Friday, February 29, 2008

Kids on Cake

(Images from Amelle's Birthday party, courtesy of Uncle Jeff)

Storypeople quote of the day:

Here's the Story of the Day:

Creature on Fire
This is a creature on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing, instead of the whole world.
I love storypeople.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clinical Trial THIS:

Audra has been sick with the flu for a few days and while IMing this morning, I made her "LOL". When I told her to conserve her energy, she replied that "laughter is the best medicine". Then I thought about it and came up with a few more things that I think are the good medicine:

1. Fresh Air

2. Rest

3. Laughter (per Audra)

4. Love (per Audra, but I agree)

5. Prayer

6. Crackers/Soup/Gingerale (if I have to, I'll spread these out over 6, 7, & 8)





I'm looking for your input on 7-10....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shameless Endorsement

I know that my brother has had his ups and downs with blogs and websites, however, I think this new one is here to stay (at least until baseball season). About a month ago (I think), the dynamic duo decided to merge their independant blogs and websites into one master blog, which they both update. I have been reluctant to point this out to anyone in fear that this one, like so many others, would start out strong, but then fade away.

However, they have proven that teams outperform their individual members and thus, the blog has been strong, with special attention from Shaun via the "twitter/iphone" combo. Their most recent post brought me to tears (more the "comments" than the post), and I thought to myself, "now is the time". So if you haven't already meandered over to the right and clicked on "Shaun and Wendy", check 'em out.

Now, how do I get Kristy, Nicky, and Pam to update theirs more often? Hmmmmmm.... (I'm nosey, People! I need to know what's going on!) ...and Audra, she's a powerblogger - 5 days with nothing and then 5 posts in one day. Love you all, one day I vow to host a "Blogger Reunion", where we'll all get together IN PERSON! Yay us!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Man Rules (not Men Rule)

Love this e-mail chain that I got this morning. As I read through it though, I editorialized...I couldn't resist!

THE RULES FROM THE MALE SIDE. (THESE ARE ALL NUMBERED "1 " ON PURPOSE! ) em: Is it because men can’t count?


1. LEARN TO WORK THE TOILET SEAT. YOU'RE A BIG GIRL. IF IT'S UP, PUT IT DOWN.WE NEED IT UP, YOU NEED IT DOWN. YOU DON'T HEAR US COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU LEAVING IT DOWN. em: Men don’t use it in the down position? Hmmm – must be uncomfortable when they make #2.

1. SUNDAY SPORTS IT'S LIKE THE FULL MOON OR THE CHANGING OF THE TIDES. LET IT BE. em: How so? It seems to me that Sunday sports is not like the full moon or the changing of the tides in any discernable way.

1. CRYING IS BLACKMAIL. em: sounds like it’s working.

1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. LET US BE CLEAR ON THIS ONE: SUBTLE HINTS DO NOT WORK! STRONG HINTS DO NOT WORK! OBVIOUS HINTS DO NOT WORK! JUST SAY IT! em: case in point, on Valentines Day I mentioned that I LOVED this little heart shaped rock that I saw at Kennedy Studios in Portsmouth to my husband, while he was driving home from work. Oh, I raved about the beauty of this piece, how the framing was exquisite and how it would make the best valentines gift for “someone”. An hour later my husband arrives home with a card (that he left in his work bag) and declares; “sorry no gift, I didn’t know what to get you”. Yes, Jerms, you deserved to be called out on the carpet for that one!

1. YES AND NO ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS TO ALMOST EVERY QUESTION. em: Hmmm…let’s test this out: Which gender is smarter, men or women?

1. COME TO US WITH A PROBLEM ONLY IF YOU WANT HELP SOLVING IT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. SYMPATHY IS WHAT YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ARE FOR. em: Girlfriends help us solve a whole host of problems that men couldn’t do anything with, particularly those pertaining to our more complex body parts (ovaries, fallopian tubes, vulvas, brains).


1. IF YOU THINK YOU'RE FAT, YOU PROBABLY ARE. DON'T ASK US. em: This question should be a “gimme” for any man. It’s an opportunity for you to build us up, like you did when we first met. Men are so dumb, and you wonder why you “never get any” – YOU GOT NO GAME!




1. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DID NOT NEED DIRECTIONS AND NEITHER DO WE. em: Christopher Columbus didn’t know where the hell he was, and neither do men most of the time.

1. ALL MEN SEE IN ONLY 16 COLORS, LIKE WINDOWS DEFAULT SETTINGS. PEACH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A FRUIT, NOT A COLOR. PUMPKIN IS ALSO A FRUIT. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAUVE IS. em: Mauve is a disgusting color that died in the 80s, remove it from your vocabulary.

