Monday, November 30, 2009

Guess What Animal Mary Had...

My three-year-old niece sure does love to sing.

And she sure can belt out a tune like nobody's business.

And, like her Aunt Kem, if she doesn't know the words, well...she just makes them up or sings the music.

If you were unsure of what animal Mary had, you should know after watching her performance at Thanksgiving.

LOL. That's good stuff! :up:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Field Trip to Remember

Every kid looks forward to going on a school field trip. As parents we'd like to think that they're looking forward to learning about something new. In reality, they're probably just glad to "get out of school" for the day. But that's okay. They will have fun and, even if they don't realize it, they will learn something.

And, as I sometimes do, I temporarily lost my mind and offered to chaperon Shane's field trip to the Morefield Gem Mines. It's always enlightening spending time with a group of fifth graders. I now realize that Shane is not the only one getting ready to hit the preteen years.

That aside, the field trip was great. It was a unique field trip. I didn't even realize that there were still gem mines around. The kids enjoyed getting dirty when they were digging for gems. And they sure did get had poured down rain the night before.)

The mine operators dig out the gems from the mine and then spread them throughout a few fields for the kids to sift through looking for the various gems and rocks. Note the dirt.

After they've dug up the gems, they have to wash them (of course!) It's probably the only time the kids actually like to wash anything!

Most of the kids were looking for the biggest rocks that they could find. They brought buckets to carry their loot in and by the end of the day, some were really struggling to carry them. But they were NOT putting any back!

The kids scored when the mine operators threw down new dirt to dig through. SCORE!

They were a little disappointed that they didn't get to go into the actual mine but I think that they had a great time. No one was complaining on the trip back. Well. No one but the chaperons. But we weren't complaining. We just were glad that we remembered our Advil.

I realize that the video is only looking at a drink but I didn't want to videotape any of the kids. I did want to give you a taste of what it's like to chaperon a field trip. This will either make you shudder and shake remembering your own chaperoning days or it will remind you why you shouldn't check "yes" on the permission slip. :p

Or you could enjoy the time spent with your child and his or her classmates. Just remember to take your Advil prior to getting on the bus!

Monday, November 23, 2009

For The Love of Harry Potter

Shane is a verocious reader. He usually has two to three books going at one time.

For the last few years, Shane has been really resisting reading Harry Potter. I told him that the books are really, really good and he should give them a try. Especially since his latest obsession is all things wizardly.

He dresssed as Dumbeldore at Halloween. Wizard spells. Wizard magic. Wizards of Waverly Place. Wizards. Wizards. Wizards. (He wanted to become a Wiccan for a while...but that's a different post for a different day.)

He picked up a series called Magyk and really enjoyed it. I begged him again to read the Harry Potter books.

He again said no. He said I didn't know what I was talking about and he wouldn't like them. He was sure.

So I did what I had to do and I resorted to bribing him. (Yes, your honor, I am guilty of bribery as charged.)

This was a few weeks into the school year. (School here begins after Labor Day.)

He just finished the seventh book.

He came into our room after finishing the last book and asked where the eighth book was. He was only kidding, of course, because he knew that the seventh book was the last one.

Then he said he wasn't ready to be done with Harry Potter and it wasn't fair.

Even though he loved Harry Potter and said that he'd never be able to find such a great series again, he had his nose in a book this morning and it looked like he was already halfway through it.

But...yeah. I know I had to resort to bribing him to read the books but I knew that he would love them.

And I was right, wasn't I, Shane?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stop Clock, Stop!

It seems that the days are just accelerating at a neck-breaking pace and going by too fast. It seems that there's no time to do anything. The to-do list just continues to get longer. And it seems that no matter how many things I get to check off the list, three more jump onto it.

And somehow I blinked and Shane is 10, his pits stink like a man's and he's asking me when he can date and is talking about girls, girls, girls.

Ugh. Stop clock, stop. Well, don't stop because that would mean only one thing. But I wouldn't mind if it slowed down just a tad.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hail to the Redskins! Hail Victory!

Hey, this is Ken...Kim's Husband and this is my first (last?) guest blog. First off I have to say that I don't have the talent or training of my wife when it comes to writing or spelling, but I will do my best.

