Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today's workout

Wii boxing. Technically training with the punching bag. I could tell it got my heart rate up. Twice. Plus I did a round of power bowling and batting practice. And another session of fitness training. Seemingly I am not so fit as a few days ago - then I was 34, today I was an elderly 49. Oh dear. My tennis seemed particularly off. Maybe it's my cold. yeah, must be... D and A were both down there playing too. A beat us both on boxing with the punching bag.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary to us!

17 years now. This time 17 years ago we were waiting for the limo on a very foggy night.

It was a great time of year for our wedding, as I could use vacation time from one year to do Christmas and the wedding and vacation time from the next for our honeymoon. Plus, D and many of our friends were in grad school and had the time off. As an anniversary, its not quite such a great time - it tends to get lost in the shuffle of Christmas. Some years we go out to dinner, others we have our anniversary date another night, like this year. Especially since we just had a wonderful dinner out with everyone on the 26th (Thanks Mom and Dad - it was delicious!)

For a couple of years we had dinner and a movie, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. No big movie we want to see currently.

It's been a wonderful 17 years. I'm planning for many, many more! Thanks D. xx K


Planning a trip to Japan

We're hoping to visit D's sister and family in Japan this summer. This is the second time they've been stationed there and the rest of D's family visited last time, but our kids just seemed too young. This time around, however, at 9 and 12 (next summer) seems like a much better age - old enough to remember it and appreciate it.

M is getting particularly excited. He is hoping to see Samurai swords and something/anything about anime and manga. However, he is not so excited about the prospect of Japanese food. A isn't saying much about the trip yet, but he is interested in it and looking forward to eating more sushi.

D and I are pouring over the guidebooks he got from the library today and trying to figure out where we want to go exactly. All the recommended itineraries seem to have you bouncing all over the country every day or 2. Not what we're really looking for, especially with kids. Then there was an itinerary for families with kids in one book - perfect, I thought. Until I read it. It was all amusement parks - and not even Japanese ones really. They had Tokyo Disney, Universal Studios Japan, and Japanese Tivoli. No castles, no temples, no shrines.

Lots more looking and thinking to come. And hoping for some airfare sales!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Wii from a Mom's perspective

I'm enjoying the Wii, I must say. More than I thought I might. I haven't even played anything other than the Wii sports that comes with it. M boasts that he is a good bowler, but I'm better (HA!). I'm sure that he will get better than me with more practice, though. I bowl FAR better with a remote than in real life (even with bumpers).

There's also a Wii fitness, where they compute your fitness age based on strength, agility and balance (I think). M and A were a bit dismayed to get initial fitness ages in the 70s. And even more dismayed when mine was a 34. 20 seems to be the best. It's probably a good thing you can only test your fitness once a day as my arm was a bit sore after playing tennis, bowling and baseball. On the bowling, you keep going until you mess up a certain number of times.

I also like the Wii better than other video games because it doesn't lend itself to couch potatoes. You really need to be standing and swinging the remote around to play. So I don't feel quite so bad that the kids have been spending hours down in the basement playing. I've already told them that limits are coming, but for the first few days, its fairly unlimited playing time.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Attack of the Nose

We all made it through Christmas healthy. Yay! However, I woke up this morning with a disturbing tingle in the back of my throat. And a nose that won't stop. I've been trailing kleenex all day. And now my upper lip is raw. boo hoo. I hope it goes away as quickly as it came - and that no one else in the family comes down with it.

I had high hopes of getting all the Christmas wrapping stuff picked up and put away today. But that was before the attack of the nose. I did manage to take down the wrapping table and scoop ribbons and bows back into their box, but that was about it. Maybe tomorrow...

