Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gram "Kracker"

I was working on the web albums thing again (still having difficulties with Picasa, thinking about Flikkr or something else soon if I can't debug!), and I found these wonderful pics that Grandpa W took...

I'm not sure if Gram "Kracker" (great-grandma to Sean and Sophie) would appreciate these photos being available for anyone to see, but I think they are very special! Gram isn't doing so well these days, so it's nice to see these pics from this summer when she was feeling better. She had a wonderful time with all the grandkids, and they had fun with her, too. Eyes lit up when they saw each other across the room. Truly wonderful.

Speaking of truly wonderful, look at this sibling moment.
She's got a big stick and she's not even beating him with it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Toast for Sophia

I thought I would try out Picasa for web albums, and I found this cool feature (even though my niece and sister-in-law tried to show me this a few months ago, I'm just slow!). So, this was fun. I might try again. But next time I try, I hope to not get a message that I can't connect with Picasa web albums. I have seen them on other blogs and they look cool, and that way I can post more pictures. I know they're small, but maybe you can click on the picture and it will enlarge?
The story is that I decided to have eggs with ham and cheese one night for supper, and I burned the toast (read: made it to Fred's liking instead of mine because I didn't check the settings first!). I left the toast on my plate when I was done because I was chatting with Mom, and before I knew it, Little Beggar was chowing away! She loved it! And she also started that adorable "squeeze-the-eyes-shut" smile. I hope you enjoy.
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The Pictures Promised

I guess I should explain since the older posts are below this one, but I've tried several times to post some fun pictures from our last week and a half. I've been having technical difficulties, but finally have the pics at the same time I remembered to post! I'll try to describe them along the way. I think I'll make some new posts for some of the subjects, but I guess if I did that, you already know because you've read those posts first!

First of all, Sean got an H2 for his third birtday, and it kept having shifter problems. The first time it happened, it was under warranty, so it got fixed for free. This time, no such luck, so it stayed in the garage unused for almost a year. BUT, my ever-resourceful husband found a cheap shifter replacement part online, so he's back up and running. The first pic shows that he must have forgotten how to steer! Oops! :)
He's such a nice brother that he even let Sophia have a turn at the wheel...and look how well that went.

Oh, well, like mother, like daughter, I guess...almost. Sorry Keeley, no broken collarbone - this was all in fun!

Stretching it

Yeah, so, I mentioned in the last post that I moved my pictures over to this computer, but it was more of a half-truth. I moved my pictures to a thumb drive (travel drive, USB drive, whatever they're called nowadays), and fully intended to move them over here once I arrived at the cottage. Unfortunately, Mom and Fred took off in the van shortly after we got here (and they ate gramma's food) to visit her brother and sister-in-law. It was just a few minutes after that when I realized I left my purse in said van. With my thumb drive. And my phones. Yes, plural. And my camera. So...I feel rather naked, actually, even though my clothes are securely on (but my pants are a little loose, if you must know - and that's a good thing!). And I thought they would be back quite soon, and yet it's been a few hours now. Almost three. And still no sign of them. I'm glad they are having a good visit, but I hope they get back soon. I need to call the temp agency. Actually, I think I'll take a break and call them on grandma's land line (people still have those these days?). I was hoping they'd get back before I finished this and I could add some really neat pictures, but I guess I'll just post again later. If I get a chance.

