Thursday, November 30, 2006

30 days in a row

I actually was able to make a post a day this month... amazing. There were quite a few days I probably wouldn't have written anything had it not been for trying to make the goal. Too bad other goals in my life aren't so easily achieved!

We put up the tree tonight, but that's as far as we got. There is one whole row of branches that is not lighting up, plus about 3 branches on the bottom row. (This is a pre-lit tree.) Brian will try to figure out what's up with them tomorrow or Saturday and then we'll finish decorating the tree.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pass me my crown and scepter

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


It's only 9:15, but I am already ready for bed. Last night I actually fell asleep during Heroes. Thankfully I only missed a few minutes; I would have been totally upset if I'd slept through it all. It was so cool to get to see all the backstory of the previous 6 months. It explained a lot without giving up the rest of the story.

What's your must-see TV?

Monday, November 27, 2006

What a deal

If I hadn't already preferred PetSmart to PetCo, I would certainly be changing my allegiance now. Campbell ran out of dog food this morning, so I had to go get more. After walking up and down the aisles at PetSmart and finding no trace of his usual food, I talked to one of the associates, who discovered that they were no longer going to be carrying it. The manager on duty decided to check the storeroom to see if they had any, and found 1 20-lb. bag and 6 4.5-lb. ones. She gave me a 75% discount!! I walked out with almost 50 pounds of dog food for under $20! Now that's customer service. I'll definitely keep shopping there.

What's the best deal you ever got?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Getting back into the routine

After a long week off, it's time to get the kids back on schedule, beginning with their normal bedtimes tonight. It's going to be good for us all. I know I've been staying up entirely too late and getting up much too early.

Made a dent in those movies, although I can't give a decision on my opinion of The Second Chance, since the disk had several bad spots in it and then refused to give up the last 2 scenes. I'll be checking to see if Blockbuster has another copy, or they can refund me the rental on that one.

Happy last week of November, y'all!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

You title it

Thanks to my early morning nature, I was able to get in some reading before the kids got up (and some afterwards)... I finished Robin Cook's Crisis and Diane Mott Davidson's Dark Tort. Then it was time to get Halle ready for the birthday party she was attending. I dropped her off and then had almost 2 hours to do a little shopping/browsing. I grabbed a burger and fries at Mel's Diner and then went to the Vacaville Premium Outlets. My mission there was to find a pair of sunglasses to replace my old pair that were bent and looked crooked on my face. Thankfully, there was a Sunglasses World outlet and I found just the thing. I wanted to browse PacSun, but that section of the shopping center was packed... I couldn't find a single open parking spot. So that was about the extent of my shopping. (Grace, I needed you there for some motivation.)

Fast forward to tonight... We've had dinner and the kids are all bathed and ready to settle in for the evening. The kids have a movie to watch: Spymate, and I'm hoping to watch The Second Chance. I also managed to find Disc One of the first season of House, and Memoirs of a Geisha. (I certainly won't watch all those tonight, but I can probably get them done in the next few days.)

Fabulous Friday

Well, the mother-in-law has arrived safely back in St. Louis and things are getting back to normal here. It was a good thing I hadn't planned on hitting the early-morning sales today; Brian needed my van to take his mom to the airport and his SUV had a flat tire (turned out to be an easily repaired nail puncture.... the tire place fixed it for FREE!). I didn't let that stop me from getting a little bit of Christmas shopping done online, though.

After he got home from San Francisco, I did make a run to Target to get a birthday present for a party Halle is going to tomorrow. The toy department was quite busy, but I was able to get in and out just about as quickly as I normally do.

I also stopped by the Verizon Wireless store to investigate options for possibly getting Emily a new phone for Christmas/birthday. When we got our phones a year-and-a-half ago, the phone she got was pretty basic (no camera). I found the perfect phone; the sales associate said it was just released today. It's not even at the manufacturer's website yet. Only problem is to get her a new phone right now, we would have to pay full retail on it, which is over $300. She can upgrade the first week of April and it will probably cost less than 1/2 that, with the $100 upgrade credit we'll get and whatever rebate special they'll be running at the time. Now, try to convince her she can wait until April! Anyhow, the phone seems very cool; I may upgrade mine to that one in April as well.

