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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bringing Home the Baby

David went to Mississippi for the weekend to see the family and pick up his dad's 1963 MGB.  Don bought the car new in 1963 as a second car and I remember David driving it in high school. 

It's a great car! 

The MG hasn't been driven in several years and David has been excited about bringing it home.  A new project for him and the boys.

He prepared the nursery (garage), cleaning and organizing it (nesting), even hanging up a decorative mirror (that we were going to throw out - he'd like to point out he didn't spend any money on it).  He bought books and tools and he's ready to go with his new hobby.  The boys are very excited about helping.  I'm excited about having a convertible :) 

{Can you tell David's standing behind me as I write this?  Never has he cared so much about our family blog :)  } 

Here it is coming home - note the tarp and rope holding the convertible top down.

After much a bit of drama, the three of us got the MG off the trailer and into the garage.  Brennan lucked out by being at the movie with a friend.

David put the top down and he's ready to get started.  First order of business - a good cleaning and then the battery, starter, fuel pump, and rebuilding the carburetors.

Welcome Home, MG!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - The Teacher's Lounge

The Teacher's Lounge

We were lucky today to get a tour of one of the Teacher's Work Rooms at Thomas and Brennan's school.

As the teachers told us, they don't really have a "lounge" anymore (really, who has time during the school day to lounge?) but they do have two work rooms that we were able to visit.

Thomas's 4th grade teacher gave us a very nice tour.  Thomas has been in it before to scan his Accelerated Math tests but had not seen all there was.

It is divided into a work area and storage area. 
Brennan was most impressed with the really large paper cutter and the refrigerator.

Some of the teachers do eat their lunch at tables in this area. 

Here Thomas's teacher is showing the 4th grade storage area.
The work room on this wing has a Pepsi machine in it, and the other wing has a Coke machine. 
I guess I'd get used to Diet Pepsi if I was on this wing.

We were very appreciative of the time given to us and of the great tour of The Teacher's Lounge Work Area!

From the Book:
#63 - The Teacher's Lounge
*Note:  This description is not very nice.  We like our teachers but the book makes teachers out to be kind of mean!**

Every school has one - that top-secret, off-limits, inner sanctum known as the teachers' lounge.  What exactly is it that they do in there, you wonder.  Perhaps they sit around cackling like witches, coming up with cruel and unusual homework assignments?  What's in there anyway?  A locked cabinet full of voodoo dolls with students' faces on them?  A complete set of the three-volume classic "How to Be Boring"?  You'll never know unless you take a peek.  You can do it legally (help a teacher carry some stuff back there one day) or just sneak a glance through the door between classes.  In the end, you may find that it's just a regular old room where teachers grade papers and drink coffee - or is that just what they want you to think?

Monday, May 24, 2010

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - A Greenway


This time of year we really enjoy biking.  It's something we can all do together and feel good about.  Yesterday we biked 14 miles along our People Trail.  Our city has 30+ miles on the People Trail.  Motorized vehicles are not allowed.  It's perfect for walking, running, or biking in our case.


Because we don't live in a neighborhood that is connected to the rest of the city, we load up our bikes and take them to a park and then ride through the People Trails to other parks.  It's perfect for us because the boys like to climb the watch tower at one park and play on the playground at another.  Part of our trail follows a river so we can see people fishing and getting their canoes ready.

This part of the trail goes under a busy road in a subdivision.  The boys love to make an echo when speeding through.

The trail takes us right down one very busy State Road and under a very busy Interstate.  It's wonderful to not have to deal with the traffic at all. It was a little nerve-wracking the first time we took the kids but it's perfectly safe and a great way to extend our ride.

Another great echo!

Our bike rides always include a stop at our favorite ice cream shop!

From the Book:
#56 - A Greenway
Inside the heart of every city kid lays a tree-hugging, fresh air breathing, nature lover just waiting to break free.  But, where to go in the concrete jungle to get in touch with your inner outdoorsy kid?  Get yourself to a greenway!  What is a greenway?  It's an urban trail, usually along a river or waterfront, designed to connect city-dwellers with nature.  In-line skaters, bikers, runners, and walkers can all do their thing on a greenway without having to worry about traffic.  And as an added bonus, greenways let nature do its thing, too:  native plants and critters abound.  You'll feel like you're a million miles away from the city even if you've only traveled a few blocks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - An Airplane Hangar or Collection

In October 2008 when we visited Washington, D.C., we had a lot of fun at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.  This is one of David's favorite museums of all times and he was excited to show it to the boys.

