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Jonathan and Sue

Life is Good

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boys reading



November 20th, 2008

Pretty dang accurate

boys reading

You are Sage!

0% Habanero, 60% Sage, 20% Thyme, 0% Ginger, 10% Garlic, 0% Curry, 0% Cinnamon and 10% Oregano!

You are Sage!

Sage is a very classic herb.  You tend to use intelligence in making decisions instead of brute force.

You are the type of person that people want to get to know and be friends with.  You don't feel as if you have to impress people because you tend to be very self assured. 

At a party you would be happy to just sit in the corner and watch people, or perhaps find someone to have an intelligent conversation with. 

You prefer to think before you act, as you are rather analytical.  You can be both dazzling and graceful.  People tend to notice you without you trying to make it happen.

You may not be religious, but you are very spiritual.  You desire relationships that last rather then passing ones.

October 26th, 2008

Our change of seasons may not be as obvious as the change in other parts of the country, but we do have subtle clues of fall's arrival.  Like the scalping of the summer Bermuda grass before the seeding of winter rye.  Here is the landscaping truck in our neighborhood park.  I wish I had had my camera a few hours earlier when the pile of grass was as tall as the truck (notice the full trailer).  Our kids jumped in these piles of grass the night before just as non-desert kids jump in piles of leaves.  (Unfortunately, our kids are allergic to grass and were itchy, itchy, itchy all night!)

Here's H after he pulled his little chair over but before he put his leg up and tried to scale the bookshelf.  What's he after?  The glass pumpkin full of "choc-at nem-un-nums" up on top. 

Stickers=hours of fun (and peace for Mom).

Now you can probably guess the theme of this year's Halloween costumes.   Poor G was out of school three days this week with a nasty bout of strep.  On this day she was finally feeling a little bit better so we played with the make-up and did a dress rehearsal.  You can't really tell in this photo, but her eyes are very sparkly green. 

I can't believe W is seven already.  He's grown up so much during this past year.  He's so independent, so spunky, so BIG! 

Here's W teaching H how to do push-ups, just like Coach Huffman taught him.  I love it when the kids reflect the good role models in their lives.  I could totally hear Coach's gentle encouragement in W's voice as he guided H to correct form. 

My kids like each other.  They really like each other.*  Here they are putting together a haunted pirate ship after church today.  They spent 2 hours cooperating with each other to make this ship, which was a b-day present for W, perfect.  Of course because the girls' helped, the plank has dainty designs on it, but it is still pretty cool.  See below.

What good is an Oreo if you can't save some for later?  (Actually, in my defense, these crumbs are from Trader Joe's Jo-Jo cookies which are just as tasty as Oreos but without the hydrogenated oils, which make them a health food in my book.)

And I close with a random photo of L, my beautiful middle girl who was sorely neglected this week since she was the only completely healthy, non-birthday kid.  

* 95% of the time.


October 13th, 2008

Random Happy Thoughts

boys reading
The weather is perfect right now.  Today we saw a high of 73.  It's supposed to get warm/hot again by the end of the week, but even still, the cool evenings make 90 degree days worth it.

The kids were surprised and grateful for our family trip to California.  I packed for them the night before and then told them we had an emergency meeting in Tucson so they'd have to take their blankies and some books for the drive.  It wasn't until we turned off onto I8 that they got wise to us.  The looks on their faces and squeals of delight when we came clean were priceless.  And then, near the end of our time while we were at Balboa Park, I got the sweetest, most sincere thank you from W (whose upcoming birthday was the reason for our trip).

Legoland is the most fabulous amusement park in the world for our kids' ages.  H had hours of fun in the toddler area, running around the play houses, sliding down the slides, riding the train.  The bigger kids can go on all the rides now (and go by themselves)!  There are newer areas we had not seen before, so it was fresh for us all.

We may never take another summer southern California trip again.  The weather in October was gorgeous, just gorgeous.  The hotel rates were cheaper, as were gas prices.  There were no lines at Legoland or the new Sealife Aquarium.  The hotel pool was heated, so even though the evening air was a tad chilly, we still got our water time in.  We got our beach time in too, chasing the waves and looking for rocks and shells while being careful not to get too wet since it was dusk.  Of course W got freaked out by a tangle of kelp and fell over running away from it.  Sploosh.

