Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon Carrots

You know those days when you go to the library to pick up more books for the children because you are SICK TO DEATH of looking for Goldbug and watching Dingo Dog get chased by Officer Flossy while the Pig Family goes to the beach through the mountains past a watermelon avalanche and a ginormous 17-car pile up but leaves that for Mistress Mouse to deal with so they can drive home safely to find new neighbors and a box of new car toys for everyone to ride around on?

Today was one of those days.

And don't you just hate it when you open up the first book -- a Curious George one from 1958 -- and there's George himself on page one smoking a big ole cigar?

Or how about your second choice -- a story about the American Revolution, no doubt it was set out by the children's librarian as a good choice for parents wanting to spark discussions about Independence Day -- and about 40 pages into the story of Sam & John (not kidding), the sons of Minutemen who go into battle with their fathers and their guns, one of them gets shot in the leg by the British?

Strike two.

At least after all that you have plenty of lettuce and dragon carrots to eat.

And these two:

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010: Broken Bow, Oklahoma

We drove ten hours.

We swam.

We hiked.

We discussed whether or not this was the location of Jesus's crucifixion. (It's not.)
We built and raced boats.
Sarah won.  (She's my favorite.)
Emma came in 2nd.  (She's also my favorite.)

Katie was the cheerleader.  (She's my other favorite, and she is 5 weeks older than John.)

And, last but not least: Lil Man.  Yes, there are four of them.  The last one is a boy!  So he's my favorite boy!

Unless of course, you're counting blood relations.
In that case, these are a few of my favorite things:

Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Run for a Reason

Brian has decided to do a 5k each month of the summer. He's run two so far ... one in May and the second one was today.  I hope to be joining him in July.

 The race was downtown, and it was nice to see that we still have a downtown after the flood.  The boys enjoyed it, and I curbed my negativity enough to get out of bed early, pump in the car, stand around in the heat with a bunch of skinny people in shortshorts, and not complain too excessively.

The run raised money for St. Jude Children's Hospital, which needs $1.5 million per day to stay in operation.  
 Go back and read that sentence again.

The national anthem was sung by a tiny little girl in her 28th month of chemotherapy.  After that, I was inspired to bite my tongue about how hot it was and how heavy the baby was getting and how my feet hurt just from standing around not racing.

We all participated in the one mile fun run prior to the big race. The four of us finished in less than 14 minutes, which is within one minute of the winner. The, um, winner of the 5k.  Ahem.

John tore off running 90-to-nothing but was walking before the half.  He rallied though, and was rewarded at the end with all the Gatorade he wanted.

I was tired of taking photos by the time Brian crossed the finish line, but we were very proud of his endurance in the heat and his 22ish minute time (with ZERO training, I might add)!

Afterwards, we all went home and sacked out.  Then John got up and mowed the entire back yard.

The experiences of today reminded me how lucky we are to have these two strong kiddos and our own health.  I will never be able to fathom our blessings, which is why I attempt to cultivate gratitude anywhere and everywhere I can.  This is hard for me as I tend to despair a lot and focus on the negative.  But after a day like today, I am reminded of all that is lovely in my life.

Happy weekend!

Underage Mowing (aka Child Labor)

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Friday, June 11, 2010


This is round number one million.

One million one.

One million two.

One million three.
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John's First Date

B and I needed a night out, so we booked a sitter. But then we started contemplating the idea of taking John-John along for his first date. He needed some one-on-one time.

First, we waited until bedtime the night before and sprung it on him.  He was silent.  So finally I was like, "WELL???  Are you going to come or not?"

His reply: "I'll think about it."

And that he did, for a solid 20 hours.  But in the end, he came along instead of staying home with our superfun sitter, Anna.

For the date, we first went to our favorite sushi place: Ken's.  John took along his "Giving" money from his jar, and (approximately $1.75) and "paid" for our meal.  Surprisingly, he even had enough leftover for the tip jar!

Then we went to our local Godiva Chocolatier. 

After tasting his truffle, he literally fell out in sheer delight.

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Last, we went to see Marmaduke, which was painful. 

But worth it.

Monday, June 07, 2010

And now, what you've all been waiting for: A discussion of our 1970s recliner & a garden growth report

The boys spend a lot of time in this chair. It's the chair my daddy rocked me in when I was little. Before we had it recovered, it was bright orange velour. I used the arm rest cover as a security blanket until I went to first grade. Called it "Cuv." Yes, it's a proper noun. Hundreds of dollars worth of change has cascaded through the framework of this chair, I'm sure. I love this chair and just about everything that's ever been in it.

In horticultural news, here are the headlines ...
We have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of lurking evil spirits since the installation of our bottle tree:The lettuce has taken off! The pointy stuff on the far right is Amish Deer Tongue. It's super tasty. So far I've cut the entire bed down twice ... so this is going to be the third gigantic harvesting. Everybody in the neighborhood and at my school is either eating salad or politely throwing it out.  As long as they're re-using my Ziploc gallon freezer bags, I'm OK with it.


This is John's bean plant, grown from seed at his preschool.  I let him plant it even though I'm pretty sure it's genetically modified and NOT heirloom.  My reasoning was that he's too young to understand the nuances of sustainable agriculture.  Unlike his mother, who is clearly an expert on this and many other topics.  

You know it's your favorite ... tri-color, silverbeet CHARD! With lemon basil mixed in randomly.

The Flamingo Boys are watching over our newest bed, which hasn't done squat since the flood. All my Sudduth's Brandywine heirloom beefsteaks (the ones passed down for 100 years in a family from Tennessee), all my peppers, which luxuriated on heating-pads from February until May, and 24 basil plants ... they look about like me after my jogging attempts of late.

But the carrots! These are red dragon carrots with German pink tomatoes in the background and some returning marigolds mixed in.

What in the world am I gonna do with that much Vitamin A?

Ponder these things, we must ...