Saturday, March 31, 2007

You Never Forget Your 1st...

Ticket.

Thursday I received my first moving violation. All I have to say is, “it’s about time”. I really can’t be upset about it. 18 years of speeding, right turns on red arrows, “rolling stops”, talking on my cell phone (in NJ), speeding up at yellow lights, failing to signal, the list is endless. I probably haven’t driven in accordance with the law since I passed my driving license exam. I drive 110 miles a day, mostly on the Maine Turnpike: 55 miles, 3 exits, 1 million trees. I thought that the unofficial speed limit was 85, apparently I was wrong. The officer was kind and gave me a ticket for 79, and a warning for my expired PA inspection stickers (and failure to find my insurance card without calling my husband). I didn’t try to rationalize my speed; I just took it like a woman. I think I was also in a construction zone (orange cones were blocking off the entire right lane) – so that probably didn’t help.

I wouldn’t consider myself a reckless or unsafe driver, just not necessarily a law-abiding or particularly courteous one. That’s why I don’t have an ichthus (little fish thing) on my car – I don’t want to represent Christians negatively (there are already enough people doing that).

So now I’m the one getting passed by everyone. I hate it. On Thursday afternoon I wasn’t quite ready to move all the way over to the right lane, so I drove home in the middle lane – that was torture because I had people zooming past me on both sides. I looked longingly, yet spitefully at them. On Friday I figured out that if I just ride in the right lane, there will be a car in front of me that will act as a pace car for me.

So I’m on my best behavior, at least for now. The most I can hope for is to go another 18 years without getting a traffic violation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"I Only Like the Big 3"

Soccer season "kicked off" on Saturday (pardon the pun). Avery and Mina joined a short and informal soccer league to bridge the gap between Basketball and Baseball season. As we sat in the stands watching the game, Jermaine turned to me and said, "I only like the big 3". I don't like soccer, just football, basketball, and baseball. ..."and I don't like soccer moms" he added in. I had to laugh, "can you point a soccer mom out to me, so I'll know the enemy?" Ahum, since Avery is playing soccer, does that make me a "soccer mom" (I shutter at the mere thought).

Although it was Avery's first time playing soccer, he was able to hold his own. Avery seems to have an intuitive understanding of all sports. This was evident as he dove in front of a ball that was being thrown into play, and defected it with his chest, consequently passing it directly to his teammate (yes, it's all true - I have witnesses).
Here, Mina and Avery play defense, or in 7-year old sport terms, "daydream".


Avery mastered the slide kick, which I think it might be a real soccer move (though I have to idea where he would've learned that from). Mina and Avery have totally opposite playing styles. Mina prefers to play the back, while Avery tends to be in hot pursuit of scoring and or defense at all times.


This is the best looking thing I saw all day.


This is the worst looking thing I saw all day.
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

God's Favorite

Last night we went to see God’s Favorite, one of my co-worker’s was playing in it, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to have a “date night”. God’s Favorite is a Neil Simon play, a comedy that is loosely based on the book of Job. Very loosely. Job isn’t my favorite book of the bible because it’s a bit tough to read, but it is definitely one of my favorite bible stories (if that makes sense), and it does contain one of my favorite biblical passages – definitely top 3. In Job 38, God speaks to Job, he basically tells him off. I adore this passage. God’s sarcasm (my interpretation) only confirms to me that He created me, He is my heavenly father, because I definitely could come from a sarcastic God.

Ever wonder what God is like? Read His word!

I’ve pasted some of this chapter below (I used "The Message" version because it reads more like a “story", it's not “word for word” the original text - obviously God didn't use the word "playpen" 2500 years ago). Anyway, this passage speaks to me in so many ways. “Where we you when I created the earth?” – I would’ve been done right there, but then God just keeps going on and on. The next time I question why God would do something, I’ll think twice about my own authority.

Job 38
God Confronts Job
1 And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:
2-11 "Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you're talking about?Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you'll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn't run loose, And said, 'Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.'