M is hoping that someone will comment on his post. He asked yesterday if I'd had any comments. Of course, he also told me I wasn't supposed to read it. But, evidently everyone else is allowed and supposed to read it. Go figure.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Guest Post by M

The number 1 item on my Christmas List this year was a Wii. And guess what? I GOT ONE! I also got three games with it, Mario + Sonic, Lego Star Wars, and Wii Sports! It is SO much fun! I even created my own Mii, Bob! A plays with the Wii W-A-Y more than I do though. He doesn't like playing baseball on it, even though it's fun... But, probably the funnest thing of all is Wii Sports-Bowling! I LOVE bowling, and I'm even better at it on the Wii! Well, buy a Wii everybody!

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's getting closer

It's getting closer and closer to Christmas and we're getting ready, though maybe not fast enough... The tree is up (although it leans a bit - at least its leaning towards the window and not into the room). We got the lights on tonight, but I think the ornaments will have to wait until tomorrow. It looks like Grandma and Grampa may get to help us decorate (or at least watch us decorate) the tree. Their room is ready (and the bathroom too) and the rest of the downstairs is at least passably clean. You can walk through it without having to worry about tripping over toys. Big improvement! It's cleanliness tends to slip as the kids play and then neglect to clean up before getting out new stuff.

I took a load of stuff to Goodwill this morning and then this afternoon I was already finding more stuff that was supposed to go. Oh well, its the start of another pile...

The Christmas cards should finally be going out tomorrow. At least some of them would have gone out today, except that we ran out of ink last night. The printer has been telling us that its low on ink for months now and has kept printing merrily away. But now, it evidently really was out. So, I got new ink (though it doesn't like the color ink I got. Ungrateful printer!). I still have to assemble the rest of the cards. They may not get there before Christmas, but at least I will have mailed them before Christmas! Another fun find - when I picked up the pictures, it seems they managed to cut off most of one of the cats in the photo. Oops. I managed to cut off part of the cat with A in this picture, but the photo place cut off more than half of what was there.

People will just have to guess at what she looks like! Not much I could do about it at this point and with 30 copies of that picture printed. I would have if they'd cut off one of the kids, but well, the cats are much loved, but are not the focus.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas list updated

Yes, I know its almost Christmas, but the kids keep thinking about their Christmas lists and demand that I update their list and post it. So, if you are curious, you can see what they've added here.


Christmas Card photo shoot

I took the kids over to my mom's the other night to try to get photos for our Christmas card. Why her house? Well, her tree is up and decorated, but ours is not even purchased yet. We had thought to go on Saturday, but it started raining. Nope, standing in the rain, trying to find a tree just didn't sound like so much fun. So, we'll go tonight.

Here are some interesting shots that won't be included with the card this year...

M tired of all the photo shoot (or just not looking forward to it)

Being silly:
And more silliness:
Finally Zen-like acceptance that pictures will be taken...
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Reluctant Visit with Santa

Who'd have thought that my kids were getting too old to visit Santa??? Especially A. He's only 8. But, when given the choice between playing in the ball pit and visiting Santa, the balls won. Or, at least, until he found out that Santa was giving out candy. Oh ho. Candy won. And so I managed to get photos with Santa!



We were actually at the skating rink for A's Cub Scout Christmas party. But, somehow I didn't manage to get any pictures of my kids skating. Of course, some of this may be due to the fact that A spent most of the time in the ball pit and not skating.

M said he bet he was as fast at skating as I am. Not yet, he isn't. But he's definitely getting better.


Monday, December 10, 2007

He ATE a bug!

Actually A ate 3.5 bugs today. In Entomology class. With great glee and gusto. He came home with a pin proudly proclaiming "I ate a bug".

He says that he had 2 chocolate covered crickets ("They're yummy!"), a mealworm and the thorax of a roasted cricket (not so tasty). He also came home with a recipe:

1. Buy crickets at bait store
2. Roast crickets
3. Melt chocolate
4. Spoon on wax paper
5. Add cricket
6. Cover with chocolate

A says that there should be a 7th step to the recipe: Eat cricket

I don't think I'll be following this recipe any time soon (ever?!). Besides, what temperature do you roast crickets at??? I'm sure none of my cookbooks will tell me. Also, putting live crickets in my oven. Uhhh, NO.

