Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This week the kids had the opportunity to hang out with their cousins (Thanks, Daddy, for letting us stay!). Six cousins, seven cousins, nine cousins; Cousins EVERYWHERE! Up and out with the sun each morning and rolling in at dusk each evening... Lounging on couches and chairs and floors... Legos spread all over... Dart guns, rubberband guns and wooden guns... Balls, bikes and backpacks galore... Shoes laying everywhere and crumbs covering the floors... I think we used more toilet paper in a week than we have in the past two months...


Two tents for five kids to have a camp-out which in the end was three kids in one tent and two kids in bunk beds in the back room. I'm proud to say that my kiddos successfully spend their first (of many to come!) night in the back yard! A big THANK YOU to cousin Tyler for sleeping out with them!

Sydney and I spent an evening getting haircuts from the oldest of the cousins, and while Syd was playing with her new do she syled Little A's hair, too! Surprisingly enough, the curls stayed in all day!

And what do the boy cousins do while the girl cousins shop? SWIM, of course! The only problem with this plan is that now the kids ask me every day if we can go to the city pool! Grandpa?

I think everyone had a great week, but talk about exhausted!

The English Language

You think English is easy?? I think a retired English teacher was bored. THIS IS GREAT!
Read all the way to the end... This took a lot of work to put together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this... There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.' It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends and we brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearingUP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, meaning it's time to shut UP! Now it's UP to you what you do with this information.

No wonder our kids have such a difficult time learning to spell and read! GEEZ!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Little Known Facts

1) Men can read smaller print than women can but women can hear better.

2) Coca-Cola was originally green.

3) It is impossible to lick your elbow.

4) Alaska is the State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work.

5) The percentage of Africa that is wilderness is 28%. The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%.

6) The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven is $16,400.

7) The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour is 61,000.

8) Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

9) The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.

10) The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

11) Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David

Hearts - Charlemagne

Clubs -Alexander, the Great

Diamonds - Julius Caesar

12) 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

13) Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

14)Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what? A. Their birthplace

15) Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested? A. Obsession

16) Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'? A. One thousand

17) Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common? A. All were invented by women.

18) Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil? A. Honey

19) Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year? A. Father's Day

20) In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, 'Goodnight, sleep tight.'

21) It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

22) In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.' It's where we get the phrase, 'Mind your P's and Q's.'

23) Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill , they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle,' is the phrase inspired by this practice.

24) At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!


1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Go lick your elbow!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Tasty Boy

I always tell Big A how much I love to nibble on him and how tasty he is... Seems I'm not the only one!

I got the strangest text from Grandma the other day... "Big A's left ear is red and hot and floppier than the other one."

Um... Okay.... Not really sure how to take that...

"It also looks like he's got bug bites on his neck."

Still not really sure what to think about the 'floppy ear', she sent me some pictures which show that the left ear sticks out a little further than the right and is quite red.

Fast forward three hours to when Molly picks the kids up... "You need to look at Big A's ear when you get home. The left ear is really swollen and he says it moves when he walks." Oh, yes... Sounds like I'd definitely better check that out! Yikes!
I arrive home to find a grumpy and uncomfortable Big A laying on the floor playing Legos and I start my 'examination'. I find two or three bites on his neck, I'm assuming that's what's wrong with the ear, and one on his arm. Poor kid just reacts NASTY to spider/bug/mosquito bites!
I place a call to Kaiser and speak with an advice nurse who tells me to use cold compresses, Benadryl, and Cortisone cream and to bring him in the next morning to have the ear checked. I know the poor guy is miserable, but he's SUCH a trooper. He eats his dinner, takes his medicine, and requests a trip to town for frozen yogurt. With a day like he's had, how can I turn him down?

Two hours later his arm looks like this. We've been through this before and I know it won't get worse, but it still makes me nervous. I begin to worry about the future... Will it get worse as he gets older? If he reacts this badly to spider bites, will he be allergic to bee stings?

The next morning when he wakes up he's looking quite a bit better but we still make the trip to Kaiser. I want to get answers to my questions to hopefully put my mind at ease.

I'm told that there hasn't been any evidence that shows that the reactions will get worse as the child gets older and that there doesn't appear to be any correlation between this kind of reactions and bee sting allergies, but to DEFINITELY watch him. I certainly will!

But for now, I'll just go apply some more cortisone cream...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Sonoma-Marin Fair time... A time we look forward to every June! This year was no exception... Here's our day in pictures!

YEAH! We're going to the fair!

Sorry, boys! Looks like you're stuck on the Ferris Wheel!

Photo-finish for Big A and Grandpa racing down the Super Slide!

We all ganged up on Grandpa on the Bumper Cars!


Big A took a spin (or two) on this mechanical bull... Threw him off both times! 6 seconds the first time, 18 seconds the second time. Probably NOT going to grow up to be a bull rider! (WHEW!)

Little A was upset that she wasn't big enough to ride the bull, so she rode grandpa... And pouted...

Until she got on the bungee trampoline, and BOY was that fun!

I remember a picture very similar to this when *I* was her age... Beth, do you remember that???

A boy after his Daddy's heart... Spinning that tea cup so fast!

Big A was SOO nervous to ride this 'roller coaster'... But he conquered his fear!

Little A doesn't share those fears...

Add in a little fair food... Chicken nuggets, french fries, nachos, burritos, grilled corn on the cob, a giant turkey leg, a pulled pork sandwich, cotton candy, mini donuts and a funnel cake... Oh... And a trek through the animal pens, and that about sums up our day!

Until next June...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just For The Halibut

Today Big A and grandpa packed their lunches, loaded up the boat and headed for Tomales Bay to try their hands at halibut fishing.

Tonight we had pasta for dinner.

Guess that tells you how well the trip went! But like I always tell the kids... Winning isn't important. Having fun is what's important, and they certainly did have fun! And for the record, just because they didn't catch halibut doesn't mean they didn't catch anything...

Because CLEARLY Big A caught.... SOMETHING! What is it, you ask?? Why the biggest starfish you've ever seen, of course! Yes, he caught a HUGH starfish with his fishing pole. CRAZY!

This pelican swooped down and landed in the water right next to the boat so Big A shared the bait with him. Turns out the seagulls weren't too happy with that and they let Big A know it! He came home with a bird poop splat the size of a half dollar on top of his hat. (Yes, I'm laughing!)

And when they weren't fishing in the bay they were exploring the sea shore, rocks and tide pools searching for... Well... Just about anything!

I'm bummed that they didn't bring us some halibut for dinner, but I'm glad that they had a day of fun and adventure! Happy fishing, boys!