.  They are very happy with that.  They also enjoyed doing school in bed yesterday.  I guess a change of scenery was fun for them.  They are also being very helpful with me being down...that is until they forget that my back is out and they come in and jump on top of me.  Ouch.

Not too much else to report.  I will post some pictures on here pretty soon.  I haven't really been out taking many pics lately.  I have to play around with my photoshop some because some of my settings on the other computer were lost in the transfer and I'll be danged if I can remember how to do a couple of simple things.  Again, I have plenty of time right now to play around with the program. 

I'm hoping I'm back on my feet for the weekend.  This weekend we had planned as our massive cookie baking weekend.  I've been trying to figure out whether we are going to do our cookie marathon and make tins up for all of Tim's team or not.  I guess we'll see how my back is on Saturday.

Interesting fact. I just had to look up and make sure I was spelling whether correctly or not.  Usaully my spellcheck will pick up mis-spelled words, but for some reason it's not...something else I will have to look into...Anywhooo, I couldn't remember if it was spelled whether or wether.  It is spelled whether.  A wether is a castrated sheep.  Yikes.

Ok, I'm going back to either my Itunes or my photoshop.  I hope all is well in the world out there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter blues?

Tim and I have been doing some research on the science of winter blues.  We felt a bit of it last year because of the short days and the fact that basically we don't see the sun from the month of November until around May.  

I have a friend Tracy *waving hi to Tracy* who lives in Seattle.  She mentioned that she had a special light on her desk at work that she flips on to help her.  A light therapy of sorts.  I looked at the light that she has and they run between 150 and 250 dollars.  Tim got to thinking that we could probably DIY one ourselves.

He was doing research last night and found out that the color blue helps lighten your mood.  Not just any blue though.  It has to be an LED blue.  The wavelength of the LED blue is the same blue you would see in the sky mid day on a sunny day.  It triggers something in your brain.

We are going to try an experiment.  We are going to get some blue LED lights (they are in all the stores right now because of Christmas) and we are going to do a light sculpture and put it up in our classroom.  I want to see if it helps us.

Take today for instance, it is a really dark gray day.  It has been dark here for a couple of months now, but today it is oppressive.  I have all of the curtains in the house open but our house is still really dark.  How does that affect my mood?  I want to hibernate.  It is three o'clock in the afternoon and I want to sleep. 

 I used to be quite the night owl.  I used to be able to stay up late at night and get up early in the morning and still have tons of energy.   With the short days (it's dark here around 4:30 in the afternoon) and very little sun that has changed.  I find it harder and harder to get up in the morning and by 6:30 at night I'm ready for bed.  I will crawl into bed just after 8 after I've put the kids to bed and I'll fall asleep.  That's all well and good, except that I'm then up at 2 am becuase I'm not used to going to sleep that early.  My sleep cycle is all messed up.  There have been studies done about this.  People in the winter sleep more and eat more carbs.  I though Tim was joking when he said that, but he found and article.  When I can find it, I'll post a link.

So this weekend, we are going to go out and make ourselves an LED blue light sculpture and we are going to see if it helps our moods.   I'll keep you posted.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


There has been much discussion around here lately about Connor's work habits in school.  I've been working with him for a while to stay focused on his work when he's doing it and to not pay attention to what his brother is doing.  A lot of times I will get Connor started on his assignment and then I will work with Aidan.  Connor will do his work for a few minutes and thenhe will start paying attention to what Aidan and I are doing.  Sometimes I will get Connor started on a project and then run to do something and come back and find Connor not doing what I left him doing. 

On a whim today I went into the basement and dug out my book of all my school stuff.  I looked at my report cards from grade one through grade four.  Every single grading quarter of every single year (yes, 16 times) my teachers put that I needed to work on my work habits.  I needed to start paying closer attention to my work and not pay attention to others around me.  Huh.  Looks to me that Connor is a normal 8 year old.  It appears he is behaving just as I did when I was his age.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ambien is a drug for those who have problems sleeping.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Merriam Webster definition: to interest oneself in what is not one's concern.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Nancy saved my life.

Before I write this all out I want to first thank Nancy for my bag of trail mix that she gave me with my flying goodie bag.

Now, sit back while I retell my flying story from yesterday. I flew to Florida to help my mom take care of my dad while he recovers from a pretty nasty surgery. I was pretty stoked to find round trip tickets to Orlando from Scranton for a decent price. My flight was from Scranton to Philly with a two hour layover and then from Philly to Orlando. Easy enough right? That's what I thought.

