Monday, March 31, 2008

Just as I suspected...

Pennsylvania IS having spring! Blasted!

On Friday we ventured out of Maine in the midst of a beautiful Spring snowstorm. We arrived late Friday night, but it was still warmer in PA than it had been earlier in the afternoon when we left Maine. On Saturday we spent most of the day running around and at the House of Bethesda. However, we weren't too busy to notice the 50 degree, sunny weather AND the blooming forsythia, tulips, daffodils, dogwood trees, and that green stuff the covers the dirt...what's it called....oh yeah...grass.

Audra gave me explicit shooting instructions for the House, but my first photography assignment was a complete and utter failure. My best shot is below - #1 on the grid. The mirrored address plate with the blurred city background. I actually like that shot, but it was luck, not skill. Skill is when you see the shot in your head and then you manipulate your camera to get that shot. Luck is when you shoot a million pictures and then like one or two of them. I have learned that I am a luck photographer.

Feeling like an utter failure, I spent the afternoon on Sunday shooting the kids...they're easy. Even if the photography itself is crap, at least I can take pleasure in the subjects.



Of course the trip was another complete whirlwind. Even the kids had an agenda. Apparently somewhere on 95 South, Avery and Amelle devised an agenda for Grandmom's house...Saturday went something like this: Go to McDonalds for lunch, Grandma buy us Webkinz, Go to a movie or Chuck E Cheese, have ice cream, stay up late.

On Sunday, spring turned back into winter somewhere in Connecticut, and by NH there were patches of snow on the ground. Once we hit Maine there were no signs of grass, brown or otherwise.

Yet, there's still no place like home.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Beautiful Spring Day in Maine

Photograph was taken from my back deck this morning.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Love





"You can't blame gravity for falling in love"

-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!


Nothing better than seeing the kids faces on Easter (& Christmas). Amelle and Avery both said that they heard the EB hopping around last night. Hmmmm...


The EB also hid a bunch of Easter eggs - the kids were on the move this morning!


Big smiles today! The kids spent all afternoon outside! Yahoo! Signs of spring!


Maya take her Red Flyer for a road test (up until now it had only been driven around our house). It was brisk (as evidenced by her red runny nose) but no complaints - at least we were outside!

Jerms and I realized that today was the first time we had ever spent a holiday with just the 5 of us. Crazy, huh?

Anyway, hope your Easter was as wonderful as ours was!
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Blessed Day

Today we spent the day with one of Jermaine's co-workers and her amazing family. A while back Jerms had mentioned that Lavida's father-in-law had a sports training facility in Massachusetts, he mentioned that he was a Christian man and then he told me a story about how as a boy, he had been given some advice: wake up at 4am every morning and run 7 miles. He followed this advice and became really good at football, even playing for the New England Patriots back in the 60s. At the camp, all the campers are also required to engage in this exercise.

Last week Jerms mentioned that Lavida's family holds a "Cross Ceremony" the day before Easter, and she invited us to come. Not knowing exactly what to expect, we went. It was an amazing day. The Burton family is so special, just steeped with grace and humility. They are clearly tight knit and there is an air of reverence not only for the Lord, but for their father, who passed away a few years ago. So many smiles and so much warmth. I noticed a sign hung up in the game room, "God first, Others second" - this was evident today.
Before we ventured out on the cross walk, we each wrote some of our struggles on a card and sealed them in an envelope. We then walked a half mile with the heavy cross, people took turns lugging it while remembering that our Savior did this after a brutal flogging. Up hill, down hill, through the mud, over the snow. Once we reached the top of the hill, each person was given the opportunity to nail their envelope to the cross, as a symbol of "giving it to the Lord" to work out for us.


Lavida and her husband Phil take their turn carrying the cross.


Avery nails our envelopes to the cross.


Easter egg hunt! Amaya, Luke, and Jasmine gather eggs in the maze of trees.


The big kid egg hunt! It was on!! Even Amelle was in it to win it! Actually, Avery ended up getting the coveted "golden egg" - this was really special because it contained $20!

It was a great day on so many levels. Looking forward to celebrating our Savior's resurrection tomorrow! Feeling blessed...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Has Anyone Else Noticed...

...that saddle shoes and police cars have an oddly similar design?







Thursday, March 20, 2008

Status of Race Relations in a Bi-Racial Home

Not good this week. This is the reason why:

...and I view the unrest in our home this last week as a microcosm of what will happen in this country if Obama is elected.

Looking forward to hearing Barack's contrived political speech on race that everyone is raving about. Time to brush up on my slavery facts, black panther facts, civil rights facts, and black opression in America in general...cause they all have been brought up in the last 24 hours. America: get ready! The elephant has entered the room!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Celebrate even the wee things!

While she was busying herself with a matchbox car, Amaya followed me into the bathroom. She wasn't paying any attention to me, but after I "went potty", she looked up, smiled heartily, and clapped, "Yay Mommy, you did it".

