Friday, June 30, 2006

Let me sum up...

I'm still here, just haven't been in a blogging mood lately. It's been a busy week, what with getting Emily off to camp (I'm guessing she's had a good time; I haven't heard from her all week) and shuttling kids to swim lessons and gymnastics classes. The boys will be continuing classes for the next 2 weeks; Halle's class was all booked up for the next 2 sessions, so I won't be able to get her in until near the end of July, unless someone cancels. I have her waitlisted for a class during the same timeframe as the boys', just in case.

We went to see Superman Returns tonight. I enjoyed it... there were several times that Brandon Routh's characterization made me think of Christopher Reeve. It was a little long for Joel, I think... he actually fell asleep about 20 minutes before the end.

We'll be spending the weekend getting ready for a 4th of July cookout. Brian has invited his students and their families here for the afternoon. We could have around 20 folks here, including children. It won't be anything fancy... just burgers and hot dogs. I'll make a big bowl of pasta salad and some desserts (yogurt pies and cherry dump cake). Brian's boss/partner is bringing a couple of things as well. Thankfully I won't have to worry about the house too much.... Merry Maids is coming for their regular visit on Monday, so they'll have the house in good shape for Tuesday.

One last item in the "kids are funny" department: A few minutes ago, Noah was playing with an old BK Kid's Meal toy that shines a red light, kind of like a laser pointer. The dog will go nuts chasing after it. Anyhow, Noah decided to point it at the front of Brian's pants (in a strategic location, if you get my meaning), to see what Campbell would do. Of course, Campbell jumped and snapped at it. Luckily for Brian, he got nothing but air. This scene was played over for laughs several times. Yeah. My kids have wicked senses of humor. I won't venture a guess as to where they got them from.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The day after

So yesterday was my birthday.... a day not much different than others, except that Brian brought home flowers and we went out to dinner. We tried a new place called BJ's. It was loud and the food was just so-so. Afterwards, we stopped in at Coldstone Creamery for a cup of ice cream. Even the ice cream was just so-so. Maybe my taste buds were off or something.

So today will be full of doing things I didn't do yesterday, like laundry. At least there are no lessons to rush off to this morning. I shouldn't have to leave the house at all, unless Emily is missing something she needs to take to camp. I will be taking her to Martinez tomorrow to ride the bus with a bunch of other kids headed to Sierra Bible Camp.

I'll leave you with this little exchange that took place over MSN Messenger yesterday while Halle was using my computer. She messaged my brother/sister-in-law:

Karen: hi

Brother: Happy Birthday! Are you having a good one?

Karen: i am halle

Brother: Hi, Halle! How are you?? Is your mom having a birthday party today?

Halle: no

Brother: What are you doing this summer?

Halle nothing

Brother:That doesn't sound like fun! I'll bet you'll do some playing with friends, reading, playing dress-up - fun stuff like that. Of course, I guess you can always help Mom & Dad with cleaning and dishes and stuff.

Halle: can i go

Brother: Sure. Bye!

Wonder why she initiated the conversation if she wasn't so keen to converse?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Playing catch-up

Just realized I hadn't posted since Saturday. As usual, we've been kinda busy. We started out Father's Day with cards from me and the kids, then presented Brian with his present... a new office chair. His old one was nothing more than a folding chair that matched the tables here in the school room. This one is a nice leather Lane high-back desk chair. He is very pleased with it. We wound up going to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch after church. Brian's first choice was Benihana, but a call to them ahead of time confirmed that they had been booked up for a week.

After we got home, Brian spent the afternoon working out in the back yard, digging up weeds and rocks. He enjoys yard work, so for him that was as good as sitting around watching baseball or golf on the TV would be for some guys. Emily and I were going to go back over to Antioch for youth group, but a check of the website showed some nasty traffic, so we ended up staying over here and going to see The DaVinci Code. I neither loved it nor hated it. It's not one I'd watch again, though.

The 3 younger kids started swim lessons yesterday. They're enjoying them. Of course, it's too early to tell whether they'll move on to the next class or not, except for Joel; he will definitely progress.... the class is basically a "getting used to playing in the water" kind of class, which he really doesn't need. But he can't take the beginning swimming class until he "passes" this one. I think it's kind of a racket. At any rate, they might not even be able to get into any more classes this summer.... last time I checked, most of the classes were booked up already!

Halle tried out a gymnastics class at Joel's gym this afternoon and liked it a lot. The coaches said they thought she would be ready for the next level class in about a month or so. So now we have 2 kids in gymnastics. Halle's class starts a half hour after Joel's, so it only adds 30 minutes to our time at the gym on Tuesdays. Once she moves to the next level, their classes will be at the same time.

Our landlord called this afternoon and now he is planning on paying for the sprinkler system and lawn for the back yard. How fortunate for us! Surprisingly, though, he is having the same guy who did the patio give him an estimate on the work. I am really amazed, considering he wasn't the most reliable person. However... since it's not my money, I'll keep my opinions to myself.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Dough as in $$, that is.