We took the kids to see Deck the Halls tonight. My advice: wait till video or 2nd run theater. There were so many times during the movie that I kept thinking that all I was watching was two grown men being mean to each other... and not even in a believable way. I just could not suspend belief long enough to get much enjoyment out of it. The Home Alone movies were more believable. It was sad to see Kristin Chenoweth waste her talent in this movie.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

There were 16 people in our home for Thanksgiving dinner today, counting the 6 in my immediate family. Things were a little hectic at one point, just trying to coordinate getting the food set up and ready, but once we did, it went well. We put the extra leaves in the dining room table and managed to fit all 16 of us around it. We had the 2 junior students from Brian's program here, along with their families/significant others, plus Brian's partner from work. One of the students and his family hung around afterwards and played Apples to Apples with us; part of the time our kids and theirs were playing together around the house... the girls were playing Donkey Konga and at one point the boys were all working on paper airplanes. Their oldest son is very good at folding planes and can create his own designs quite easily. It was fun to watch him. Our kids have a great time with these kids... what is so cool is that their 3 kids are the same sexes/ages as our youngest 3, so they are pretty much ideal playmates.

We've completed the cleanup and are just enjoying decompressing from the day. We'll probably wind up playing Apples to Apples and/or Scrabble again before bedtime.

Hope everyone had a great day today!

Ready or not

It has been another day of errands and things to get done. I made one last run to the commissary, hoping to get some baby bella mushrooms to make stuffed mushrooms tomorrow, but they were out. I went ahead and got a few other things I needed and then stopped by the Class Six (base liquor store) for my $1.05 cent airline bottle of Jim Beam, needed for the currant jelly/butter/bourbon glaze I use on my turkey. The cashier looked at me when I handed her the bottle and said, "Is that it?" When I replied in the affirmative, she replied, "That's not enough." I guess she was expecting me to spent $94 like the guy in front of me, with a case of Coors, a few bottles of wine, and some vodka. When I explained we didn't drink, she said, "Oh, you're using it for cooking." I guess since I wasn't buying for drinking purposes, she didn't hold me to a minimum purchase!

Anyhow, I stopped in at Safeway on the way home... no whole baby bellas there, either, but I did score some crimini that I think will work just as well. I will remove the stems and then fill them with onion and chive cream cheese before popping them in the oven for a few minutes.

After I got home, I set to work making coconut pies and dinner rolls. I made 2 coconut pies and mixed up the dough for the rolls. I'll shape and bake those tomorrow. As I was working on the pies, Brian called and said he realized we didn't have enough chairs for tomorrow. So on the way to Noah's football game tonight, I went to Sam's Club and picked up 4 extra folding chairs (Sam's isn't actually "on the way", but I went there first and arrived about 5 minutes before the game started).

Tonight's game was a good one. I think we lost, but it was only by 1 or 2 touchdowns. It was obvious how hard the kids have been practicing this week. Noah did a great job rushing the opposing team's quarterback; you could see how it rattled him to have Noah on him, and several times Noah nearly got his flag before he could throw the ball. I swear, flag football is harder than tackle. Sacking someone would be much easier than trying to pull his flag. We have a break until next Wednesday night.

Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Soundtrack of My Life as told by iTunes

Found this most excellent meme at WonderDawg's:

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool and no disclaimers allowed.

Opening Credits: My God Reigns - Zoe Group

Waking Up: Bless the Lord - Won By One

First Day At School: Here is My Heart - True Lift

Falling In Love: Once in a Very Blue Moon- Nanci Griffith

Fight Song: Think About That- Won By One

Breaking Up: Hope to Carry On - Caedmon's Call

Prom: I'm Not That Girl - Idina Menzel

Mental Breakdown: Daybreak - Barry Manilow

Driving: Soarin' Over California Theme (from Disneyland)

Flashback: For the First Time - Mark Harris

Getting Back Together: We Are the Body of Christ - Zoe Group

Wedding: If Not for Christ - FFH

Birth of Child: The Heart of Worship - Matt Redman

Final Battle: Walk by Faith - Jeremy Camp

Death Scene: Look Yourself - Apologetix

Funeral Song: Pray for Faith - Won By One

End Credits: Can't Smile Without You- Barry Manilow

Let me know if you do it!