12-15 "And have you ever ordered Morning, 'Get up!' told Dawn, 'Get to work!' So you could seize Earth like a blanket and shake out the wicked like cockroaches? As the sun brings everything to light, brings out all the colors and shapes,The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—they're caught in the very act!

16-18 "Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things, explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?Do you know the first thing about death? Do you have one clue regarding death's dark mysteries?And do you have any idea how large this earth is? Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.

19-21 "Do you know where Light comes from and where Darkness lives So you can take them by the hand and lead them home when they get lost? Why, of course you know that. You've known them all your life, grown up in the same neighborhood with them!

22-30 "Have you ever traveled to where snow is made, seen the vault where hail is stockpiled, The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness for times of trouble and battle and war?Can you find your way to where lightning is launched, or to the place from which the wind blows? Who do you suppose carves canyons for the downpours of rain, and charts the route of thunderstorms That bring water to unvisited fields, deserts no one ever lays eyes on, Drenching the useless wastelands so they're carpeted with wildflowers and grass? And who do you think is the father of rain and dew, the mother of ice and frost? You don't for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you?

31-33 "Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters, or distract Orion from his hunt?Can you get Venus to look your way, or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?Do you know the first thing about the sky's constellations and how they affect things on Earth?

34-35 "Can you get the attention of the clouds, and commission a shower of rain? Can you take charge of the lightning bolts and have them report to you for orders?

What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lazy Man's Blog

I'm too pressed to write anything today, but just read my dear brother's post about a Dunkin Donuts experience that had me grinning at my computer.

Thought I'd share...

http://theredsock.blogspot.com/2007/03/what-is-your-time-worth.html


Addendum:
This morning, after reading Shaun’s post, I immediately had a craving for a D&D ice coffee. Feeling inspired by my brother's generosity, I asked a kind co-worker in a neighboring office if I could pick something up for her. Here is a reenactment of the events that transpired:
Me: I’m running next door for an ice coffee, do you want anything?
KCW (Kind Co-Worker): No thanks. Did you get your free ice coffee yesterday?
Me: No. Did you?
KCW: Yes.
Me: Was there a long line?
KCW: Not really, but something terrible happened.
Me: What?
KCW: The guy who made my ice coffee picked his nose. I had to immediately throw my ice coffee away.
Me: No..!?
KCW: Yes. And not just a thumb pick, a full finger, up to the first knuckle pick (her face was all frowned and contorted).
Me: No?! He just picked it right out in the open, full finger!? (my face was frowned and contorted)
KCW: Yes, and he saw me looking, and then he tried to remove his finger quickly. I can never go there again.
Me: Now I can’t go there. You just ruined my ice coffee experience. (thanks Shaun)
KCW: You can go, just don’t get the pervy middle eastern guy.
Me: Hmmm…(still thinking about if I could enjoy my ice coffee knowing that it came from a place where a worker picked his nose openly yesterday). Okay. (I think I can, I mean, as long as I don't get him).

I proceed past the receptionist’s desk and ask her if she wanted me to pick her up a coffee. She was grateful for the offer and asked for a small hazelnut. So I’m thinking that if I get the guy, I’m just going to order her coffee and not mine (she doesn’t know about the incident and I’m going to tell KCW not to tell her). Hey – let’s face it, we don’t know what goes on in the kitchens of restaurants, it’s the KNOWING that ruins it, not the hint of boogie germs themselves.