The kids and I went to a double feature last night at the base theater... talk about a bargain! We saw 2 movies for $14 in admission. That's less than we would have paid to see just 1 movie at the regular theater. So what if the movies aren't first run? Hoot hasn't been out all that long, and it was one we hadn't had a chance to see yet, anyhow. The kids all enjoyed it. Stick It was one we'd seen, but we were all keen on seeing again. I think I was able to catch some stuff I missed the first time around.

Emily and I hit the mall for a little while today and she found a cute dress on sale at JCPenney. The regular price was $49.99.... on sale for $19.99. Can't beat that. It was in her favorite colors, to boot.

Came home to rehydrate myself (the temps are up here.... upper 90s) and then ran to the BX to pick up a bread machine. Brian suggested I go get it for my birthday next week. Another good deal: $149 for the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Machine (gosh, what a mouthful!), sold elsewhere for $199. My old machine was messed up in the move, and I hadn't had time to replace it. I'm looking forward to the aroma of homemade bread in the mornings again.

In other dough-related news, Brian talked with our landlord today about a plan to expand the sprinkler system to the back yard (which is currently nothing but dirt and weeds). If we pay for the expansion, we can cut back on our rent a little each month to revert the cost back to our landlord. I thought that was a pretty cool idea... very sharp of my husband to think of that. Once we get the sprinkler installed, we'll get some sod for the back yard. I think that will be our "treat," but it will be considerably less than the sprinkler system. Funny, our landlord is surprised we want to put grass down; he says he "doesn't like grass." (He doesn't like mowing.) I guess that's why he didn't do anything with the back yard the whole 2 1/2 years he lived here.

Looking forward to celebrating Father's Day with Brian tomorrow. Can't wait to see where he picks to go for lunch after church.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

End of the road

Last night was the end of our tournament. It was a tough game; we were at the end of our pitching roster and had to use boys with next-to-no pitching experience. We were on our 4th straight day of games; our opponents had a 2-day rest and a fresh pitching lineup. You can guess the outcome. However, that doesn't change how incredibly proud the parents and coaches were of our kids. Last night marked a first in the history of our base's Little League program. No team from our base has ever made it that far (2nd place) in the district championships. This, from a team with several kids new to the game... playing against teams whose kids have been playing ball together since they were old enough to grab a bat. I never stopped to realize the inherent disadvantages our teams have; with our kids being part of a transient population, we don't have the longevity and continuity on our teams that the surrounding towns have. So this defeat was still a victory for us.

The kids were great sports about the outcome. Many were more upset that last night marked their last game to play together than that they lost the game. We have 5 boys moving on to the All Stars season. Noah wants to go to the games to cheer them on, and I imagine we will. It sure will feel nice not to have to rush off to a game tonight though. We'll even get a homecooked meal, a real rarity in our house these days!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Be still my heart

Pulses were racing last night at what I think was one of our most action-packed games yet. Our kids were up against a team that practically mopped the field with us on Sunday. But we were starting our strongest pitcher this time. We had first at bat and were able to score some runs (we had some awesome hits last night!). Paul held them in the first 3 innings... no runs. Meanwhile, we were scoring. Our kids were fielding, hitting, stealing bases (Noah stole 1st to second on one pitch and then second to home). Final score: 9-5. We play again tonight... this time against the team that is undefeated in the tournament. A win tonight means another game against them tomorrow. Otherwise, we take 2nd place, a not-too-shabby honor for this team with so many players new to the game.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just for fun

With all the rush-rush of life lately, I haven't had much time to mention some of the fun stuff I keep running across... memes, videos, blogthings, etc. The house is quiet, and I'm the only one up, so here's my chance.

First up: YouTube. You name it, you can find it here. Videos of every description (and some that defy description). One such video is this one of David Lee Roth's appearance on The Tonight Show last week. Appropriately enough, he appeared on 6/6/06 to promote his new CD, "Strummin' With the Devil," which includes this bluegrass rendition of "Jump." I am torn between laughing and running screaming from the room. However, this video is a very cool and original idea. Tip of the hat to The Blue Sloth for turning me on to it. I would have embedded the videos here, but my center column isn't wide enough. :(

More video fun, this time from a musical comedy duo from Canada. Click here to see them perform "Working Where The Sun Don't Shine (The Colorectal Surgeon's Song)." (That is a Windows Media link... if you prefer Quicktime, try this one.)

And finally: Some Blogthings.

Have fun looking around. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with an update on tonight's ballgame.

Monday, June 12, 2006

You lose some, you win some!

