Saturday, December 13

Browsing through a lunch break...

I eat and read online when I have the house to myself (like today!). I'm wrapping the kids' presents this weekend, listening to music (currently Dashboard Confessional is playing), and eventually will get back the gift sewing. Almost finished with those too!

So while I was having lunch, I saw someone mention this:



It's a great idea - I've been making quite a few gifts for this year, but am always happier buying handmade over store bought whenever possible. You can vote for this as well! Click the above widget, and once you sign up you may vote for it, and many other issues listed. As of this posting, only 220 more votes are needed for the Homemade Toys issue to get into the next round - so send the link on to your friends. And don't be too surprised if any of you get an email from me about this! :-)

That's all the time I have today. Have a great week/end/holiday!

Wednesday, November 26

Busy days are here!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The kids are already out of school for the week, and are going camping with my in-laws from Friday until Sunday. As of right now, only one is even awake but I believe the other is stirring (at almost 10 a.m.!). I have a ton of cleaning to do, and we'll be baking some good brownies later. Friday will be the day that I get to clean non-stop and I can get it all done-done. I refuse to go anywhere on Black Friday... but this year, JoAnn's is mighty tempting. I went 'shopping' in Mom's fabric over the weekend so I do have enough that I'll be using for gifts and gift bags. I found a book at the library that has a bunch of patterns and guidelines for gift bags from tiny (for gift cards) to huge (for something the size of a kid's bike). We already have all the store-bought gifts so all that's left is to wrap everything and make the few handmade gifts. My neices are getting dresses and a pillow each; my nephews are getting pj pants; I'm making either a dress or skirt, and a pair of pj pants, for myself; my kids will also get pj pants and maybe something else - they already have the pillows - and both sets of grandparents are getting something I've been working on all year. :-) That's the one that absolutely has to be finished up this weekend! I have more time for the others. I am so glad that all of our regular shopping is done though. It's a yearly goal to be finished by Thanksgiving Day!
Tomorrow we'll watch the Macy's parade and make a small breakfast. Unfortunately Poseidon has to work *all* day (just found out yesterday, his hours were changed) so we'll go to his mom's for a while too. When we get home sans kids I'll start the sewing, and work on it while running laundry on Friday. Hopefully Saturday I can sew all day and should be able to get at least two dresses and two pair of pants finished. All next week I'll work on the bags and wrap up some of the kids' presents. Once theirs are all wrapped up I'll have them help wrap gifts for their dad, and he'll have them help him with mine. I don't even know yet when we'll put up the tree and such, but hopefully within a couple of weeks.
Throughout all this, we also have to work on a Science Fair project for/with Boy. The Fair is in mid-January but he hasn't even chosen a project yet. We have been enjoying the show Time Warp and he absolutely loves the corn starch/water thing, so he's leaning in that direction for his project. We just have to get it approved by his science teacher because it would require corn starch and water, among other materials. I'll likely be online a lot helping with that, so I'll keep you all posted on it.
Well, "time to make the doughnuts". Happy Thanksgiving!

~A

Saturday, November 8

Happy Caturday!! (image heavy, give it time to load)

So it's a lazy, cold Saturday around here. While the kids went outside to play with their friends for a while, I took the time to read a little at Fark.com (link's down there on the right). Every Saturday is called "Caturday" and has been so for a while. The kids love looking at these pictures with me, and I snag the funniest ones.

Example:


Well today I've just been all sorts of giggly, thanks to the following pictures.

Here's your warning: you may not want any food or drink in your mouth, as you wouldn't want to accidentally spit it all out at the screen while laughing. No cats were harmed in the making of these pictures - unless you count "embarrassment" as harm. I'll keep it down to today's personal favorites, maybe 4 or 5 of them. You can click them to make them bigger if you need to. These are the ones that actually made me snort :-)






(explanation here if you need it)





I love Caturdays! I have a ton more saved, I'll try to sneak one or two into each post for a while :-)

Have a great week!
~A

Wednesday, November 5

A Mix of Topics

First, let me get this out of the way:



My first thoughts as I saw the election called last night:
I will be able to afford going to the doctor now!
I will be able to afford the Rx refills I've been putting off/saving for!
I will even be able to afford college now!

I sank to my knees and cried happily at this. I am still joyful today!


Whew, okay. Now on to the family stuff.
Halloween was a few days ago, so here are me and the kids dressed up:

I went out as Lily Munster this year. Bought a pink sleeveless nightgown at the Salvation Army store for $3; fabric for the bat sleeves, elastic, and ribbon I already had; wig was $12; makeup was $12 total (is that junk really always so expensive?!?); fake black fingernails were $2; and I already had the stockings and shoes. I will not wear those heels for walking around so much next time though! So instead of spending $70 on a store bought, too-small Lily costume, I got away with spending about $30 on it.
Suh-weeet :-)


You all know Tinkerbell, and she's standing beside her big brother - "Totally Skelly-Bones".

They got huge bags full of candy. Still have plenty left too. It was fun, even though Tinkerbell wanted to come home just before 7 o'clock. She'd had enough and was getting chilly. Skelly-Bones stayed out with a friend and his dad, and got home right at 8 - so his bag was *really* full! Not many kids guessed who I was, most actually thought I was Bat Woman. Works for me though :-) More of the grownups knew who I was dressed as, and complimented my outfit.

Next up - report card! Boy's report card came home last week too, and we owe him $15 for it:
Math 90/B
Science 96/A
SciQuest 100/A
Reading 89/B
Lang Arts 87/B
Spelling 65/D (that's the one he has to pay us for)
Soc Studies 82/C (cancels out the above payback)
Art 99/A
Music 89/B
P.E. 95/A


It was pretty satisfactory to us, but we know (and told him) that he can do better.

Girl's report card hasn't come home yet and I don't know when to expect it, but I will let you all know.

With that, it's time to go pick them up from school - it's such a nice day here that we're going to walk home! Tomorrow's supposed to be nice too, then the bottom will drop out so I intend to keep saving all the gas I can by walking. Have a great week!!

~A

Monday, November 3

Tomorrow's the big day

Don't forget!
Make time in your day!
Cast your vote!!

Most states, polls are open from 6a-6p. Take your ID with you, you might need it. Be prepared to wait, as some places are expecting long lines. Don't let that deter you though - voting is a RIGHT as well as a responsibility. And it's easy!

In about 24 hours, we'll know who our next president will be.

May the best man win!

Oh, and, returning soon will be the general, boring, family updates :-)
And pictures from Halloween. Coming by Saturday!

Tuesday, October 28

Politics, Round 4 - Oh boy.

Over the weekend, I discovered something troubling. I have a link for you too, so you can read it as well.

Al-Qaeda is endorsing John McCain.

Does that mean that "a vote for McCain is a vote for terrorists"? Maybe, maybe not. As you'll see in the article, Barack Obama also appears to have an "oh boy - yikes" endorsement, from Hamas. From what I understand, Hamas is also a terrorist group, but they've never tried to attack the US in the way Al-Qaeda wants to attack. (Here's the Wikipedia about them; as far as I know it's an accurate description/background.).

And the election is only a week from today. I'm personally not sure how I feel about the information in that article, as it shows that both major candidates have an endorsement they'd rather not have. I'll admit that it is causing Ralph Nader to look like a better person to choose now (since Ron Paul isn't on my state's ballot).

Which reminds me - just because you may be a registered Democrat or Republican, does not mean that you *have* to choose one of them for President. In a federal election, you can pick whoever you want - your party affiliation only matters during a Primary election. Also - while I don't think it affects any of you reading - make sure that if you are challenged on Election Day for any reason regarding who you are, that you are still allowed to cast a provisional ballot. I think we've all heard about the voter fraud thing, and this is one way it's happening - telling eligible voters that '[for whatever reason] you cannot vote in this election'.

Yes, you can vote. If you're challenged at the poll, demand a provisional ballot. That's one that will only be counted after you have proven that you are who you say you are. Any official can tell you what you'd need to prove that, and I believe you have 7-10 days in which to do so.

So I wanted you all to know your rights (and voting is a big one!), and to know that you can choose whoever you want, based on what you know and how you feel about it all.

Now I think I really am finished for this go 'round. Unless I find another article as damning for either of the Big Names. :-)
~A

Monday, October 13

Politics, Round 3 - Where are you?