My flight was due to leave Scranton at 12:45 pm. Tim dropped me off at the gate around 11:10. I gave myself plenty of time to get through security and to find my way to where I was going. Granted, Scranton's airport is small, but I have never been there. I find my gate and there is this nice older gentleman waiting there. I walk up and he says, "You know this flight has been delayed, right?" Uh, no, I didn't know that. The board said the flight was still on time. He said it was delayed until 2 pm. I got nervous here because I knew that my connecting flight was leaving at 3:50. I mentally did the math. Ok, if the plane leaves at 2, I should be in Philly by 3 and I will still be ok. The gentleman, Jim, I think was his name then called USAir to confirm the departure time. When he called the delay was still there, but it was only delayed until 1. Great. No problem. I settled in and did some knitting on Tim's scarf. 1 o'clock came and no one was there yet. No guys at the desk to board us. No plane. Uh oh. 1:15 comes and the USAir guys come and say that Philly is backed up really bad. Our flight was now delayed until 2:02 or 2:48. Long, nervous story short, we left the ground at 2:48. I was sure I was going to miss my connection. The flight was in a small prop plane. SMALL. It only seated 37 passengers. They had let another lady catch this flight because the 2 o'clock flight that was due to be leaving was now pushed back to 5. She boarded...we were all seated and nervous with the size of the plane. Before they close the doors, the guy from the counter came onto the plane and told the lady that she would have to get off the plane because of "weight issues". Uh, hello? How embarrassing is that? And should I be worried that there are weight issues on a plane? The flight was pretty good considering. It was a really smooth takeoff and landing.

Landing. We landed at terminal F in Philadelphia. We landed at 3:40. My flight was due to leave 3:50 from terminal C. I had to take a shuttle bus from F to C. I stopped ever so briefly to see if by chance the Orlando flight was delayed and I would have any chance of catching it. I really didn't think I would. Orlando was pretty much the ONLY flight that was on time. Really? I got off the shuttle at 3:48 (flight leaves at 3:50) and I RUN through the terminal to my gate. I made it. I flashed my boarding pass and got on. I was the last person on.

This should be a happy ending right? I was going to land in Orlando at 6:26 and Andy was going to pick me up and then we were going to drive over and see the last ever night launch of the space shuttle. Oh, please keep reading.

I am on the plane. I am panting because of a hard run through a long terminal. I'm sweating because I had a sweatshirt on. There is a line of about 25 Indian people (all family I'm guessing) trying to figure out their seats. The overhead bins were all full and I wasn't sure where I was stashing my carry on bag. I really didn't want to have to check it and have the chance of losing it. The family must have been at it for a while because the flight attendant had pretty much lost her cool (and she was really cool) and was yelling that they just needed to find a seat and sit. They were trying to push by me back and forth. Whatever. I was tired and glad to have made it on the plane. I scoured the open overhead bins and found out some jerk had thrown their backpack up there when they very well could have put it down by their feet. I squished it over to a side and slammed my carry on up there. I found my way back to my seat. The very last row on the plane and there was a dude in my seat. Come on. I showed him my ticket and he said he had traded with one of the Indian guys so he could be near his family. The poor guy was 6 foot 2 and not happy that the guy had told him that it was an aisle seat he was trading with. So, he scooted over and was now squished between me and another tall, little larger person. Ok...everyone is seated. Doors are closed. We back out of the terminal and taxi to our runway. Ready for lift off. Going to fly. We wait for about 20 minutes. We figure that we are waiting for an ok from the tower. It's all good. Just get us in the air and start serving drinks.

Twenty minutes go by and the pilot comes on and said "Folks, we have a problem with a heat sensor on the outside and we've tried to fix it and can't. We are going to have to turn around and go back to the terminal and have maintenance look at it." Everyone groaned. We all whipped out our cell phones and called and texted our frustrations. So,we turn around and go back and sit for another half hour and finally the pilot comes on and says "Folks, we are going to have to exit this plane and get on another plane in terminal C24". It took about 15 minutes for everyone to grab their bags and unload off the plane. We all poured out into the terminal and went to the next terminal. There was no plane there yet. We all stood around for what felt like another half hour. Some people were smart and went and got shots to drink and food to eat. I was not one of those smart people. I was not going to wander off too far and then miss the flight. Remember that I had thought I would have a two hour layover in Philly and had figured I would get lunch while I waited and instead I was running trying to catch a flight that wasn't really going anywhere. I had not eaten anything all day, except for some of the trail mix that Nancy had made me.

