Now that I started running, I had to get better workout shoes. My feet were starting to hurt from the lack of support. So I went to buy shoe's at Dick's Sporting Goods. I mostly go there because the kids love the little sample track that goes around the shoe department. They can run around the track while I look at the shoes, and they are ALLOWED to run around in the store. They love it and it gives me time to browse. Gotta love a store that can entertain the kids while I shop!
Tonight we went to our 3rd Orioles game this season (O's for you Baltimoreans). Every game we have seen, they loose. I think we must be bad luck or they stink (probably, they stink!). Tonight they actually won (but only after we left!). The game was painfully long. And I mean "longer than a normal baseball is sooooooo slow," sort of pain. I was looking at the clock in the 2nd inning, thinking "Will this game never end?!". In their defense the game did start 40 minutes late since it was raining when we arrived for the game, but that part was actually quite entertaining because the intermittent rain meant that the field kept on getting covered and uncovered, covered and uncovered. It sure is fun to watch those guys run and cover the field.
The most entertaining part of the game though, has to be Christopher trying to get onto the audience camera. He hasn't gotten on yet, but I keep telling him to have patience and wait, he's not making a big enough idiot of himself. When he does the job properly, then he'll get on the big screen! Hmm, I think he took it as a challenge.
Should I tell the Geico guy (great spoof of their commercial) that I saved $150 on my electric bill by opening my windows and not turning on the AC until mid July? I know it's not car insurance but I almost died when I saw that the bill for June/July was $66. I don't think it's ever been that low. Yeah for me! It's the little joys in life.
The past two days have been very busy. Doing what, I do not know. Yesterday we left the house for church at 10:25 and didn't return until dinnertime. Yes, church is 10 minutes away and it does start at 10:30, but we were having one of THOSE mornings when everything would spill, clog, clump and hide itself. Luckily (I guess?) I am a bit of a speed demon and we made it to church by 10:32 and they were just starting the procession. I did manage to get all green lights on the way, so that helped. After church we ran a few errands and then I went to the gym. I am trying to get myself into some kind of shape to strengthen my back and relieve me of my pain. Who knew that a minor fender bender could mess me up this bad? It's hard to believe that it's been almost 8 months of pain. I thought I'd feel better in a week or two, wishful thinking apparently. I can't complain though. I will be better, I just need to have patience. One virtue that I am SERIOUSLY lacking.
Today was busy, but relaxing. We went to the Post Office to mail Honey some more snacks, then off to the gym so I could kill myself. My first day of running on the treadmill instead of speed walking. Oh my %$#^!, Did I really use to go running for fun? Man, am I out of shape! But "Yeah for me!", I ran for 30 minutes & walked the other 30 minutes. After the gym we went to our neighborhood pool, so I could relax (And I guess so the kids could have fun too.) Despite the fact that I know that the sun causes cancer, I really, really love spending time in the sun and getting a tan (as much as this little Irish girl can!). I could fall asleep in the sun if I didn't have the kids to watch. Makes me remember all the time I spent with my friend Alice up on her parents roof laying out and sunbathing. Makes me glad that I had such a great friend growing up. Makes me glad that I still have such great friends.
We said goodbye to our sweet exchange student yesterday. N♡- was a little blessing that God bestowed on our family for a month. She was so good for all of us. Christopher was crying when she left and is moping around. Keener keeps asking about her"ria, ria" and Elizabeth was sad that she did not get to spend more time with her. I enjoyed having someone to talk to. We feel so lucky to have had her stay with us. We are all looking forward to the day when we get to go visit with her in Spain.
So Keener got kicked out of childcare today, Lucky me! When I go to the gym, I take the kids to the childcare. Normally I get to workout in peace. Occasionally I get called for a scrape, but more often for a diaper change. Today, Keener decided that she needed to bite 2 kids. So although my other kids could stay, she had to go for 24 hours. Ughh! What a pain. My little diva is certainly a big pile of trouble. Too bad she's so cute. It's hard to stay mad at her. The next time she does this, she can't go to childcare for 3 days. I told Elizabeth, Christopher and Rolo that if she does it again, I'll put a football helmet on her. If you can muzzle a dog, I can muzzle my kid!
I had a very satisfying homeschooling moment. I have been trying to teach the kids a little bit about art and art history. I have been using the Usborne Book of Art. I read 2 pages at a time, when we get a chance. I am basically trying to introduce the kids to art, but not push anything on them. So today we were speaking to N♡- about Bilbao Spain where she lives. She showed us (on Google Maps) her home and school and the Guggenheim Museum. She showed us some pictures from the Guggenheim. One picture she showed us in particular was of the very large Spider scupture.
This picture is from wikimedia commons.