I'll start by saying that I found a much better site for candidate comparison. I'm just going to link to it, since they have done more research on each candidate (independents, et al., included) and have better links for everything. Plus trying to do this - something I know next to nothing about - on my own is making my eyes cross and head hurt! LOL
So, to see where each candidate stands on *every* issue, check this out. Make sure you scroll all the way down, there are graphics to make it all easier to take in. Also clicking on the candidate's picture will take you to what that person specifically believes in, what s/he has said, and voted for or against. For those of you against Obama (for whatever reason), I encourage you to check out what he's said, believes, and has voted for and against while in the US Senate.
Another cool thing - there's a quiz you can take to see where you 'match up' compared to all candidates. I'll post my results too, I've known about it for a few years but had forgotten this link. Now if you take that quiz, answer honestly and with your first instinct for best accuracy. There are only around 25 questions, and they're not hard. At first, choose the "2008 Presidential" option and it will compare your answers with each candidate for this election. Of course, if you'd like to see how you compare to any other elected official, there are options for that too. You shouldn't use that as a 'who do I vote for' test per se, but if you're undecided it might help you a bit. At least you'll know who you most agree with, and can then read up on that candidate. I truly hope you do read about all of them, but at the very least, learn more about both major party candidates! Here are their websites again:

John McCain Barack Obama

If you're interested, here are my personal results for that quiz:


Yeah, I'm a dirty Liberal. :D Such is life!

And now, websites for folks you'll likely see on your ticket under "President" November 4:

(Libertarian) Bob Barr

(Independent) Ralph Nader

(Green) Cynthia McKinney

(Constitution) Chuck Baldwin

(Socialist) Brian Moore

There are a few others, but I couldn't find a website with substance for them. On that "On The Issues" sites, you'll find links to everyone, if you scroll down and watch the right-hand side.

This concludes my foray into politics on this family blog! I'm going to keep paying attention - and I hope those you who haven't, will start also. It really is best to know what's going on! We all can see what's happened when we let the government do what they do while patting us plebes on the head saying "no, no, we know what we're doing. don't you worry your pretty little head.".

{Roll your eyes with me, people} Oh please.

So, now for the 'family' part this week: the kids and I are leaving Thursday morning for a weekend at Mom's house. I'm going on Friday to have lunch with Bro's oldest girl at her school! My girl wants to come with me but I'll play that part by ear. Last thing I need is for her to want to stay at her cousin's school for the rest of the day!
I'm also planning to drop in on my friend Jenn :-) I know her birthday was last week, and I picked up a small gift for her a few weeks ago. Now I just need to give it to her! And all the kids will enjoy hanging out a bit again.
I did also find the nightgown I needed (at the Salvation Army store - YEAH!!!) to become Lily Munster on Halloween! All I need are a bat necklace (which she wore in Season 1) or a Gothic-looking necklace (which she wore in the following seasons until cancellation), a long black wig with a white stripe, fake fingernails, and someone to help me with the makeup part. Oh, and for Mom and her Sewing Sisters to help me make this gown not-so-see-through! We also will be figuring out how to make the sleeves in a batwing shape, and attach them.
Since we'll only be there 4 days and 3 nights, that's about all I have time for! But it's plenty. Hopefully, Baby Bro will come up too and visit with us. I might just try to have lunch with him on Thursday when we get there. That's another play-by-ear thing. (I do that a lot!) I hope to be home by sundown on Sunday too.

For my family reading this - we've started a little Christmas shopping for our nieces and nephews, so I'll be sending out the "want" email next week sometime. To make it easier, I'll probably send each of you a separate email to avoid duplicate gifts, but it may just be as simple as gift cards in any amount. Seriously, these kids have so many toys that don't get any playtime, and I'm tired of picking through them for donation every month. Anyway, just watch your inboxes for that email, sometime next week.

Have a great week everyone! I'll check in once again before Election Day :D

~Amphitrite the non-politician-chick

Sunday, October 5

Politics, part 2 - an interesting article

An article I read about the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain. Back to the race issue from my last post, and knowing that most of you still believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim (or whatever that viral email says), I want to share something that was written about McCain.

Make-Believe Maverick: Rolling Stone article (Oct 16th issue)

It's a long article - printed out it's almost 20 pages long, but well worth the ink used. If you don't want to or can't make/take the time to read it, here are some things you may not know about Senator McCain:

- Karl Rove has said that McCain's 'practice of politics' is deceptive, and that the Senator's campaign ads go 'too far' and fail the 'truth test'.
- one constant in his life? "Doing what's best for himself." One former senator (a Republican senator, at that) said that "John has made a pact with the devil."
- "McCain didn't play well with others.", and seems to have had a misogynistic streak early on.
- he has escaped death twice (both incidents are written in the article).
- he's been called a "womanizing hotshot" among other things, and tended (or, tends) to lean on family connections for advancement.
- McCain admits that he "was not qualified" for a post as the commanding officer, training carrier pilots, in 1974 (after his unfortunate time as a POW).
- although adultery is a court-marital offense, and not okay by God, he did it anyway. Early and often.

Now folks, there is much more to this article. Every point I mentioned - while quite scathing - is in the article, and I honestly tried to include things here that would make you want to read the full text. Remember, I'm trying to educate you about both candidates in order for you to make your own informed decision come November 4. That's only a few weeks away, and I realize that this is a HUGE undertaking for me. When it comes to politics, I'm pretty dense - never paid attention until this year - but my own fog is clearing and I hope to make a dent in yours. We, as a people, are going to choose the next President of the United States. The HMFIC. The Big Man on Campus. Those are big shoes to fill, and we all want the best person doing it.

In fairness, I will try to find and read any similar article(s) about Senator Barack Obama. If you find one, please let me know! I'm more than happy to read it and write a similar blog post for you all to read. Only, it has to be from a reputable source - no emails that have been forwarded ten times. Most of the viral emails you may have received about Obama have already been debunked by great research sites like Snopes and FactCheck . But if you have seen something in NYT or other newspapers, or from CNN's website, pass it along and I'll give y'all my take on it. Good, bad, and ugly - just as I did here with Senator McCain.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I am a volunteer for the Obama campaign here locally. I'm doing my best to keep these posts unbiased and fair in the interest of educating everyone who reads. There is a Presidential debate Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST, and another on October 15 at 9 p.m. EST. These are great opportunities to hear each candidate speak - even when they talk to each other like kids fighting over a toy - and help you make your own decision. Make sure you are currently registered to vote! It's easy to register at your DMV among other places. The deadline is Tuesday October 7. I truly hope I've helped some of you in some way already, and you can keep coming back every few days to learn more!

Okay, if you have or are reading the article, you'll notice something I wasn't going to mention until after the election. Sen. McCain's second (current) wife and I do have the same maiden name. I have the genealogy of it, and the familial split that caused me to be raised where I was, and she out west, happened many generations ago. She is biologically a cousin - but like my (possible) connection to George Washington, it's quite distant. In relation to Dad, who is about Mrs. McCain's age, you have to go back 5 generations to find a link. Her GGG-Grandfather is the brother of Dad's GGG-Grandfather, both born around 1800 in NC. They are the first and second sons of Washington & Lucinda. So I guess, 6 generations actually, with Washington being the genetic link.

But anyway, please don't make that a reason to vote for McCain. Use this education and information I'm bringing you about the issues, not the man himself or anyone associated with him. Thanks for your time, and be sure to read the above-linked article for yourself! :-)

~A (this time, P sent me the article and said "it's interesting to read")

Thursday, October 2

Here come the politics, part 1 - Health Care

Okay, I'd like to start with each candidate's Health Care Reform plans. This is the most important issue to me because I haven't had insurance since Hurricane Girl was born. Gynecologists are kind of expensive out-of-pocket when you have to have labwork done every year for the rest of your reproductive life. On the flip side I am quite lucky that both my kids and husband have afforable coverage - I'm fine with using "hippie home remedies" on myself for now.

First, here are the things both candidates agree on:
-insurance should be available and affordable to every citizen.
-already have providers you like? Keep them! We'll just lower your bills with them.
-bringing in cheaper (but equivalent quality) medicinal drugs from other countries, as well as more generic options.
-if you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot be denied coverage from any insurer.

Now, the differences...
Candidate #1:
-wants more research for curing chronic diseases
-thinks every provider should be made accountable for, and responsive to, patients' needs
-wants to encourage each state to lower their costs related to Medicaid, without any decrease in coverage or availability
-wants to make public the information of treatment options, doctor records, quality of care, costs and prices (I don't see where it says it would keep your personal information private, although I imagine there is a protocol for your info remaining private.)
-wants to help senior citizens choose a representative - relatives or friends - to assist with personal health care decisions

Opinion: most of that sounds pretty good to me. No, I'm not telling you which candidate is which until the next entry.