1. IF IT ITCHES, IT WILL BE SCRATCHED. WE DO THAT. em: With what? Let’s see, you have nubs on your fingers and razor blades on your toes. Thanks anyway.


1. IF YOU ASK A QUESTION YOU DON'T WANT AN ANSWER TO, EXPECT AN ANSWER YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR. em: unless you ask during a TV show, then you won’t get any reply, because they haven’t heard the question.

1. WHEN WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING YOU WEAR IS FINE... REALLY. em: Really? How about just our underwear? …to the kids’ soccer game?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Get Used to it Sistah...

On her way to take newborn pictures of Beckett, Audra stopped by to snap some shots of Amelle (and to kick my children's butts in Uno, using my hand - sweet!). Amelle is a pretty easy subject, she's got naturally agreeable features (unlike her mother) and a compliant disposition (will do anything for ice cream).
As we dressed her and tossed her hair around, Audra told her to "get used to it" because she'll be the part of the photography experimentation until she's 18. These are my "over the shoulder" shots from Saturday (yes, I could've done something with her hair, but give me a break - this was short notice!).

Audra: "give me some attitude"

Eat your heart out Gap (the shirt is Ralph Lauren and the scarf is Walmart - if the marketing people for those two places want to pick her up - wait a second, doesn't Walmart just put the kids of the people who work there in their ads? ...hmmmm...I might be insulted if random people started stopping me to say, "your kids should be Walmart models"!)

Amelle being a kid (one of my favorite shots)

...and Audra says that my kids don't have "attitude"....I say try living with them! Then you'll see attitude!

Is SHE watching IT...

Or is IT watching HER?

Amaya sprained her ankle on Friday and can't really bear weight on it. It's been interesting trying to keep her occupied while she can't walk. We spent most of the morning playing with a ladybug and the water in the kitchen sink. Despite my repeated warnings ("Mr. Ladybug doesn't like the water"), eventually the two play items came in contact, and Mr. Ladybug met his untimely demise. Fortunately we have lots of ladybugs around the house, so we found others to play with (torment?). I kind of like all the ladybugs we have; they're as fun as the dog and I don't have to feed them or let them out. I suppose if I were to pick any insect to be infested with, I'd choose the ladybug, so life is good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Think Spring!

Avery walked through a foot of snow in shorts last weekend to deliver this to our awesome neighbors (Deb and St. Rick). They don't own a computer, so I can basically say whatever I want about them, so here it is: they rock! They are so wonderful and thoughtful. They're the kind of neighbors that try to "out-nice" us. (Don't you just hate that?) When Breyers ice cream is on sale, Deb will randomly drop off a half gallon just because she knows that Jerms likes it, they delivered a whole "welcome to the neighborhood" bag filled with goodies when Hunter moved in (even though he torments them), and the list could go on and on... The kicker is that any time I try to reciprocate in even the smallest way, they then do something even nicer for us! They're evil that way!
Rick has plowed our driveway about a million times this winter. (Jermaine's back loves Rick). I dedicate the term "think spring" to my wonderful neighbors (even though they'll never see this).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Opinions: We're all entitled to one (or more)

Jerms just called me and was disturbed by the number of deleted comments on my previous post (he thought that I looked like I was having schizophrenic conversations with myself). Then he said, "its just opinions, and we're all entitled to them" - I thought that was genius, so therefore I share this wisdom with my beloved readership. If you know me, you know that I love to give my opinions, but I also love to hear the thoughts of others, particularly those who have a different perspective than me - because it's fun to learn something, or to look at things from a different angle (or debate people so that they can see why I am right - no, never!).

Yay opinions! Let yours stop in here and hang out for a while!

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Republican for Obama

I think I have slipped over to the dark side (no puns please). Last night, I looked lovingly into my husband's eyes and declared that I think I am going to vote for Osama, then I remembered that he is the bad guy, and quickly corrected myself, "No, OBAMA"...

I know that Obama and I don't share the same political views on many major issues (except Affirmative Action - Jerms once told me that Obama and I have the same view on that - which confirmed his intelligence), but honestly, I am thinking of voting for him because he's black (well, half black). ...and no, that's not wrong. Get off your high horse, I do have actual reasons. Plus, my vote will be countered by someone who won't vote him purely because he is black, so relax!

I will clear the record here by telling you that I have not been brainwashed by Audra (who is voting for him based on the fact that he signed the Kyoto agreement in support of God's creation, aka: the environment), my brother & Wendy (who refuse to tell me who they're voting for, but I secretly caught them doing a covert fist pump upon hearing the Obama took Maine), or Sylvia (who is voting for him solely because he's black, but asserts that he is also a Christian - and not just the type who is only a Christian during an election).