I kept thinking that I had seen it before but couldn't place where until Christopher chimes in with "That's in our art book on page 21-22."
And boy was he right! Right page, right sculpture. I was pretty amazed, but utterly satisfied that I had taught my little boy and he had learned more than I did! Along that same art theme: We got a package today from Honey that contained some Lapis Lazuli. There was a picture that we had studied with a beautiful blue color. The paint had been made from this stone which coincidentally comes from afghanistan. Since it is only $5 for a few small rocks, Honey sent them to us to help the children "see" and "touch" the rock that made the pretty blue color. It was very satisfying to see . Thanks Honey, you are helping the kids with their Art lessons by sending the rocks to me.
Apparently I still have some balance in my old age. Christopher was trying to stand on his head. He was having trouble balancing so I helped him out by putting my arms out to catch his legs if he started to fall. He asked me if I could do it. I said, "Well I can try." So, I did manage to do better than him and better than N♡-. Take that! you young whippersnappers! Not that I was anywhere close to my more balanced younger days. (I had a lot of free time to "practice" back then). It was a lot of fun. We were giggling by the time we had all fallen over a few times. Sometimes it is nice to be a kid again.
I went to the B & O Railroad museum in Baltimore today with N♡-, Keener, Rolo, & Christopher (Elizabeth is at Girl Scout Camp). We met up with Nana and Granfer and Cousin Edward. Although we have been before, N♡- had not been and I thought it might be interesting for her since the railroads played a substantial role in the development and commerce of our budding nation. Not to mention that the building is beautiful and the train collection is impressive. The kids enjoy going. It was a good way to spend time with their grandparents. N♡- also enjoyed it. It was a good choice for the day. We then went back to Nana and Granfers to let the kids play in the woods. What a nice day.
I got to see my friend R----- the plumber again. This time the clog was 77 feet! Let's hope that this time it fixed the problem for good. Luckily it was a free visit since it was under warranty for 6 months (yeah for me!). I think Honey will be coming home to a whole new house. Hope you like it Honey!
What a strange feeling to have only one child again. It was eerie and wonderful at the same time. I loved spending time with Keener. She is a lot calmer without the other children around (Proof that her tantrums are for attention). We read stories, hugged and kissed and played on the big playground in McLean. It is called Clemyjontri Park and it is a completely handicapped accessible playground. It was really neat to watch her play and enjoy every part of the playground. Amazing how her personality is different without her siblings around. She loved exploring the playground. The only problem with the day was the weather. I of course had to go when it was 100 degrees!!!
While I was enjoying my day with Keener, N♡- went to DC with her friend Mi☆.
She has been with another host family in the Richmond area. Mi☆ is very nice and it was nice to have her stay for a few days. The family she has been with and I have some fundamental disagreements about 17 year olds. One of which is the idea that two 17 year olds can go alone to DC during the day to visit the museums. The father yelled at me for allowing them to go alone. "They might get shot" he screamed at me. (Yes, he did really scream at me). My reply was that the Mall in DC was probably the safest place they could be. There are Secret Service, FBI, Capital Police, Park Police and Museum security to name a few of the protective forces in the area. I think you would have a hard time breaking the law in the DC Mall without getting caught. But just to make me put my foot in my mouth, Divine Intervention stepped in. (See Story Below⇓)
Here's the story from the Washington Post. WASHINGTON – A chaotic scene unfolded near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after police shot and killed an armed man in what authorities described as a routine rush hour traffic stop that turned deadly. U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Schneider said the unidentified 35-year-old man refused to stop at the checkpoint about two blocks north of the Capitol complex. The man drove the wrong way down a street and struck two officers with his car — one on foot and the other on a motorcycle, Schneider said. The two officers received minor injuries. Police opened fire after the man brandished a handgun and refused to put it down, said Schneider, who described the melee as "very fast moving, very fluid." "The officers felt they were being threatened — they were in fear for their lives," Schneider said. She did not know if the man fired at police first. District of Columbia Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer said the man was being taken to a hospital. It was not clear where he died. The late afternoon scare occurred as lawmakers were wrapping up a third day of hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Police briefly sealed off part of the Capitol as a precaution, but the buildings were reopened about a half hour later. Authorities said the shooting was not related to the Capitol complex. "We hear pop, pop, pop, like a gun," said Carol Lanigan, of Toledo, Ohio, describing how she saw a white car come flying down the street with two police cars behind chasing it. She said she heard about four or five shots. "There were so many gunshots being fired my family got down," said Robert Drumm, a tourist from Oklahomawho was visiting the nation's capital with his family. Drumm said he saw someone being taken away in an ambulance. He said he first noticed trouble when he saw one car speeding and being chased by a police vehicle. Numerous emergency vehicles converged quickly in the area. Another witness, Dale Lanigan of Toledo, Ohio, described a similar scene, although he said two police cars gave chase. As the car went past him, Lanigan said, "the driver had one hand on the wheel and it looked like he was reaching for something."Lanigan said he then heard shots and police ordered him to get away.Associated Press writers Gillian Gaynair and Lara Jakes contributed to this report.