Try, try again

I've been trying for several days to get on and post, but for some reason I can't get signed in on my computer. I finally got the brilliant idea to log on on the laptop and I can write, so here I am! I even remembered to move my pictures over here! The good thing about all of this is that I can type while I'm relaxing on the deck at gramma's cottage (see July blog, "my last attempt to get in Jul;y news"). Sean is out on the raft with his cousins and second cousin, and Sophie is playing with her cousins on the deck. They like "Little People" and tht are loose.e new motorcycle Sean picked out for Austin.
We have lots of fun news:
*Sophie has tooth 3 and 4 (I count tooth 4 even though it disappears some days).
*Sean is still hanging on to loose tooth #2 (he refuses to eat solid foods anymore!), and has a couple more that are loose.
*We take Sean to his 1st grade open house this Wednesday.
*Sophie took 3 steps on her own Saturday (and I had Gramma Marcia and "Grumpy Freddy" as witnesses!). Now she just does this arms-out-and-dive move because she knows we want her to take steps.
*Sophie is an expert at drinking from straws and sippy cups. She is starting to wear 18 month size clothes, and she just got a HUGE delivery of outgrown clothes from her cousin Eileen, so we are very excited. We did a lot of "shopping" through the bags, and were even able to give some to cousin Aubrey, too, since she's such a little peanut and wears the same or smaller size as Sophie. AND there were a couple of duplicate outfits (don't ask me how) so they can dress up like twins. That will REALLY confuse people! st
*Sophie's getting really good at climbing stairs, and is very curious about getting back down. I usually just take her arms and let her walk down with me, but she seems to really want to go down head-first on her knees! Good thing we don't have any steps at least that she can reach since the baby gate is up. :)
*Chip is taking his PMI test next week Thursday. He's studying hard, and now that it's only a week away, that's about ALL he's doing. I think he may take some time off this weekend to enjoy the holiday, but other than that, we're trying to stay out of his hair.
*I THINK I start a job this week. It's through a temp agency and they haven't gotten back to me on details, but I'm fairly certain things will work out. Otherwise, I've applied for a few other jobs that I would like, too. As long as Chip can find work in this area.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sean exists, too

I know you probably think I exclude him on purpose, but he's just not easy to catch up with to take a picture, and the things he's learning aren't as easily photographable. He is, however, lots of fun to be around (when he isn't sure the sky is falling!).

He's getting better and better at reading. He wants a dog now after reading the Shiloh series. He's doing lots of math now. We have fun with it, but it's exciting to see him WANT to learn (even if he doesn't want to do the homework packet his Kindergarten teacher gave him that would get him an invite to a pizza party).

His second loose tooth is almost out - hangin' on by only a thread - and he says he's got another one or two loose ones. From what I see, they aren't very loose yet, but he refuses to eat anything "hard" or crunchy because he's scared of losing them all at once. He hasn't had a visit from the tooth fairy because he doesn't want to have to give up his tooth until he can show his first grade class!

Since I don't get many good pics of just him, I thought I would share this one. It looks so "come hither", doesn't it (don't get any ideas, you sick internet weirdos), but it was really a sort of disgusted look because Jessica asked him to stop and pose for a picture!


When Sean was learning to walk, we bought him this toy walker thing, and he used it all the time! We camped a lot at Duke Creek Campground that year and he could be seen "motorin'" it all around the paths there. I think that's one of the reasons he was walking at 10 1/2 months (not too early, but definitely earlier than his sister!). A couple of years ago when I was sure we would be "only child" parents, I sold the walker at a garage sale. I think it went for 2 or 3 dollars.
Last week we had the "huge garage sales" in honor of our town's summer festival and I found the same - and I could almost bet the EXACT SAME - walker at a house a few doors down. So now for 2 bucks, Sophie is having the same great time with her new skill! She's getting better everyday - these pictures show you how much fun she's having.

(wow, a motion shot!)

Oh, and P.S., today her third tooth appeared. It's on the top, her left center. So I guess I forgive her grumpiness of late.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Sophie and her little friend C* started a fun game when he was visiting the other night. I opened the tube of toddler "sweet potato puffs" and Sophie grabbed a big handful and dumped it on the floor. Then C* would bend down and eat it off the floor like a dog (thanks to Sean, who taught him that cool trick). They were so adorable...I'm just sorry I didn't get my camera out until they were almost bored with their game.
But they're still adorable pictures, anyway, right? I think they'd make a cute couple someday...but I'm a sucker for the dimples!

Scavenger yet again. Sean stopped guarding his lunch just long enough for Sophie to get at it. I guess no more eating off of trays for a while...but she REALLY enjoyed the Mac and Cheese. Oddly enough, she wasn't much interested in the Chocolate Chip muffin. But for the record, she did drink his water out of that straw, too.
Too funny!

So-Fe phone home

Sophie loves the phones, and, while she won't talk to anyone on them, she picks one up (or whatever other object is nearby) whenever anyone says "Hello".

This one (below) is Sean calling and waiting for her to pick up. TeeHee.

I just hope she grows out of this before her teen years (again, one can dream...).