Candidate #2:
-wants to help small businesses offer affordable insurance to their employees
-wants to 'even the field' by making large employers who don't offer insurance pay a fee toward the costs of their employees' health care, in effect keeping costs lower for every citizen
-wants to create a new publicly available plan based on the benefits available to Congress members (opinion: you KNOW they get quality care), and improve prevention and management of chronic diseases
-thinks it should be required that cancer screenings, flu shots and other such preventative care be covered under any plan
-thinks all insurers should charge lower co-pays and premiums
-requiring children be insured, up to age 25

Opinion: a lot of that sounds pretty good too.

Now, I want you to know that these above are just synopses. I've read both candidates' full plans (and you can too) and tried to choose a few important points that you and I can easily compare against the other candidate, on the same things (as in mentioning what both feel about chronic diseases.). There is a lot of good in both plans, and honestly, only a little that bothers me in both plans. Today I want you to decide which sounds better to you, based first on the points above, and second on your own research. Unfortunately most of you reading this are just voting party lines without doing any research. I was the same way for many years! This is the first year I'm paying attention, and enough of it is making sense to me that I feel I need to share with you, my family, who are just like me.
A woman I know online had the best idea in regards to elections, specifically Presidential: she said each candidate (Democrat, Green, Independant, Libertarian, Republican, whoever) should take a test, and vote how they feel on each issue. Those tests should be locked away until the general population can take the same test, without us ever knowing who said what to which issues. Then, match them up. Whoever has the most agree with him/her, should then become President.
Great idea, but we all know that would never happen. Not enough politicking if we took that route, and then what fun is it to bash your opponent?

{donning flameproof suit here}

The last thing I want to say, and this will likely offend a good portion of you, is something I've had to realize recently. Only one person has had the stones to own up to his racism in this election. If you're voting for (whoever, there are more than just McCain and Obama on the tickets) solely because s/he is white, at least admit that you're racist. I know that most of you likely are racist but you try to convince others that "that's not it", that you're voting for (someone else) because of (some other reason). I know and love you people, but I now realize that some of you are racist deep down. I really do not care who you choose in any election - that's your decision alone - but be honest about it. And be educated about your choices here! That's all I want to do with these next few entries is educate you. We should be voting for issues, not people, but especially not race. The Civil War - and slavery - ended a looooooong time ago, so let it go.

{flameproof suit off}

Over the next few days I'll be working on the next entry, which will be their Education plans. That is the next most important to me. In the meantime, I encourage you to see what both candidates think about everything. Time's running out but you only need to read a few opinions from each to get a feel for where they stand all around. And you can keep coming back here every few days, where I'll put what I can into little words so we can all understand it together. So, in alphabetical order, here are the campaign sites for John McCain and Barack Obama - happy reading!

~Amphitrite (without Poseidon's help this time)

Wednesday, October 1

A quickie with some pics

I think this is the last full "gotta-get-stuff-done!" week until next month. I hope so anyway! So before I put my laptop to sleep for the day, I thought I'd share a few pictures. I have running around to do today and it's already 10 - I've only done one load of laundry so far!

Okay, so the kids started school back on August 13. First day ever for Miss Hurricane, and Boy is a 5th grader now! (Next year, it's middle school for him - yikes!) Little Miss Grumpy wasn't in the mood that morning, and she felt chilly:


... while Boy felt totally fine:


They both have been doing well at school ever since. She is much better about following directions now - that wasn't a strong suit for her previously - and he is reading more, and more easily, and comprehending all of it. They both seem to be having fun. Girl has her first field trip this Friday! That should make for a nice long story when she gets home from school. :-)

Last weekend, our littlest niece turned a year old. There was a fun party, lots of gifts and cake and ice cream and all! I have a ton of pictures, but haven't yet asked permission to post any of her. I may do that later if it's okay with her mama. One I will share from that day is this one of Boy:

... he's practicing holding his breath! And, he's no longer afraid to get his face in the water! Mom and Pop (my in-laws) got a hot tub recently, and the kids just love 'swimming' in it. Pop has been working with Boy on holding his breath and getting his face/head wet. I didn't know that until he said "Hey Mom, watch what I can do now" - and there's the picture I took! I'll be able to teach him how to swim soon, then!

It's 10:15 now. I have to go to Best Buy, then JoAnn's, and get back in time to run two more loads of laundry so I can hang them outside. I'd better skeedaddle! Longer post will come next week, and I'll try to get more pictures up for that one too. I will also be dabbling in political writings, and will share what I learn from both candidates. I'm volunteering for Obama, but I want you all to vote for whoever you want. AS LONG AS YOU VOTE, pick who you want. But I want to educate as many people as I can too, and STOP the ignorant "Fwd: Fwd: Fw: Fw: OMG look what {candidate} did/said he's a terrorist!!!1!" emails. And, Poseidon will help me compose the posts since politics is something he knows a whole lot about.

Now, family, I love y'all, but if you don't know what you're talking about, don't forward me that garbage. Remember, Snopes.com is also your FRIEND. I've been reading from both candidates' campaign sites, and will give a rundown here. At least then, I'll know you know *something* about each of them instead of voting based on the adverts' fearmongering.

Come back soon!

Monday, September 22

We're still here :-)

I know it's been a while! The kids are both in school now, and I have a bunch of pictures to upload and share with you. I'll get to it this week, I hope! Our littlest niece will be a year old this Saturday, so I'll need an empty memory card in the camera.
I thought I'd drop a quick note today. I just took this personality test thing (registration required, but it's free) and thought it was totally me. Here you go:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

There were many questions to which I giggled and said "yeah, that's true!!". Lots of mamas on my parenting board have recently done this, and we've all put it in our signatures. Yep, I'm a lemming. LOL :-)
So, if you ever wonder why I seem to not be paying attention to you, please don't take it personally. I just typically have my dang head in the clouds, singing a song and thinking about ... well, could be anything at any given time!
I'll try to post again by Friday, with pictures or a link to them. Since last post, we took a vacation to Mom's (300+ pics), a day trip north to the aquarium (100 or so), the kids started school (a couple pics), and I've been cleaning, exercising, and getting a lot more done, more efficiently, every day! So there are lots of pictures to look forward to come this weekend. Have a great week y'all!!

~Amphitrite

Friday, July 4

It's Independence Day!

Today is the 4th of July - a national holiday, and for good reason.

Do you know the reasons we celebrate? For the younger crowd, please realize that this day is not just so you can drink, party, and blow stuff up. Fireworks are great, pretty - but to set them off at all hours of the night between June 20 and July 15? Come on. I'm betting the people who do this - i.e. the "premature ejaculators" of this era - either do not realize, or care, that there are many huge reasons for this celebration, and that it really should be treated with more respect than it's given by those who only see it as 'another drinking holiday!!'.

I'll try not to be bitter, but seeing my husband come home after a "party holiday" and having to sell alcohol to idiots and drunks daily bothers us both. I guess it's mainly teens and college kids, but there are adults too who don't see this day for anything other than drinking. How many actually know what the Constitution or Declaration even say? Or mean? I'm no teacher, but I have found some links, should you - like we do - choose to read and give respect to our forefathers and foremothers, and more importantly, appreciate what they gave so that we could have. What better day than today?

The Constitution - man, all the freedoms and guarantees in this document are just great. A person born in this country should know that all these things are granted simply by being born here, but a lot of folks (myself included) don't remember them often enough. Check it out, it's an informative read.

The Declaration of Independence - hey, THIS is what this celebratory day is all about!! We no longer live under a King/Queen, and this document proves that! Do you recall what the Founding Fathers went through, just to ensure that we would never again live under a monarchy? How awesome is that, that they thought about their own grandchildren, and their grandchildren's grandchildren, on down the line!

The first ten Amendments - otherwise known as the Bill of Rights - are right here. Kind of the short version of the Constitution. Because I find them so important, and you should too, here's another link to the significance of the Bill of Rights. Actually, there's a lot of good reading on that Bill of Rights site, if you check out the links on the left.

I think today is another good day to remember and thank all the servicemen and women. Thank them for following in the footsteps of America's Founding Fathers, and all who have served before them - these folks are carrying on a tradition, and doing it proudly. Even if we don't agree with the circumstances or reasons for any wars - past, current, or future - we should still thank them for doing what they do. And they should all be treated with respect for making those choices. I'm already drafting a more in-depth "Thanks" for Veteran's Day, November 11.

