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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pump it Up!

Okay-if you have a "Pump it Up!" franchise in your area you have got to take your kids there right away! This place is madness but the kids had a blast. It is basically a warehouse full of inflatable slides and bounce houses with music blaring and a million kids. We were there today for a birthday party and after 1 hour the kids were sweaty and completely wiped out. Naps were looking pretty likely for those still inclined and the rest of us who wish we had the time.

This blurry photo is Landry whooshing down a 20 foot slide screaming. What I wish I would have captured was the head over heels flip/crash that took place at the bottom of the slide and terrified me but apparently was hilarious to Landry as he jumped up howling with laughter.

McCall is invited to a party at the same place with friends in his age group (7-9 ish) and I think it will be interesting to see the different levels of bouncing interaction. He can't wait of course.

I really think they could probably come up with some crazy exercise class on this equipment because it is quite a workout for those of us over the age of 5.

This is definitely a must try for your kidlets!

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our Pet

This is funny! Mike had a "cutest pet photo" contest at work so this is the photo he entered! While we do have an actual pet-Jackson, a very furry 10 year old Golden Retriever, Mike favors this pet. When Landry is shy he growls rather than speaks. He is not shy very often but this response seems to make him feel much larger than his tiny 5-year-old self. I think its a pretty sensible response myself. As far as pets go this one is pretty smart and yes, adorable!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bombay Dreams!

Happy Birthday Mike! Yesterday was Mike's birthday and we had the best day! The morning started early for Mike as he left for his Saturday 7:00 AM run with his buddies. His first gift of the day was a Mountain Hardwear running jacket that he has been eyeing for some time. I placed it by the back door so he would find it on his way to run. He called me to say how much he loved it and of course he wore it all day! I had to do some convincing to get him to change to go out that evening. We went to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's, "Bombay Dreams", and it was so amazing. (This might explain Mike's goofy pose for his jacket photo.) The choreography and music was spectacular-I am definitely downloading the soundtrack. Afterward we went for a late dinner at Vivo in downtown Cleveland. It is a very swanky Italian place that had an amazing menu and made us wax nostalgic for our perfect honeymoon in Italy.

Mike's other gifts during the day included the famous Brooks Brothers "No Iron Shirt" and a new filing cabinet for our office. He couldn't have been happier! He said that it was the best birthday he has ever had and I was so happy to have made that happen for him. Mike works so hard and takes such good care of our family that he really does deserve to be celebrated. He's not a big celebrater of anything so I am trying to slowly convert him to my love of the "extravaganza"!

So-we definitely recommend the show if you have the chance and if you are ever in Cleveland we'll be happy to take you to Vivo. It was a great day.

Shakalaka Baby!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A few of my favorite things

So, one of the things I have discovered that I enjoy most about reading my friends' blogs is the wealth of sharing of even the tiniest details of each others interests, ideas, families and plain ole cool stuff. So I thought I might take a minute to introduce you to a few of my favorite things of late. So here goes:

1) this great new magazine for multi-tasking, gadget loving, and creat
ive moms called, "Cookie"

2) Aveda's great new product line, "elements", namely the Smoothing Fluid. My hair has become more curly each year and the 80% and above humidity levels of our lovely Lake Erie climate seem to create a frizz that until now has never survived in live captivity. Alas, upon my latest perusal of the intoxicatingly anice scented Aveda store I was given the best piece of hair advice I have ever received, "don't leave your bathroom without this and a flattening iron!"

3) A new home for my digital babies-Picasa --and no, I'm not pitching for Google. I just happened upon this new gem when i started my blog as some of you may have and I have been so impressed with it's interface and simple functionality-to sound not a little geeky! It is a really nice way to organize your millions of photos and it works well for creating unusual collages-especially for blog display (see my posting about creating stationery).

So there area few to mention for today so check them out.