I had to check with David on these photos below because I definitely couldn't remember what all they were!
This is a gondola of a high altitutde balloon

These are various 1960s and 1970s rockets

On the left is the Spirit of St. Louis (Charles Lindbergh's plane),
On the bottom is a moon capsule.

This is a WWI Allied bi-plane.

And I thought this was pretty cool - a Mars Rover.

We really enjoyed this museum and would have gone back a second time if we had had another day.  It was probably Brennan's favorite DC Museum. 

From the Book
#88 - An Airplane Hangar or Collection
You've probably seen one in the movies, but have you ever seen one in person?  An airplane hangar is likely to be the biggest building you've ever been in.  In fact, certain hangars (such as the ones created for blimps) are so large they're said to create their own weather systems.  Even if you don't see one that big, you'll get to see airplanes in a very different way than you do when you're riding in one.  Your local private airport may host an "open hangar day," or you may be able to set up a tour.  If you can't, try to check out an airplane museum or collection that's not in a hangar.  Any building that's big enough to park an airplane inside has to be impressive.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

2010 Kids Fitness Run

The boys participated in the city-wide Fitness Run today, and they did great!

Here's Brennan with some 2nd grade friends.

And Thomas with 4th grade friends.

BFF's Jared and Brennan

Lots and lots of families there today!

Brennan almost to the finish line of his 1/2 mile run - he's looking for me.

The 3rd & 4th graders taking off...

Thomas almost at the finish line - he participated last year, but this year it was 1 mile.

Happy Brothers

Daddy and Boys

Proud Mom and Boys

We were so proud of them - they did a great job!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

4th Grade Pioneer Days

Our school school celebrates Pioneer Days every spring.  It's an especially big deal for the 4th graders (and their parents!) who put it on.  4th graders study State History all year long.

All the 4th graders and their parent volunteers dress up in Pioneer Dress for the week. 

I didn't have anything Pioneer at home so had to order a dress off the internet.  I realize this is too big but it worked for the week!  And, I'll keep it for when Brennan is in 4th grade.

Today all the kids had photos taken in their pioneer outfits after their square dancing presentation.  Tomorrow I'll be helping them make frames for their photos out of twigs.  I'm looking forward to it!  Thomas will spend tomorrow at an authentic one-room schoolhouse and is taking his pioneer lunch in a bandana.  It's been a fun week!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Recommendations

One of the great things about being at home with the family full-time now is that I am slowly getting back into reading for pleasure.  I used to read a book each week or so years ago, especially when I traveled for work.  The last several years though I was lucky to get through my Book Club's monthly choice.  I did manage to read the entire Harry Potter series ahead of Thomas, but that was honestly about it.

I recently finished two books highly recommended by friends and thought I would share them.  If you are interested in either, please let me know and I'll get the book to you.

French Women Don't Get Fat is well-written and an interesting take on an overdone subject.  The author, Mireille Guiliano, is a CEO living in New York, originally from France.  She shares her story of being overweight as a teenager and how a local doctor "Dr. Miracle" helped her re-think the way she eats and exercises.  She includes delicious looking recipes as well.  It's a completely different spin on eating well and enjoying it.

I realize I am late to the Eat, Pray, Love party.  I've had the book for years and mentioned that I hadn't read it before.  My girlfriend said "Go home tonight and open the book.  I mean it."  I surely had to read it before the movie comes out this summer!  Wow - very well written, fascinating real-life story, different from what I normally read, and really, really good.  I even recommended it to David, but he's got a ton of magazines in his pile, books on his shelf, and books on tape that he's going through.  He really couldn't add another thing to his list right now.  No to mention most books he read don't have the words Eat, Pray or Love in the titles.

If you're looking for summer reads - give these two a try.  And, I'm spring cleaning so if you are interested in either of these books - I'd love to find them a good home!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tour de Trails and 20 of 52

We participated in the Tour de Trails 20K bike ride today.  This is mine and Thomas's second year to participate.  It was a lot of fun, especially because friends joined us.  The event raises funds for our People Trail system.  Maybe one year we'll do the 50K or 75K - hmm, maybe not.

