Showing posts from November, 2008


So you wanna see some pictures from the photo shoot yesterday? I won't show you a ton, just a few faves. Jen did some fine work. We missed Katie, though. I got to use Jen's camera (which brought on a severe case of camera envy).

heehee! I am the only one not looking.

Mike had a LOT of fun goofing off, and since I was manning (or womaning) the camera, I took some pictures of him doing it. Jen was oblivious. Click on the picture for a closer look!

Say Cheese

Today is family-minus-Katie picture day. I'll be sad that Katie isn't there to be in the pictures, but she has to be where she is, all grown up and dealing with grown up things.

Jen (of Hawleyfocus) will be taking the pictures. We've not had a real family portrait type thing in a long time, other than that other time Jen took our pictures in Mom's back/front yard.

Yesterday was a vacant day, one of those few in the year when there is nothing on the calendar and you end up doing whatever you want with no limits. I did have to take Jimmy to work and we upgraded our phones, but that was it. I didn't have to cook for any meal because of leftovers. It was a very relaxing day. I refuse to do the Black Friday thing. I treat the SAVE BIG BUCKS ON DOORBUSTERS sales like I do the lottery: I'll end up not getting what I want no matter what so I might as well not participate. And I don't want to fight the insane crowds (Wal-Mart employee trampled to death?) in …

massive T-day picture dump because I have nothing else to post about

Yes, we had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Yes, we missed you if you weren't there.

On to the pictures:
Some of the kids at the kids' table.
Owen has his own kids' table.Jen in the kitchen. I noticed going through my pictures that the two other sisters-in-law managed to avoid the camera (or I missed them). I'll have to do better at Christmas. Marissa and Steph, I WILL get you on camera next time! Oh, I also missed Jim, although you can see his shirt in this picture.
Mike grills some bacon-wrapped pheasant pieces. Yummy!
Mike and Dave laugh at something. I'm usually out of the loop on their funnyisms, but I do like to listen to the stories.
Jake and Mom deal with the root vegetables. Another yummy!
Paul is a good dish dryer after the dinner.
Long after dinner but before any of us were even remotely hungry, we sat around the organ bench and watched Brian Regan's DVD "The Epitome of Hyperbole" on Mom's little portable DVD player. She doesn't have a DV…

Ten Things I am Thankful for other than the things I've already mentioned

1. I am thankful for cold weather. People complain about it, but I like it. I like piling on the blankets at night. I would have the windows cracked open a little at night in all temps except the below zeroes, just so I could sleep under 100 pounds of quilts. Yes, I get cold, and I want to warm up when I'm cold, but I don't complain about it. I like cold weather. I hate hot weather. Summer is my least favorite season.
2. I am thankful for photographs. I am surrounded by thousands of them at the moment. Someday I will convert them all to jpeg files so they will be more permanent. I enjoy reliving old times, seeing just how thin I was, seeing how little the kids used to be, remembering old wallpaper or old houses.
3. I am actually thankful for my cats, the little selfish fur factories. They shed, they demand food, they act like they own the place, but I know at night when I need a little cuddle, I can get either one of them to sit on my chest if I pull up my yellow a…

Getting there

I can't believe it, the Great Room Switch is almost complete!

This morning, I got up at 8 to get the last 75 pounds of trash from the boys' old room. And then I vacuumed until the big yellow Dyson cried UNCLE!

And this is the result.

This is the other corner.They boys still need to get a few things off the walls and then the walls will need a vigorous scrubbing (think "booger board" and dusty old vomit). Then I will paint and fill the room with crafty goodness and food storage items.

And the wine bottles in the shelf unit? Martinelli's sparkling cider. Sort of like the bubbly that redneck Wal-mart ladies card you for. Jen, that is such a fabulously ridiculous story!

The room was put to crafty use almost immediately because I had visitors! Jessie, of Bessie, and Jenni of Hawleyfocus, came for a craft day. Maybe I'll post pictures of our efforts, which were few because we spent too much time gossiping and trading stories and watching Brian Regan and eating ch…

Mostly pictures from a night of Great Room Switching

One little monkey, jumping on the bed. This is what he does in plain view of his mother. The cheek! The nerve! The disrespect! This is what I get for not caring if he jumps on the bed. He was just excited that the top bunk was temporarily off. That tattered white thing on his bed is his old allergy mattress cover. Time for a new one, I think.

Jim and Paul worked all evening to get the beds (one bunk and one loft) downstairs. It was sweaty work. But they did it and last night, all three boys slept downstairs.

Here is the bunk bed, ready to be slept on. It housed Paul's mattress until Paul's bed was completed.

The mess left behind. The boys used to be so clean and tidy. Matt is a pack rat, though. He's the main cause of the pile. You can see Matt's curio shelf above the poster of the Fish of Minnesota. Matt also likes to tape things onto the walls. We have a lot of cleaning up to do tonight.

This particular travesty of uncleanliness is Jimmy's fault (and …

Wanna hear a story?