If you know anything about me, you know I'm not about conforming - so truly believe me when I tell you, none of these people have influenced by decision. Here's how it really went down:

Shaun posted the Will.I.Am video of Barack's speech and I watched it with tears rolling down my cheeks (not a lot, but a few). Once I composed myself, I called the kids over to watch it. I wanted them to see that a black man was running for president. I was excited for them to see the success of someone "like them". In a world where there are so many negative stereotypes for black men, I loved showing them a video clip of a black man that I could say, "may be the next president of the United States".

Explore that.

This next president is going to be the first president that my kids remember; they will grow up under this president's reign. Avery will be 9, 10, 11, 12 and possibly 13, 14, 15, & 16 and 0bviously Amelle will be trailing right behind him. My bi-racial children, who the world will try to force their affirmative action on, even though my kids are brighter and "more priviledged" than average (sorry if that sounded vain, it wasn't meant to), will see that the most powerful man in the world is bi-racial, just like they are! How sweet is that!?!? What pride for my kids to identify in a special way (in a way that they can't with either of their parents, their cousins, or their friends) with the president of the US!

That excites me!

The other thing about having a black president that really excites me is the notion of black people not being suppressed by "the (white) man" any more. Oh how I love this idea! "The man" will now be black, so we won't have to continue to hear Sharpton and his cohorts perpetuate the notion that black people continue to be held back. Wahoo! Liberation!

I am deeply passionate about this concept.

Lastly, in looking back over the last eight years - Bush hasn't really furthered the causes that I am passionate about, he probably blocked some progress from the "other side", but the world isn't necessarily better because he was in office (I know many would argue that it's worse). So I think, how bad could Obama mess things up in the next 4 (8?) years? I mean really?

I just picked up his autobiography today so that I can glean some insight into this hopeful. Then I'll check out his campaign to see what his promises are. As long as he's somewhat moderate and it looks reasonably promising that in 8 years we won't be a socialist country, and I won't be paying tax dollars for abortions for 14-year olds, then I may cast my vote for him in November.

I'm all over this. I'll keep you posted on my research.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's just not fittin'

I had to laugh at this pitiful scene; Dirt's new man-toy doesn't quite fit in the garage.

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Special Guests

We were blessed to have special guests in town for Amelle's birthday. Grandmom & Ariel and Uncle Jeff & Auntie Dawn came in for the weekend. It was so great to see everyone!

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Seventh Heaven

Yesterday Amelle turned seven and we celebrated with a Hanna Montana Pajama Party from 6:30 -8:30. Everyone wore their pajamas and Amelle was in heaven running around and screaming with all of her cousins (except Beckett, who was screaming at home with his feeding system [aka: his Mother])

They may've looked pretty in the dining room, but watching me try to shove twelve of these over-sized balloons into the mini-van was not pretty, in fact, I was so pathetic that 2 separate good samaritans from the Shaws parking lot came over and helped me.

Ice-cream cake! Yummmmmm!

Amelle opens gifts with the help of her two oldest cousins

Every year since the time she was born Amelle has gotten flowers for her birthday. I wonder if that has something to do with it being the day after Valentines day - flowers just seem to be on my mind. This year I found some mini-roses, they were so cute...
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

44 Days

I'm a failure. Yes, Dirt is going to love this post. You win. There, I said it. You are the master of all things, oh mighty one of great stamina and willpower and I am lowly and meek.

Okay, I'll start at the beginning: At the end of the year Jerms took a look at our spending and tallied up our Dunkin Donuts expenses. As it turned out, we spent $1400 at D&D on our bank card alone. We guesstimated that we probably forked over another $200 in cash, leaving the grand total somewhere in the neighborhood of $1600 in Dunkin Donuts expenses for the calendar year 2007. (Here, we hang our heads low).

With great fury and determination, we made a pact that we would no longer spend our hard-earned money at D&D. However, Jermaine (knowing that he was personally responsible for at least $1500 of the $1600) nervously threw out a caveat, "how about we limit ourselves to $10 per month".

I agreed, knowing that I wouldn't ever dip into the $10 safety net. Let me just enlighten you on the Moore Family coffee habits. Jerms is known at the local D&D. He has personal relationships with the staff, they know how he likes his coffee prepared and have even been known to give him an occasional freebee. He sometimes goes twice per day. I, however, get an occasional iced coffee. My habits vary greatly. I can drink an iced coffee every day for a week and then not have one for two weeks. No problem for me to quit (or so I thought).

