Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Son the Rock Star

My 15 year old son has been teaching himself to play both bass and electric guitar for about a year now. Last night we got to watch him play with a group of friends at the county fair. These boys have only been practicing together for a couple of weeks, so it was pretty cool that they could pull together a decent performance in that amount of time.

The sound equipment at the fair really stunk, so it mostly sounded like a bunch of noise (for the record, they are playing Youth Gone Wild by skid Row) . It was a real blast to watch my kid play on stage and be so comfortable in a performance situation. He's the one closest to the camera, with black t shirt and tan shorts. My kid! My kid! What a blast!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not a Lot to Report

Since returning from our vacation, I'm mainly been putting the house back together, tackling some household projects (decluttering, mainly), doing some homeschool stuff with the kids, and now since we set our pool up on Saturday, I spend many hours each day being the lifeguard. Although this keeps me from being on the computer or doing any household chores, it does give me the opportunity to read! My To Read list has been growing and growing, and this past year I've probably had less time to read than ever. Today I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (he wrote The Kite Runner). He is an excellent writer, so the book was not a disappointment, although the story was very sad in many places.

I am now reading I Saw The Angel in the Marble, which is a collection of essays by Chris and Ellyn Davis, who homeschoolers will probably remember from The Elijah Company. I always loved their catalog and their writings, so I expect to be inspired and encouraged by this book. :)

I have probably 40 or 50 more books in my To Read pile. Most of them I have put off because they are of the improve-your-life category, and for me, those take energy. I haven't had the time or energy to put into caring about organizing, decorating, learning something else to do with my businesses, overhauling any relationships, or whatever. There are just a few in the pile that are calling to me, though. I think I am almost ready to go back to The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and after that maybe I'll be energetic enough to get into Organizing From the Inside Out.

Either way, I have plenty to read whenever the mood strikes, and from now until late September I should be able to get some reading done.

The kids are enjoying the flow here at home, and I am enjoying having them here. We are doing school stuff many days and we are all loving it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Water Fight!

These photos are from our vacation. My 10 year old rec'd some water guns for his birthday, so his ultra cool uncle and aunt helped put them to use.

Here is my baby brother, the rock star. Try not to drool, ladies. He's taken.
Two young'uns ganging up on their unk.....
Don't worry--he'll get revenge!

I love the way both of their backs are curved in this one:

Now Aunt Tess is getting into the scene. (She's a rock star, too.)

She bends over to fill her gun, and some little hooligan decides to take advantage of the situation by squiring her in the keister.... (Who taught him such things?!)

"Tee hee!"

She'll get her revenge too...

And finally, they turn against each other:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Vacation Photos

Three of my favorite kids:

My gorgeous daughter:

My husband and one of our kiddos at the beach:

Future model?:
We saw this alligator in a lake at the park we went to. It was probably at least 6 feet long.

Eat More--Move Less

The Onion is satirical genius. I just love this news story about fast food feedbags.

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Friday, June 13, 2008

Going on Vacation, part 2

As I mentioned in the first vacation post, we try to only make one long stop on our car trips, just because we want to get on with getting there. Cracker Barrel is the favorite stop, and everybody looks forward to it--for the food, for the stuff to look at (and beg parents to purchase), and for the fun peg game on every table.
Because we need to know whether we are "Perty Smart,"

"Just Plain Dumb," an "Eg-nor-a-moose," or,
a Genius, like myself. (Try not to be too impressed, ok?)

We pass those games around the table until dinner comes. And then the kids eat less than half of what we bought, we go to the potty one more time, and back into the car we go.

This time two Webkinz were added to our family, thanks to the stop. Hours of fun-filled entertainment, I say! And the best hassle-free pets on the planet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Going on Vacation, part 1

Our typical vacation is a trip to visit grandparents. This time around we went to visit my mom in North Carolina, which took us 12 hours.

The kids do a lot of snoozing on the drive:

This is the view I got to enjoy for the day. Oooh lala...

Normally we try to only make one big stop, which is traditionally dinner at Cracker Barrel. This time my husband threw caution to the wind and decided to stop at the Fireworks Superstore in Tennessee!

Not only can you buy lots and lots of different types of fireworks there (which we did, because we have friends coming to celebrate the 4th of July with us)

but you can also enjoy a wide range of tacky kitsch the likes of which I have not seen in a long time. Behold the kitsch:

One of my kids thought that this God Loves You and So Do I item was really lovely. Oy vey!
Anybody need some lavender fairies for their bedroom?? Me neither.

My 9 year old thought his life depended on getting one of these poorly made "treasure boxes" for $23.95. Needless to say, we decided to take our chances and leave without it.

