Saturday, June 28, 2008

Somewhere in the middle

I hate taking my children shopping, especially when it's to look for clothes. However, sometimes it is necessary. And so it was when I needed to find some shorts. I loaded all the kids up and headed over to the mall. Haley and I found some clothes we wanted to try on so Holden went in the dressing room with Haley and Harrison came in with me. After Harrison tired of talking to Holden through the wall, he started getting restless so to engage him I asked his opinion on the shorts I was trying on. He looked at me and said "Well I wouldn't say that they look great and I wouldn't say that they look bad. Just somewhere in the middle."

Doesn't that sound just like a man? Scary.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Black cloud

I know everyone has felt at one time or another that they have a black cloud hanging over them. Last week, just happened to be one of those weeks for me.

After months of planning and anticipating, I met 6 friends from my online scrapbook group for a retreat at my Uncle's house near Hilton Head. Hosting any event is always a little stressful because you want everything to go right.

Sunday evening, I decided to drop the kids off at my parents and head over a day early to get my car unloaded and the house set up for the retreat. I knew that Monday I would need plenty of time to go to the grocery store and get all of our provisions for the week. It was raining a bit when I left my parent's but I figured by the time I got to the river house, the rain surely would have lightened up. Not only did it not lighten up, it got worse.
I unloaded my van, which was packed to the roof (no kidding), in the pouring down rain. By the time I finished, I looked like wet rat. Thankfully nothing important got wet.

Monday morning, I hopped out of bed and headed to the bathroom to shower. I turned on the hot water and to my surprise, there was no hot water. Figuring that it might be an operator problem, I tried turning the faucet several different ways and still no hot water. So I tried turning the breaker switch off and on, still no luck. And in my last ditch effort to bring forth some hot water, I tried the sinks. But still no hot water.

The handyman came out later that day and worked on the water heater, pronounced it fixed and told me to try it in an hour to make sure the water was hot. An hour later, still no hot water and by this time, the ladies had arrived. My next phone call was to my father who can fix just about anything. He suggested that it might be the heater element and he said he would call the handyman himself. An hour or so later, the water heater was fixed and it did turn out to be the element. Chalk one up for dad.

On Tuesday, we went to the scrapbook store and shopped a little. Except for my food being given to the wrong table at lunch, I encountered no major problems.

We had to stagger showers since there were 7 of us and only one shower. So on Wednesday morning, I decided to get my shower first. I turn on the water and the hot water is working just fine. I get in the shower and wash my hair and apply my conditioner. As I am shaving my legs, I hear this bubbling and gurgling coming from the drain. I turn around to see this brown stuff coming up out of the drain. Within seconds I realize what exactly that brown stuff is. So I stand on the side of the tub to finish washing the conditioner out of my hair.

I came flying out of the bathroom, horrified that the tub had this brown sludge in it. I expected my friends to all be equally horrified but to my amazement they all took it in stride. Of course they found some humor in the situation because they know that I am the biggest germaphobe of the group and of all people for this to happen to, it was me.

After a couple of hours, the sludge is actually getting worse. My dad comes through again and makes the trip over to check out the lines. Eventually the handyman is called over and to open up the septic tank. My friend Sandy and I were outside watching them dig and when they got ready to raise the top, we both slowly started backing away at the same time without even a word said. It was determined that the pipes were at an incorrect pitch and that tree roots were clogging the pipes causing the waste to run back up the pipes. Now why this happened when I was there, is beyond me.

Anyhow, I'd just like to say that I thank God everyday now for the public water system. If I had to worry about a backed up septic in my house, I'd just have to move. I am apparently 100% certifiably a city woman.

On Thursday we had a huge storm with more torrential rains and high winds. I talked to my dad who flipped to the weather channel. He said that the center of the storm was right where we were staying. When I left on Friday, there was a tree down in the road.

The trip home was uneventful, but when we got home, the house had been taken over by fleas. Never mind that my dog is on expensive flea medicine and I had sprayed the house before we left. The fleas were apparently unaware of this as they had decided to take up residence while we were gone. So, I sprayed again and we left the house. As we were returning home, the rain started again and we had a major storm that brought high winds and 7 inches of rain in one hour.

That night, my phone rang and on the other end my dad asked if I felt like that black cloud was following me? What could I say since it really seemed that way. Thankfully that black cloud seems to have moved on. Let's hope it doesn't come back again soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another winner

Tonight was Holden's first swim meet. He is swimming in the developmental league until he has gained a little more confidence. The swimmers in this league are usually first time swimmers. There is less competition and everyone gets a ribbon. They do have place ribbons so it isn't totally non-competitive.