With 3 of the 4 kids off at camp and staying at Aunt and uncle's home, I took Keener and N♡- to the Beach for a little sharks teeth hunting. We found 7 sharks teeth. It was a perfect day. Too bad N♡- thinks she walks on water...
Just kidding, a very low tide made it easy to walk very far out.
Keener had a great time falling in the sand. She was laughing and having a lot of fun.
Today, Honey's friend from Afghanistan Bri----- and Bri------'s fathercame by to bring us all of his alcohol. He is moving to Belgium and apparently you are not allowed to bring any alcohol with you. We were the lucky recipients of all the booze. Darn the bad luck, I really HATED being so helpful. Check it out. This is all from him. Thanks Bri-----!
And yes, we will have to have a big party once Honey comes home, so we can all have some. Until then, I think I may have to sample it!
While his Bri----- was here, Honey called so they got to chat for a few minutes. His father read Keener book after book after book. She kept bringing him a new one when he finished. He must be a great granddad! I think he read 10 books to her.
Had a great lazy day at the pool and home. Perfect weather. N♡- and I made a Spanish Omelette for dinner. Her uncle sent us the recipe that she uses at home, all translated for me to use. Thank you Uncle. Here is the recipe.
SPANISH OMELETTE Ingredients: 9 spoons of oil (olive) 5-6 eggs Salt (.5-1 tsp) Onions if wanted (200 Gr.), diced 4 big potatoes.
Wash and peel potatoes. Cut them into cubes about 1-1,5 centimeters. Put the oil in a large frying pan or skillet and heat, medium-high, add the potatoes with salt. When the poatatoes began to be cooked, nearly to be golden brown and crisp, include the onions thinly sliced into the oil. Meanwhile, beat heavily the eggs with salt (at least 1 minute).
(Add onions Tomatoes, green or red peppers, cod, or any vegetable) if you choose.
Drain oil if needed into a glass. Remove Potatoes and onions into bowl with beaten eggs for easier draining.
Now, Put the skillet back on the heat, and make a little thin line of oil (from the oil we have in the glass) when the oil is hot, Pour the potatoes (and onions, tomatoes etc.) and the eggs mixture onto the skillet. After 2 minutes, more or less, invert a large plate over the pan or skillet, and carefully turn the omelett onto the plate and make another thick line of oil, and slide the omelet into the skillet with the uncokked side down. Add cheese if desired. Cook about 2 minutes more and test with a knive if the eggs are set. serve Warm.
In this Kind of omelete you can add for example: Tomatoes, green or red peppers, cod, any vegetable, cheese, etc.
The finished product.
Yes, this is a picture of me. I don't have anyone to take pictures of me normally (unless you would like some knee shots, some up the nose shots, or the REALLY, REALLY close-up shots that the kids take.
Don't tell the kids that they ate potatoes because the loved the omelette. It was a fun quick tastey meal. We ate outside and enjoyed the nice evening. It has been a lot of fun having N♡- with us. I know we will miss her when she goes home.
Friday was a busy busy day for us. We had a doctor appointment, a Girl Scout Lunch Party, a Girl Scout Water Park Party and tickets to see the Orioles play (If you could call what they did "playing"). Everyone but me got to take a nap as we drove in rush hour traffic from DC to Baltimore. Ughhhhhhhhh. 2 hours to take a 1 hour trip. I hate the beltway!
The kids had a great time all day except for Christopher getting stung by a bee at the water park. We had a lot of fun at the baseball game singing along to all the songs, watching the video clips and watching the game. A foul ball landed just 6 people away from us! Then there was a firework show at the end of the game. It was a great show. A very busy, very wonderful day. Glad to get home and get some rest.
I tend to consider myself a fairly good cook. Things don't always turn out right, but most of the time I do pretty well. My fatal flaw seems to be the grill. I just don't have the patience to stand by and turn things, and watch the fire and all that stuff. I think men must like grilling so much because they have to stand around drinking beer, waiting for the meat to cook. They have to stay with it so that it does not burn.
So today I decided to use the grill for the first time since Honey left, I was trying to avoid heating up the house, (Still no A/C on .. AMAZING!.. YEAH!). I took the meat and wrapped it in foil to cook, followed the directions and set the grill on low, and put the meat on to cook for the time the recipe called for. I even checked the temperature, everything was going according to the recipe, until I opened up my chargrilled mess. The choices were well done or blackened. Hmmm, not exactly what I wanted to serve Father H-- or our new friend the Seminarian L---who came for dinner. Luckily, there was enough meat inside the blackened mess that was actually moist and tasty. It just involved a lot more effort to get at it. Luckily enough for me, I had enough other food to fill everyone's bellies. Father H-- kindly said that is was good. Hmmm, Good thing he was going to confession after his visit with us......