[end rant]

OK, I had to get all that out after having to listen to fireworks every night for the last WEEK. And I know it will continue for another WEEK.
On another note, please don't drink and drive. Drinking is fine so long as you stay over or have a ride home - Freeze Your Keys, yo. I recently watched a horribly graphic (but well done) video about the aftermath of DUI. I have a fairly strong stomach, and this video turned mine. But I'm sure it absolutely gets the message across. (If you really want to see it, let me know. I'm not going to post it here.) Don't drink and drive, please!!!

Tonight, Poseidon has to work [and serve all the drunks, pray for his safe return home] so the kids and I will watch the fireworks on TV. I saw that NBC will show them from NYC at 9 EDT. Pretty much a quiet night, but since it's supposed to rain most of the day here, P will be taking the car rather than the scooter. Tomorrow looks to be a great day - perfect for the cookout/birthday party for my young nephew who's turning 3!! I'll be taking pictures and posting with permission, so be sure to come back next week!

I hope you all have a great and safe weekend! Happy Birthday to our great country!
(Note: I'd say "America", but that was my great-grandmother's name, so it sounds odd in my head most of the time - she wasn't born in July! LOL)

~Amphitrite

Friday, June 27

Just an update, since it's been almost a month!

With summer being here and the weather being enjoyable, we've spent more time outside and doing other things. I've limited myself to two hours of computer time per day, and I try to split that up (one in the morning while I drink my tea, the other before bed) when there's nothing going on in my internet world.
We're in the thick of summer, and July is actually kind of busy for us. Sunday, my BIL and his family are coming down from DTW to spend a week and hold my nephew's 3rd birthday party! We haven't seen them since last July so we can't wait to go hang out with them! I need some snuggles from a little boy who isn't too old for snuggles :-)
July 12, Poseidon's baby sister is getting married!! I have to make sure, but I know she wanted to have our kids as ring bearer/flower girl when the date arrived. Now I'm trying to talk Hurricane Girl into it, it seems she doesn't want to drop flowers on the ground.... maybe the promise of wearing a pretty dress will help? We'll see. Boy is excited about it too, although I think it's because there's a treehouse on-site! I hope to have lots of good pictures from the day, and with their permission I'll share them here.
July 13 the kids and I leave for a week at Mom's. I was hoping to schedule it so that we could make it for Grandpa's birthday party, but yesterday in the mail was the invitiation for that being on the 27th. Now we'll have to shoot for the big reunion in August instead. While we're at Mom's, I've "booked" a picnic with two of my friends and their families! One I haven't met yet, but went to school with her husband. The other I've met, and also went to school with her husband. We're going to meet at a park and let all the kids play, plus we'll have my mom, D's mom, and C's mom and/or MIL - so the Nanas will be there too! I can't wait to see everybody there, and again, there will be pictures! Now I intend to come home either the 20th or 21st, the 21st being Grandpa's actual birthday so I've left a little 'wiggle room' there.
July 22nd, our other nephew will be one year old! Hard to believe how quickly time seems to fly.... we hope to see them too at some point!
July 28th.... the big, dreaded appointment. Both kids go to the Pedi for their yearly checkups - and shots. Boy looks to only have one, maybe two, but Miss Hurricane - well, she's scheduled for FIVE. I'm still looking into all of them, and may actually spread them out so I can catch any reactions to a particular vaccine. I'd like to skip them all altogether, but I've already started and can't take those back. Plenty of kids are delayed, and I see no point whatsoever in holding off for mine. Besides, they're both very healthy kids (both have been sick maybe twice in their lives - yaya for Mama Milk!!) and delaying some shots won't hurt them on little bit. There is a ton of reading I've done and still have to do, too, but I have some time left to decide.

That seems to be one busy month for us! I'm actually glad that we don't have any practices or games or things of that sort to deal with on top of it all.

August is the time of year for my Dad's family's big reunion. Second Sunday, every August, folks come in from all over. That means it's time for me to pull out my genealogy notes and figure out who to ask for some information! I also need to spend some time talking to my elders, as a few of them have popped into dreams lately and I've gotten a bit worried about it. This year, I should be able to make it to the reunion without time constraints, as the school year starts on the second Wednesday (8/13/08) instead of the usual second Monday.
I have to send my baby into Kindergarten! Who's going to hold my hand??

The first day will be the hardest, I know, but I think I'll wait until September to find a job. We'll need that time to recover :-)

So that's what I have been doing, and what's going on until school starts up again. Any family reading this should try to visit Mom's around the same time as us, I don't know when we'll be up again for more than a day - and I want to see everyone I can!!

Until then,

~Namaste~

Monday, June 2

I'm 31 now. Wanna see?

I started writing this one last week. Took me until today to get all the pictures uploaded and sorted and all. I'm just going to copy/paste the original writing :-)

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! My kids and I went up to Mom's for the weekend. I turned 31 on the 27th, so she held a party/campout for me. Lordy, I can put away the wine coolers now. A case myself, easily.... Didn't even get a hangover, so now I *know* I'm old!! But I got to visit with a lot of family who I hadn't seen in a year or more. It was a really great time, the whole weekend! I just got all the pictures onto my computer, and have them up on Picasa for your viewing pleasure. (You can choose to view them as a slideshow, but you might miss some captions.) I went ahead and created nicknames or used abbreviations for most folks, but got permission from all the parents about pictures of the kids. Mostly, if you don't know who someone is, just ask - if you can get a hold of me, I can sort everyone out for you.

We came home on Monday evening, and I had a day of sewing for myself on Tuesday :-) I made one skirt, fixed another, put some pockets onto an apron dress, and reorganized my sewing area in a logical way. Now I know what I'm going to use to make what things, and I have all the materials and such in one place for each project. Starting that household management binder has helped me so much! {Thanks to you, Jenn!} This coming weekend I get to sew more too, as the kids will be camping with my in-laws for 4 days. Little Miss Hurricane got her first bike for a birthday gift, and she's been having a grand time riding up and down the sidewalk. I'll have to take pictures now that she's steady enough and doesn't need my help with it. Oh, she does have training wheels, but we live near the top of a slight incline, and she's needed me to push her along on the "uphill" part. It's getting easier for her, and I know she'll have a great time next weekend riding her bike with PawPaw.

Some of my friends had asked me what I got for my birthday. Well, as a combo Mother's Day/birthday gift from Poseidon and the kids, I got a green iPod Nano plus $25 in iTunes (MIL pitched in $20, and I had a $5 already). Didn't take me long to spend that! :-) Other than that, I got the usual cards from family, the party at Mom's (which was obviously a blast), and Tuesday for sewing. I actually get two more of those this weekend! I already have everything laid out too.... but I started a little tonight.

Now I need to get to those dishes that have been glaring at me all day. *sigh* The fun ends.... have a great week anyway!

~A

Mama's got to brag a bit.

I know I'm a little behind on things, but bear with me. I'm doing two posts this week - the other one will come as soon as I get the weekend photos done up right.
For starters, though, I wanted to tell you all about Boy's 4th grade year. His last day of school was Friday, May 30th, so he brought home the entire contents of his desk (about 20 pounds of stuff in his backpack!) and his report card. The report card is the most exciting thing, but hang tight....

I know I posted his 3rd quarter grades, and I think maybe 2nd quarter too, but I'll give you another run-down since I have them all in front of me. He has officially been placed in 5th grade next year! His age (one of the youngest in his class) and maturity have always made me wonder if I started him too early - he turned 5 just days before entering Kindergarten - but every year, after the Winter Break, his grades and attitude turn around 180 degrees, and I again feel confident that I did the right thing. I also didn't want a boy who'd turn 18 just before his Senior year of high school, and who might want to ditch school because he'd be an adult. So, without further ado, here's what happened this year......

2nd quarter:
Math - 84/B
Science - 84/B
Science Quest (labwork) - 89/B
Reading - 86/B
Lang. Arts (writing) - 78/C
Social Studies - 76/C
Art - 90/B
Music - 77/C
P.E. - 95/A

3rd quarter:
Math - 67/D {several missing assignments}
Science - 76/C
Science Quest - 98/A
Reading - 71/D {several missing assignments}
Lang. Arts - 80/C
Spelling - 92/A
Art - 84/B
Music - 85/B
P.E. - 95/A

4th quarter:
Math - 84/B
Science - 86/B
Science Quest - 92/A
Reading - 92/A
Lang. Arts - 85/B
Spelling - 99/A
Social Studies - 80/C
Art - 94/A
Music - 90/B
P.E. - 95/A

Did you see the big jump in grades there?!? We are so very proud of him! More importantly, he is proud of himself! At the end of 3rd quarter, we'd had a long talk about school and the importance of doing your best work all the time. Before the 3rd quarter report card came home, we found out that Boy had been hiding assignments in his closet here, and therefore made more work for himself. That, and the report card, prompted me to watch more carefully and really dig into him about what they'd done at school each day - plus, his school now can publish each students grades and coursework online, so he knew I was checking up on him and his classwork/homework. Now, sometime during the last few months, he has also gone through a growth spurt - physically (he's almost up to my nose!), mentally, and emotionally - so that could have had a lot to do with the improvement too. I now feel confident that he's ready for 5th grade, although I'll need to work with him over the summer so he doesn't forget anything. You know, the old "if you don't use it, you lose it". I'm thankful for some friends who homeschool, that I have a list of resources and websites that make it easy for me to find some work to do each weekday. His school also sent a list of reading material for incoming 5th graders, so we'll be hitting the library a couple times per month. I'd like to try and teach him how to write a book report so that it will come more easily once they *have* to be done in school. Let's see if I remember those days..... LOL.