The car is loaded down!

My roses have exploded this year.  I neglected to prune them back in the fall.  So I figure I am going to cut them back and places them in vases.  Sort of a pruning after the fact I guess. 

They're beautiful though!

Monday, May 10, 2010

19 of 52

David and me on our way to Joshua and Sarah's wedding, Saturday May 8th.

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with your family. Your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Now go take a picture!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

18 of 52

Brennan took this photo in the car the other day.  They're really enjoying being photographers.  Brennan especially likes action shots like cars whizzing by and birds flying overhead.

It's been a busy weekend with a birthday party yesterday, a weeding last night, and lots of plans for today after church.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

A Big Happy Mother's Day to my MOM, My Mother-in-Law, My 2 Grandmothers, My Sister, and My Sister-in-Law.

Enjoy your special day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

17 of 52

Woops!  I missed last week's photo party over at Carin's blog!  I'll make it up this week.

Brennan took this photo yesterday after I had worked out and worked around the yard.  He then turned it black and white.  Great job, little photographer!

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with your family. Your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Now go take a picture!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

I love hearing about products that friends really like.  One friend is a bzzz agent and she sends regular reviews of products she's tested.  Always fun to hear about products that are new to me.  The problem is, I tend to try everything out and end up with a lot of items that I only use once or twice.

Below are 10 items that I love and won't replace any time soon.

DHC cleanser is wonderful.  I was using harsher cleansers but have found that this olive oil one works wonders.  DHC has a lot of interesting samples that you get when you place an order.  This is one of their products that I can't live without.

I think a lot of people use their cleanser to remove their eye make up too.  I've tried that but really need a separate eye make up remover.  This L'Oreal one I love and have used it for years.  I've tried the Wal-Mart and Target versions of L'Oreal's and they're fine, but the L'Oreal one is the best for me.

I really love this moisturizer.  A friend gave me a tube a couple of years ago when we were walking a lot for the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk.  I haven't used anything since.  There are SPF 80 and 100 versions of this moisturizer, but I like the 70 the best.  It goes on smoothly and isn't oily at all.

I've tried lots of eye creams over the years.  This Aveeno one is my favorite.

I can never seem to get the right shade of foundation until I tried this one from Clinique.  This is about the only Clinique item I use any more, but I love it.  I'm #21.

The truth is, lately I'm not in makeup a whole lot.  That's one of the reasons I'm behind on the 52 in 52 photo project!  I'll get caught up this week though.  One of the reasons is because I'm working out more throughout the day.  Here are the exercise bottoms that I especially like.

Champion brand is great.  They have sizes that work for me and they are very comfortable, and last forever.  I like these capris especially.

A friend gave me Ethel gloves last year and I really love them.  They're great for handling roses and mulch.  I don't wear gloves all the time when I work in the yard, but sometimes they're necessary.  These are great after multiple washes in the washing machine too.  We found them at Lowe's but they have them on amazon too.

I mentioned in a post a couple of months ago that we had switched from plastic Tupperware/Rubbermaid to glass.  It's been a great switch.  It's so much easier with the glass ones since we can reheat right in the glass and I feel like I can serve the food on the table in them (rather than Tupperware).

And if Tupperware wasn't exciting enough, here's a suggestion on reusable dryer sheets.  I had seen these recommended repeatedly and bought them on amazon.  They are towels that you keep in the dryer and don't have to use Bounce dryer sheets.  They are wonderful.  I believe they last 6 months but mine have lasted longer than that.  I haven't had a static issue in forever, and usually I do in the winter. 
And after all that cleaning, our favorite "product" for fun is Netflix.  We've been members for years.  I think I've only had one time when the movie arrived with an issue and they sent a replacement that same day.  We can even watch select movies from Netflix through the Wii now.  It's pretty amazing.  The boys have seen a lot of older movies that aren't in stores anymore and we've been able to see a number of programs that don't come to our local theater or on our channels - or we don't want to spend the $$ on at the theater.  David's watching the HBO "Rome" series right now. 

So that's it - 10 items I highly recommend and use daily.  I'd love to hear if you have used any of these items and what you think!