Are you tired of Mattisms yet?

So we were in the van going to church yesterday and from the back of the van, I heard Hayley tell Matt, "Hey, Matt, let's play a game. I'll say one word, then you say another word, and we'll take turns adding words and we'll make up a story. OK? I'll start." So she started: "The"

And Matt paused for a moment, thoughtfully, and replied, "End."

I laughed so hard that I almost drove off the road. Hayley and Jimmy both laughed. We had to explain it to Paul, but once he got it he laughed too.

I am thankful for funny things. Laughter heals. Laughter brings people together. Laughter makes life not boring. I'm thankful for Monty Python, Jerry Seinfeld, Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, the movie "Tommy Boy," every episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Rifftrax, pratfalls, doubletakes, the websites I Can Has Cheezburger and Cake Wrecks, and mostly my children. And Jim. Believe it or not, from tha…

Salon de Shoebox Castle

I cut four heads worth of hair last night. Paul had been pestering me for a haircut the last week or so, and if I was going to go through the trouble of getting out the electric clippers and scissors and make a hairy mess on the floor, I might as well force Matt into getting his hair cut too. And then Hayley said she wanted a trim and some sort of bangish treatment. Then Jimmy chimed in that he could use a cut as well. So that's all done and I don't have to think about kids' haircuts for several months. Although when Katie comes home, she might as for a trim. And I'll probably get Jim's hair then too. I don't cut my own hair, no way.

Today's thankful message: I am thankful for work. (Or "WORK!" Jenni, Jake, Mike, Dave: you know what I mean). I am very grateful for a hardworking husband. He is not worried about his job at the great stagecoach, and pizza delivery seems to suit him just fine as a second job. He hated the great stagecoa…

Time Travel

I'm writing this post yesterday (thus the time travel. I'm appearing to you on Saturday even though it's Friday where I am) just to tell anyone who is expecting interweb outpourings from my fingers and brain early on a Saturday morning that it ain't gonna happen. I am not at home. Now, all you burglars, don't you come flocking to my house. My big attack cat will claw your eyes out. And the fruit flies leftover from the apple experience are trained to swarm the heads of intruders and irritate your nasal passages and eyeballs.

So I'm posting this now (yesterday but today) just to make sure I get a post in for NaBloPoMo. I still might post later, since I will be home by this (tomorrow) afternoon.

Post #309 In which I nearly pay $70 for a penny

I dissected a piano today, a real live one too. And I didn't screw it up. At a loss for linking the blog post title with my first sentence of the entry? Read on for the explanation...

The setting:
I am at the dinner table, eating soup. Hayley is at the piano, practicing.

The problem:
Hayley says, "I want to tell you something." Side note: When Hayley says she wants to tell me something, it means she can't actually tell me. She either beats around the bush with words that don't fit together, or she points. She did neither in this case. She poked at high A on the piano. High A did not give, nor did it make a sound. Earlier in the day, I practiced my songs on the piano and high A worked just fine (too bad my fingers don't work very well). But now, I poked at high A and it was jammed.

The discovery process:
Like many of the human race, I am a curious person. When something doesn't work, I want to know why (unless it's a car. Then I just want to th…

Electric Booger-loo

Reason #21 for the exasperated look on my face:
Hayley mentioned during dishwashing time last night that she wanted to hurry up so she could go back to Matt's experiment. I asked what he was doing. She tried to explain, but the words got all tangled up in her mouth. From the kitchen, I saw Matt in a semi-dark living room; he was rubbing his face on the couch.
"What are you doing?" I asked, perplexed.
"Hey mom! Guess what! When I rub my face on the couch really fast, lightning comes out of my nose!"

Oh, the wonders of static electricity. He could totally be a super hero. Naso-Static Boy! He fights e-vil with boogers of SHOCKING power!

And then Reason #22 for the exasperated look on my face:
After I barked at Matt to get over here and help dry dishes and stop asking me questions like "What if the heaviest thing in the world was a man this tall?" (holding his hand four inches above the floor), Matt turned to Hayley and said, "Hey Hayley, when Mom y…

This is most likely the sappiest post you'll ever see on the Shoebox Castle.

Happy 20th anniversary to Jim and me!

I love being married. I love being married to Jim. I haven't tried being married to anyone else, although I did get unofficially engaged to someone else (before Jim, not after). Jim makes married life pretty easy. He does not have a temper (and doesn't want one. I've said I'd get him one for Christmas, but he wanted Aunt Roady instead), he does dishes, he lets me watch innumerable hours of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. He holds my hand. He'd rather be with me than his drinking buddies (uh, no brainer. He doesn't have any drinking buddies. Again, I asked him if he wanted some, but he said no). Californian born and bred, he doesn't mind Minnesota; I even think he likes it here. He let me have the number of kids I wanted even though it was two more than he wanted (he does like those 2 extra ones, though, thank goodness). He also let me name one of them after a movie actress (ten points if you know which…