No Harm Done

Sunday, April 30, 2006

For the Discerning Palate


Looks delicious, doesn't it?

Know what it is? It's ice cream. Topped with chocolate sauce. The chocolate sauce is topped with....anyone?.......anyone?.......corn flakes.

Yup. Kellogg's corn flakes. On my ice cream. I had them in my pantry because I used some to make "Funeral Potatoes" for Easter.

When I was an exchange student in Costa Rica in college I got used to trying some odd food combinations. But this was one I actually liked: corn flakes on ice cream. It's stuck with me over the years, but no matter how many times the boys see me do it, they still give me the same facial expressions:

It's okay. Maybe it's not for everybody.

All the more for ME!!!!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Excuse Me, Do You Have The Time?

I don't know about the last two lines, but the rest of the results seem pretty accurate.

It's a little scary, actually.

You Are Noon

You are upbeat, ambitious, and never at loss for energy.
You have a lot that drives you in life. The desire to be the best, and a secret hope of fame and power.
And while you definitely have a Type A personality, you are still fun to be around.
You have a ton of charisma and a genuine interest in others. You are adored by many

If you take the test yourself, post your results in the comments.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Teach Your Children Well.

Aunt D. will appreciate today's photo.

Many, many years ago Auntie D. was my college roommate. We were roomies for all four years, and she knows me better than almost anyone.

She will readily tell you about my complete lack of fashion sense or color-matching ability. When I buy clothes I usually ask salespeople to help, or I'll match a look that I like on a display. Aunt D. is an artiste and would often pull something out of my closet and say, "You know, you could put this top with this skirt...." Or she'd lift an eyebrow as I was about to leave for class, and say," Uh-uh. Not wearing that."

Today we rushed around getting ready to go grocery shopping, and I didn't see Brogan's clothing selections until we were heading out the door. It would appear that he has inherited his mom's fashion sense:

Allow me to detail the outfit for you: Hunter orange shirt, bright blue Hawaiian shorts with shocking red flowers (despite the fact that it was cold, windy, and rainy today), black knee socks, one white sock with sharks on it on top of the black sock, and black sandals.

And I'll answer the unasked question: Yes, I did let him leave the house like this. He has the rest of his life to match his clothes. I want him to enjoy these years when he's small enough to get away with black knee socks and Hawaiian shorts. He won't be able to do that again until he's retired!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Resurrection Recap

Well, I thought I'd get to this before now, but we've been unexpectedly quite busy this week. So family and friends have had to wait until today to finally see pictures from our Easter weekend.

If you are the sort that groans inwardly when friends and relatives pull out their slide projectors, video cameras, or home movie dvds then you'd better click away now. Please come back tomorrow or Monday. This entry is all about pictures of cute kids.

Last week saw temps into the low 90s, so Friday was a bit cooler and only hit 88 degrees. We begand the day with a trip to our local zoo and park. Everyone else was there too, and we actually had to wait in line to get into the zoo!

Before the zoo, though, we all piled into the park train and rode around the park. Colson kept leaning out the side to try to see what was in front of the train. Thankfully Grandma had a firm grip on his overalls.

We spent a lot of time at the zoo. Most of the animals were out and active. One of the boys' favorite spots at the zoo is a giant statue of a lion. They love to climb on its back and pretend they're riding it.

This is a picture of Cousin J. and Colson.

After the zoo we were all tired, but not too tired to set up the Slip 'N' Slide!!

Poor Braden got sunburned, but he said it was worth it.


Saturday we pretty much just hung around the house. Cousin J. built an impressive fort in the boys' room. Colson was thrilled to be able to nap in it.

The karaoke machine got a workout too. It was fun listening to the kids try to belt out songs from the Beach Boys and miscellaneous Disney soundtracks.


After church the kids helped wash cars while I readied dinner. Our family likes a late "dinnertime dinner," while our visitors prefer a "lunchtime dinner." We compromised with a late-afternoon dinner.

It was warm out, but the breeze chilled Colson a bit. He was torn between helping wash cars and trying to stay warm.

After dinner came Grandma's Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Roll Call!

Brogan and Colson planted 4 pots of flowers with Grandma. They've been pretty good about keeping them watered.

Before bed the kids enjoyed one last storytime with Grandma. Storytime started in the living room (where this photo lets you see a glimpse of the new wall color).....

.... and then migrated into the bedroom.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Freeze Frame

I haven't blogged much over the past week as we've had lots of family come to visit. I'll post photos of their visit over the next couple of days.

Tonight I continued with me "Residence-aissance" by sorting through photos to decide which to hang. I have several frames that I've set aside to hang in the stairway, and have been searching through photos to pick ones I want to hang there.

