Showing posts from June, 2008

Monday Menagerie

The journaling class is over! I only had to teach it once because the person in charge decided that everyone should go from one class to another in one group (it was a very small group--but that's ok. I'd rather teach to a small group anyway) so instead of doing four classes, I did one AND I got to attend the other classes which was nice! The conference was for single men and women in our church, and when I walked into the first class, I saw an old friend of mine. She looked shocked to see me there, and no sooner had I sat down then she asked me what I was doing there. I told her I was teaching and she looked so relieved and said, "Oh good! I thought you had divorced your husband!" I laughed out loud and assured her that I would never divorce Jim. She said, "I didn't think you would, but seeing you at a singles activity, I wondered!"

In other news, Jim and Jimmy are at their Scout camp activity. Cell phone reception is nonexistent in all parts o…


I'm supposed to give a seminar on journaling tomorrow at a regional singles conference.

I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know how to give a seminar. Why did I say I would do it?

Can I talk about blogging instead?

I also have to give the seminar four times. Can I just hand out paper and tell the class to start writing?

I sent my handouts to the woman who is having them printed out and she emailed me back asking if she could tweak them visually. I felt like such a loser. I've obviously come up with boring handouts. This is the same woman who does our church bulletins that are handed out every Sunday--6 pages worth of bulletin with clip art.

I do have plenty of visual aids. I have kept a journal on and off throughout my 29* years, and I save letters and for a long while I saved emails. I have memoirs written by ancestors from Jim's family and histories written by my aunt about my ancestors. I have a journal in a jar. I have photo albums with stuff written…

No theme to this post

Aaaaaaaaaaaah, sweet air conditioning, how I love you. It was a bit on the toasty and humid side yesterday, and I prefer to be on the slightly chilly side of life. Don't know why I started this post off with that. Guess it's just the Minnesotan thing to do to mention the weather all the time.

Now onto another topic: Things I should have done yesterday vs. Things I did.

Things I should have done:
Dusted in my bedroom
Cleaned and organized the sewing room
Dusted ceilings
Cleaned kitchen cupboards
Organized around the computer desk

Things I did:
Wandered around the yard, resetting the sprinkler several times
Ate a Fudgesicle (or two)

Random old pictures time:

It was the 80s; of course I got perms then. Mom was my hair stylist. Dig the wallpaper. No wonder Mike was hyperactive back then. With that on the walls, how could anyone be calm?
Julie was the sixth kid in the family. She was loud, obnoxious, bold, outdoorsy, funny, crude, imaginative--pretty much everything I wasn't at the…

A long time ago (well, last night) in a galaxy far far away (well, in a science museum over in St. Paul anyway)

Feast your eyes on pictures from our trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota to see the Star Wars exhibit! Believe it or not, I forgot my camera in the car and I didn't want to go back to get it. Fortunately Jimmy and Katie brought theirs so we have plenty of pictures anyway. I realize I've posted quite a few of those pictures, but the bunch I've posted represent only a very small fraction of the number of pictures we took.

The kids and some very famous costumes/robots:

Sara3PO and Matt2D2The very very cool Millenium Falcon:
Mattakin Skywalker
Matt mimics a pit droid:
Matt converses with a trashcan droid:
The landspeeder (I'd want one, but it would need to seat 7)

Katie and Matt fight with a Droideka:
Jimmy dreams of being Han Solo:
Katie dreams of Hayden Christiansen as Anakin
Two Wookiees and a Pauliee

Jimmy and two new friends:"This must be one of the droids we're looking for"

Yoot Stywater meets up with Darth Vader (family joke: Paul used to pronounce "…

Ten Things To do today

1. Wake up. (slap!) Wake up!

2. Enjoy shoulder not hurting from tetanus shot. It only just stopped hurting yesterday.

3. Try not to scratch mosquito bites acquired at last night's baseball game--despite having sprayed on repellent (!!!). Jimmy and Paul's team won. Paul stole some bases, and scored, Jimmy hit a solid line drive which scored some base runners, and he also came in to throw one pitch to save the game. All hail to the centerfielder who caught the ball that the batter hit off that one pitch!