We finally are allowed to board the next plane. From what I gather, it went smoother this time and the very large Indian family was able to find their seats with no problems this time. I guess it was good we had a dry run. We took off from Philly at the very same time we were supposed to be landing in Orlando. I was not going to see the space shuttle. Oh well. I've seen a night launch before. I would survive. Around 7:47 the pilot comes over and says, "Folks,it may be a good thing that our flight was delayed. In about 8 minutes the space shuttle will launch and if you look at about 10 o'clock, you might be able to see it." 7:55 rolls around and we hear, "The space shuttle has launched. Look out your windows and you should be able to see it. There it is. Well, there it goes behind haze. You can't see it anymore.". At this point I was thinking about how in a movie when they show everyone come to one side of a ship, it flips over. Everyone was leaning over, coming across the aisle to look through minuscule fuzzy windows looking for the space shuttle. I was expecting the airplane to flip over. And I was thinking to myself about the pilot, "You shitbag, if we had left when we were supposed to we would have been able to get to the coast in time to see it in real life...don't tell me it was a good thing we were late". I was getting testy at this point.

Thankfully, for as full as our plane was and for as many children who were on board it was a smooth flight. I think the airline gave out free drinks because I saw everyone getting booze and no cash being passed around. I had planned on getting a rum and coke but by the time they got to me I just got a water because I knew if I had a drink I would probably get sick. I'm also thankful that I had downloaded season one of Pushing Daisies for my Ipod. That kept me entertained for a long time. I think I'm most grateful to Nancy though for my little bag of trail mix. I also want to thank Andy and Diana and Sydney, Bailey and Bryson for coming out three hours later than planned and picking me up at the airport.

I had hoped to have a really cool shot of the space shuttle to post in my blog today, but alas, I do not. I do have a picture of what I think is the light off of the wing. I had handed my camera to the nice guy next to me to try and get a shot of the space shuttle, and I think he got the wing. I might post that when I get home.

So now, I'm sitting here glad to have finally made it and hoping that when I fly home on Saturday it will be a smoother run.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two weeks ago.

Breathe. That is what I'm trying to do after a very busy three weeks here. One week was a trip to NY for the Sheep and Wool festival, the next week was Dad B's wedding, and then last weekend was GOTV weekend. I think today is Friday and I'm just starting to feel normal again. I will cover the wedding in this entry. It seems like it was such a long time ago, but it was only two weeks ago.

We drove over to Olean on Thursday. We were supposed to be there at 4 for the rehearsal. We left here at 10:30 and should have shown up around 2:30. Becuase of construction on the highway, there was an additional hour tacked on to our drive. We checked into our motel at 3:30. We had to change into our nicer clothes before heading to the church for the rehearsal. Thankfully the church was only 5 minutes from the motel. We unpacked the car and literally threw off our clothes and put on our dressy clothes. It looked like a bomb went off in the room with the clothes just thrown everywhere. We made it to the church in time and the rehearsal went smoothly. The boys were a little wild because they had been in the car so long, but considering that they were good.

Connor and Aidan trying to be good at rehearsal.

After the rehearsal we had a fabulous dinner where the kids finally met up with their cousins. They have been waiting since June/July to see them again. It's so cute when they get together too because they always act like no time has passed and they pick right up where they left off.

Friday was kind of a free day for us. We hooked up with Jennifer (Tim's cousin) and her girls and we all went to Pumpkinville. It was freezing that day but we had so much fun. The kids got to ride Andy the pony and we did a huge corn maze and then did a very cold hay ride. As cold as it was out, the kids played with the water pumps more than anything. It was neat because it reminded me of my Grandma. On her farm there was a water pump that we always used and the water was always so cold when it came up.

Connor, Autumn, Danielle and Aidan at Pumpkinville.

Connor cutting through the maze.

Connor playing with the water pumps.

Aidan too. Man, it was cold that day.

This picture was a 'had to take' picture. We have a picture of Connor when he was about 6 months old with his little baby head sticking through the same cat. I'm going to have to somehow scan that picture and get it on here too. He's a little bit bigger now.

After Pumpkinville we went back to the motel and crashed for a little bit before heading out to two separate parties. While we were napping we had the pleasant surprise of Melissa showing up with one of Tim's old high school buddies. We haven't seen him for about 8 years so it was nice to see Tim. Yes they are two Tims. They hung out for a little bit and we found out that he's going to have his first child in about four months so that was exciting news. After Tim left, we went to the parties and that about wraps up Friday.