During my search I came across some photos from a trip to visit my family 2 summers ago, I think. Brogan was only 3 and still little enough and fearless enough to love having my brother throw him around in the backyard.

The photos are not current, but I love looking at them and thought it'd be fun to post them.

Here is Cameron flipping Brogan.

Here he is spinning Brogan kind of like you'd twirl a baton in front of you, but with 2 hands.

But here are my absolute favorite pictures of the group. The following will hang in my hallway in a frame that holds three pictures. Follow along closely. You have to view them in order.

Photo 1. First Cam threw Braden as high as he could in the air and then caught him on the way back down.

2. Next, Cam threw his son A. in the air and caught him.

3. Finally, Cam threw Brogan. Can you spot him?

I managed to take this picture before Brogan left the shot altogether. I think my heart stopped at this time, but Brogan and Cam thought it was hilarious.

Brogan's a bit heavier now, so I doubt we'll see a repeat of this trick when we visit again this summer. I'll have to keep a close eye on Colson, though.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

There Was a Little Girl, Who Had a Little Curl......

For those who do not know me in real life, I have dark brown hair that can be either wavy or curly, depending upon the amount of humidity in the air, the wind speed, or how much caffeine I've consumed. (I just can't quit you!) On a good hair day I can achieve ringlets, and all is well with the world.

For years I've battled with my hair. As a 3rd grader I hated the bangs in my eyes, and when my mother would not drop what she was doing and cut them right that very minute, I decided to cut them myself. I cut them so short they didn't really even qualify as "bangs," and walked around with my hand over my forehead for an hour or so hoping my mother would not notice what I'd done.

In high school I tried to grow my short hair out, but short curly hair made me look like gameshow host Bert Convy.

In college, I often had my hair permed, just so the waves would be consistent throughout. By the time I started having children, I gave up and just let it go curly.

I'm content with my curls, and everyone tells me how much they wish they had curly hair, but I never quite believe them. So many of the cute, trendy hairstyles out there now can only be pulled off by women with straight hair. I (not so) secretly envy women with straight, trendy hair.

Last night I went for a haircut and the stylist mentioned that she also had curly hair. I was surprised, as her hair was long and beautiful, but very straight. She explained that she flat-ironed her hair. She demonstrated on a small section of my hair, and within seconds the hair was smooth and straight, without a trace of wave or frizz.

I was astounded. Why have I never heard of this thing called a "flat iron?"

I'm always up for a new look, and we decided that after the cut she'd flat-iron it for me. As she worked, I tried to imagine myself with straight hair. I imagined the boys' surprised looks and M.'s adoring glances when I walked in the door.

Afterwards, while gazing upon the "new" me, I learned that my smooth, smooth hair would not give me a trendy movie-star look. I looked more like Elvira.

Well, not so much like Elvira. More like Elvira's chubbier, bespectacled sister.

My head looked two sizes too small, and I think I was a couple of inches shorter.

I did enjoy watching M. try to think of something to say that wouldn't land him on the couch that night. He finally managed to say something like, "That's not your best look." Once he realized that I was not thrilled with it either he visibly relaxed.

M. and the boys spent a lot of time running their fingers through my hair because it felt so different. It was kind of like when a boy gets a buzz cut; you just can't help brushing your hand back and forth across the top of his head.

Today it was back to curly, and we're all a bit happier.

While I was searching for Elvira photos, I looked for a famous catchphrase of hers. I couldn't find one, but I did find a quote that made me chuckle:

"And tell them... tell them that when all is said and done, I only ask that people remember me by two simple words. [Stops to think] Any two, as long as they're simple. "

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Boy By any Other Name....

Today was the first day of standardized testing. Our homeschool group commandeers a local church for 3 days and runs it like a mini-school. The kids are divided up by grade level, with each grade level having its own proctor. Kids come with sack lunches and have recess breaks on the church’s playground. It’s a lot of fun!

This year I had the opportunity to proctor the exam for the high schoolers. They are a nice bunch of kids. It surprised me how quiet they all were, refusing many of my attempts at small talk and thereby triggering memories of my tortured high school years, but then I realized that:
a) They didn’t really know each other, and
b) It was 8:30 am, and
c) No coffee was allowed in the exam room.

While I was with the high school kids, Brogan and Colson were in the nursery. They had a great time playing with the other kids. At lunchtime they got to eat with me in the cafeteria. Two high school boys sat near us and Colson entertained them while they ate. It’s hard to look cool while a small two year old is pretending to burp and make faces at you. The more Colson hammed it up, the more they laughed. The more they laughed, the more goofy his antics became.

Braden had fun in his class and seemed to think the tests went well. But at the end of the day, while we all herded our children from the playground to our cars, Braden’s teacher approached me. She started off by telling me that she wanted to talk to me about something that happened during class. My stomach sank and I prepared for bad news.

