No Harm Done

Monday, November 28, 2005

Who Was That Masked Man???

Odds are it's one of the boys. A couple of days after Halloween I stopped by WalMart to cull the leftover costumes. We don't celebrate Halloween, but we do love costumes here! And you can't beat 70% off, my friend....

So we acquired a firefighter set, a police set, a prince, a king (for M. ), and others you'll see in the photos below. We had a blast dressing up and taking pictures.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's Time For Christmas Lights!!

Or as Brogan says, "When will the madness stop!"

I've no idea what that boy has against Christmas lights. I'm sure his animous towards them must come from Marc's side of the family. Can't be from mine!

Click on THIS LINK RIGHT HERE to see the most amazing Christmas light display I've ever seen. Part of me is inawe (a big part) and part of me is thankful I'm not this guy's next-door neighbor!

If the above link doesn't work, try this:

Click here.

On the left side of the new page you'll see several tabs. Click the one that says "Top Rated." Then click on the video "Christmas Lights."

Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Run Forest! Run!"

I think of that line every time we watch Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers. Those scenes with Merry and Pippin hanging onto the walking trees just seem to cry out for someone to quip that famous line from "Forrest Gump."

M. and Braden are currently 2/3 of the way through a Lord of the Rings marathon. Thursday night they watched The Fellowship of the Ring. Friday night was The Two Towers. Tonight they'll finish up with Return of the King.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The G. family came to join us for dinner and the kids had a fantastic time playing together. M. and Mr. G. got to watch a little football.

M. wanted to try a new stuffing recipe from a sausage manufacturer's website. I tend to be a traditionalist for Thanksgiving: I like to have the same things evey year. There's a comfort, I think, in those special dishes. This year we made the new stuffing (plus the "old" stuffing I always make), and M. 's mom's amazing mashed potatoes. I think both dishes will grace our table again next Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Today, our Brogan is 5. He's been counting the days for nearly a month, and today his birthday finally arrived. I've always thought a boy who is 5 seems so much bigger than one who is 4. Today Brogan seemed to decide that for himself. He started the day by helping his big brother take out the trash, and then he fixed cereal for Colson and himself.

Grandma H. called to sing to him this morning, he just grinned into the phone and seemed to clam up after that. All that happiness can choke a guy up, apparently. Auntie T. and his cousins called to sing after dinner.

Brogan originally chose Chili's for his birthday dinner, but M. wanted to stay home. So we asked him, "What do you want Mama to fix for dinner?"

His choice: Green apples, instant oatmeal with dinosaur eggs, and baked potatoes.

M. began to rethink the Chili's option.

He recieved a Spiderman costume, and Braden donned a Fantastic Four costume and they did battle for quite a long time in our living room. Colson put on his Batman pajamas and joined in.

5 years ago today, Brogie was our Thanksgiving baby. Our middle child. The baby we thought we couldn't have.

God has blessed us with a fiesty, beautiful boy.

A Reprint

Just for Melissa. :)

Thought your day was bad???

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

If a Boy Finds a Marker......

...he will color on his face.

Friday, November 18, 2005

We're Still Here!

Blogging has been sparse lately as we try to put our house back in order. Once the basement was finished, we started moving things downstairs. With the littles helping, we just told them to put anything they could carry into the Red Room and the storage room. They did just that. It looks as if they walked into those rooms and simply dropped the items they were carrying and then went back up for more.

But hey, they got all the stuff downstairs.

While we've concentrated on getting all the stuff downstairs, the upstairs has suffered and badly needs to be cleaned. I hate having things out of place and it's stressing me out.

Tonight M. and I spent a good hour readying Braden's surprise bedroom. He is at an age where he wants to read in bed after the littles go to bed, or listen to a different CD, etc. We've decided to let him have his own room for now. At some point, the boys will likely move in together again, but for now this will be a nice treat.

He has no idea it's coming. M. will take all the boys to breakfast and Toys R Us tomorrow morning, while I move items from one room to another. We'll surprise him when they get back. There was no time to decorate it, so it looks a bit sparse. (Imagine James' room at Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker's house in "James and the Giant Peach.") Hopefully he'll settle on a non-Bionicle theme and we can start to make it look a little more homey.

On a completely different note, M. and I can both calm down now. Our wills were finalized and notarized today. Wonder-lawyer drove all the way out to our neck of the "woods" and we got all of the official papers done.

Up until today, we'd been teasing each other that neither of us could die until the papers were done:

" You be strong, you survive... You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you. "

Such a bad line from such a sad movie, but it's fun to toss it out unexpectedly in conversations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In Which Braden Learns to Judge a Book By its Cover.

At Braden's regular bedtime, I found him reading. As usual, I started making the customary attention-getting noises and gestures indicating that it was time for him to put the book away and go to bed. He looked up and begged me to let him finish. It was really "interesting" (code for, "I'm not sure how to describe it, but 'interesting' is a safe word to go with.") and he wanted to finish it.

I flipped the cover over to see what it was and discovered that he was halfway through a children's adaptation of "Hamlet."