Interesting side note - I had to sign a permission slip for A to be able to eat crickets. It seems that the exoskeleton of a cricket is similar to the chitin in shellfish, so I had to declare that he was not allergic to shellfish. Seems to be that the exoskeleton would be similar to the shell of say a shrimp, but not to the shrimp itself, but what do I know?

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Computer woes

The bad news of technology has struck again. It seems that the hard drive on the Mac has died. Grrr. It is a big pain. Especially since the Mac is a mini and not meant to be user serviceable. A hard drive is cheaper to fix than a motherboard or power supply, but the data may not be recoverable. And its a very busy time of year, so D hasn't had much time to look at it. We have to figure out if the computer shop in the next town will work on Mac's. I hope so and that they can recover some data. Luckily I've been saving the pictures mostly on both computers (and back them up every 6 months or so. I know I should back up more often. It's on the list for later today.)

The other problem with one computer being down is instant fights between the kids. Finally I sent them both to their rooms. It is peaceful and quiet. Amazing. I'm sure no homework is getting done (A says he is finished (except for practicing his cursive, he is), but M hasn't started).

Life is going to be interesting around here for a bit.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Things I tend to forget...

1. How warm they keep the mall. It too hot in there for a sweatshirt, much less a jacket.

2. How much I hate shopping for pants. I could really use some new jeans, but I can't find ones to fit me well. The low-rise jeans seem to make it worse - they all GAP in the back and make me look larger! Not a good thing!!

3. How fast time flies when I'm trying to get in and out of a bunch of stores. I only hit about half the places I had wanted to before I had to race home to meet A's bus.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Is the Battle Won?

This is how my pantry has looked for the last, oh, 6-8 weeks. Bare, barren, empty...

I've been catching pantry moths regularly until we finally stripped off the shelf paper and found (we hope) the last cocoons. Knock on wood! I counted dead moths in my trap and recorded it on the trap. No new moths in the last 2 weeks at least. So finally it was time for Operation Paint the Pantry.

Yes, the pantry is whiter now. It used to be a pale yellow, now it is white.

Next up was replacing the shelf paper. I ran to Lowe's while the kids were at swim practice on Thursday and picked up some innocuous wallpaper from their clearance rack. My mom came over Friday morning with all her wallpapering tools and knowledge (thanks Mama!) and we set to work. Here she is trimming a bit of excess paper.

The pantry is looking good. 3 shelves down and only 2 to go! The first one took almost an hour (but that included setting up our work area). By shelf 3, we were down to about 15 minutes per shelf. Then disaster struck - not enough paper! We measured this way and that way and even with trying to piece the wallpaper together and not papering the bottom of the shelves at all, there was just NOT. ENOUGH. PAPER! ARRRRGGGHHH

We finally decided to do the 4th shelf and I'd go back to Lowe's and see if I could find some more of the paper. Here's how we left the pantry.

I had to fill Chi*ck-fil-A calendar orders (anybody want a cow calendar for Christmas? just let me know) at the school and turn in my money, which took longer than expected - so, it was after school before I made it up to Lowe's, with A in tow. We got there, and of course, no more of my paper. Ugg. They said I could go to another town and get it - at full price, of course. Hmmm. Let's see what else might work. I found another roll that looked fairly close, only without the green streaks, in the clearance bin. Unmarked, of course. I asked the helpful L*owe's person who said she'd mark it down for me. Thanks! We got the paper and headed home (well, except for the hour-long detour to Tar*get that A wanted so he could "look for Christmas presents" (when he really spent most of the time eyeing/checking out DS games)). Friday morning we finished up the pantry. When I showed it to D, he didn't notice the different papers, so that's good.

Today I got a chance to put some of the food back into the pantry.

Yep, its all still in plastic bins for now! Not taking any chances yet. I'll put up a brand new moth trap and if I don't catch anything in it for a few weeks, I might finally breathe easy.