When I arrived at the D&D, I immediately spotted the boogie man. I tried to avoid eye contact. When it was my turn at the counter, he said, “Can I help you”. I stuttered for a solid minute….ah, ummm, ah…hmmm…not sure….I was trying to pretend that I didn’t know what I wanted while I tried to make eye contact with another worker. Then a female worker finally looked my way and I excitedly asked her for the coffee, I’m sure the boogie man must of thought I was insane, but I didn’t care, I already thought that he was a pervert and a boogie man, what could be worse than that? His opinion of me being indecisive or mildly retarded was of no consequence. I just wanted a boogie-free sipping experience.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Up Close


We have to laugh at Avery because as soon as he walks into Shaun and Wendy's house he is immediately drawn to the television. He stands with his nose practically touching the glass and watches, no matter what is on, or what else is going on in the house. It's like he's never seen a television before, he just stands there watching it at close range. We captured this moment during Saturday's St. Paddy's Day celebration.
Matching Green T-shirts: $8.99
Dennis the Menace DVD: $14.99
High Definition Television: $1100.
Myopic Vision: Priceless.
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Top 'O The Mornin' To Ya!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
In honor of my Irish Heritage, here are some Irish Proverbs. They probably won't make you wiser, but they may entertain.

A closed mouth--a wise head

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind donkey.

A promise is a debt

A silent mouth is musical.

A whistling woman and a crowing hen will bring no luck to the house they are in.

A wild goose never reared a tame gosling

Don't let your tongue cut your throat

Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbour. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him.

If you have a roving eye, it's no use having the other one fixed on Heaven.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy 1 Year Anniversary


Today marks our one year anniversary of our "closing" on this house. We signed papers at 9am, by noon Jerms had every shred of carpet out on the front lawn. As I sit here in the kitchen typing this, I am amazed that this is the same disgusting house. What a journey this last year has been.


I'll try to post some then & now pics - I've been having trouble uploading with picassa (you can see the last two pics have been cut off).


Addendum: Despite my reluctance to post "after" pictures, because the house is still very unfinished, here is the the same room as above, as of last night. (don't mind the window treatments in the back window - I was thinking of making a valance, but have since ruled against that option) ...we also need 4 more new windows in the LR, which we're hoping to install once the weather gets warmer. ...hey, at least there's a ceiling!


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Middle One


Tonight Jermaine was helping Amelle with her homework which consisted of filling out a questionnaire about herself, when I hear him call me, "Babe" (that's what he calls me) "What's Amelle's only bad habit?" I immediately answer, "picking her nose". Amelle whines, "No..". I respond, "Whining", Jermaine: "I already tried that one". Apparently she didn't want to expose her weaknesses to her teacher and classmates. She deliberates for a moment, then says, "Picking..." (I assume she's going with my first suggestion), "up butterflies" (I am wrong). Then, without looking up, she proceeds to write this down (without asking for help on the spelling). "Picking up butterflies?" I asked. She ingnores me and continues to write.

For kicks, here are the rest of her Q& A's:

  1. First memory: Wanted mommy
  2. Favorite Place: Beach
  3. Best Friend: Reagan
  4. Best Character Trait: Kindness
  5. Favorite Memory: Going to Ariel's School
  6. Interesting Fact: I like to sing
  7. Favorite Activity: Jump rope
  8. Only bad habit: Picking up butterflies

So, now I'm curious, how would you answer?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Likeness

The thought was to hang some pictures of the kids on the living room wall. Apparently this house has more wallspace than our last house, because the art that adorned the walls of our old home hasn't put a dent in the decorating needs of this house. In the absence of having any "real art" to hang, I thought I'd hang pictures of the kids - which are more beautiful than anything I could purchase from a gallery (sappy mom thing to say). While my photos are being developed, I decided to draw goofy pictures of the kids as placeholders for the real thing. Avery came home and wanted to know why I drew him looking like "Sheen" from "Jimmy Neutron". Oops. Amelle was pleased with her rendition, but thought it needed some lipstick.





...Amelle also wanted to know why there was a "number 10" under her picture. I had to explain that the "L & E" at the end of her name had been cut off by the matting. That's an Amelle-ism for ya.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Going Up!