Save the cheerleader, save the world

OK, how many of you out there are watching Heroes? This has got to be the best show on television this season. Tonight's episode was nothing short of awesome. This show makes Mondays worthwhile.

In other news, word is that Disney is making a sequel to the popular National Treasure movie. I am sure we'll be heading to the theater for that one when it is released.

And now a meme I found at Carrie's:

1. How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?
I have no idea how I learned to read; even my mom isn't sure how I learned, but I was reading the Little House on the Prairie books before I went to kindergarten.

2. Did you own any books as a child? If so, what’s the first one that you remember owning? If not, do you recall any of the first titles that you borrowed from the library?
Tons of books... I don't remember first one, but I was a huge Trixie Belden fan. One of the first books I remember getting from the library was Susan and Her Classic Convertible, by W.E. Butterworth; that and The Nickel-Plated Beauty, by Patricia Beatty.

3. What’s the first book that you bought with your own money?
Not sure, but probably a Trixie Belden book.

4. Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often?
Most emphatically yes. I reread my Trixie Belden books and also all of the Chronicles of Narnia

5. What’s the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it?
Unfortunately, probably Helter Skelter. My aunt had a copy on her bookshelf and I spent a lot of unsupervised time at her house. I was probably 9 or 10.

6. Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones?
I can’t think of any.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Not much to say 'bout today except that it was one of the more restful Sunday afternoons we've had in a while. We didn't do much after getting home from church but hang out. I folded a little laundry and Brian and I played some Scrabble with his mom. The kids watched tv and played with each other until bedtime.

We're taking the week off from school since Emily has the week off. It will be interesting to see what our days will be like without the structure.

Happy Feet

Things didn't go quite as scheduled today. My mother-in-law's flight was canceled and the airline rebooked her on a much later flight due to arrive at 7:30pm. The nice thing about that was that Brian was able to go to Noah's football game. It was another loss, but the kids had a good time. We found out that the other teams in the league were all handpicked by the coaches amd all have a full roster. Our team is made up of the "left-overs." Personally, I think the guy in charge of the league should have just divided the kids up evenly. We only have 7 kids on our team, while the other teams have at least 10. It makes it hard for the kids to practice without a full defense or offense to play against.

I took the kids to see Happy Feet shortly before Brian left to pick up his mom. It was a cute movie. The music was great, and Robin Williams was fun in his 2 roles (one a Hispanic Adelie penguin and the other a Rockhopper who seemed to be channeling Barry White).

Brian and his mom made it back here a little after 9pm... long enough for the kids to greet her and visit a bit before heading to bed. I think the rest of us will be ready for bed soon.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A streetcar and desire

So the kids had a great time on the field trip today. We rode on 2 different trains, one of which was really a streetcar. I think the boys' favorite part of the ride was seeing a dead cow in one of the pastures we passed by. It was quite large and was being used as a roosting spot for some very large scavengers. Thankfully they weren't scavenging at the time. Of course, that probably would have just made it even more interesting for the boys!

We went for lunch with some other homeschoolers from the field trip and I was enjoying visiting with the other parents so much that I was a little behind in getting to school to pick up Emily. Then it took so long to get through the carpool line that I had just enough time to drop her, Halle, and Joel off at home before taking Noah to football practice at 4. He had practice until around 5:45.

Then it was home and back out to a "Parents' Night Out" at Halle and Joel's gymnastics gym; the young ones had been asking to go all week, so Brian and I obliged them and had some nice time alone this evening (a rare thing!). Emily was off at the movies and to spend the night with her best friend.

