Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Gymnast

Betsy is wrapping up her year of gymnastics - her chosen sport to fulfill her PE requirements for the year. She absolutely loves it but has decided she's just in it for the fun of it - not really interested in competing. Here's a few samples of her talents from Observation Week:

Lookin' Good, Boo!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where Were You?

when this happened 28 years ago today?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Remember This? Friday

I never knew the origin of this little guy until I researched him for this post but I do remember him being plastered all over just about every female's notebook in middle school. He was a fun little doodle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Overheard in the lobby of the rec center yesterday:

You're going to have to fix those math problems when we get home buddy. You got 11 out of 33 wrong. That's a quarter of them!

Wonder if she's gonna help him?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arrow Of Light

I'm a bit late on this post. Ben received his Arrow of Light award last month but I'm just now getting around to sharing the fun here. Ben recieved his award and then went through the Crossing Over ceremony in which he crossed over a bridge out of cubscouts and into the waiting crowd of boyscouts on the other side who welcomed him with a new scout manual and a promise to walk by his side as he continues his scouting adventure.
This is the last picture of Ben with his cubscout den. He had the best den ever. His buddy Dan lives right up the street and Dan's dad Mark was their den leader. His wife Linda was my scout savior - always bailing out my day-late-dollar-short bottom from every scout obligation we ever had that I never registered for on time or managed to fill out the forms right or realized I owed money....bleh...

This is the Indian dude who their pack always has go through a little ceremony with the boys. He lights candles and speaks in pidgin English and encourages them to move forward in the spirit of scoutiness. Ben has always found this part to be a bit hokey but he survived it ok and I thought it was sort of neat (even though Indian Dude is getting a bit old and forgot a few important points and repeated a couple of points...).

And here's the coolest part - Ben with his Arrow of Light award which his dad made for him. Those are his den-mates Tyler on the left and Dan on the right. I'm not sure what spastic cubscout contributed the blurry hand in the background.

Ben and Dan have moved on to troop 238 and Tyler went to a different troop - we're gonna miss Tyler! The way cool thing about troop 238 is....that it was Tad's troop when he was in scouts! He was pretty touched that Ben wanted to literally follow after his footsteps and Ben's already jumped right in. I think he's gone to 3 meetings now and even earned his scout badge this past week. Next stop, tenderfoot.

I'm a terrible Scout Mom. Scouts have always confused me and now that Tad's been relegated the official Scout dad for Philip's Special Scouts I get to take Ben to his new troup meetings on the same night. We were driving home from Thursday's meeting the other evening and I confessed my insecurities to Ben:

Ben, I'm sorry but I'm a terrible Scout Mom. Scouts scare me.

Well, they don't scare Dad. You can always send him.

Yeah, but then I have to go to Special Scouts. I guess that's slightly less scary.
I just don't know what to do, I confessed. I have Soccer Mom down now. For that, I just stand behind the white line and yell for an hour. Easy. But scouts? I mean, what do I yell? Go....Tenderfoot! That's my boy - tie me a knot! I really don't think parents yelling would go over all that well at a scout meeting.

Yeah, maybe you should send Dad, Mom.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Remember This? Friday

So, what fashion conscious preteen didn't own a couple of pairs of leg warmers?! I think the only reason they maintained their popularity for the 5 or so years they did was all thanks to this:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

John Michael the Diaper Man

JM has a new job. I decided to utilize his love for his baby sister to my gain so I convinced him that helping me wash the cloth diapers was a job fit for a strong and gallant big brother such as he. It's now his job to carry the diaper pail to the laundry room where he helps me dump the diapers in the washer and start it up.

I usally do the washer-dryer transfer and then he pulls them out of the dryer and carries them up to my bed where he folds each one into a pile

Once folded he tosses the diaper covers in the middle of the basket and stacks the diapers up in the side of the basket.

He liked the job even more after I started to take pictures of him doing it but by today he was balking a bit. It's a long walk up two flights of stairs to carry an armful of diapers....even for that gallant (and handsome) brother.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Arrrrrrrrr Tali!

New Blogging Friend!

I wanted to do a little shout out for a new on-line friend, Deb. Deb is the mom of 16 children - she has a wonderful story about her and her husband's combined families and her blog is a tribute to the hard work they put into making their families meld. She's been a real encouragement to me as our family goes from large to larger and I'm thankful for our new-found friendship. You can continue to enjoy her blog by clicking on Call Me Crazy under the More Favorite Blogs tag to the right. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It Snowed This Week

So we decided to wash the car today. Typical of Maryland's finest weather the "blizzard" that hit us on Monday was black slush by Wednesday, gone by yesterday and today the temp reached 69 degrees. The kids were so stir crazy they donned their bathing suits and gave Clifford a bath (whom, I'm happy to report, was home from surgery the day after he was towed away). Some random shots of the fun:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Making Soap

I've had this idea in my craw for some time now - I've been meaning to make my own laundry detergent. I've researched it many times over the years, corresponded through e-groups with others who have already taken the plunge and even went so far about a month ago as to purchase all the supplies I thought I needed and let the All Free Clear hit the bottom of the barrel without replacing it. Unfortunately, just as the All went dry I realized I was missing an ingredient to my laundry soap. Yesterday I got everybody shoed, coated and ready for a trip to Wally World to find some Fels Naptha and a 5 gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid when I realized Clifford was sick and needed to stay in the driveway nursing a broken serpentine belt. I finally made it out at 10:00 last night, couldn't find the Fels Naptha and had to settle for Ivory instead. So here's the results of our work today. I found this site to have the most clear directions. We doubled the recipe posted here.

First Betsy grated the bar of Ivory soap and that went in the pot

Then we added water and heated it up until the soap flakes dissolved.

We measured out the Borax and the Washing Soda (how cute are those measurers?!)

and added those to our mixture (or the mixter as Miriam called it).

We poured all that into the bucket

We added lots of water

and stirred some more

Wa-lah! About 4 1/2 gallons of homemade laundry detergent!

Somehow the Science teacher even managed to make a science lesson out of it at the dinner table! I love homeschooling!

What Is So Exciting?!

I'm sorry to say it's this:

Clifford is back in the hospital for a sprung serpentine belt. We just had this fixed about a year ago so my tough-as-nails husband claimed to give the dealer what-for about that. Yeah, we'll see what for they got from him...the old softie...

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Conversation in the car with David the other day:

Mom, I know what I want to be when I'm grown up.

What's that, David?

A baseball player. When I'm a big person I want to be a baseball player.

Oh, then you'll need to do a lot of practicing so you can get good enough to play - like JT does with soccer.

Yeah, well...I have the hat and the socks. So I just need...let's see...the shirt and the pants and a glove. Baseball guys need gloves. Not the kind you wear in the snow. Yep, they need a glove.