Back from yet another ball game "away." This time it was a victory... 16-2. Our kids were on their games tonight (can't say "boys", because we have 2 girls, sisters, on our team). I think every single one of them had something they could point to in tonight's game as their contribution to the win, whether it was a hit, stolen bases, or fielding. Even Noah had some great stolen bases, plus he "took one for the team" to get on base. This win means another game tomorrow evening. We'll have a bit of a rush for me to get there from Joel's gymnastics class. I volunteered to bring snacks, so I'll be shopping for those in the morning.


Emily is starting up a dog-walking business with a friend. They're meeting tomorrow to plan out their route. Her friend put up flyers today and has already had response to them, so it looks like they might actually make a little spending $$ this summer.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fun and not so fun

Fun: So the little ones and I wound up going to the movies again yesterday while the boys were watching the Giants lose to the Pirates. We saw "RV." It was a fun movie... plenty of visual comedy for the younger crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if JoJo's character hadn't reminded me so much of my oldest, I would have enjoyed it even more. If I really thought taking our family RVing would cure her attitude, I'd be first in line at the rental place!

Not so fun: This morning's game was not as much fun. The team we played was well-experienced and very skilled. Thankfully, we did not have to play the double-header... another team had dropped out of the tournament, so they just left the slot open and gave the team we would have played a bye. We play that team tomorrow at 5:30.

Fun: After the game, we grilled hotdogs and then had an impromptu kids vs. parents baseball game. Everyone had a great time. Even Joel played, and Halle was a pinch-runner. I forgot the sunblock today, so I am sporting a bit of a reverse raccoon face right now. And no, I won't be posting any pictures. :)

Not so fun: The rest of the day will be spent with various household chores before heading over to Antioch to pick up Emily from youth group this evening. (Fun)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Giants and little people

Brian and Noah are off to see the San Francisco Giants play this afternoon. They took the ferry from Vallejo. Those two are learning how to get around... they are the only ones who have been anywhere in the Bay area by any method other than POV (privately-owned vehicle). They took the BART last winter to see a Raiders football game and now the ferry to this Giants game. Hopefully the rest of us will get a chance to try out these modes of transportation some day.

I drove Emily over to Antioch to participate in a service day with the youth group. We got there about 5 minutes after starting time and there were only two other teens there. I left them weeding the flowerbeds in front of the church building. Em is spending the night with some friends from church so she can go to church in the morning. The rest of us will be at Noah's baseball game (grr... I hate having to miss church for baseball.) Noah has a 10:00 game; if his team wins, he goes back Monday night at 8. Otherwise, he will have to play another game at 1:00. If that game is won, he has to go back Monday at 5:30. We are hoping for a 10am win. A 1pm win would play havoc with driving times.

Now on to the little people. With Emily gone and the big boys in San Francisco for the day, that leaves just me and the little ones. Looking for something to entertain them with... while still making a trip to the commissary for some necessities. Hmmm... time to search the paper for something to do.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Numbers game

Number of days till clean kitchen floor became sticky: 3 (I think that's a record.)

Number of times the van was filled up since last Friday: 4 (another record)

Number of practices Noah had this week: 4

Number of stars we give the new Disney/Pixar movie Cars: 5

Yes, we were among the many people thronging to the theater this afternoon to catch the latest from Pixar and were not disappointed. The soundtrack was great and the jokes were fun. The kids (and adults) loved how Pixar spoofed itself near the end, with "remakes" of some of its big hits, retitled to fit the car theme. I loved Larry the Cable Guy as Mater.... he was a hoot. Owen Wilson was a great choice for Lightning McQueen, and Paul Newman captured the character of Doc Hudson perfectly. I have to mention Bonnie Hunt... her characterization of Sally was all Bonnie. I'm not sure I could understand how anyone could see this movie and not like it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A merry new day

Today is our initial cleaning day with Merry Maids. A team of 2 women have been here a little over 3 hours... I'm hoping that has more to do with the size of our house than how dirty it is! I think they are close to being finished, and so far, I am pretty impressed. It is strange to have people cleaning around you while you do apparently nothing (although Brian might say I have a lot of experience at that). Actually, I did fold and put away laundry in my bedroom while one of them was cleaning the master bathroom. Emily, however, refuses to work on folding and putting away her laundry until they are totally gone from the house.

Joel begins his new gymnastics class this evening. I'm looking forward to watching him again. Noah has a ball practice scheduled for the same time. Thank goodness that Brian is supposed to be home in time to take him.

Last night we booked airline tickets for August to go back to the midwest to visit family and friends. It will be a quick trip... we have to hurry back for Emily to start school. Next step is to reserve a rental van and book the kennel for the dog. Too bad I couldn't just find someone to stay in the house with him and the rat while we're gone.

Monday, June 05, 2006


With such a horrendously busy weekend, I had no time to post the sensational news that Noah's team won the minor league championship at the base. Now they play in Dixon this weekend (Sunday morning, of all times... but that's a subject for another post). They have 4 practices scheduled this week to get them ready to go. Let's hope it pays off.

There is much more to write, but no time to write it. Maybe tomorrow.

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