Tomorrow, Brian and Halle will head to San Francisco to pick up his mom at the airport. Joel and Noah are staying behind because Noah has a football game.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cha-ching and choo-choos

Today I received the statement from TriCare (the military's health insurance) showing me what the tab was for my hearing aids. They were billed $6K for them. Ouch! Of course, they didn't pay that much... their actual cost was "only" $3600. Needless to say, I have given my kids the whole "don't touch the hearing aids" speech now. Now I'm curious as to how much more the "top-of-the-line" hearing aids (just one step above mine) are, and who actually gets to get them. Definitely not military dependents or retirees!

Tomorrow the kids and I are going on a field trip to the Western Railway Museum. This field trip would usually cost around $5 a person, but someone has donated this trip to the base homeschooling group for free. The trip will include a ride (10 miles round trip) on a restored historic electric rail car. I think the kids will really enjoy this.

Print and fold

I just finished publishing (via printer) and folding 80 graduation invitations for my husband's graduating anesthesia students. Now that I have that out of the way, the next order of business will be to design and create the program for the graduation ceremony. Actually, I will probably use the design I created last year. All I'll have to do is edit some graphics and then update the order, names, etc. It shouldn't be as complicated as it was the first time. Thank goodness!

Noah had his first flag football game of the season tonight. I am so glad he is able to have fun no matter what the outcome, because it was almost a total skunk. I think we managed 1 touchdown, while the other team scored around 10. However, it turns out the other team is one that has been playing together for a few years and they also have had 4 practices before this first game. Let's see... our kids just met each other last Thursday and had one practice together. I guess anyone would agree that puts them at a slight disadvantage. We're hoping for another practice Friday afternoon, as they have another game on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's always something

I'm enjoying my newfound space here in the office/schoolroom. Still a little more organizing and arranging to do, but having the extra space here at my desk has made a huge difference. I'm able to keep the books I am reading to the kids here in the bottom file drawer of the desk, rather than in a big stack on the desktop. That alone has made the change worth it.

This afternoon was insanely busier than I wanted it to be. Noah was on Brian's laptop when he began getting some virus notifications... turns out they were fake notifications designed to get people to download some other antivirus program. Somehow these got past Brian's Norton Internet Security (I'm assuming Noah inadvertently "allowed" access to the programs). We've been working most of the evening to find and/or eliminate the problems with a minimum of success. Neither Norton nor SpySweeper have been able to eradicate the nasty little buggers. It looks like we'll be taking the laptop to the Geek Squad. Cha-ching! Thankfully my computer is still safe (as far as we know... no funny stuff on here). I truly believe there should be a special spot in hell reserved for people who design viruses and other malicious computer bugs.

We also had to run out to Office Max to hunt down some note card paper so I can make the invitations for the graduation ceremony of Brian's senior anesthesia students. We're running a bit behind this year in getting it done. We got home from getting the notecards and I began to make the changes to last year's invitations. That was quick enough, but then I discovered that my card-making program (Print Shop Publisher 20) doesn't have this particular Avery card in its listing of templates. It looks like we'll need to return the ones we got and get something else. *Sigh* It's always something.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pay it forward

I just realized this morning that Emily is off of school the whole week next week for Thanksgiving. Brian's mom is flying in this Saturday morning and will be here until the day after Thanksgiving. She will enjoy having the kids around. I guess I will have to decide whether or not my homeschooled ones will have the entire week off as well.

Here's a cool commercial from the YouTube vault:

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I've discovered a new (to me) Christian author recently. A few weeks ago, while Emily was at youth group, I spent my time at Barnes & Noble and was able to read a book called One Tuesday Morning, by Karen Kingsbury. It was a very powerful and moving book, centered on 2 families affected by the 9/11 tragedy. This weekend I picked up an anthology containing 3 books in one by her and have managed to read 1 of them, Where Yesterday Lives. It did not disappoint. I think I enjoy her writing as much as Francine Rivers.

I'm also currently reading and taking notes on the book Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell. He has some really thought-provoking ideas.

My husband surprised me while I was out this weekend. He rearranged the schoolroom/office for me, moving in the large desk that used to be out in the living room for me. I did not have enough room or storage in the small desk I was using in here. It looks really good.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friendly conversation

There's nothing like conversation with friends. I was able to spend some time with a new friend this week and feel hopeful that we will be an encouragement to each other as we both cope with living in a place that is very unlike what we are used to and would like.