So, did I mention that we're extremely proud of the improvement? He really is an awesome kid, and sometimes things like this just come up seemingly out of nowhere, and it reminds me that I've done my job right. As a reward to him for such great effort and improvement, we bought him a one-month subscription to XBox Live. Relatives can email me if you want to add him as a friend - he's set up with full parental controls and we have to approve all friends, he's not allowed voice or text chat while playing online, and there is a list of games he's allowed to play. On the flipside of this, he also has to play Brain Challenge and Buku Sudoku once daily. I think I'm gong to have him do 3 or 5 Sudoku puzzles, then take the Brain Test, and after that he's allowed "free play" for an hour or so. He's having his "free play" at this moment so we'll be doing the learning games later. I want to play a game too, ya know. :-)

Now - the other post for today. Last weekend Mom had a party for my turning 31, and I'm finally getting all the pictures edited and put together in a slideshow. Come back later, I hope to have them all up by tonight!

~Proud Mama, Amphitrite

EDIT: I came back near 11 p.m. to add links and fix spelling on this one. I really wrote it in a hurry earlier!

Monday, May 19

A brithday and an election

Today, our baby girl turned 5 big years old! We had a small family party here on Saturday, so she thought she turned 5 on Saturday. Wouldn't even let us wish her a happy birthday today, little stinker! She got all her presents Saturday - some Fisher Price or Little Tikes 'camping' gear (a lantern/bug jar and a telescope), 3 new DS games, and I made her a Princess Peach outfit - well, I made the dress and brooch, but bought the gloves and tiara. She's had the umbrella for a while, but has now renamed it "Perry" - just like in her game, Super Princess Peach. [Watch out, that one takes a few seconds to load.]

Here's our Princess Peach:

She's only taken the dress off long enough for me to wash it *once* (tomato soup accident) since Saturday. LOL.

{For you seamstresses out there, I used McCall's 5494, View A (dress - size 10) and C (peplum at the waist - size 7). I know it's a little big on her now, I just hope it will be long enough in two years' time that she'll still want to and be able to wear it! Anyway, it was easier than it looks! For the brooch, I read these instructions, and kind of 'winged it' without buying more than some yellow make-n-bake clay and flat marbles at Michael's!}

Our little Princess is quite happy with all her birthday gifts. I'm feeling quite nostalgic about the day.... I remember the day she was born as if it were earlier today! Even though she was 2w,3d overdue.... she *still* does everything in her *own* time, thankyouverymuch. But, she's my last baby ever. I have to send her to school in the Fall - I'll need plenty of hand-holding then! I know logically that she's ready for it, it's just me who isn't ready!

Guess I'm gonna have to borrow a niece or nephew REAL soon. That usually knocks out the pining.

Sometimes. :-)

Moving on..... tomorrow is Election Day in my state. I already know who I'm choosing for just about everything - do you (if you're voting tomorrow as well)? Just remember to GO DO IT. Vote. For whoever, so long as you VOTE. I'm thinking I might knock on a few neighbors' doors and see who wants to walk up with me in the morning. 2 birds (exercise and voter turnout) with 1 stone, right? Right.

Although if I hadn't married Poseidon, I'd probably not feel this way at all, and would have continued in my "my vote doesn't matter, why bother?" thinking.

Thank you, darling. I love you!

And to everyone else, have a happy and safe weekend, whatever you do! (I know, it's only Monday - but I won't be back with another post for a couple weeks. There's a "drinking holiday" coming up.) Take the time to hug a veteran or enlisted soldier, and give them thanks. They do need to know that we appreciate them, even if we don't agree entirely. Personally, I also have a favorite Korean War vet to leave flowers for - my Papaw. I <3 him still. :-)

Blessings, and namaste ~
Amphitrite

Wednesday, May 14

Mother's Day Tea photos

I now have some photos set up and ready for your viewing pleasure ~ enjoy :-)



~Mama Amphitrite

Tuesday, May 13

Halfway through May

So it's May 13, and we've already had a full two weeks. Another full two weeks to go! 6 birthdays, one anniversary, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day weekend - which is when my birthday falls. May is the "big month" in our family! Add our state's primary election next Tuesday, and we're driving all over Creation! Luckily we can walk to our polling place - it might be a quarter mile away, but I hope it doesn't rain. Poseidon's best advice for this election - research the candidates, then vote your conscience. Good advice for everyone!
This week I'm finishing a birthday gift for our little girlie - she'll be 5 on Monday! I only have a little left to do. I've had to fib to her, as she's caught me sewing it up - I told her I was practicing that pattern - but luckily she hasn't put two and two together, realizing that it already looks exactly like the character I'd intended! At least I can finish it in peace and keep it hidden until Monday! I'll be sure to post some pictures next week after her birthday.
The kids and I are going to Mom's for Memorial Day weekend/my birthday party. Lots of family will be there! And we've all been told to go ahead and bring a tent and some kindling - that means bonfire!! I wish Poseidon could take time off, but it's a big weekend at his job so that's a no-go this year. He did have the week off last year, and went up with us since it was my 30th. Someone else's turn for the weekend off this year.
Boy only has two weeks of school left - I'll honestly be glad that I won't have to get up at 6 a.m. every weekday for a while! And we can do more biking around town, visit the parks and pools, have longer visits with Mom and my in-laws, go camping.... as much as I love Fall, Summer is a very close second favorite.

Mother's Day was this past weekend, and I've been thinking about what I would do to honor all the other mother figures in my life. I didn't write anything down, I'm just going to pour it out, and I hope you're all able to read it!
Mom, of course - I'm glad that I chose you to be my mama. I wish I'd paid more attention to your job while I was growing up, but you've been patient enough since I got married that you've taught me everything I 'missed' during my younger years. Thank you, and I love you dearly.
To my MIL - man, you really are an awesome lady with a huge heart. You raised such a wonderful man, and I'm glad beyond words to have you both so close to my heart. I love you dearly.
Mamaw - the lady who basically adopted my mom when she was an adult. Oh, where do I begin with you? You've taken care of me as your own granddaughter since I was a wee lass - I know you made a bed in a dresser drawer for me more than once! You let me into your heart and home, never treating me any differently from your biological grandchildren. They've all been more than friends, and I'm grateful that you never put one of us above the others. You made outfits and prom gowns for me when you didn't have to. You've called and sent birthday (and anniversary) cards. You helped me in high school when I was trying to learn Spanish, so we could speak in your native tongue. The list could go on and on! So in short, I love you as much as my other grandparents, and you and Papaw both were easily as special to me. Such love and care from your heart and home, and I am so very glad that you've been in my life since I was a baby. I love you very dearly and will always say YOU are my grandmother!
Aunt Linda - you have done, and still do, a great job in guiding all your nieces and nephews. I take to heart your sage advice on any matter, and you give of yourself to us all. Personally, I wish I'd been able to know you better when I was younger, but we've made up that time in recent years too. You have a great big, giving, caring, loving heart. I love you!
Aunt Teresa - like an older, wiser best friend. During my formative teen years, you taught me to love being able to make things - and then proceeded to teach me how! And when I was preparing to wed, you didn't laugh at or chastise me for choosing a difficult pattern. No, you sat down and surely pulled every bit of patience you had, and held my hand through it. You taught me how to sew, and that is now my favorite hobby. I think of you every time I thread my machine - thank you so much for being a wonderful teacher. You too have given me lots of great advice when asked, and I'm glad to know you truly care and want to help where possible. I love you so much!
And now, to my dearly departed:
Grandma, Dad's mom - another beloved craftster. Another who helped teach me how to make a few things, and offered to hand down your supplies when your time was nearing. My grandmother, who since passing has *still* been able to help me with quilting! I've seen you in a few dreams, and we're always standing side-by-side, with you showing me the best layout for a certain idea. (This is partly the reason I haven't finished the family tree quilt!) You were always a phone call away, always loving, caring, giving. You embody your favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace", and I always think of your vibrant self when I hear it. Sometimes I even think I feel you hugging me when I listen to that hymn. You helped me with breastfeeding, having done so yourself as a mother of 7 - you made it easy for me! You understood what I was going through in 1998, and never looked down on me for it. I miss you more than you know, but I can't wait until the day I see you again. I know you still love and watch over me - all of us - and I take plenty of comfort in that. Thank you for who you were in life, in my life. I love you!
Granny, Poseidon's grandmother - I only knew you for a few years, but I've always heard so many good things about you. The first time I met you, you treated myself and my son - who you didn't even have to know - as if we'd known each other for years! Always a sweet and loving woman who loved God and cared for her family every minute of every day. You still are a great example to look up to. We miss you, and love you, and I am so glad to have known you even for only a little while.