Keep posting your favorite things because I personally get a lot of enjoyment out of it!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Luck o' the Irish

The Leprechauns visited our house last night! Landry and McCall carefully prepared their leprechaun traps last night with coins and all matter of sticky substances but somehow the sneaky leprechauns escaped. We could tell that they got into the house through the mail slot because they left a trail of gold coins and goodies behind while they were trying to check every door and window to get out. It was sheer madness at 7:30 AM (the earliest my children ever wake up on their own!) and we had so much fun! Of course we had shamrock cookies with our breakfast and McCall's lunch box was full of shamrock paper punches and stickers stuck to the ziplocs. Later tonght we are going to a St. Patrick's Day and birthday celebration at our friends' Neil and Lisa's. Neil is turning 40 so we can't wait to give him a hard time. Cleveland is basically Little Ireland so everything shuts down for the big parade and citywide celebration. It is fun to get swept up in the excitement!

Don't forget to wear your green today!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Family Jewels

You have to love little boys! This lovely jewel was a gift from my little Landry Jack (5). He made this bracelet especially for me. I had a hard time keeping the sticky note tab on the newspaper rubberband but when I picked him up from preschool and he saw that I was still wearing it, he couldn't have been happier. This kid is such a honey. He fills my well daily.

I love you, Landry Jack! Posted by Picasa

My Mantra

After my earlier post this morning I have realized I need to redirect my passion today! Here is my latest mantra combined with a favorite playtime activity of mine, designing stationery. I designed this one especially for my sister Emily that is in the MTC right now getting ready to leave for Berlin in April.

I'm not generally one to quote scripture but this is poetry and couldn't fit my life better right now so I'm certain there must be divine intervention in there somewhere. Here is the quote since the photo is a bit fuzzy:

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and chance happeneth to them all."

Ecclesiastes 9:11 Posted by Picasa

"I can't grade this."

Okay-today my post is a rant about teachers. My second-grade son McCall is making his way through the academic year in a way that can only be described as "slogging". Everything has been a monumental effort on his partas well as his parents' part. I consider myself a very involved parent and do my best to stay in touch with the teacher as well as volunteer in his classroom weekly to both help and be visible to him and his teacher. His teacher is let's say not the most positive person in the world yet, she is generally concerned about McCall and his needs. She must have "days" though like we all do and several times this has come through in revealing notes home on school work or adressed to me personally. I think I received one last week though that was the final straw for me.

On a weekly spelling test (which by the way is one area where McCall excels and is very proud of his success) McCall has clearly rushed to complete the sentences that included challenging words such as "Iditarod", "Anchorage", and "veterinarian", because his handwriting left much to be desired. Well, as his mother I was able to read through the sentences without too much effort and noticed that all of the test words were correct but he missed a letter in a basic word in one of the sentences. However, one would not have any idea of the fact that the purpose of the test had been fulfilled because across the top of the paper in red ink (of course) it read, "McCall, you have to write neater. I can't grade this."

Where is the supportive and caring teacher in that comment? And where are the assignments sent home to help him work on his handwriting and fine motor skills? McCall is not academically deficient in any way but anything related to writing is avoided, even dreaded. I am just so frustrated that this teacher is missing out on the opportunity to help by blotting out his efforts completely. Am I neurotic about this? Well, probably but I guess that is the mother's prerogative. I just hope I don't have to go to college with this kid to get him to write legibly. Maybe I should encourage Medical School! In the mean time I am getting really good at borrowing from the tens place.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My new toy!

Thanks to Kristi C. my children have a new Brother-no, Kristi was not a surrogate and we don't have a new baby but I do have a new sewing/embroidery machine that is so much fun. Here is a picture of my first project (after much practice). It is a pistachio green microfleece blanket backed with chocolate velour. It feels so yummy and this baby's mom is begging for one in her size. The baby is another "Max" (our McCall is often called "Max" too) so we have a real love for this little one! He seems to be happy with his new snuggle and I was so happy to document his birth details for Tara and Ben. It's not perfect but not too bad for my first go and a fun start to this new hobby.