I've had conversations with old friends who make me feel so lucky and so blessed to be able to call them friends. It's funny that I was nearly 40 years old before discovering true friendship... and once I discovered it, I marvel at how I lived without it before. My hope is that everyone has someone they call a true friend.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Video fever

It's a slow news day around here, so enjoy these gems from YouTube:

  1. Kissing prank
  2. PETA activist meets mutated rat

Hopefully I'll have something tomorrow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

That toddlin' town

Just got back a little while ago from a meeting with Emily's choir director. Her choir will be taking a trip to Chicago next May. It sounds like they are going to have a great time. They'll get to see Wicked, possibly take in a Cubs game, visit Shedd Aquarium and Lincoln Park Zoo, tour Moody Bible Institute and sing there, and maybe even take a "gangster tour." I will be so jealous... I've never been to Chicago (unless you count the airport).

Noah also had his first flag football practice of the season earlier tonight. His coaches seem very nice, and I saw a familiar face among one of the moms there. Her son played Little League this summer (on an opposing team) and we had chatted a few times at games then. It's nice when there is at least one familiar face in a new situation. Anyhow, they have gotten a late start this season and their first game is next Wednesday night. I can't believe they are going to play so soon!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Talking to teachers

Up until this year, parent/teacher conferences consisted of me talking to myself (ok, for 3 of my kids, they still do). But tonight I got to experience something altogether different. Emily's teachers all had overwhelmingly positive things to say about her (except for her Bible teacher, whom she refers to as the absent-minded professor.... he was a bit more general and vague in his comments). As I mentioned in the last post, we were already well aware of her academic progress (all A's) and what we wanted to learn tonight was more of what her teachers see in her personally. Basically they all see her as a very outgoing and positive person. Her web design/graphic arts teacher said that she works very quickly and usually completes in about half a class period what it takes most other students 2 class periods to do, but that Emily spends a great deal of her free time helping others. She also said that in addition to being gifted in this area, she is also good at teaching others... she doesn't do their work for them, but is good at explaining and instructing. She is hoping Emily will have room in her schedule next year to be a teaching assistant for her. Her algebra teacher seems to have a very good opinion of Emily as well; she's impressed with how well Emily made the transition from homeschooling and with the way the work in her class has started to "click" for her. All of Em's instructors said pretty much the same thing: that she is a respectful person, cheerful, and that she seems to have made friends with a good group of kids. It was good to hear nice things about her. It's nice to know someone else thinks I have a good kid, too.

The coolest thing about tonight was that her web design teacher prayed with us before we left her table. I am so glad we are able to send Emily to this school. It has been a very good thing for her and for our family.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get with the program

I had a follow-up visit at the hearing center today to see how my hearing aids were working for me this week. We tweaked the settings a bit, plus got a second program added to it for listening to/singing music. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works at church this weekend. It already made a big difference in listening to the radio in the car. I am able to turn the volume down if I switch to my "music" program on the aids. Plus I can hear myself sing better as well. We're going to give it a couple of weeks more before doing another evaluation and tweaking.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be heading to Emily's school for parent/teacher conferences. I'm really looking forward to hearing what they have to say. I already know how she's doing academically; I'm more interested in their impressions of her character and person.

What's your tribe?

In honor of the elections:

(Click for link)

No big surprise here. I think the bulk of my answers pegged me as "red." I skipped the alcoholic beverage questions, as I didn't have an answer for those.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Clean team

I have to confess I am not much of a housekeeper. I like a neat house, and can pick up and put things away, but when it comes to actually cleaning, I'm not going to win any awards. Brian, on the other hand, is a cleaning machine. He is good at it. He may not be fast, but I guarantee that if he cleans something, it will be clean when he is done. This little difference we have makes it difficult when it comes to enlisting the kids' help in maintaining household cleanliness. We just don't have the same standards. Nor does he have a wealth of time to spend teaching the kids what he would like to have done. That's why this book looks so appealing:

If you click on the link, you'll be able to see a few pages from the book. The author is selling it in combo with another step-by-step book to help kids clean their bedroom. That's certainly another area we could use some improvement in as well.