Well now I'm all teary-eyed! The above women have had an impact on my life, and I just wanted to express my gratitude to each one individually, which made for a long post. All you mamas who may be reading this - I hope you had a great Mother's Day!

Friday, May 2

A Day in the Life....

Last week, some girls on my parenting board wanted to do another "day in the life" series. They've done it before, and it's always neat to see a snippet of the lives of *real* people (i.e., not "celebrities"). I decided to jump in this time around, and spent Wednesday, April 30, taking pictures of our normal 'boring' day at home. I didn't even have any errands to run that day! :-)

So, here's a 2-minute slideshow of the events of that day...



I may do something like this for events, like birthdays or reunions. I had fun taking the pictures, and putting the whole show together!

I have a bunch of sewing scheduled for this weekend while the kids are gone. Have a great weekend!

~A

Thursday, April 10

Found this old blog today

While looking through my documents, I found a copy of this old blog I'd posted on MySpace about a year ago. Since I deleted my account there, I wanted to move it here. It's about breastfeeding, with some links to facts and history followed by my opinion - feel free to pass it on to anyone who may ask you about breastfeeding! :-)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is dedicated to the Puritanical people who think they are 'saving our eyes' by reporting normal, healthy pictures of breastfeeding as 'offensive', and leaving the truly explicit offensive pictures of teenagers here on myspace right where they are.



This week, I offer you a lesson in feeding your infant. Pop quiz: when was infant formula invented? Anyone? 1867, Henri Nestle. Realize that this is pretty recent in the history of humankind - that's just after the American Civil War (1861-1865 in case you didn't know). 140 years ago. So, what did most women feed their children before that? Breastmilk. The entire reason breasts are attached to the female form (and this goes for all species, kids) is for feeding our young. In other words, breasts are NOT a sex toy for men. There is no food so perfect as breastmilk, although formula companies are trying to convince young mothers otherwise. On the other hand, they freely admit that formula will NEVER be as complete and natural as actual breastmilk, as breastmilk is constantly changing to fit the nutritional needs of the child. No amount of science could catch up with and imitate that, no matter how hard they try. And ethical marketing? Yeah, sure. Anyway, what's easier at 3 a.m. when you've only been asleep for two hours, and not sleeping very well? Either you get up, go to the kitchen, mix/warm up a bottle, make sure it's the right temperature, THEN feed it to the child - who's now hungry *and* pissed that you're taking so long....... or you can whip out your breast, and feed the child right then and there. Happy baby because you were quick about it! That was my favorite thing about nursing my kids - I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night *just* to go get a bottle. It certainly helps with the new-mama-lack-of-sleep thing. But I digress......

Let's go back a bit further in history - say, about 2000 years. Christians, what did the newborn Jesus eat? What was every mother on Earth feeding her newborn, toddler, and child? Breastmilk! Of course! Hey, breastmilk is still free to all women and their children. If women had not been nursing their children, how would this, or any, species have survived? Now, there have been and still are some women who cannot physically breastfeed - you ask "What did they do, huh? Let their babies die??" No, they didn't. Did you read that article I linked above? See the part about "wet nurses"? Those are still around, in a way. Much like sperm banking, there does exist a Breastmilk Bank. Most mothers (and fathers, but this is about the womenfolk) will do literally anything for their child(ren) if it is in the best interest of the child(ren).



Now for some links, since some of you probably won't read everything I link here (or you already know these):

Breastfeeding can reduce your chance of developing female cancers. (Here's another one from Dr. Weil.)

The FDA recommends breastfeeding. And the AAP thinks breast is best, too.

You have the option of nursing in public, and I don't mean in a restroom. Of course you also have the option of not nursing in public, it is again the choice of the mother and no one else around her. You don't want to see it, don't look.

Oh, and did you know, you CAN nurse a child you adopt! I actually know a woman online who is doing just that, and the boy is thriving (not to mention absolutely adorable!! (= )



If you're still with me, congratulations and thank you for reading so far and so much! {Seriously, you deserve a medal - this took me a day to compile, write and rewrite.} I think I should look into becoming a lactation consultant..... been almost 4.5 years since I last nursed, but I remember what I learned from my Grandma, my WIC office, my neighbours, and other women - all good accurate information that rarely, if ever, changes. I feel like I need to share it with as many women as are willing to ask. Ladies, new mamas especially, don't be afraid to ask for help - remember that no child fresh out of the womb has nursed before, and you both will learn a lot from each other. If it seems hard, find help if you still want to nurse. If you decide you don't want to do it, that's your choice too, but please make an informed decision about it. There are some women who yearn to nurse their babies but physically cannot, and it baffles them that other women think of nursing as an inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 9

...aaaaaaannd we're back!

The kids and I got home Sunday evening. The time flew by while we were visiting, and I didn't even get a chance to call - let alone visit - my friends up there :-(
I felt like I was a day behind the whole visit too, I have to ask the boy which day we did what. Glad he remembers!
We did have a nice visit though - got to see my nieces for a whole day, went out shopping with Mom for a full day, one day at a restaurant we ran into a cousin on Dad's side - and he told me he's done the family tree to waaaaaaaaaay back! I had to give him my address, phone number, and email - I've been stuck on our tree for a while, and have been working with it for over 10 years now! Anyway, we sat and talked to him for an hour or so. That was the day that Dad took the kids to a park (after we ate) while Mom and I went to the mall. I got my sunglasses fixed though - for free!! My girl stepped on them last summer and bent the left arm. I'd always been afraid of breaking it if I bent it back, but the lady at LensCrafters did it with ease. And now I'm not squinting while I drive :D
I took a bunch of pictures while we were there. Also while we were there, Poseidon was here and he switched us back from Windows to Mac - and I am *SO* happy with that! I'll be tooling with my iPod later today! But that also means that I can't dump the camera yet, so once we do - I know I have a ton of promised pictures to share, and then some from Spring Break - I will get them up here.
For any of you keeping track, I'll be posting another WLJ next week. I've too much cleaning and putting away and catching up to do this week, I'm lucky to be posting this today! I wanted to on Monday but just got around to it today. I have no idea how much I may have gained or lost at Mom's - she feeds us well :-)

I hope to be back with another post in about two weeks. Poseidon has to work a lot these next weeks, covering for some vacations. Should be able to figure out the photo-dumping thing and if I do, I'll send family readers an email to let you know I've updated it. Friends will know via my CafeMom page.

Jenn, I'm sorry I didn't call or drop by - I wanted to every day and just never found the time or was too far away with Mom. We'll be up again in June, after school's out, and I think next time we'll stay longer than a week so I *can* visit everyone. I hope I can bring Poseidon too!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
~Amphitrite

Tuesday, April 1

April Fool's Day - no jokes in this post though!

Since I can barely remember what day of the week it is, how am I supposed to remember that it's another "holiday"?? Oh well, have fun whatever you do today! I'm just putting a little update here for everyone.....

It's Spring Break this week! The kids already went camping (over the weekend) with my ILs, and today we're heading up to stay with my parents for the rest of the week. Little Girl says she can't wait to see Abby.... Mom's Yorkie! LOL And as I write this, she tells me she wants to play on Barbie.com .... give me a few minutes, honey! :-) I can let her do that while I pack our bags and get the house ready. Unfortunately, Poseidon couldn't take any time off work this week, so he'll be here alone. I wish I could bring him with us, he loves Abby too! :-)

I posted a new Weight Loss Journal entry over at CafeMom yesterday. I'll be doing some serious walking while we're at Mom's this week! I hope the weather is nice this weekend so my friend and I and all our kids can hang out at a park for a while. I need to try to visit my grandparents too, but I won't work out any kind of 'schedule' until we're unpacked at Mom's. Lots of driving involved to visit everyone I can while we're there for 5 days, but I'll try!