Avery, "5 tries no fails"


Amelle, "just observing"

Joelle, "Spidergirl"

Will, "Proof that 3 is the new 5" (the class was for kids 5-12)
For the record, Mina and Amaya are not shown because I can only post 4 pictures at a time (I thought that by posting the pictures smaller, I'd be able to fit more on - apparently a failed hypothesis). Mina had a great time going up and "falling" gracefully. Amaya had to be removed from the premises due to a pre-nap meltdown.
Good times!
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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Coldplay

Okay, so this is the 2nd time I've broken my vow not to blog about the weather (maybe the third, but who’s counting?). This week has been FREEEEZZING! I will try to give this blog a point, instead of just ranting about how my teeth ache when I walk outside, or about the anxiety I feel, knowing that in 30 minutes I am going to have to turn the corner onto Temple Street and get socked by hurricane force winds emanating off of the Atlantic.

Oh and now I live with the heat-miser, more like the heat nazi, “No heat for you!”. Last night I dare put the heat up to 64 in our bedroom and the Heat-miser came in and practically suffered a heat stroke. “I can’t breathe”, “I wake up at night sweating”, he complained.

So maybe he’s officially a “Mainer” and I am not. I still fear the cold; Mainers bask in it. They don’t complain about snow, they pray for it. (I literally received an e-mail from a co-worker whom I had never met, signed “Praying for snow, then his name”.) Mainers dig weather, all types of weather – and they have the gear for it (have you ever browsed an LL Bean catalog?). Even this week with temperatures at -2, I saw people biking (yes, cycling) to work in the morning. Sure they were bundled up, but I was driving to work in a 80 m.p.h. sauna all week; the heat was blasting at 90 degrees for an hour, I just need to install cedar wood on the interior and put a few eucalyptus springs in the passenger seat and I’m set! I digress.

Anyway, it’s like someone forgot to tell Mainers that cold weather stinks. Shaun and Jermaine took the kids out snowmobiling in zero degree weather and no one even seemed to realize that it was cold. Ice fishing (aka beer drinking on ice) is popular here, people set up little huts in the middle of a frozen lake and drill a hole in the ice and then just sit their for hours waiting for a buzz, er, I mean bite. Another time, the boys took the kids snowmobiling on a lake in NH where there were planes landing and people’s cars parked – people were barbequing and having a party out there on a frozen lake in the middle of February!

Also, shorts never seem to go out of season for Mainers. Yes, Mainers wear shorts in below freezing temperatures. I’ve seen it on numerous occasions with my own two eyes. This isn’t an urban legend, this is for real. We had to laugh last month when we picked up Sylvia and Ariel at the airport. They looked like two little Eskimos all bundled up to their eyeballs with fur around their hoods, but that’s what I call sensible, temperature-appropriate attire. Shorts at 20 degrees is wrong.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wit and Wisdom from Avery

I often find that my best conversations with Avery occur after bedtime. I guess he just figures it's either talk to me or go to bed, and talking to me is often the lesser of two evils. It's that stolen time - I'm sure he's figured out that the longer he keeps me engaged, the longer he'll stay up. Last night he came downstairs to the kitchen where I was working on the laptop, which has become the 2nd most used "appliance" in the kitchen (surpassed only by the refrigerator). I digress. Last night's exchange went like this:
"I can't go to sleep, my mind is overflowing"
Me: "Really, what are you thinking about"
A: "Everything"
Me: "Like what?"
A: "Like all the things I have to do tomorrow and all the things I want to do tomorrow. It's like 15 things of each".
Me: "Like what?"
A: "I don't know, like bring my folder to school tomorrow"
Me: "Your folder is already in your backpack, time to go to sleep"
A: "What if I can't?"
Me: "Then meditate on God's word. You know more scripture than I do! Think about some of the verses that you have memorized; the bible says we should meditate on God's word, if you're having trouble sleeping, that would be a good time to practice that".
A: "I know one: 'It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven". [look of concern]
Me: [sensing concern because Avery might think that we're "rich" - a conclusion that he came to when he saw me spend the equivalent of his life savings at the grocery store] "Do you know what that scripture means?"
A: "No"
Me: "It just means that you can't love God and money, you have to love one or the other and God wants you to put him first, over everything else. Some people have trouble with that"
A: [relieved] "Oh, well I love money 6th"
Me: "Well what do you love 1st?
A: "God"
Me: "Well what do you love 2nd through 5th?" (I figured it was going to be a pecking order: me, Jermaine, Amelle, and Amaya)
A: "Jesus, then the Holy Spirit"
Me: "We'll they're all God, so technically they're all number 1. What's next?"
A: "Family"
Me: "Then what's 5th?"
A: "Snowmobiles" (the list was getting desperate and freaky)
Me: "Okay Fred, time for bed".