Saturday was the big day. The wedding was at 4 so we had the morning to kind of laze around. Connor did some school work and Tim worked all morning on his best man speech. Then we all got dressed and to the church at 3. I was worried about the kids behaving themselves for so long. We had an hour to wait before the wedding and then the wedding lasted about an hour. Connor did a fabulous job. He was so well behaved. He sat through the whole wedding and didn't move a muscle or make a peep. Aidan, on the other hand, is another story. He was mad at me because he didn't have a tie. Connor had one but he didn't. We tried to find him one but couldn't. He was not a happy camper. He pouted through most of the pictures. He used a whole stack of donation envelopes and wrote I love yous all over them and then crossed them out as to say he doesn't love me. I think he eventually got over it though. The wedding was beautiful. Dad and Laurie looked so nice. I'm still amazed at how perfect Laurie's hair was. Gorgeous! There was a lot of picture taking afterwards and then we headed over to the reception.

Handsome boys before the wedding.

This would be after the wedding. Wrestling on the church floor. I guess the fact that they were well behaved had to fizzle out sometime.

This brings us to the reception. It was packed. The band was awesome. The drinks were fabulous. We all had quite a few. The food was yummy. The drinks were good. I think I mentioned that already. The kids were pretty good. Connor was hungry by the time we got there and he was grumpy because the food was taking too long, but once we ate he was fine. Aidan took a couple of swings around the dance floor. Connor was too "embarrassed" to do so, but was happy to sit at the table and play his Nintendo DS.

Connor and his Aunt Amy.

Connor and his Aunt Melissa.

Connor looks so grown up here. He and Danielle had fun hanging out together.

Aidan letting loose on the dance floor with Aunt Melissa.

It was a long night but we had so much fun. Tim did a great job on his best mans speech and then was able to relax afterwards. The kids both said around 10:30 that they were ready to go back to the motel, so we left and Tim caught a ride back with his sisters. I really thought he woudl stay a lot longer, but he was back within the half hour. It was funny because when he got back he knocked on the door and all I saw was his forehead. I guess he was ready to come home too. I have the best picture of Tim five minutes after he got back but he won't let me post pictures of him on the blog. Dork. I did get permission from everyone else to post their pictures.

Sunday morning was a brunch for the whole family. We were all really tired and honestly I was more intent on getting our room packed up and making sure we had everything before we left. I got some really cute pics of Grampa and Laurie with the kids but haven't asked them if I could post it or I won't. We left Olean around 1 (in time to listen to the Bills game on the way home...they lost). We got home and then the next week was a blur getting ready for GOTV. I'll write about some of that next time I get a chance to use the computer. The whole time I've been sitting here writing both kids have been bugging me to use the comptuer so they can play Spore. I suppose I will finish up here and go start my 8 loads of laundry. Ack.

I hope everyone is doing well and I hope Dad that you are feeling better. Get well and get out of the hospital. Mom sounds like she's about to crack. =) Oh, and thanks Andy for taking care of mom. I'm pondering if I should make a trip down there to help.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sad day.

This will be short.  It's a sad day when your 8 year old son has to buy a size 8 men's shoe.  Sad, sad, sad.  I'm going to go drown my sorrow in a beer.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I love fall!

Fall leaves are a great backdrop to pictures!

Rhinebeck, NY

What a great weekend was had by all. We really needed to get away from the craziness around here. We drove over to mom D's Friday night when Tim got home from work. Friday was an insane day for me because I had to get Patchy to the groom, and do all of the shopping for Connor and Aidan for the big wedding next weekend. I got them some really cute duds and they are going to look so cute...of course, when don't they? I do have to alter a couple of things and I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to squeeze that in this week.

The main purpose of our trip over to NY was to go to the Sheep and Wool Festival. About 4 years ago when we lived in Poughkeepsie, my parents came up for a week to visit and this was something that was going on when they were here, and I had suggested going because I didn't really know what it was. I was brand new to knitting and thought to myself, "Self, there might be yarn there". No one really wanted to go, so for four years I've pined to go. This year we went.

The day started out very cold. It was 40 something out and windy. When we got there, there weren't that many people there. It was nice to walk around. We watched the sheepdog trials for a little bit, but our little (or big) buns were frozen to the metal bleachers so we didn't stay there for very long. The kids found some carnival rides that they wanted to do. I was horrified to find out the tickets were 2.50 each for each ride. They didn't ride very much. Aidan and Tim went on a huge slide. You know, the one where you climb all the way to the top and sit on a burlap bag and fly down. Aidan's face was hilarious when he got to the bottom. His eyes were so wide and he looked like he was terrified, but when he stood up he exclaimed he wanted to go again. He didn't. Connor and Aidan then went on a big bouncy thing. I don't know why they love these things so much. They did this at Knoebels too. They take their shoes off and just jump and bounce in this huge thing that it blown up. They must have bounced for five minutes. I finally pulled them off of it when there were too many kids on it and I was waiting for one of them to crack their heads on another child.