While the kids and I are gone this week, Poseidon will be switching us back to a Mac house. Everything was and is just easier - the thing works without us having to fix something every day. And my iPod becomes plug-n-play again. :-) We made the decision last night, after lots and *lots* of thinking and discussing. I was pulling for the switch the whole time but wanted to leave it more up to him, since he's "the computer guy".... two indecisive people, married for life.... it's fun. LOL I may not have another update here until mid-month because of the switch, but do keep an eye on this. I have a weight loss goal to meet by the 15th, and it has a big reward!


Now for the sad part of this post....
The kids came home early yesterday, they were originally due home this morning. My FIL's father passed away yesterday.
An uncle of mine also passed earlier this week, Sunday I think it was.
I found out last night that a girl who went to school with Bro died about two weeks ago. She was an OH National Guardsmen, and while not overseas, she did pass as a result of her job.
Those families need to be lifted in prayer, if you do and will.

I hope you all have a great week :-)
~Amphitrite

Friday, March 21

The Story of Us

Well, here it is! Be advised, this one's a bit longer than any previous posts! I enjoying writing this up and being able to look back on every moment that you're about to read. Enjoy :-)

{Little preface:
After high school, I went straight to working in retail. I also went to trade school for HVAC - Dad owns his HVAC business, and I was set on taking over in about 15 years' time. While in school I worked at a gas station, and eventually was pregnant. I graduated from trade school with full certifications, and had about 2 months of pregnancy left. I was also single by this time. Mom & Dad let us stay with them, and in December of 1998 I started a new job with an airline.}

Now, in October of 1999, my team had a new class of employees join us. I noticed him right away, and my supervisor saw that. Thanks to "Wolfie", I met my future husband! Wolfie put me in charge of training Ardeo - 2 weeks during which I tried to teach him all aspects of our job. On the first day I already had the butterflies and weak knees when I saw him - but I had to try and talk to him too. Not easy when you're tripping over your tongue... but I managed, and he learned with no problems. It helps that it was mostly simple routine anyway! At the end of the two-week training, I was able to spend a lot of time talking to my best friend there - I'll call her Ski (as in snow and slopes) - about him. She kept telling me to "jusk ask him out for a beer or something". Well, after the previous year's events, I was already pretty set on all the good men being spoken for, or myself not being his "type" - I honestly wasn't looking for a relationship at all. So I had Ski ask him if he was married or seeing anyone. He wasn't! I was thinking - okay, he's not married. I must not be his type. I hope he isn't gay! (Yes, I know it's terrible - but that's what I was thinking at the time.)
A few weeks later, the company's Winter Dance date was announced. They chose that year to go Sadie Hawkins with it. So now I asked another friend, Burt, to talk man-to-man with Ardeo for me. (I still couldn't talk to the man without the butterflies.) You know - is he seeing anyone? Is he going to the dance? Does he have any kids? Does he know I have one? Bless him, Burt asked him all those things and got back to me the next day. When I found out he hadn't planned on going to the dance I bought two tickets - intending them for the two of us, but wouldn't have been upset if he didn't want to go.
Thanksgiving came and he came down here to visit his family, while I stayed with mine. The dance was just a couple weeks away now. Our schedules had just changed, but we were on the same team and same shift for the next 6 months. Wolfie still had us working very close - on the same side of the building - almost every week. I asked Burt if he'd let Ardeo know that I had two tickets, and wondered if he'd think about going to the dance with me. Burt asked, and P said he would think about it. I ran for Ski and told her we needed to find me a dress for the dance! :-)

On December 15, 1999, Ardeo and I were working on a few flights together. It was raining most of the night, a little more than drizzle but not quite pouring. Both of us in our sexy yellow raingear. LOL On my last flight, he was helping me load the bags and get everything finished up. Once all baggage was stacked, I laid down on the floor of the cargo bin and stuck my head out to talk to him. I will always remember exactly how he looked at the moment, how hard the rain was falling, the way the light was hitting his eyelashes, the hat part of the rain coat..... everything, as if it were a photograph. I could *almost* count the raindrops surrounding him when I got the courage to ask "Wanna grab a beer after work?" - I thought my stomach was going to jump out my throat! He said he'd like that, and my stomach was flitting around inside like a hummingbird. We walked back inside until the flight was ready to go, and about 30 minutes later we clocked out.
He followed me to Applebee's just up the road. Went inside, got a table, ordered a couple beers, and just made idle chit-chat until they came to us. The next moment is the the one he still teases me about, and it still makes us crack up when we talk about it. I had to ask though, to set my mind at ease.

"Are you gay?"

The look on his face was similar to this:





"Uh .... no."

Whew! And I said that, too. I explained how I came to be a single mother, and that my mindset was that 'all the good men are either gay or married.', and I knew he wasn't married. We laughed about the question a bit and finally went on to talk over a couple more beers - about two hours. Applebee's was about to close and we went out to my car. It was raining harder now so we sat inside talking a little more. I asked him if he'd like to follow me home - totally out of his way - and continue our conversation; he agreed. We went back to my house, and stayed in the car while we talked for another few hours. I think it was around 4 a.m. before he left to go home! We both had to work the next day.
The dance was another week later. I went to his house to pick him up. Two of his friends (one was his roommate) were there helping him pick a tie. We only stayed a few minutes, then left for the dance. All I really remember was dancing to "This Is How We Do It" with another coworker - it was funny, we were acting like fools - and leaving kind of early. I took him back home, but stayed for a couple hours this time while we talked some more. He's still not the type who likes to dance, but we danced a bit in his room (standing up, don't worry!!) if a good song came on the radio. Driving home that night I was completely ecstatic - I already knew there was a reason for my job there, his job there, Wolfie putting us together for two weeks.... I knew this was the man I was going to marry one day. I kept that to myself for months, but always just knew we were meant to be together. We spent many nights for a few months sitting in either of our cars, just talking until 3 or 4 a.m., and by Spring I felt that we knew just about everything about each other.

In July of 2001, we were standing on his back porch looking at the sky around midnight. Boy and I were spending the night, as I had to work the next day and Poseidon was going to babysit for me - Boy was already asleep by midnight! So having a quiet night looking at the stars and talking a little, we stood up and he was telling me about his Orion tattoo (Orion isn't visible here in July). He was behind me with his arms wrapped around me, we were just THERE. Then he said he wanted to ask me something - I truly did not see it coming - and turned me around to face him.

"Would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?"

Of course I teared up, but managed to tell him yes! It was as if he'd asked "Is the grass green?" Well, yes! YES YES YES!! I don't know how I was able to sleep that night, but I did. The first person I told was Ski, then word spread through the team like wildfire. I was again ecstatic, I couldn't believe I was going to marry Mr. Right!











August, 2001 - On the advice of my closest cousin (Lurkey - another story for another time!) we decided to live together until we were married. We set a Spring date and moved closer to work in September of 2001. We actually looked at the apartment at 9 a.m. on 9/11.... I went into work at 10 that morning, but had no idea what had happened until I got to work and heard that we were on a ground stop. I remember looking at the sky and thinking "It doesn't look like bad weather, wonder what it is?" Then Ardeo called to tell me he was watching the news while the boy was watching cartoons in the other room. Dad also called me to see if things were okay at our airport (they were, we were all just in shock like everyone else.).
After a month or so, our personal lives were more settled, and we started looking for dates in March, hoping to be married at a nearby park around the vernal equinox. One day he was just browsing online, and ran across St. John's Weddings - it sounded perfect to me! We looked at our schedules, rearranged them a bit, and scheduled three days in the Caribbean to be married on the beach. (WOW! It only cost us $200 back then!)

We arrived to St. Thomas March 20 in the afternoon, went to the courthouse to get our license, then found our hotel and chilled for a while. I don't remember much else from that night, other than walking around enjoying the view and settling on the balcony after dinner.
The next morning we got ourselves ready to ferry over to St. John's. Anne-Marie was expecting us around 10 a.m. - and when we got to that island, we couldn't find her! Luckily there was a lady working inside (clerk's office, maybe?) who saw that we seemed "lost", and offered to help. She knew exactly who we were looking for and called the Reverend at home. She gave us a few ideas to kill the time, as Anne-Marie would be there in about 30 minutes, and wished us well. When she arrived she introduced herself, and asked us where we wanted to do this. When we said we hadn't thought about it, she led us to a more secluded part of the beach, almost a cove. She gave us a little history of that particular beach, told us that the island was part of a National Park, then asked us if we would like to begin the ceremony.