The kids have always dressed up in a family theme for Halloween (Thing One, Thing Two, & Cat in the Hat; Three Blind Mice; Teletubbies; Fairies (before boys!); Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Parents; Three Little Kittens who Lost their Mittens; Wizard of Oz; Characters from the Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe; Superheroes; Characters from Harry Potter) .  Each year since they have been old enough to care, I have told them they can dress up in whatever they want, they don't have to do a theme.  But every year they have come up with something new.  I won't spoil this year's choice, but I'll post photos as soon as we get all the costume components.

I have tried three great recipes in the past month that have all been winners with the family.  Two were courtesy of my culinary-gifted sister -- chicken tortilla soup and chicken and dumplings.  Yummo.  The third was a super easy random recipe-of-the-day from my Google home page -- pork chops and apple sauce.  (Insert Brady Bunch reminiscence here.)  You season 6 chops with kosher salt and fresh pepper, & brown them in oil.  Then you put a sliced sweet onion in the bottom of a crock pot, layer on the chops, and cover with a can of apple pie apples.  Cook on low for 6 hours and viola!  Tender chops with a savory oniony-apple "gravy."  I served them with mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and cinnamon apples.  It was a clean-plate club night.

Jonathan and I have been going through what seems like concurrent mid-life crises.  (No, not that kind!)  But we have both been questioning what we want out of life, where we want to be, what we want to do, where we fit in.  It's been a hard couple of years for us in these respects.  But things are working out.  Maybe it's just a matter of (finally) finding the blessings where we are instead of falling into the "I'll be happier when ____ " trap.  We are not in perfect circumstances, but I think making the best of what we've got has allowed us to prioritize our lives and let go of things that are lower down on that list.
Our friend just lost his mother suddenly.  That's not a Happy Thought; however, the fact that his children had a relationship with this grandma, that they knew her well enough that she will be missed, that his wife has funny underwear-shopping stories to tell; that the in-laws postponed a trip to attend the memorial; that his grief was not watered down by physical or emotional distance -- these are things that make our own decision to stay in the valley near my mother worth it.  Because those are things -- the multi-generational relationship, the stories, the day-to-day being there -- those are things that are important to me.  And, at this point, if it means letting go of things lower on the list, that's okay.

October 9th, 2008

(no subject)

boys reading

Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test ...

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!


For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

October 7th, 2008

Where should you live?

boys reading
No surprise here.

Your result for The Where in America Do You Belong Test...

West Coast

Think we should instate a monkey-ocracy? Want to establish a community dedicated to eating only hair? Then you probably belong on the West Coast! The West Coast has a lot in common with the East Coast. It's just a little bit kookier.

Take The Where in America Do You Belong Test at HelloQuizzy

October 2nd, 2008

Fun MadLib

boys reading
Here is a funny MadLib;

Dear Kelly:

I don't really know how to tell you this, but I'm in love with your sister.  I think I realized it when your dog ran amok at the mental hospital and I saw you sit on Manchester United's goalkeeper.  I'm sure you're man enough to understand that your Honda sucks.  I'm returning your memories from your military service to you, but I'll keep your butterfly collection as a memory.  You should also know that I always will remember your eggplant fettishism.

Best regards,

Here's how you can do the funny MadLib:Collapse )

September 26th, 2008

You answer the questions. I know more about you. Good deal!

Post your answers in the comments here, and then repost the questions in your journal.

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
02) What was your dream growing up?
03) What talent do you wish you had?
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
05) Favorite vegetable?
06) What was the last book you read?
07) What zodiac sign are you?
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
09) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me?
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
27) What's your favorite place to hang out at?
28) Do you believe in ghosts?
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30) Do you swear a lot?
31) Biggest pet peeve?
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
34) Favorite and least favorite food?
35) Do you believe in God?
36) Will you re-post this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

September 22nd, 2008

I am wondering how my sister could survive more than 10 seconds longer.  Hmmm.  Maybe she chose the top bunk.ed to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

September 19th, 2008

Talent abounds

boys reading

We are a special family.  Three of six have mastered this impressive trick.  Jonathan, W, and I are still woefully deficient in the spoon-hanging-from-nose department, even with cheating attempts (note W trying to lick the spoon to make it sticky.)   Don't beat yourselves up if your family is not as talented as ours.  I am sure your loved ones have special talents too.

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