Some perspective: Have you ever gone on a diet? If so, you'll know that the day you decide to diet is the day that you are the hungriest you have ever been. And so it has been with my iced coffee addiction. Starting on January 1st, I have longed for iced coffee. My new route to work takes me past three D&D drive-thrus. THREE! Each day I have to talk myself out of stopping at all three. It's like there is a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other and I go back and forth rationalizing why I should/shouldn't stop. I'm borderline schizophrenic over it. I have tried to supplement my D&D Iced coffee with Cumberland farms (crap) and Starbucks (expensive). I have even succumbed to asking people to buy these treasures for me!

All this, and Jermaine asserts that he hasn't even thought about D&D. He claims to be just as content making his coffee at home or stopping at the local gas station. Blasted!

The highlight of this "competition" came a few weeks ago when Avery had an 8am basketball game. We ran out of the house without Jerms getting a coffee. I desperately tried to conceal my confident smirk, knowing that across the parking lot from Avery's game was a D&D. There was a game at 8am and 10am - this would mean the Jerms would have nothing to do between 9 and 10 - there was no doubt in my mind that he would break down and walk over to D&D during the break between games to satisfy his daily caffeine fix. Once he broke down, I would be free to stop for my beloved iced coffee whenever I pleased! Victory was mine!

However, much to my chagrin, Jerms did not succumb to his caffeine urges.

Today, as I drove past the 3rd D&D, weakened by my impending migraine headache, I decided that I would pack my pride in my pocket and stop in for a D&D iced coffee. I rationalized that it was medicinal (those who get migraines understand that caffeine can sometimes help ward off a headache). I also rationalized that I truly had spent more money avoiding D&D by buying people lunch to reciprocate for them buying me an iced coffee and stopping at Starbucks for a $5 java chip. I paid cash just in case my conscience would allow me to conceal my stopping. No chance.

I am the loser. I suppose I can live with that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm IT!

Nancy tagged me last week, now I'm it and going to tag 5 other people by the end of this blog. This is a silly little game, the rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

The book is "The Watson's Go To Birmingham-1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis - it's what I'm reading (yes another children's book, and yes another Newberry Honor book).

"Byron is getting old enough to have to understand that his time for playing is running out fast, he's got to realize the world doesn't have a lot of jokes waiting for him. He's got to be ready". Dad looked at me again to make sure I was understanding.

Hmmm...maybe I should've picked a non-fiction book. For kicks, here's the 5th sentence of page 123 of my NIV bible:

The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged. But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitiution belongs to the LORD and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for him".


Okay, I tag: Audra, Wendy, Nicky, Pam, and Trish (Kristy: you've already been tagged by Nancy!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Like Manna from Heaven

...only not as filling.

I think it's safe to say that I can barely recall a day when it didn't snow. We have had some form of precipitation every single day for about a week..I don't know...maybe more. Or, maybe less, but it just feels like more.

Anyway, on Sunday, the snow was coming down like mini-snowballs (Shaun described it as feathers), it was nuts.

You can see the individual flakes on our newly shoveled driveway...

We had to call Maya inside, in fear that the weight of these slushy monsters would knock her down.

Here, Avery catches ONE FLAKE on his thumb. Then he used it as the base of a snowman.
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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beckett has arrived!

Today has been an amazing day, truly one of the best in my life. Wendy called me at 6am and said that she had been up all night with contractions. We headed out to Walmart at 7am in hopes of moving things along. By noon, I was back home, things had slowed down a bit. At around 3pm Shaun and Wendy ventured off to the caucus. This outing seemed to speed things back up again. At around 5pm, they went to the hospital to get checked. She was 5cm. At 5:30 I arrived at the hospital. At that point, Wendy was still in relatively light labor. Wendy was content, she was putting mesh underwear on her head and challenging me to a wheelchair race. At 6pm her water broke. After that, it was "on". Full labor. No drugs. After about 45 minutes of contractions that made MY eyes water, the midwife gave her clearance to push. After the first push, the midwife said that she could see the head, I took a quick peak "down there", but didn't see anything. After the 2nd push Shaun motioned for me to look again, what I saw was absolutely the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Beckett's head was there...the whole thing, while the rest of his body was still nestled warmly inside his mom. Then the 3rd and most excruciating push and shoulders along with the rest of his little body flooded out and he was immediately lifted onto his mom's chest. It was an amazing moment. I am so proud of Wendy.

Wendy at 5:52pm

Wendy & Beckett at 7:02 pm

Awwwww... 7 lbs, 2 oz

The Casey men
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Deja Vu?