I'll be sure to report on it if we decide to try it out.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dinner and music

Tonight was the Annual Fund Dinner for Emily's school. It marks the kickoff of fundraising for her school for the year, and also provides an opportunity to honor students, faculty, and community members for their achievements and for their support of the school. We were treated to some great jazz music by the school's jazz band and Emily's choir performed at the end of the evening. Unfortunately, the choir had to cut its performance short because the event ran longer than anticipated. It certainly served to whet my appetite for more, though.

We shared a table with one other parent and 3 teachers from the school. None of the teachers are currently teaching Emily, although one of them is her class advisor. I'm hoping that for next year's dinner, we'll actually know someone that we can plan ahead to share a table with.

Emily's algebra teacher did tell me how well Emily is doing in her class (not that I didn't already know), and how good it makes her feel to hear a student tell her "This is easy!" I'm just glad Emily isn't hating math any longer.

Friday, November 03, 2006

They shoot horses, don't they?

I got to spend part of my Friday morning in the family practice clinic waiting room. Back on the 16th, the day we had Halle's birthday party, I took a hard fall in the garage. It made a scrape on my leg and a left a large swollen area that has remained tender all this time. Last night Brian happened to notice it was developing a red area and suggested I get an appointment this morning. Our suspicions of cellulitis (not to be confused with cellulite) were shared by the doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic for me to take for the next 10 days. I was actually hoping he'd just give me a shot so I wouldn't have to worry about remembering to pop a pill every few hours, even moreso once he told me I had to take them 4 times a day.

After Brian got home from work, we took the kids to see Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. While I don't think it was as good as the first two, I still enjoyed it... as did the kids. Once again, we just don't agree with the critics.

Speaking of movies, Blockbuster has implemented the coolest program yet. Now Blockbuster Online subscribers can return their movies to their local Blockbuster and exchange them immediately for free rentals in the store. No more having to wait for the DVD to reach the distribution center through the mail (unless you really want to) in order to get another movie. Go here to see the info. We switched from Netflix to Blockbuster Online over a year ago and have been much happier with the service; this new feature is gravy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It finally rains in Northern California

(Anyone recognize the song nod in that post title?)

Yep, rain has finally returned to our neck of the woods. It was a pretty soggy day today; heading to school to pick up Emily this afternoon, I couldn't go much faster than 45 on the interstate without seriously impeding my visibility. We had to miss our scheduled park day because of the rain as well. If next week brings a repeat of this kind of weather (which wouldn't be unheard of), we'll find a fun indoor activity: either bowling on base or free play at our gymnastics center.

Big school news in our house is that Joel is reading "short a" words now. I've been having him listen to words and write/spell them for a few weeks, but now he is transferring that to reading the words without having already heard them spoken out loud. He's pretty happy with himself. Joel is actually the first one I've taught to read without using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." I think this is mostly because he has been talking about letter sounds for quite a while, so I figured the typical phonic approach used in Sonlight's language arts program would work just as well for him.

I'm being paged to watch a movie with Brian and the kids.... for those who are interested, it's Hoot. I'll leave you with a final link for fun (I have to spread out my fun links now, to give me blog fodder for NaBloPoMo): "So is it really just a gross habit or gold worth digging for after all? Ultimately, that's a pick you'll have to make on your own." Anyone willing to test this out? Hat tip to Thumper for this one!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

National Blog Posting Month

Think it can be done? I'm going to give it a shot. This might mean some pretty short posts on some days, but what the hey. It's all for fun.

Hopefully I will have Halloween pictures of the kids to post soon. I have to find the cable to hook the camera up to the computer first.

Meanwhile, life keeps moving along at its usual breakneck speed here. It seemed especially hectic today, probably because the kids were hopped up on as many forms of sugar as you can possibly imagine. Thankfully now that it is bedtime, the effects appear to have worn off.

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