She read Song of Solomon 2:8-12, gave a small speech from her heart on love, and said she could tell that we truly loved each other and should be together always. When it was time for the rings, we both got so nervous that we couldn't put each other's rings on! We laughed as Anne-Marie said "Look, you two are working together so well already!" while we fiddled with the rings. After she pronounced us, she offered to take a few pictures for us and give us a few moments to enjoy the seclusion - while she went to look for witnesses. LOL It just so happened that the first couple she ran into lived near Ardeo's family! They wished us well and told us to 'look them up' when we visit the family. We would, but I haven't been able to decipher their last name - they kind of signed in a hurry! After the 5 of us chatted a few minutes, our witnesses went on their way. Anne-Marie talked to us again, telling us that "it's said when you marry in the Islands, your love will last forever.", and speaking a bit more about love in general. (Now, she was an awesome lady with a wonderful soul - but she kind of reminded me of a stereotypical 'free love' hippie flower child type, but that was totally okay by me! Those who know me understand that completely!) As Anne-Marie was about to leave, she gave us $50 back and said that our first meal as man & wife was 'on her', and wished us well in our lives as she left.
We spent the rest of the day swimming and walking around. Ardeo bought me a dress and a pair of sunglasses - those are my souvenirs and I still have both! The sunglasses were finally broken just last year, but I do still have them. I hope to be in that dress this summer too. It's a bright but lovely orange, and just a tinge snug these days. Our dinner that night was a restaurant on the beach with a reggae band playing. It was an open-air place, and we were seated by a 'window'. A man walked up to us after we ate and asked for a smoke. LOL It was a good meal, and I wish I could remember the name of the place! We just walked around next to the water for a while, then caught a taxi to go back to our room.

We spent our wedding night watching basketball. :-) As an added bonus - that was the night that Indiana beat Duke!!! So it was really a great day that ended awesomely for two UK fans :-)









Now we've been married 6 years, and daily I still see the man I fell for 8 years ago. I am so happy! Only 90 years to go :-)
We're off for a great weekend alone. Enjoy your upcoming week!! Happy Spring!

Blessings~
Amphitrite, lover of Ardeo (in this case!)

Tuesday, March 11

Only 10 days to go.....

.. until the first day of Spring, and our anniversary! And this year, it's on a Friday!!!

I posted a new WLJ this morning on my CafeMom page - pop over and check it out! It's a big, and important, one today.

This week, along with the Spring Cleaning going on, I will make time to write up The Story of Us. Something y'all can read on March 21, if you want - one of my favorite stories :-)

We have a "nice" day on tap (mid-40's, maybe warmer) and I have a bunch of cleaning up and such to do today. Next time you visit, I should have The Story up, and maybe there will be a couple enticing pictures.... I mean, we *did* get married on a BEACH so I could show some pics of the island if nothing else - oh, it'll warm you up just to think about it!

Have a groovy week!
~Amphitrite

Monday, March 3

Spring is around the corner!!!

Okay folks, I have a plan for this month! My friend Jenn had the idea to get the Spring cleaning done early this year (here's a link for ya) and today was Day One! We actually even had a very *nice* day for Spring cleaning - the sun is shining, so I have the blinds open; the wind is blowing, so I have laundry out on the clothesline; and I got a good start on cleaning this kitchen this morning. I mean way back in the depths that I don't often visit - I found a bag of unopened flour that expired 2 years ago (eek!) in The Cabinets That Never Get Opened (can't reach the stupid things)!! Said cabinets are now completely empty. While I'd love to have the extra storage that hides there, not being able to use it properly makes no sense whatsoever - so empty they shall remain. They are clean though, thanks to the height and good will of my sweet Poseidon, bless him.
Oh, and you know what? On the 21st we will celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary! It's *only* been 6 years? I still feel like a newlywed! Anyway, watch for the story of how we met and came to be married, sometime between today and the 20th! I love remembering every day with him, but especially the 'early days'. I'm a sentimental sucker, what can I say :-)
Back to today now... we've been outside to play for a bit before the rain comes, and I'm just getting around to my computer time. Over the last week I finally made those pj pants for Miss Hurricane - who has now decided that she "can't wear them without a Hello Kitty shirt to match it, Mom! " LOL That is apparently next on my sewing to-do list! But first, this weekend I get to make a new shirt for me, and I want to plan for a dress too. I'm making a Mother's Day gift each for Mom, MIL, and one SIL (so far) and will be starting them in early April - only need a day each. I believe my machine is due for a cleaning though... either that or I need to mess with the settings again. I'll figure it out - it does work and makes things look good, I just know they can be better, and that's what I want from it!
In other good news, I'm still losing weight! You can read the update here. I try to update there every Monday, but skipped today as I forgot to weigh myself yet :-) Check tomorrow at the earliest. My pants are definitely needing belts now, and I've already taken in the elastic (by at least an inch each) on every skirt I own! I can't wait until the day I can chop up my current 'big' jeans and dispose of them in The Box of Denim That Will One Day Become A Blanket. I have two pair that are still just a smidge snug, and I intend to wear them comfortably before I put up all the winter clothes. Anyway, it's going pretty well, if slow - but we all know about the tortoise and the hare, and we all know I like reptiles and amphibians better anyway :-)
Here's my list for the month for cleaning (minus weekends, for sewing and other fun stuff). I'll have it all done before Mister Twister's Spring Break, and we can relax during that week!
Mar 3-7 ~ Kitchen week! By Friday it will be clean from top to bottom, inside and out!
Mar 10-14 ~ I'm cleaning The Big Room (living/dining is one room here), again from top to bottom, including the blinds and curtains!
Mar 17-21 ~ Our bedroom.... closets, my sewing area, deciding what goes to Goodwill, blinds, windows - all of it, top to bottom.
Mar 24-28 ~ Oh boy. The kids' room and bathroom. Toys.... oh I'll need a big donation box for that! And then the bathroom needs some touch-up painting and such too.
If you want to follow along, go back to that CafeMom link above and clean with us! I'm updating there daily with specifics. and I get to play with my friends that way too!! :-)

Blessings, and namaste.
~Amphitrite

Monday, February 18

An update, overdue

Again, I see it's been a while....

Miss Hurricane and I are finally feeling normal. We had the flu, which then morphed into regular colds, and I had a sinus infection on top of that. Yeah, I felt just *awesome*, let me tell you. But I'm finally better, and getting back into the swing of things. Laundry's all caught up, house is pretty clean (but sanitized, which was mroe important at first), and I need to make another menu once I go through the pantry/freezer and see what we have.
Last week, Mister Twister had two consecutive snow days! Both kids played outside for a while on the second day, and I did take pictures. I promise, I will eventually get all the pictures up on here! I know I'm behind, due to many things, but it will happen soon. These children did smack me with a few snowballs, and you can see the leading-up-to that point.... it was fun, they had a good time playing in the snow, and then we came in to have hot cocoa.
This weekend I went to visit my brother and give him a lesson on computer use. He just got his first computer, and didn't know how to use it, but seems to now have a very good grasp of it (it will get easier, Bro, really). He just sent me an email too! Anyway, Mom and Dad came to visit on a whim Saturday and took the kids back home with them. They dropped them off at Bro's house Sunday morning, and I drove up from here, then the three of us were back home by 8:30 Sunday night. We had a good visit, and ate dinner with them, then the older girls wanted to come home with us! LOL If it weren't for them being in preschool, I may have said it was okay - but they need to know now that school shouldn't be skipped for any reason. That can be modified when they're older. :-)

And that's what has been going on here over the last couple of weeks! On tap for this week:
- start jammies for Miss Hurricane (Hello Kitty fabric, McCall's 3906 A/E)
- new shirt for me! (green tie-dye batik, McCall's 5050 E)
- go through the rest of the random fabric I have here, and find new homes for a lot of it
- start the Spring Decluttering in general
- figure out if we'll be able to go out for our 6th anniversary in a month
- Get Mom and MIL to send me their fabric choices :-)
- see what I can do/make for Easter gifts for 4 little girlies I love!

Okay, maybe that's a list for the rest of the month.... I hope to at least start every one of those this week though! Oh, I forgot to post a weight loss update - but I also forgot to weigh-in this morning. I'll do that tomorrow, and post an update on my CafeMom page (link at right, if you don't already know about it). Last Monday was a good update - check it out!
Lastly, my prayer list, which you can add to yours as well if you so choose:
+Janel +Katie +Marissa's family (not my cousin's wife!) +Sherrie

Have a groovy week everyone ~ thanks for dropping by! Namaste.

~Amphitrite