Remember this?'s kind of like what's going to happen today...stay tuned in to the play by play on
Shaun & Wendy's blog.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


On Wednesday I was facilitating a team-building session at work for Audra's department. As I was discussing "self-awareness", I told an anecdotal story about how I learned that I could be competitive through an exercise where my group was split into two teams and we were tasked with building the tallest structure. I personally ensured that my team would win by securing the top of our structure to the ceiling (then I clipped a "team flag" on the structure that said #1. - was that wrong?). I seriously surprised myself by how badly I wanted to win. Once we were finished, I almost became obsessed with ensuring that the other team didn't copy our idea to go to the ceiling. I even suggested turning the timer ahead to give them less time (cheater!!).

Anyway, as I mentioned to the group that I never considered myself to be competitive, Audra (loudly) choked on her iced coffee. Later, when I asked her about it, she explained that perfectionism goes hand-in-hand with competitiveness. I disagreed; I think perfectionism is less about what others think and more about the standard that I hold myself to. But maybe I'm wrong?

Jerms is competitive, he likes playing games, making bets, etc. I don't. I don't enjoy that at all. However, maybe I'm so absolutely competitive that I don't like to participate in competition unless I am sure of victory? (That would be a horrific realization).

What a quandry!

Since many of the people who read this blog know me, I was wondering if you perceive me as a competitive person?

Parenting: Wimps Need Not Apply

The topic of parenting has been on my mind lately. This might have something to do with my journey through Chuck Swindoll's series on parenting (the Lord knew what He was doing when He gave me an hour commute). Anyway, I was encouraged last week to hear him say "God has more wayward children than anyone, and He's the perfect Father!". I love that my faith allows me to be blameless for "the outcome of my children". A mother of grown children once told me that she doesn't take credit for her children's successes and she won't take blame for their failures. I think that's good advice. Ultimately, they belong to God, we just have temporary custody. That's not to say that we don't sometimes influence outcomes, I believe that we do. But God is bigger than anything that we do, and He wields the most influence on how our kids "turn out".

A while ago I read this prayer from another blog. I don't know this woman, but apparently she is a little like me (check the url address) ...and someone wrote this prayer for her. I wanted to put it someplace that I could read it every once in a while...

Raising children is so difficult…and we don’t have a clue what we are doing…but you are the Perfect Parent to us AND our children…Father, as this mom has confessed that her perfectionism is even extending now to her child, I beseech you Father to come in like a flood and give her Your Spirit in the place of her wrong attitudes….correct her thinking and heart with your a change in her that only you can do…we can’t change our hearts Lord, but you can…Father everytime she starts to compare her life to others or her child to others I pray she remembers that you created each of us uniquely and for a purpose in your kingdom…and we are not to be the same cookie cutter people…comparing ourselves to others is an awful snare Father……release her from it! Thank you Father.

I pray her deepest desire is to raise her child to love You first and foremost and that he/she would love others as him/herself…I ask Father that mom and child both absolutely and fully delight in the label “a child of the living God”…that it really sinks into her child’s heart how special he/she is to you….always….and to his/her mom too.

Thank you Lord that we can come boldly to you and ask anything according to Your will….
and I think that I have prayed things you do will…
In Jesus’ precious name

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Bro!

Happy Birthday Bro - May all of your birthday wishes come true!
I love you!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Day Four: Prickery Things

Jermaine left for Maine on Monday and I went to "work". I captured shots of some little prickery things on my walk from my casita to the lobby in the AM before work.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty much all work days. I missed having Jerms around at night, but I did manage to light the fire in my room (all by my self!) both nights. I headed home on Wednesday and was happy to see the kids when I arrived. Six days was the longest I had ever been away from all of them. It was good to be home!

Day 3: Grand Canyon...Lesson I

On Sunday we took a 4-hr road trip to the Grand Canyon (who knew it was in AZ) - not much of a geography buff, huh? ...But that wasn't my premier learning. My premier learning was that Arizona had snow capped mountains and temperatures that were reminicent of Maine. (Sure am glad I packed my capris!) ...we do have a shot of me standing in the snow with my capris and maryjane Crocs on - but it didn't make the top four...
(I was the passenger)

What kind of animals do they have here? At first I thought the sign was bent, but then all the signs looked that way. Do dinosaurs still live in AZ? Gosh, I can't get over the antlers on that thing - and those puny legs. We never did see a "live one" - whatever it was... but I am certain that I could've outrun it. (even with my Crocs on)

Yes, beautiful Arizona, just as I envisioned it (ha!). I believe this snowy scene was in the Flagstaff area.

Love this one. We finally arrive at the Grand Canyon and realize that the standing area before the 7000 foot drop is covered in ice, the 2 1/2 foot "ledge" didn't impress me either. Don't these people believe in rock salt?