I would say the highlight of the day for the kids and I was the Mad Science show. We saw both shows that were put on. We sat on the floor right in front and both of the kids got picked at different times to be assistant scientists. The guy that did the show was really good with kids and made it a lot of fun.

Aidan assisting with a dry ice experiment.

Connor had a shot at helping too. He did a great job!

So, you go to a sheep and wool festival in hopes to look at yarn. By the time we were done with the shows and lunch and the kid's rides, I was itching to look at some yarn. It was damn near impossible. There were so many people that had shown up for the afternoon that we got through one "barn" and I gave up. There were so many people looking at the stalls that we were getting pushed around. I don't like being in large crowds and the kids were getting tired so I didn't get any yarn. Boo. Oh well, I still have my blanket and Tim's scarf that I'm working on. I'll finish at least one of those projects before I start another one. I am thinking that I want to make another pair of socks next.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the festival got too crowded. We stopped and got a big bag of warm kettle corn. I have never seen popcorn that big and fluffy. I wonder what kind of kernels they used. The bag was so warm and the popcorn was so unbelievably delicious that I pondered paying ten dollars on Sunday to go back in and get another bag. We took our bag of popcorn and stopped back by the dog trials and sat for a few. It was really interesting to watch these workhorse dogs. They were so fast and they could understand what their trainer was telling them to do by different whistles. I felt bad for the sheep because they had all been shorn and were running around in the cold with no wool. After watching for a bit, we head back to mom's. Aidan had been begging for the hot tub all day so that is what he did. The rest of us fell in front of the fireplace and tried to warm up.

some cold sheep waiting to be moved by their dog

oh yeah, there were candy apples too

I have a picture of Tim right after we got married that looks almost exactly like this one of Connor. Creepy!

Nothing like a hot tub when it's 40 something out.

I think one of the other coolest things about the festival was recognizing other Obama supporteres. I had my "Obama Mama" pin on my hoodie. Thanks to Rita for my pin. I love it!! I wore it proudly. I caught people looking at it. One lady had a pin on that I noticed while we were looking at the freezing lemurs. She saw my pin and then whispered to her friend, "She has an Obama Mama pin on." The mad scientist guy kept calling me Obama mama when he was working with the kids to get their pearls out of their oysters. One lady walked by me and gave me a thumbs up and I saw she had an Obama pin on too. I actually saw a lot of Obama wear there. Hats, pins, shirts. It was so nice to feel the Obama love. It was so cute when we ran into Hannafords to get Kool Ade and stuff for poppers. There was a little old lady bagging my groceries and she asked what my pin meant. I said I'm a mama who supports Barack Obama. She said I was a good girl and said that NY was pretty much a democratic state and that he's got NY. I then told her that I was from PA, and she told me how great that was, and that we really needed to win PA. I told her that we were working very hard to do that. It was a funny exchange though.

This brings us to Sunday. Tim has been bemoaning the fact that we ran out of our picked apples in a week, and that the store bought apples here suck. I had mentioned that we should try and see if there were any apples left on the trees. I had serious doubts. I mean it is the end of October. I was wrong. About 7 minutes from mom's house we found an orchard that we didn't even know existed. Well, mom found it, but it was a very successful trip. The orchard had just opened up a section of trees and the trees were FULL! We got Fujis and Galas and Golden Delicious and some Empires. We have so many apples now, and they are so tasty. We were very excited to find this place. After picking apples we went back to the house to watch the Bills game, or so we thought. For whatever reason the game was blocked out on CBS. We ended up listening to the game off the computer while watching the plays on The Bills won and are now 5 and 1. Tim and I have been married for almost 10 years and never have the Bills done so well. I really hope they can get to playoffs. I think it's hoping too much that they'll win superbowl, but I guess stranger things have happened.

Gobs of Gala apples.

This is the road back to the orchard. Both Tim and I said we wanted to live there.

We got home around 7 last night and basically everything that was in our trunk is now on our kitchen floor. I have my work cut out for me today. I have to unpack, do laundry, do school with the kids (although I've got their schedules into block schedules now and I think that will be easier), I have to sweep and wash the floors, and start altering kid's clothes. I guess that means I should get my butt off this computer and get busy. We have three days home and then we go to Olean for four days for dad B's wedding. We are all excited for that.

I am hoping to get back to regular posting after the election. All of my free time has been going to that and I"m looking forward to getting back to enjoying fall. Fall is my fave!!

One of Ed's birdhouses. I'm sure the birds have headed south for now.

Patchy enjoys the fall weather too. He's going to spend a week with Grandma. We miss him already but know that he's having the time of his life chasing leaves and going on long walks with Grandma.