I'm not sure if this statue was for sale or just for good looks, but my kids know a photo opp when they see it.

Not only can you buy clutter and tacky home decor at the Fireworks Superstore, but you can also choose from a fine selection of overpriced and cheaply made hats:

For some reason, my husband allowed our 5 year old to buy this one:

It was destroyed before we made it to our destination.
(Also, I swear, the child did not suffer a stroke while driving all day. He doesn't always look like this....)

Also, the store had a wide variety of "Life is Crap" t-shirts, including this fine choice:

There were two redeeming qualities in this store (other than a generally clean bathroom, which as you know is a blessing while traveling). One was the cool gumball machine. Put in a quarter, and watch a gumball move through a series of roller coasters, lifts, drops, and so on:

Who says money can't buy happiness?

The other redeeming item in the store? Fudge.
Nothing says thank you to your hostess like a pound and a half of fudge. :)

Now, lest you think that the inside of the Fireworks Superstore is the end the tackiness, think again.

Perty special, eh? If you're riding down into TN on 75 South, be sure to stop at the Fireworks Superstore--it's the one with the rusted ferris wheel and giant fake animals. Woot!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Home Again Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Sorry for neglecting you faithful few followers. We've been on vacation. You know what that forthcoming! Will try to get something up for you in the next day or two. :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Glasgow Highland Games 2008

Here we are, in the car on our way to the Games. (notice I've given you the curly-hair version of my look, just to balance out recent photos) We took 7 kids (including my son's girlfriend, who has previously not allowed him to even wear his kilt in her presence. You've come a long way, baby!) + 2 adults. Par-tay!

The next photo is of my oldest son, demonstrating How Not To Sit While Wearing a Kilt. His girlfriend tried to give him some skirt-wearing pointers, but as you can see, he didn't take her advice.

The first thing I did when we got to the Games was to fall and hurt myself, thanks to a sharp difference between the pavement height and the grass next to it. Somehow, I was so skillful as to have my right foot get half on the pavement and half off of it. So my foot kind of rolled downhill, and my left knee went crashing into the cement. So here is a picture of my scraped up knee, just to prove it. (thankfully, I was wearing cropped pants that covered my knees. I am so thankful that I didn't hit the concrete with bare skin. And, extra bonus!, my new cropped pants *did not rip* which I thought was pretty great)

I got right up and kept walking. My husband has been ahead of me, as had most of the kids, so they hadn't seen what happened, although they heard me say ouch. They checked in with me and I thought I was fine, so we kept on truckin' for another few feet, and then I decided that maybe I should get some ice.

We found an ambulance so walked over to it, only to find not a single emergency services type person in sight. What a crock. We couldn't find any ice near where we were, and then we saw a pipes and drums band starting, so we just went to watch that. I toughed it out.

After that we had to go to the farthest reaches of the grounds to find The Old Man, who is the vendor with the cheapest array of wooden swords, knives, and muskets. THIS is what our boys were looking forward to more than anything.

As you can see from the next photo, they had fun selecting their weaponry just in time to take the closest hill in a battle.

The thing that I was most looking forward to was seeing NeedFire play again. We just loved this group last year and have listened to their CDs since then. Well, they did not disappoint! Such a fun group to watch on stage, and super nice to their fans off the stage. Four of our kids had t-shirts that they got signed by the band members, plus my daughter was lucky enough to get her photo taken with "Dreamy Dylan" as we like to call him. :) This kid is 18 years old and is amazing on the fiddle, as well as several other instruments. (and he sings and writes some of the music also) Cool people. Very fun to see them again.

The one and only down side to the concert was that as I sat there, I noticed my foot starting to hurt. It had hurt just a little bit after it twisted as I fell off the pavement.

I don't know if it was sitting for so long, or the amount that we walked, or just the amount of time since I fell, but the pain started intensifying and then extending all the way up my leg, almost to my hip. And that was just when I was sitting.

When I got up to walk...zowee! The pain was quite intense, and all I can say is that having birthed six babies, I do know how to breathe through pain. However, constant pain is quite a bit different than intermittent contractions with a cute baby to show for it at the end.

My husband stopped at a store on the way home to get me souvenir meds. Neosporin for the scrape, Blue goo to make my foot feel cold, and Aleve, which ended up saving the day. I could walk on my foot without too much misery by the time we got home. Yay! Thankfully, today my foot is feeling quite a bit better, although I took a lazy day to mostly stay off of it, seeing as how *tomorrow* we will be helping my husband's sister's family move into their new house, near us! They are moving here from 14 hours away.

Overall, it took a lot of energy and patience to take the kids to the Games, particularly when speaking through teeth clenched in pain. They had fun, though, and say they want to go back next year. :)