Me: "Um, Braden, I'm willing to let you finish that book, but I want you to know that it does not have a happy ending."
Him: "It doesn't?"
Me: "No. It doesn't even come close to having a happy ending. Not even a glimmer. If you're concerned about sleeping tonight, you may want to put that book down and come back to it tomorrow morning."
Him: "No. I think it'll be okay. It's not so sad right now."


15 minutes later he finds me in the kitchen.

Him: "Every major character is dead. 10 people. 10 people are dead."
Me: "Really? That many? Who's left?"
Him: "Pretty much just Horatio."
Me: "Lucky guy."
Him: "Yorick was dead before the book started, but I counted him anyway because he was still a casualty. Why did you let me read that book? Why didn't you stop me?"
Me: "I tried. You wanted to read it. It was 'interesting.' "
Him: "But I had no idea people would die."

At this point in the conversation I walk over to his chair, grab the book, and pointedly show him the cover. "You didn't know people were going to die? Look at the cover. It has a picture of a guy holding a skull in one hand and a knife in the other. Did that not tip you off even a little?"

Braden: "Oh."

So now he's in bed, listening to a Chronicles of Narnia CD and trying to think happy thoughts as he goes to sleep. As much as I feel for him having read a tragedy just before bedtime, he has learned some key things:

1. Listen to your Mama. She is almost always right.
2. If a book has something horrible *on* it, there's probably something horrible *in* it.
3. Not all stories are light and amusing. Not all stories are adventurous. Some are dark and unsettling.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mishmash, HodgePodge, and Some Other Stuff.

Do you know where I am right now? Guess where I am right now?

I’m in our new basement, typing on the computer! Minutes ago I was a mere 3 feet away loafing on the couch and watching television!

Yes, our basement is now semi-furnished! Mr. G. and his family came over today for a spontaneous lunch and to “perform an act of mercy” by helping lug our two amazingly heavy couches downstairs. I thought the task was going to do him in. However, he was quickly revived by a dish of ice cream and all is well. We sent him home in one piece, and hopefully tomorrow will find him dutifully replacing his window wells.

(I’m teasing. His children read this blog, and I’m assuming they’ll be reading this aloud to him, so I wanted to get some good-natured teasing in.)

(You guys are laughing, right?)

Anyway, thanks to Mr. G. we now have a place to sit in our family room. M. spent the rest of the afternoon setting up the tv downstairs. I cleaned upstairs, and am amazed at how much bigger our living room looks now that we got 2 couches, a dresser (holds our dvds and vhs tapes), and the tv/radio paraphanelia out of there!

The boys and I have been schlepping books, toys, and games downstairs to the toy room. There are no shelves in there yet, so everything is stacked around the small room in neat, little piles. Brogan was such a good helper! He really likes to help, when you catch him in the right mood. If everyone is working together on a project, he loves being right there pitching in.

Hopefully by next weekend we’ll have more things put away down here, and we’ll slowly lose the moving in look. I’ll post pictures soon. But first I have to find my camera……

Happily, our basement no longer looks pink now that we have some furniture down here. The hallway is still pretty pink, but I think if I just get some light bulbs that are tinted a bit differently and hopefully that will take care of it.

Yesterday was warm and beautiful, so we went to the park. Well, first we went to the AWANA Grand Prix to watch Braden race his car. He raced 4 times, and had a great time. This was the first year he’s been able to participate. Anyway, after that we went to the park. It was very windy, but warm. We didn’t even need to wear jackets! It was hard to believe it’s well into November.

On the exciting side, we’re going to visit family up north at the beginning of December. This was somewhat of an unplanned trip, but the opportunity presented itself, and the kids have been missing everyone up there, so we grabbed our chance. Auntie T. and Uncle M. have agreed to watch the boys for a couple of nights so that M. and I can have a post-anniversary getaway. We haven’t had one of those in 3 years, I think. We can hardly wait!

On a completely different note, just for fun, here is a Spiderman film shot entirely with legos. It’s very well done, and is one of the boys’ favorites.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Well, *That's* a Relief!

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too darn weird to do anything about it!

I know what you're thinking: "What? Only 40%? What's wrong with that test?"

Nothing. Nothing at all. I will defend that test for a good long time because I now finally have proof that I am not that weird. I have test results! (So THERE, Auntie T.!)

Just 40%.
That's less weird than the average person walking around on the street!

But it's still more weird than most people I seem to know, so, you know...there's that.

How weird are you?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


This site posts examples of misused English from around the globe.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Water Babies and a Couple of Links.

Okay, I have a funny link that I think you'll enjoy, or at the very least will generate some discussion. But before I get to that I want to do a quick re-cap of the week, because a couple of kids have hit some milestones. Sort of.

Braden - Braden may well be on the way to conquering his fear of the starting blocks. He has no problem entering the pool from the side, but has been terrified to try to go off the diving board. He knows it's kind of an unreasonable fear, but until now has been content to live with it.