Tooth-less grin

Yeah, no toothy grin for Sean right now. His first one came out on August 2 (sorry, I forgot to post about it earlier), and now the top right one is well on its way out. He keeps telling me "it's halfway out" I guess that means any day now it will come out.
These aren't very good views of the actual tooth, but they're the only other ones I have from that night. I'm sure Sean wanted you to see his tonsils, anyway!

Feeling Boxed in

Doesn't Sean look sad? Well, mad is probably a better word. I think it was because Sophie was touching his box. But then again, before he thrust out his hand, I know he was stuffed in there pretty tight, so he was probably worried she was going to knock him over. But as you can see below, he quickly got over it, and they both had a little fun.

Maybe someday he'll be Houdini. That really was an awfully small box for him to fit into...and he got out by himself, too. Of course, I had to knock him on his side first, but still...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ted E Bear on Parade

Summerfest fun...Sean decided to skip the last day of "boring VBS" (sorry Mom...) so he could enter his bears in the parade. I thought up the bathtub idea when I couldn't sleep Tuesday night. He didn't win the "best decorated wagon" but we think he deserved it - we were even blowing bubbles to complete the effect! Oh well, maybe next year...

Oh, oh, O-R-E-O

Yeah, I'm not the world's best mom when it comes to nutrition, but my babies LOVE me!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Puff the Magic Dragon

(AKA: The best life lessons are learned through song)
(I even did a project on that for school once!)
So, before I begin, let me ask the few of you who read this...why is it that all my profound thoughts come when I'm wasting time playing Freecell or Bubblez? It's true! And then I usually forget them right away, but tonight, you can have the pleasure of viewing what I think is profound...or at least true and meaningful.
Puff the Magic Dragon used to be (and I guess still is) one of my favorite songs. We would sing it in the car all the time when I was little. I'm sure my mother didn't know she was poisoning me with stories about marajuana (have you heard the rumors, too?). I have a hunch she would start singing it just because she knew it would make me cry at the end. Oh, how I would bawl when Jackie grew up and quit visiting. You'll laugh, but I'm crying even now as I think about it. I don't think I ever even heard the final words in that verse. I was just so sad the poor dragon had lost his friend.
Tonight as I was playing bubblez, I just started humming the song to myself, and it hit me. That's one of the things I truly miss about being young. I was thrown in with all these people on a daily basis at school and just made lots of friends by default. Some were because of common interests, and some were unexpected, and some were just for fun...and some were because they were my brother's friends. I swore those friendships would last forever, and that I'd make even more relationships as I grew. When you're together so much, it's easy to be friends. It's easy to keep in touch. It's easy to give gifts (string, sealing wax....fancy stuff like that!). I'm not placing blame, but it's just not easy once you enter the real world. The time you have together is so stilted. I always enjoy getting together with friends, but I feel weird. I'm not good at starting conversations. I really truly am interested in my friends' lives, but I don't know what questions to ask (David, my step-brother, is a whiz at that, and I truly admire that gift!), and I feel like my life is just so plain, and, while not uneventful, at least not something I'm proud of (except the kiddies, most of the time...unless they're acting up in public). Sharing problems feels more like whining to me (and sometimes I really am whining), and I would really rather hear about how their lives are going.
So I feel like Puff. My Jackie Papers have found other lives and I've ceased my fearless roar...sadly slipped into my cave of daily drudgery...
I guess I should probably spend the time I'm spending on the Blog writing to friends. But like I said the other day, does anybody care? Will anyone correspond back? Have the painted wings and giant rings made way for other toys? Or are my friends just as confused about growing up as I am? Maybe they've come back to look for me, but I'm too far back in my cave. Yeah, I don't know. If you do, please let me know. And if you're my friend and reading this, know that I love you and miss you. And if you feel like frolicking ( I grow older everything gets a double meaning...but, well, you know what I mean), contact me sometime!

(ok, that's about as profound as I get. Plato I am not!)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Just for fun

I thought I would just post some pictures of us having fun this summer, since the heat is affecting my ability to think. Yeah, it's either the heat or the (happy) scream-chatting of Sophie or the begging of Sean or the musing of Chip all competing for my attention at once.
Here are the pics!

beach fun!
Sean has recently "discovered" coloring and has fun with it, but mostly when we travel. The tatoo was his idea (see neck), and I believe it was a skull on fire with a wrench coming out of it. Of course, it washed off. He wanted to look like Daddy. Daddy's doesn't wash off, though...(sorry, I don't have pics of his leg on my computer)

Fun at Gramma's (her pool - I think these pictures were taken the FIRST time we filled it up!! Long story; and cherry picking at Fix's. We picked 18 pounds in about 15 minutes. That's a lot of cherries. BUT I got to make 3 batches of cherry pudding cake - YUM!):

Sophie loves pulling tissues out of the box! I wish I could put them back in, because it could keep her occupied for hours!