She told me that she couldn’t remember Braden’s name and that she’d accidentally called him “Brandon” all day. She’d felt badly, but couldn’t seem to remember his name.

At the end of the day, as the kids left her room, she pulled Braden aside and apologized for not being able to remember his name. She’d promised him that tomorrow she’d do better.

Braden breezily replied, “Oh, that’s all right. I rather enjoy correcting you,” and left the room.

She was still chuckling when she found me later.

That’s my boy!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Our Renaissance

This week I begin to implement "Phase 2" in my spring cleaning plan. Last week I emptied and decluttered and cleaned every cupboard/ drawer/ and shelf on the main floor.

It's more than a "renaissance."

It's a "residence-aissance."

Okay, that sounded better in my head.

This week I paint. I'm starting with the living room/hallway/staircase walls. Then I move on to re-paint the "Red Room" in the basement. I loved the colors on the paint chips, but on the walls they didn't say "This room makes a bold, colorful statement!" They said, "This room is pink!"

I have a list of chores I can do while I'm waiting for the paint to dry. The boys are all staying at a friend's house during the days while I work. I think we're all excited!

I've been painting for 2.5 hours. The hallway is done. I've emptied 3 pints of Coca-Cola. ("I just can't quit you.....") 4 hours to go until I pick up the boys!

The foyer is done, now I'm starting on the living room. After that: (insert scary music here) the stairway!!!

At the end of the day, I finished everything but the wall down to the basement. I still have to touch-up, paint the accent wall, and stripe the foyer. But the base coat is on.

Apparently my talent for choosing "magical mystery paint" remains intact. The paint looks taupe on my skin, w arm tan on the walls, but decidedly melon in the sunlight. I think it'll grow on me, though.

Tomorrow we rest, and then begin again on Thursday.

Final tally:
Hours Spent Painting: 6
Liters of Soda Consumed: 2
Hours of Talk Radio Heard:4.5
Musical Soundtracks listened to: 3
Paint Drips on my Carpet: 1
Lunches Eaten: Zero (oops!)
Moments of Embarrassment When I Realized that People Outside Could Hear Me Singing: Ummm....several.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Well, I Feel Sheepish!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you for the outpouring of encouragement, support, and "Pippin" choruses in regards to my recent confession. I received many positive comments and e-mails connected to Saturday's posting.

And I am now most perplexed.

And a bit sheepish.


All I can say is......

Please take note of the date my "Fiddy" Cent entry posted.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Secrets We Hide

This blog has always tended to be more about funny observations, silly stuff on the web, or the antics of the boys. Rarely is it self-revelatory. But a movie I saw last night, combined with some news stories lately, made me wonder if others conceal a secret too. Perhaps there are friends out there who also have a hidden side. A side to themselves that even those closest to them do not know.

The movie that prompted these thoughts is, surprisingly, a Disney channel movie called “High School Musical.” The G. family loaned it to us to watch this weekend. Last night, as the rest of my family slept, I previewed it and was stunned by the line of thinking that a song brought to me.

In the song “Stick to the Status Quo” several stereotyped high schoolers sing about their secret passions as others in their cliques remind them that they should not give in to the urges. A basketball player loves to bake. A “brainiac” loves hip hop. A skateboarder plays the cello.

After each confession, the crowd sings

“No, no, no

Stick to the stuff you know
It is better by far
To keep things as they are
Don't mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo”

I have a secret.

In the interest of breaking out of stereotypes and being “real” with those who love me, I felt that this blog would be the perfect place to expose this secret passion of mine, and perhaps encourage others to do the same.

I have never tried to hide my love of musical theater. Or my dream to someday tour with the cast of "Riverdance." Or the joy I get from reading Jane Austen. Or even my bordeline-psychotic fear of both mice and fire. But I have been ashamed of my secret, and usually only indulge after the kids are in bed.

I am a huge fan of 50 Cent.

I know. I know. It’s wrong. So many people in the circles in which I run would condemn this, or hint that a “good Christian girl” would not listen to the corrupting, mindless music of “Fiddy.”

But something about his music has always spoken to me. I’m not sure what it is – the beat, the explicit lyrics, the way he hides the more adult content of his words in metaphors one would never expect. (i.e. “Candyshop)

50 is a storyteller, and his style of gangsta’ rap is all about stories. As Braden learned with “Hamlet” and “MacBeth,” not all stories are happy. Some – No. Many stories are sad, brutal, and even criminal in nature. 50 Cent tells those stories, pouring nuance and depth into his rhythms and words. Every “Huh” and “uh-nah” I hear muttered in his songs convey timeless meaning and truth.

His music truly pierces my soul.