4. Wake kids up and harangue them until they get their chores done. Explain to Katie that when she leaves packaged crackers on the floor in the family room overnight that the cats WILL claw them open and make a large mess. Have her clean up the mess.

5. Tell Jimmy to stop texting.

6. Wave goodbye to older children as they go over to Grandma's house to do yard work.
6a. Enjoy the quiet of just having Matt around (HAHAHAHAHA!) Amendment: Matt wants to go to Grandma&…

Eye-Q test

Pop quiz time! Did you study? I'll bet not. Next time you'll be prepared, won't you?

Match the eyeball with the Shoebox Castle person. Your choices are Jim, Me, Katie, Jimmy, Paul, Hayley, and Matt. Each person will be used once.
If you incorrectly identify the sixth eye, I shall come after you with a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. (bonus point: Identify the movie reference. Second bonus point for correctly identifying what I would do to you with the Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle, based on the movie reference)

Prize for most correctly identified is a pair of prescription sunglasses. They are heavy and the frame style is very out-of-date.

Big Stone sculpture garden and 13-hole mini golf course

I took the boys mini-golfing yesterday. It was a fine day to do it and we had a free afternoon. Since there were no girls around, I wanted to do something vaguely sporting. I read about this golf course in the newspaper a week ago or so and thought it would be worth the 40-minute drive to go out to see it. It was well worth the drive and the $6 per person fee. The boys had a great time, except Paul had a very itchy eye that prevented him from enjoying it thoroughly. He is now one of the Allergic Folk. The eye got better when we got in the van and turned on the AC and shut the windows.

Anyway, this is the first hole. You have to play through a forest of tree trunks. Jimmy says he got a 4, but I don't see how you can play this hole with any score less than about 10 strokes.

This is a cool, moving sculpture. Jimmy brought his new early birthday present (I had a coupon for it that expired soon and he really wanted it before he goes on the High Adventure trip in a week and a h…

The other boy being thrown out at first

So I said I was going to post two videos , and with the hullabaloo surrounding my mouse bite, I forgot. (pause a minute for you to roll your eyes at me either for mentioning the mouse bite or for the fact that it's only been a day since I said I'd post a clip of Jimmy or both)

Here is Jimmy hitting the ball. And once again, whatever voice you hear, it is not mine. I did not yell, "Nice cut." Really. I would never yell "Nice cut," unless someone had a scratch on his arm in the shape of the state of Minnesota.

My arm hurts from the tetanus shot. Just thought I'd mention that.

Reason #1 not to pick up a mouse

They bite.

But that really isn't the bad part of it. Pick up the mouse, bam!--it bites you, you feel a bit of a pricking sensation, you drop it and it runs back into your garage to leave little mouse droppings under your garage shelving. Takes maybe 2 seconds. 2 and a half, tops.

No, the worst part is then you have to dig through the cupboard to find your phone book while you worry about turning into a were-mouse, only to pull out the yellow pages for Savage, which doesn't have your dr. office which is in Burnsville. You pull out the second one, but it's for St. Paul. Luckily it has your clinic listed. Then you dial the wrong number within the vast network of your health care organization, get transferred three times, wind up on hold for another 15 minutes, then sheepishly explain to the tired-sounding call answerer why you need to talk to a nurse. Then you get put on hold for the nurse only to have her call you while you wait for her to answer your call (can't e…

Wanna see one of my boys being thrown out at first?