But this week saw the arrival of his first "Splash" magazine from the Swimming Association. It explained the structure of swimming competitions, the four strokes, etc. He was intrigued by the idea of international competition. This led to lots of discussion about competition, setting goals, hard work, etc. He decided that his first goal on his way to internationl competition is to learn how to dive. His second goal will be to learn how to do the breaststroke and butterfly.

Not a huge milestone, this, but he is not a natural goal-setter or fear-conqueror, so this is a good step forward for him!

Brogan - On Monday we went to the homeschool swim in a nearby town. We drove for 30 minutes to play at a fun zero-depth pool. It had slides, and floating things to climb on, and sprinklers spraying kids at random. Brogan, in a desperate attempt to show me he's mature enough for swimming lessons of his own, jumped in from the side of the pool and went completely underwater...... and came up sputtering, but smiling. He discovered that he liked jumping into the pool and going under. And so he did that for much of the time we were at the pool.

By the end of the swim time he'd learned:
a) Jumping in is fun!!!
b) Before you jump, you should close your mouth. It's hard not to swallow water when you forget to close your mouth because you're smiling.
c) It's okay to close your eyes too.

This is one boy who'll likely be getting swim lessons for his birthday.

Colson- At swim time Colson learned that he can slide down the very realistic-looking giant dragon slide and not be eaten.

Also, today we ventured from the house twice without a diaper. He kept his big boy undies dry the entire time! Woo-hoo! I'm sensing freedom from diapers very soon!

Okay, now for the fun link. I came across this link yesterday while searching through the Ramblin' Educat's archives.

(Above photo is from Sally and Johnny's site.)

I thought the page was very witty and well done. Don't miss the "Your Letters" and "Your Testimonials" pages. I loved the comments that were sent in. So many people found so many ways of looking at this! And the Testimonials page proved that there are many funny people out there in cyber-space.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Overheard From the Backseat on the Way to Church

Colson: (Growling) RRRRRRrrrrrrr!!!!! I'm Hulk!!

Brogan: You're milk.

Colson: (Tearfully) Noooooo!!! I not milk. I Hulk!!! (sniffle)

*** A full 30 seconds of silence***

Brogan: You're milk.

Colson: (cries) Oh! He called me milk again!! Waaaaaaaaah!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Feeling badly About Yourself? Read This Entry and Watch Your Spirits Soar!!

So this afternoon Colson and I hit the town to run errands. We went to Hobby Lobby to buy the making of Christmas presents. Then we drove to Best Buy to pick up a cable and tried unsuccessfully to buy a refill ink cartridge for our printer. (Curses!! Foiled by Dell again!!) The last stop was to the grocery store to buy ingredients for the soup and pies for tomorrow's potluck at church.

At the grocery store checkout, Colson flirted with the clerk and chatted with the bagboy. (He's always in his element in places like the grocery store. He loves having lots of people to wave and say hi to.) The checkout clerk tickled Colson and then said to me, "He's so cute!! Are you the mom or the grandma?"

I froze. I'm quite certain that time stopped. Not sure I heard her correctly, I asked, "What?"

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bagboy cover his face with one of his hands. Smart boy. He must have a mother or sisters who taught him well, because he knew the clerk had made a serious faux pas, even if the clerk did not.

And she clearly did not, because she repeated her question: "I asked if you were his mom or his grandma?"

I looked at her from under hooded eyelids, trying not to glare or get cobra-necked (as Crib Chick would say). With probably too much force I said, "I'm his mother!"

It was at this point that the clerk realized her error, and tried valiantly to retrace her steps and make amends. She talked rapidly in a slightly higher-pitched voice as the bagboy packed my cart with lightning speed and sympathetic glances. I really don't remember much of what she said. I just heard," Blah, blah, blah, Ginger."

I sat in the car afterwards and called a friend with a great sense of humor, simply because I knew he'd be able to make me laugh.

It was just this summer that I blogged about receiving my AARP membership age 34! Being asked if I'm a grandmother was quite a blow to my ego, and came from a completely unexpected direction. It's probably good that we have these moments from time to time.

I'm sure everyone will understand why the cookies Colson and I bought for dessert tonight never made it home!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Magical Mystery Basement

I think I may have made a serious error in judgement.

We've just finished our basement, and the paint color I picked for the majority of the basement has chameleon qualities that I did not anticipate. It changes color as the light changes, and as this room is facing east, we see lots of changes through out the day.

The paint chip color we picked was "Mineral Dust" - a sort of a slate-colored chip. I nice, light, neutral grey, with a hint of beige. But after they painted, we noticed it had a definite mauve quality, sometimes looking even a bit lavender. We thought it was just because we hadn't installed the flooring yet, and everything would look normal after the carpet was put in.


Look! Sometimes the walls look grey, sometimes lavender, sometimes a rosy pink.

The paint used on the walls in the hall and the family room is the same. Lights and sunlight affect the color dramatically.

This last picture shows, sort of, the color we were going for.

A pink basement will not sit well in a house with 4 men. There's too much testosterone in this house to pull off a pink family room.

How can I fix this? I think I can get painting done by the time M. comes home this week to recover most of this. If I just choose a lighter grey and paint over the top, will the darker chameleon paint bleed through too much?