No Harm Done

Sunday, December 31, 2006

How Do I Love Thee?

I have no words to describe my love affair with You Tube.

I love that it allows me to upload videos of my children for my family and friends to see.

I love that I can watch creative videos made by people much funnier than myself.

And I love that I can locate obscure pieces of television footage like this one:

This commercial made me smile everytime it came on. Even the boys loved it! (Well, the two that we had at the time. ) We haven't seen Joe Boxer in several years, and I'm thrilled to find that someone has put it on You Tube. 15 seconds of joy. You can't help but smile.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Welcome to the Family!

We have two new additions to our family!

After a suitably long mourning period, we purchased two new fish for our fish tank. Brogan picked out another orange goldfish and a "black moor" goldfish. At the time of this writing they've been here for nearly three weeks and are still alive and looking healthy!

Brogan has been very responsible and feeds them every morning, right when he wakes up.

He named them "Grease" and "Lightning." I'll give you 3 guesses which soundtrack we've been listening to at our house. (And the first two guesses don't count!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Dubious Honor

A month or so ago, I sent in a short video clip to the Glenn Beck TV show. It was nothing spectacular, or particularly newsworthy. We listen to the Glenn Beck radio show almost daily, and Colson likes to imitate him. I taped Colson's imitation and sent it in to the show, thinking someone might get a kick out of it.

Last week, a package from CNN arrived at our house. Inside was this:

An "i Report For CNN" t-shirt.

I was, at first, confused. Why are they sending me a shirt? It took me a bit to realize that this must have something to do with then Glenn Beck show. (This was not an immediate realization, as Glenn's show is on CNN Headline News and, in my head at least, that was a completely different channel.)

After poking around the website I found that if you send a video in and they use it, they send you a shirt. So, either they used the clip, or someone thought it was cute and sent a shirt anyway.

Here's the thing: I do not watch CNN. I don't like CNN. I'm simultaneously honored and embarrassed.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's Brogan's Turn

Brogan started piano this fall. He's in the beginning book, and as soon as he finishes he gets to have "real" piano lessons with a "real" piano teacher. (i.e. not me)

He is very proud of this song, and though he makes a small mistake, he catches it and then corrects it.

Colson is providing the (ahem) background ambiance.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Braden's new coach does not resemble this picture. I just like having another occasion to post it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Okay, I'll admit that last post was pretty painful. But even after 5 years it makes me laugh.

Here's a clip worth watching, performed by men who can sing. It's funny as well. :)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's That Time Of Year!

Gabcast! Blog Test #1

This is one of my favorite Christmas Carols. Every year I hear many variations and arrangements of this song, but this one is by far the most memorable. Aunt D. sent it to me back in 2001 or 2002. It's origin is surrounded in mystery, but internet urban legend says that it was an audition tape submitted to a church several years ago. Only the artist knows for sure....

Stick with it until the end!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blogging's been light lately, as I've been working on this year's Christmas letter. I love the annual Christmas letters that everyone sends this time of year. We tape up the photos and cards around a prominent doorway so that we can see them and marvel at how everyone's changed over the year.

I also love putting our family card together. Here's a link to last year's card. This year our card involves a bit more effort, art-work-wise. But it's coming along......

For now, though, I'll jump back to before Thanksgiving when M. was gone for a week. That was a really difficult week, coming on the heels of two shorter 2 and 3 day away trips. The kids are I were wiped out. And it's not like we got many breaks from each other's company: swim practice here, a Bible study there; it didn't add up to much.

So on the final Friday of M.'s absence I cancelled school, packed all the boys in the van, and we drove to the big city. I don't mind driving in big cities, so long as I have an idea where I'm going. (The last time we drove to this part of the big city, I slept through the busiest part of the drive.) Armed with MapQuest printouts, money for tolls, and my AAA card, we hit the road.

Our first stop was the big mall in the big city where we feasted at the Rain Forest Cafe. It's a jungle-themed restaurant, with animatronic animals, and giant fish tanks. The atmosphere is wonderful, and it's the only place we've eaten where M. and I don't have to constantly entertain the boys while waiting for food to arrive. The activity and environment of the restaurant does that for us. Brogan and Braden remembered eating here, but Colson didn't so he was a little freaked out when the monkeys and gorillas nearby began to act up.

(Rain Forest Cafe Exterior)

(Rain Forest Cafe Interior and Sky Scene)

(The boys watching the thunderstorm)

I love going to restaurants with Braden because he doesn't order off the kid's menu anymore, and he has quite an adventurous palatte. It's so much fun to watch the waiter's face when he orders: " I'd like the crab legs with roasted vegetables please. And a Ceasar salad. Oh! And a chocolate milk in a grown-up sized glass, please."

At the Rain Forest Cafe, he ordered the shrimp and calamari appetizer platter. (The appetizers were huge!) Afterwards, he asked the waiter what calamari was, who hesitated before asking me, "Should I tell him?" Upon hearing that he was eating squid, Braden just said, "Won't Dad be excited to hear I ate squid and liked it!!"

After lunch it was off to the merry-go-round in the mall.

After the mall, we drove through part of the big city to find some apartments I'd lived in when I was very small, and a park that our family used to play at. It was a gorgeous day, and the boys and I had fun playing on the equipment.

Finally we visited the apartments.

Before heading home we visited Starbucks for hot cocoa and coffee. We read children's books while we sipped, and that was fun until I realized that it was getting awfully close to rush hour, and in the big city during rush hour on a Friday with three tired children is not someplace I wanted to be.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rest In Peace Yakko and Wakko.

You were dearly loved, and will be missed.

(Nov. 21, 2006 - Dec. 5 and 7, 2006)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What a week!

Brogan's birthday was so big it took a week to include it all!

We began on Monday with Braden's present: a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and a soda. I was so impressed with Braden giving a gift that he knew Brogan would love, and my heart melted further when I heard Braden say, "Hey Brogan! Let's go get our picture taken together." He sprung for a pencil-sketch done of the two of them. So sweet!

On Tuesday we surprised Brogan with a trip to the pet store. He's long wanted pets, but with allergy issues in the home (and a mother with serious pet hair "issues") , furry pets are out. But fish are allowed, so we left the store that day with two goldfish and a "mystery snail." Why is it called a mystery snail, you ask?

I don't know. THAT'S a mystery.

Ba- DUM- bum.

Ah, friends, if I only had a nickel for every time I've heard that joke in the past two weeks.....well,...... I'd have LOTS of nickels.

Here's a photo of our fish "Yakko" and "Wakko," and the snail "Dot."

Well, it's mostly a picture of the tank, but trust me - they're in there.

Wednesday we had the birthday dinner of giant pancakes. We celebrated Wednesday, because Thursday was Thanksgiving and it would've overshadowed the celebration. My parents sent some cute clothes for Hubert: cowboy hat, boots, and overalls.

At the Black Friday sales, Grandma S. found clothes for Brogan to match.

We also set up the bunk beds again. Brogan's been waiting to sleep up on top like a big boy.

Birthday weekend also saw lots of swordplay.