Holden swam in all of the heats-freestyle, breast stroke, butterfly and back stroke. He also did the relay in the Boys 7/8. I have to say I was extremely pleased at how well Holden did and how driven he was to succeed. He placed 3rd in Freestyle, 2nd in Butterfly, back stroke and Relay. He took first in the breast stroke.

This smile says it all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We have a winner

Haley competed in her first swim meet ever tonight. She was a little nervous because all of the other girls had been on a swim team before and the team we competed against was reputed to be a very good team.

This meet, Haley swam freestyle in the 11 and 12 girls age group. I am so proud of her because she gave it her all and came from behind to win a fourth place ribbon on her very first try.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Indiana Jones movie

We took the kids to see the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull tonight. The theater was packed even though the movie has been out for a couple of weeks now. At first, I was a bit bored by the whole thing, not really having been a huge Indy fan from the start. But like the other movies, the action picked up and I found myself absorbed in the plot. Overall the movie was pretty good although I wasn't thrilled with the ending and found it a little over the top. The worst part about the whole thing though was remembering a young Indiana Jones and finding that he did indeed age like the rest of us.

Here he is in 1989......................

And now......................

He can fight off those pygmy warriors but he couldn't fight off aging. I'll give him credit though, he doesn't look 65 years old.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Holy City

As some of you may know, Charleston is known as The Holy City. This is due to the prominence of churches in the city or more particularly the numerous steeples which dot the city's skyline. Another reason is because it was one of the few cities in the original thirteen colonies to provide religious tolerance to the French Huguenot Church.

But there may actually be more to that story.

You see the other night, we were at the Charleston Riverdogs baseball game and #35 comes up to bat. Haley looks at the marquee and declares that indeed it was no normal player coming up to bat, it was Jesus (as in the Son of God). David and I about fell out of our chairs laughing because of her mispronunciation. After correcting her, "Honey, it's Hey-sous", we made some random jokes about the team from the Holy City.

Well, it was a joke until Jesus was followed by Abraham and Angel. Then we started thinking that maybe there might be more to that whole story. Ironic isn't it that the "Holy City" would have a Jesus, Abraham and Angel on it's team. I'm going to be a little spooked if Moses, shows up.

Anyhow, here are some snaps of our night with the Riverdogs.

Haley, Holden and Harrison were very patient and got autographs from several players as well as a baseball.

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.............

Me, me. I want a t-shirt that is 300 sizes too big. Please!!!

I am sad that this picture didn't turn out better because this is Harrison's signature "You Rock" sign.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Schools out for the summer......

Today was Holden's end of the year party and the cupcakes were a hit. I don't know if the kids were trying not to hurt my feelings but they all said the cupcakes most certainly looked like monkey's. Of course it could also be that Holden told the entire class that I was upset because his father said my cupcakes looked like martians. We'll never know.

Good thing the teacher was sending the kids home to their parents because after fruit punch, cupcakes, and chocolate chip cookies, they were all good and sugared up.

Although school isn't officially over until Thursday, it pretty much was the last day. The kids have to go on Wednesday and Thursday for 3 hours each day to fulfill the mandatory number of school days children must attend. Wonder if the genius who came up with these half days thought about the cost of all the gas it takes the buses to transport the students to and from school or the power bill it takes to run the schools for these kids to attend a measly 3 hours. On top of that, do you know what they do during those 3 hours? Watch movies. Good use of our taxpayer dollars don't you think?

So that's my take on the whole situation which is why I am not requiring Haley to go back at all and Holden will go tomorrow to pick up his stuff and then he's done.

On that note, I'll sign off with a few cute pictures from the party. I'd say the kids had a good time.

Holden enjoying his plate full of sugar

Holden and Miss Trucksis (the World's Best 2nd Grade Teacher Ever!)

Holden and his classmates, Kelly Grace and Mason

Holden playing "Pin the Monkey on the tree"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monkey or martian?

Tomorrow is Holden's end of year school party and I volunteered to make cupcakes. That was before I made four trips to the store last week for the one cake. Proudly, I got everything I needed in one trip this time.

As I was flipping through the Cupcake Doctor cookbook looking for cupcake ideas, I came across the cutest idea for monkey cupcakes. All of the second grade classrooms have the jungle theme and Holden's teacher chose the monkey as her room mascot. So I thought that monkey cupcakes would be so cute!

I baked chocolate cupcakes this afternoon and decorated them tonight. They are frosted with white frosting and then the outer edge is rolled in chocolate sprinkles (to look like fur). M&M's make the nose, eyes and cheeks. And chocolate frosting is piped on to make the mouth.

I asked my husband what he thought about the cupcakes when they were done and he said they looked like martians. Holden agreed that they didn't look like monkey's until I threatened to eat them all myself.

So what do you think, monkey or martian?