I had to laugh. When was the last time you got praise for going pee pee on the potty? Next trip to the bathroom, be sure to give yourself a pat on the back! That was a learned behavior, and "you did it!"


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Miss Spring

I have a sneaking suspicion that Pennsylvania is having Spring while Maine is still having snow & ice. There aren't many times when I long to be back in PA (except for visiting my friends & family), but SPRING is one season I really do miss.

Seriously, Maine could learn a little something about Spring from Pennsylvania. In Maine, Spring is only about a week long.

Audra took this great picture of some tulips (grown elsewhere and imported to Maine, I'm sure!). I don't think we'll see them start to break ground here for a while, I still have a huge snowbank in my front yard! :-(


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Pictures from yesterday's St. Paddy's Day dinner at the Caseys. Good times!

Yes, that is a piece of corned beef across Wendy's upper lip (this is where I refrain from further commentary).
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Night Shift

You're alone, trapped inside of a small box, perhaps 4' wide x 7' high. The walls are mostly glass, but it's so dark beyond them that they might as well have been painted black. You've been trapped inside of this box for several hours. Your only source of companionship is your own thoughts, which, quite frankly, had turned on you after about the 3rd hour. It's February in Maine, which means it has been below freezing outside for hours, fortunately your box is equipped with a small space heater to keep you warm. The only downside of this heater, aside from the humming sound and the inability to control the temperature between hot, hell, and freezing, is that the continuous stream of recirculated dry air has chapped all of your skin and your lips to the point of cracking, and your eyes and mouth are so dry that you feel like you could spit sand.

Your box is in the middle of nowhere and it's pitch black outside. The only light for miles comes from inside your glass box, making you feel extremely vulnerable. You try to see beyond your box, but the glass just reflects you in all your misery.

Suddenly, in the distance, you spot two small lights. You perk up thinking that these lights could momentarily rescue you from hours of loneliness, boredom and paranoid thoughts.

The lights draw closer and you stand up off your wooden stool, which squeaks against the concrete floor as you stand. You hadn't realized that your left butt cheek had fallen asleep and upon standing, you begin to feel tingling down your leg. You briskly shake your leg without taking your eyes off of the lights, which are headed towards you. You reach your arms above your head into a full stretch and let out a long groan. You quickly glance down at your counter, the money is lined up in all denominations, just like you had left it several hours before. It seemed so long ago that you purposefully lined up so many various denominations of change.

The lights are almost upon you, and you try to figure out what type of car they are leading based on the their positioning. You've played this game what feels like a million times before. It's a game you invented to amuse yourself, but you are hardly ever right, and it isn't very amusing to be wrong all the time.

The lights are now coming towards you predictably slower; you can't wait to see who the driver is. You wonder if they'll have exact change or if they'll need change. You hope they'll need change, as it will keep them with you for just a few moments longer. You plan your conversation, maybe you'll just say "thank you", or maybe you'll say "how ya doin' tonight?" and hope that they have a good story to tell you. They never do; they never stay for more than a few seconds, but you know that after they leave you'll be able to think about them for a while and fresh thoughts are always good. You'll wonder where they are headed and then you might make up an amusing little story about their lives.

The lights are now here, but something terrible is happening, the driver is veering to the left. "No!" you want to scream. You watch the car, a blue Honda, drive past and then accelerate into the night.

"Freakin' EZ Pass", you mumble silently as you sulk back onto your hard wooden stool. You glance at your watch, but it has only been minutes since you last checked the time. Then your thoughts take hold of you again.


As I was driving to work the other day, I thought that being a tollbooth collector must be one of the worst vocations ever. This morning while I was mentioning this observation to Shaun, he agreed and said that he had heard that toll-booth collectors have one of the highest suicide rates. I personally can't even imagine being cooped up in a toll booth for one night. I think I would seriously go crazy (crazier?). I don't know what those people make, but they deserve a raise.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Perfect Kiss


Seriously.

In my opinion, this is the best chocolate ever.

I love it so.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

*PING*

Has anyone else noticed the "Ping phenomenon" that is going on? When did "PING" become one of the most commonly used words in the workplace? In terms of usage, it's right up there with "fax" and "file".

Has anyone else (aside from Jerms and I) noticed the use (and sometimes overuse) of this new fancy word?

Addendum: I can see by the comments that further clarification is needed. "Ping" is now used kind of like "remind". It's almost like a friendly flick on the arm when you fall asleep in class. For example, if my team in on a conference call and one person is missing, someone will say, "I'll ping her" (about the missing person). This means that that person will send the missing person an IM (instant message), saying, "are you joining the call", or something to remind them that we're all on the call.

Jermaine recently received an e-mail, the subject line was "Ping" and the e-mail was a reminder for him to do something.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What Does Your Google Say About You?

If you look at your "google log" (the things that you've googled), what does it say about you?

I've got some crazy stuff on there. I guess that means I'm crazy?