It's baseball season and I have nothing else of interest to post about, so I'm putting up some baseball videos of Paul and Jimmy at bat. Jimmy's video will come in the next post. I don't have any of Matt, because he hardly ever hits the ball. He's getting better at fielding, though. I don't care so much if the boys get thrown out at first, because at least they hit the ball. Paul had another really good hit later in this same game, but I didn't catch it on video. He hit a solid line drive, but sadly it went right to the first baseman who caught it, so he was out. But it was a good hit. And unlike when I shoot footage at marching band events, I rarely yell when taking baseball videos. So if you think you hear me, you are wrong. DEAD wrong. If you have really sharp ears, though, you might be able to hear Jim. He was basecoaching. And all the clapping and "yaying" was from the Farmington fans.

What happens when you lend Jimmy a camera

Yesterday Jimmy and Paul volunteered at Matt's Cub Scout Day camp. Jimmy asked if he could borrow my camera (he's been hinting with all the finesse and subtlety of a sledgehammer that we should get him a camera for his birthday) to take to the day camp. I said ok as long as he took pictures of Matt.

He took three pictures of Matt and about forty of this kind of thing:

These are all girls he knows. Can you tell he is anxious to turn 16 and ask some of these girls out?

Like I said, he did take a few pictures of Matt, but none of Paul. Paul was working a different station. Here is a picture of Matt. He has made a marshmallow gun.
And here is one of an anonymous kid, running the obstacle course. It's a cool action shot.

At least the TV didn't start talking to me.

Doesn't look creepy, does it? Looks can be deceiving, though, can't they?

As I was sitting here at the computer, my back to the fireplace, minding my own business and not touching the fireplace remote at all, the fireplace turned on. By itself. The fire didn't go on, just the fan that would blow the hot air out into the room (if there were any hot air other than that which comes out of my mouth).

This is where the remote sits for many months out of the year. The cats don't play with it, I don't play with it, nobody touches it during the months of May, June, July, August, and September.

No cats were near the fireplace, no humans were near the fireplace. And yet the fireplace turned on the fan.

This is not the first time this has happened either. We came home from a weeklong vacation in the summer several years ago to find that the fireplace had turned itself on--and not just the fan but the fire too--and the house was miserably hot. The AC had tried to cope with …

Left behind

The house is quiet. It's summer break and I'm supposed to be mired in questions and arguments between children, yet the only sound in the house is the sound of me typing.

Katie is still asleep.

Jimmy and Paul are volunteering at Cub Scout Day camp.

Matt is one of the Cub Scouts at the Day camp.

Hayley is in Florida.

I hope it's not wrong of me to enjoy this!


I'm still trying to recover from hosting that party. I had nightmares the night AFTER the party!! What was up with that???

And yesterday, I had an adventure with my mother and her sister (Dorothy) and her sister's husband (Tom). We drove an hour and a half or so to attend my cousin's son's graduation party. Tom is a scream, mostly because he is SO exasperating--he's bossy, opinionated, demanding, and self-centered. Dorothy doesn't put up with much from him; she was rolling her eyes at everything he said and she even hit him once with her water bottle, when he was berating my mom for driving the way she was. Mom is used to his behavior and doesn't get bent out of shape when he gets critical. Anyway, I sat in the back and chuckled the whole way up to Duelm and back. When we got to Dorothy's house, Mom leaned over to me and said, "I'm glad we brought Tom so I could see him NOT get his way." I replied, "You brought him along so you…

The shoebox castle is full of tired feet




I'd be faceplanting into my bed right now, but my bed is still full of all the detritus we cleared out of the kitchen, dining room, and living room to make space for the party. So no faceplant until I do some more cleaning.

Once the party got under way, I had a ton of fun and Katie had two tons. When Katie's band teacher showed up, my mother asked him if he and Katie would perform. So there was an impromptu recital in my living room. I laughingly apologized to Mr. K that he had to come to a party and perform. He said he didn't mind, and said "we must obey grandma!"

The party lasted about 5 hours (one hour longer than we had planned, but that's ok). My brother Jake did an AMAZING job with the food. We got many many compliments on the spread. And my mother got a compliment on her potato salad from the president of a local culinary school. He loved it and wanted the recipe.

The weather was perfect, by the way! Perfect perfect perfect!

What a…