Note: Yes, it's an old photo of Avery (for those who are paying attention).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Then & Now

Since March marks the 1 year anniversary of owning our house, I thought it would be fun to post pictures of what it looked like then and what it looks like now, so you can see what we've been up to all year. We're far from finished, but we've come a long way from where we were!

This photo was taken last February (before we closed). This was the previous homeowner's basement.
 


This photo was taken on Friday - the basement is almost a playroom! Just need to finish up the trim, paint the french doors that lead to Jermaine's office, and move in all the toys!!
 
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Friday, March 02, 2007

Observations From the Field

I’m totally not in the mood to blog, but since I didn’t get a chance to update this week, I feel I must post something. This is a warning, cause I don’t know what’s going to spill out of the old bag of noodles tonight…

This week I was driving behind a vehicle that had the bumper sticker, “Got Pot?” ..it was a play on the “Got Milk” thing. I had to wonder what kind of idiot would advertise the fact that he is a pothead on his bumper sticker. I mean, why not just have a sign on your car that says, “Police, stop me, there is a chance that I’m either high, or have the illegal substance in my car”. One might even argue that the bumper sticker in and of itself is reasonable cause to search a vehicle. Anyway, I had to speed up and pass him, just to see what the idiot looked like. As suspected, a rather dopey looking fellow, driving along with his jaw hanging loosely, causing his mouth to be far more ajar than necessary or normal. The whole scene could’ve been an anti drug commercial.

my last google search for an image depicting the “Hand of God” lead me to the artwork in my below post. I actually like that piece a lot. I like it like I would pay money for it and hang it in my house. I like it like I e-mailed the artist to find out if it was for sale. I was disappointed to find out that the artist is not Christian, and in fact the piece is called “hand of a god”. I am not convinced I should care, because I’m thinking that what is important is not necessarily the artist’s view, but my own feelings when I look at the piece. Nonetheless, I found myself searching for some “Christian art”, because surely if a non-believer could depict the hand of God in such a moving way, a Christian could really work some magic on the canvas. Well, my search for Christian art left me utterly disappointed. I’m sure Thomas Kinkade appeals to some people, but give me a break, you’d think he’s the only Christian that God gave talent to. His art doesn’t appeal to me in the least. I think I might actually hate it. It’s so grandma. Where are the cool, talented Christians and where is their art? So Oh, the picture to the left, yes, I had to post it, I came across it while I was on my quest. Scary! So this is a plea, if you come across a Christian artist that has some neat stuff that doesn’t include scripture, guesses of what Jesus looks like, or freaky looking people, please let me know.

I’m in a negative space right now. Probably by the time you’re reading this I’ll be normal, but right now I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit disgruntled. You might be sensing this.

Okay, how about this. Why do men’s pants come in actual waist and length measurements and women’s pants come in “sizes”. It’s not right. Let’s unite and start a movement! I want the inseam listed on the tag! What’s worse is that women have to have several different lengths of pants depending on the shoe. I have jeans that I can wear with sneakers and jeans that I have to wear with heels. Men, they’re so simple, all they have to do is pick out the waist size and inseam size (38 x 34), and it’s a perfect fit every time. Just ridiculous.