No seriously, I've got a little bit of everything, from "Save Darfur" and searches for organizations in Maine to help African refugees, to adoption, snid-bits of scripture that I wanted to locate in the bible, brain tumor symptoms, volunteerism policies, new FMLA regulations, Disney vacations, various Christian ministries, kyoto agreement, Valentino Achak Deng, night terrors, treadmill reviews, worlds largest snowman, Barack Obama, writing a book proposal, and numerous words that I've looked up the meaning and/or spelling of.

Some of it is natural curiosity, some of it is genuinely work related, and the rest is me just searching. I had to question if I'm searching for contentment in places other than in Jesus. Maybe I'm looking to deeply into this, I don't know, I have to think about it some more.


What does your google say about you?


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What's The Score?

Jerms challenged me to take a typing test, I was dissapointed that I only scored 60 wpm (with 8 mistakes) - which made my adjusted typing speed 52 wpm.

Dirt got 40 wpm. I was hoping to crush him, but instead I just beat him.

What did you get? (on your first try!! - don't practice all day and then give me the results - just give me your first try score! (I'm on to you).


http://www.typingtutor.org/

(Oh, isn't that a disgusting picture? I can barely look at it) Ewwww

Monday, March 03, 2008

My family makes me smile




"I forgot not to tell Amaya that Hunter is gonna eat her"








"Whales have bad breath, you can smell it for miles away"








[woke Jermaine up the other morning by a swift kick to the "male parts"]








[Received an e-mail from husband, subject header: "This is me today...." - photo to the right was the body of the e-mail






His one redeaming quality: he does have cuteness on his side.



Sunday, March 02, 2008

CHILLIN at the Beach

The sun made it seem deceivingly warmer than it probably was, but nonetheless, it inspired me to toss out the idea to go down to the beach for some "fresh air". When we announced to the kids that we were going to take a quick ride over to the beach they were thrilled, Amelle asked if she could pack her bathingsuit (I said no).
Here are the Moore children at Seapoint Beach (one of Jerms' favorite fishing spots).
Avery finds me a heart rock:

Amelle tests out the water-proofness (is that a word?) of her Croc boots. (can you imagine how cold that water is?
Amaya snuggles with her dad

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Alice the Enchanted

A few months ago I shrunk Audra and I down to age ten and wrote this little story (if you can call it that) about us. I had forgotten about it until this morning, and just read it to the kids.


Alice thinks she is enchanted. She’s not, but I let her think that I think she is. She thinks this because she once made Toby Brown eat a grasshopper. It was dead, but it was still disgusting. We were walking home from school one day, and Toby was following behind us. We were laughing really loud to make him think that we had a secret. We didn’t really have a secret, the only reason we were even laughing in the first place was because we knew he was listening and trying to figure out what it was that we were giggling about. He doesn’t know that ten-year old girls just happen to giggle sometimes for no reason.

In the midst of our giggling, Alice abruptly stopped walking and let out a shrilling scream. I was still giggling, which was a little bit awkward for me because one of the first rules of friendship is not to laugh when your friend is scared or sad. When I looked at Alice, I could see shear terror in her eyes, and they were even a little bit watery (but that could’ve been left over from the laughing). She was standing absolutely upright, with her math book pressed tightly up against her chest with one arm, and the other arm perfectly extended straight out in front of her all the way down to the hot pink paint on her first finger nail, which was pointing down at a rather large grasshopper, who appeared to have had the misfortune of trying to cross a school sidewalk at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Toby rushed in front of us to see what Alice was screaming about. When he saw that it was a grasshopper, he heroically picked it up, which made Alice scream even louder.

“Get that thing away from me!”, she hollered at Toby.

Toby quickly covered it with his other hand. “There’s nothing to be afraid of, Alice, its dead”, he said, trying to console her.

“No, it’s not”, she said.

“Yes, it is”, Toby insisted, then he pulled his cupped hands up to his eyes and peeked through his fingers to make sure. “It’s definitely dead”, he declared.

“Just get it away from me”, Alice demanded.

Without a thought, Toby uncupped his hands, picked up the dead grasshopper by it’s legs, and plopped it into his mouth. I’m not sure if he meant to do that, or if he was nervous because Alice seemed to be upset at him, or if he just wanted to get it away from her per her demand, but didn’t know where to put it. For a moment, he had a surprised expression, then he chewed it twice, crunch, crunch, and then swallowed it. Once he recovered from the dry swallow he smiled triumphantly, as though he had slain the dragon for his princess.

“Eeeewwwww!” Alice and I simultaneously screeched before we busted into laughter.

Toby has had a huge crush on Alice since September. Not because she’s enchanted (because she’s not), but because she has a bright smile. I’m not really even sure what a bright smile is, since Alice doesn’t have braces or anything sparkly in her mouth besides teeth, but that’s what my mom said about her when she met her. That’s probably why Toby is in love with her, even though she thinks it’s because she’s enchanted, which she is not.