Here's a picture of the kids turning our New York Priest into a Orioles "fan"
DC traffic really makes me crazy. I have lived here for 7 years and only started to drive in DC 2 years ago because I hate it so much. I still hate it, but I force myself to do it so the kids can see the museums. The biggest problem is that the signs are poorly located (if they exist at all). I have found that I finally "see" the signs only after I have gotten lost multiple times in the same area (and no longer need the signs). Often they are low and get hidden by parked cars, or too high and get hidden by tree limbs or too small to be read unless you are parked. Too bad the DC politicians are too corrupt to fix the problem. I think they believe this discourages tourist from driving in DC. I wish they would see that it only adds to their traffic problems to have someone drive in circles, lost. Oh well, I am not about to tackle DC's problems. That is a whole novel!
As the day until Honey's return approaches, time seems to slow down. I knew it would be like this, the first month and last month of a deployment are always the worst. I am constantly telling the children that "patience is a virtue", but it is one that I need to work on myself. In the meantime, I am trying to immerse myself in hugging the children, giving them extra kisses and reading stories to them. It is the best medicine for my impatience.
Today I had the joy of going to church and seeing our friend, Father H--. This week he was transferred to our parish to be the new parochial vicar. We were sad to see Father F-- move to his new parish, but excited to see our friend. We are looking forward to getting to see him every week. It is truly a blessing to me that our friend was transferred to our parish.
I am constantly amazed by the little blessings that are bestowed on me. Seeing this little blessing in my life make me really appreciate God's presence in my daily life. I do not need to see God in a burning bush or have him speak to me. I am happy to see Him in the world he created for us. I am happy to see my little prayers answered and know that my bigger prayers will be answered, just not always (and most often not) the way I imagine them. God is good and I am grateful. I look forward to seeing each new blessing, facing His new challenges and enjoying the sweet little ones that He gave me to raise to praise Him.
A lot of people have said that I was brave for taking the kids on a cross country trip.
Bravery is leaving your family, not knowing if they will ever see you again. Bravery is loving them more than yourself. Bravery is choosing to love our country so much that your life has less value to you than the lives of others. Bravery is choosing to stand up for the ideals of this country. It is all about the choice. Honey could easily have chosen to get out of the Navy instead of staying in the Reserves. He easily could have left when it was obvious that everyone in the Reserves would at some point soon be going to war . He could have done 1000 things to trick the system and avoid going to war, but that would be dishonorable. Honorable men do what they know is right. Bravery is the act of being honorable.
I am not brave. I did nothing honorable by taking the kids to "see America." I merely took my children on a vacation that happened to be far away. I choose to do that all the time. I am not far from family. My creature comforts of life surround me. Other than having Honey here, there is nothing I need. I am safe in our home. I enjoy the freedom to go where I choose, eat and drink what I wish, and read and write what I wish. Honey (and the other soldiers with him) do not have any of these freedoms. Those that are providing our freedom have none themselves.
Today I want to thank you Honey for loving not only me, but all of us lucky enough to enjoy Freedom every day. The sacrifices you make do not go unnoticed. So if you meet a Veteran, please tell them thank you and be glad you have the Freedom to say it.
So here it is July 2nd and I have turned on the A/C 1 time for 1 day. Would someone please explain to me about global warming again? Not that I'm complaining. I LOVE the weather. The windows are open and I get fresh air, oh I love it! Love it! Love it! But seriously now, my A/C is my comfort that I really could not live without. I don't think I could handle living 100 years ago because of no A/C. I could handle the no dishwasher, no washing machine, no car, no freezer, no TV but the no A/C---- well that is one thing I would put right at the top of the "Honey Do List" if his name was Adam and mine was Eve. On the downside, it is a little cool to go to the pool, but we are still chilling out at home after our long trip and enjoying being vegetables. Since I do not allow TV until 5 pm, the kids have been playing with their toys and on the backyard playground (aren't I the MEANEST mom EVER!) ... and me, well, I've been watching the pile of laundry grow. Where is that laundry fairy when you need her?
We went to visit our neighbors and Rolo's godparents today. Once the kids were all stirred up, loud and agitated, I thought it might be a good time to leave (so they'll still open the door when we come visit...). I said to the kids, "Come you good little children, it's time for a bath and bedtime."
Not a one of them stirred.
Christopher looked up at me and said "Are we the good children?"
Godfather had to laugh with me, I guess they know what they REALLY are!