So, first off I wanted to say when I had kids one of the biggest thrills I thought I would have is enjoying sports with them. You notice I said kids and not boys because I inherited my love for sports from my Mom. Oh, my Dad liked sports and was a South Jersey Philly Fan but most of the memories I have are of my Mom taking me to oh, The World Series in '79 or countless Redskins games, including the 1991 Playoff game against Atlanta. I actually took the same seat cushions that we were given that day to our game today.....and so it begins anew.

Getting ready for the game (game paint included):

Tailgating, a big part of the game. The Stadium and Owen doing some of his plays:

Some, of the sights before the game including a Hogette and Ledell Betts before his big game:

Go team! After the before game fun, it is almost time. We get the cheerleaders and the players take the field to loud music and fireworks!

On to the game, it was a great game and just the type of game that will keep Owen interested for years to come. It was a close, the home team came from behind, the crowd was so into it, there was a cool trick play and of course the most important part...

Owen's favorite player, Clinton Portis (along with his teammate, Chris Cooley) can only watch:


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Well, Duh!

Ken was watching TV last night and I heard the broadcaster talking about a research report that came out that found that chocolate helps reduce stress in women.

Well, duh!

The university who did the research project could have saved a bunch of money and time by just polling a group of moms. They would have gotten the same results.

Moms have known for years that the best thing to do when your children are driving you bonkers is to get a piece of chocolate from your hidden stash of sweets, sneak into the laundry room under the auspice of "folding clothes" and eat it really, really fast so you don't have to share it with them.

And you choose the laundry room because they won't come within 10 feet of there because they think that they may have help you and do some work. We moms aren't stupid, you know!

And five minutes later, you feel better. Albeit then you have to deal with the guilt of blowing the diet that you had to restart today because you did the same exact thing yesterday.

But that's okay. Because your children's lives have been spared and you will survive another day of telling them for the umpteenth time not to throw balls in the house, picking up their dirty underwear off of the floor and asking them for the 10th time to clear their dishes.

So, yeah brilliant researchers, thanks for the confirmation of what thousands of moms already know. Chocolate does make it all better!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Three Sheets: A Different Kind of Travel Show

Before Ken and I had kids, we use to travel a lot. When we travel, we always look for the local dives to get a real flavor for the places that we are visiting. We never eat at a Applesbees, Chilis or Red Lobster. We can go to those here. (But we usually don't....local establishments all the way baby!)

And whenever we travel, we always like to search out the local beer or whatever beverage the place we are visiting is noted for since we typically can't get it at home. It's no secret that we occasionally have an adult beverage. For those of you who don't know, I use to work at a brewery. Yeah. I brewed beer for a living.

If you ever thought that you'd like to try your hand at it, you should visit Shenandoah Brewing Company and take a crack at it. Aside from the brewery operation, the brewery is also a brew-your-own place. The owners, Anning and Laura, are awesome and really know their beer!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...So, we like to drink. But before I go any further, please don't flame the blog. We don't drink and drive and we're responsible drinkers. Our kids have been told that drinking in moderation is acceptable for adults.

Okay, now that that has been said, onto the reason for the post.

We love to travel. We love to watch travel shows.

We love to explore local culture when we travel.

And we love a good beer or cocktail.

And we found a show on TV that combines all three of these. And does it in a funny and, oddly enough, educational way. Ken found the show channel surfing one day and now we are hooked on it.

The show is called Three Sheets and the host, Zane Lamprey, is the hostest with the mostest. When he travels, he searches out the local adult beverages and drinking customs and makes himself right at home. He particularly likes to learn local drinking games. As a "professional drinker," he is also on a quest to find out the local cure for a hangover.

He has rules to drinking games that must be followed. One is called the "good burp" which sadly appears that he stole from my sisters and I about 20 years ago in college. Of course I have blackmail pictures but I will refrain from putting them on the blog but it's something like this. As in it *is* this. ;)

Lamprey is crazy. And fun. He doesn't take himself, or life, too seriously. But he's very knowledgeable about his subject. Whether that be the drink of choice or the country that he is visiting. You'd think that the show wouldn't be educational since it's about...well...drinking.