Friday, August 3, 2007


Today when I went to the mailbox, I found a large manila envelope with a return address I didn't recognize. I peeled off the USPS-mandated sticker that they placed over the sender's name (how rude!), and I did a little dance of joy!

Here's the thing: when I was in college in 1992 and 1993 (and a little of 94), I met some wonderful friends. Most of them weren't music majors, like me, but we all shared a passion for singing in the choir and somehow we became fast friends. Over the next couple years, the circle expanded, and while I was out of the loop after leaving to get married and move to TN even more people were added to the circle. Actually, it's kinda more like a flow-chart. This person was in the group, and that same person's roommate joined us, and then the roommate's friend...well, you get the picture.

Sadly, I lost touch with most of them, but I had one faithful friend in this circle who wrote to me even when I forgot to write back (or just felt like I didn't have anything to say, I will now admit). Then a few years back, someone in the group (probably the above-mentioned friend) thought it would be fun to have a little overnight get-together to reacquaint ourselves and just have some time away, and we've been getting together ever since.

But, back to the envelope. This year, for various reasons, the get-together didn't happen. We're all busy and new babies are keeping us on our toes (hahaha...Cheri, better get married soon - it's your turn!), and things just didn't work out. One of the gals thought up the neat idea to fill out a questionnaire so we could still get to know each other a little and feel connected, even though we weren't physically together. The envelope was filled with the answers, and I was glad to see that most everyone participated. I had a good time reading the responses.

It also reminded me that even though we all have struggles, we all have a God who loves us and cares for us. I know I need to remember that more often. I have a tendency to want friends too badly and "scare" them away (my take on things), but I need to remember that there is ONE who will always listen. And with the book another friend gave me, I'm learning that God will even talk back! So, even though life here stinks right now, perhaps my renewed friendships will bring me more comfort when I practice the advice I dole out with every email : "Trouble is a part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough. Dinah Shore"

I some of my reticence to share is because I don't want people to worry. I'm sure there's some pride issues, too. But a lot of it is that I'm pretty sure that most people (the ones who don't read this...that's why I don't mind saying so) truly don't care. I've come to the conclusion that really, we aren't very important to most people we know. We're too much trouble, and if people don't ask about us, then they don't have to do anything about our problems. Not that we're asking for anything other than a listening ear, mind you. And then begins a vicious cycle of us not getting in touch with people because we don't want to have to talk to them about our lives (really, are we just more gossip fodder, or do you really care?), and we don't want to hear about their "problems" (the air conditioner in my new Jeep is still not fixed even though it works kind of and it's under warranty so I don't have to pay...). And I have to remind myself that I need to be the kind of person that I want others to be to me. It's just hard to do that. Anyone want to keep me accountable for that?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Home Alone

I sure wish I had a picture of me looking like that movie, because it's definitely how I feel! Chip was gone all last week, and he left again last night for his last two days of class. I certainly don't relish the idea of being home alone, even though it's only for a couple of days. I feel for everyone out there who is a single parent or has a traveling spouse. It's no fun!

I never got to finish the end-of-July update, and I already forgot if I had a specific place I was going with that train of thought, but it DEFINITELY left the station! So, here are some fun pictures from lately, and if I don't say the same things I was going to say about them before, well, at least you get to see them, right? And maybe I'll even come up with something even more clever! One can dream...
Sophie just stopping by to `say "hi`"~`
On our way for ice cream. Well, not really. We went for a long walk and then came back and had ice cream here, so I was counting it. Sophie standing on her own and clapping. Not a common occurance, but she's getting better.
From our quick jaunt to OH to drop off Danielle to stay with Mom in NY for a few weeks. We saw Jimmy Buffet's bus at our hotel, too, but my pictures didn't turn out.

Sean swimming at said hotel. I guess he gives it good marks!

Well, gotta go. Sophie's screaming at me now for taking too long. More to come...