But it is. It's a different sort of show. If you have a sense of humor, like to travel and are interested in trying different local beverages and food when you travel, give this show a try. It's light, entertaining and educational.

Have fun watching it and let me know if you like it! Cheers!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get It Right Next Time

Dear Owen,

If you're going to put down your brother, please make sure that you know how to do it properly before you open your mouth.

We all know that your brother can't take a joke but you lose something in the put down when you state in a loud, sarcastic voice...

"Gawd Shane! It was a JOKE! We were just kidding you. Don't you get a G-O-K-E when you hear one?!"

Now, dear Owen, you have lost the battle because your brother can spell (well, he can't really but he CAN spell a first grade word) and he comes right back at you. time, Owen, please get the whole put-down correct before you say it. Don't be mad at me. I'm just trying to help you out.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'll Get To That....Tomorrow!

OWEN: Mom, where is the ducky bath towel that I'm suppose to step on after getting out of the shower?

ME: In the laundry basket of clean towels, where it's been for two weeks. DUH!

OWEN: Well, I need it.

ME: Yeah. I know. I'll get around to unloading that basket tomorrow. I have to. There's a pile of dirty towels beside the basket that need to be washed.

I know that you readers (all two of you!) are thinking that I'm a lazy person. Well, just go ahead and admit that you've got a basket full of clean clothes that need to be put away too.

Go ahead and admit it. It will free you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Another Halloween has come and gone.

The boys have shaken down the neighbors for the best candy that they could get and are finally coming out of their sugar induced coma.

Shane went as Dumbledorf from Harry Potter, combining his obsession with the Harry Potter books and all things wizardly.

Owen went as Mr. Potato Head, courtesy of my mom and her awesome sewing abilities. Her friend Alice helped her with the costume thanks, Alice! And, of course, thanks again mom for the costume. It was AWESOME!

Of course, I waited until 5:30 to get Owen ready (even though every year I say I'm not waiting until the last minute!) and then it was rush rush rush.

And of course if I would have actually read my mom's instructions before then, it would have made it go quicker.

And if Owen/Ken hadn't pulled the cord out of the costume that is used to tie up the costume so we can make it into the shape of a potato, and we hadn't had to pull it back through, it would have been quicker.

And by "we", I mean my friend Kirsten. She was working that and I was trying to figure out how to get Potato Head's ears on. We really should have just left them off because he lost the ears on the first couple of houses so he ended up being a deaf potato. lol

They even got a few tricks. Our crazy neighbor Lori loves Halloween. One year, she gave out nasty live worms to the kids who said they wanted a trick. Shane said that if he got a worm this year, he was putting it into her mailbox to shrivel up and die.

I guess he didn't like the worm either. Yuck. This year she gave out witch boogers. lol

As luck would have it, it started to rain (of course!) so we decided to drive the kids around the neighborhood instead of walking.

Can I just say that that was the best idea that I've ever had! Now I know why my parents use to drive us around. It's so much easier and we were able to get to a lot more houses.

At one house, I noticed that Owen was up at the door for a long time. I looked closer and he was making the lady at the door go through her candy basket. His patience paid off because he came back with a Babe Ruth. And his teachers said that he couldn't follow instructions. Sheesh.

I mentioned my friend Kirsten. She lives in California and was in Richmond for a conference so she came here on Saturday night. It was great seeing her. She was a great co-pilot and so much fun! At one point, Owen was running and slipped and fell.

Instead of asking if he was all right, Kirsten rolled down the window and yells "you left your candy on the ground...get it!"

LOL. A girl after my own heart!

It was the first sugar that Shane had had in two and a half weeks. Even though I warned him not to eat too much, he gorged it. And then came to me yesterday and said that he had a stomach ache.

Well, duh.

So, Halloween is over. Kirsten is back in California (boo) and the candy is in the basket on top of the fridge.

Time to start planning for costumes for next year. I guess it really doesn't matter if I plan now or wait until Oct. 27th like I usually do. You know what they say about the best laid plans.

You call your mom at the last minute to execute them!