Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ginger .... WHO?

This afternoon when I put Christopher down for his nap, I pulled out a family-favorite book: Richard Scarry's The Gingerbread Man. The other boys know this book by heart and request it often, so that's why I pulled it out for Christopher today.

I read:
"Run! Run! As fast as you can!
You can't catch me,
I'm the ....."

(and Christopher shouts)

We all laughed so hard about this at supper tonight! The Gingerman Guy?! This story will never be the same for us. I wish I could have gotten a video clip of him for you to see. He was hilarious, and it would cause you to hear this story with a different twist from now on, too!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 27

February 27 is my sister Karen's birthday. Last year was her super-important 40th birthday. Just because this year is only 41 that doesn't mean that she's not any more important, but since I wrote such a serious post for her last year, this year I'm going to keep it a bit more humorous.

Here are some thoughts in honor of Karen on her birthday:

* She worked at a doctor's office in high school and came home smelling like band-aids every night.

* She was the only one in the family to back a car onto the cables holding up a telephone pole and manage to get the car stuck.

* She and I used to confuse Angela when we'd switch days without telling her. Poor Angela never knew the difference and would still speak to us as if we were the other.

* Karen had a dream of being a surgical artist (Is that what it was called, Karen?).

* Fill in the blank: Karen Gail ________ Tale. (I know that was mean as kids. Why did we ever do that?! We just needed a rhyme!)

* Sometimes I think she would freak people out with her eye on purpose.

* That girl could really scratch and dig her nails into your arm. (How would I know that?!)

* After she moved to Argentina, she insisted that she would never marry anyone who wasn't an American. Hmmmm. Glad she changed her mind!

* Also after she moved to Argentina, she used the wrong word for "hot" to describe how she felt with the temperature. Instead she told all the young people that she was HOT! (Maybe that's how she got that non-American man's attention!)
* One time she fell through a hole in a barn floor all the way down onto the cobblestones below. As we were all wondering how we were going to get out of this trouble, she came running up from below and wanted to keep playing!

* Karen is very real and very fun to be with! You know you can be yourself with her and always go away feeling very refreshed!

I love you, Karen! I hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow and that your family lets you sleep in!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Last weekend we went to Ottawa to spend a few days with Fred's brother, Friedemann. What a great weekend! Besides being bitterly cold outside, we had a wonderful time with Uncle "Freeman" and are ready to go back for a another visit ... but I think we'll wait until it's summer!
Uncle Friedemann has a very lovable dog. Luna was definitely the center of attention as the boys were all over her. Luna was also a very hungry dog, we found out. Poor Timothy was sitting at lunch on Saturday flinging around his fork with a chicken nugget attached, telling some animated story when mid-sentence he stopped and yelled, "LUNA! That's MY chicken nugget!" Luna also enjoyed our muffins and our Valentine's cookies that she got into while we were sleeping. Tsk. Tsk. That dog!
On Saturday morning we went to the Museum of Nature. They had a fascinating dinosaur exhibit and Daddy couldn't resist this photo op. Below, here are our little monkeys sitting in the monkey nest in the special chimpanzee exhibit.
Saturday night we hit the streets of Ottawa for some Winterlude fun! The ice sculptures were amazing, and of course, after some time on the frozen Rideau Canal, we had to stop for a Beavertail and some hot chocolate. If you've never had a Beavertail, you're missing a part of Canada! It's just a fried yeast dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or maple syrup or whatever. We couldn't pass up this opportunity! On Sunday afternoon, we headed out into the frigid weather to the Snowflake Kingdom part of Winterlude in Gatineau, Quebec. (I really felt like I should have taken out our passports to get stamped as we entered this "country". Everything was in FRENCH!!) This was the kids' park full of snow and ice activities like this fabulous slide! Those folks came down right behind us. All six of us sat at the top of the hill, linked arms and off we went down the icy slide! If there wouldn't have been a 45 minute wait to get back in line, we would have done it over and over again!
The Snowflake Kingdom also had the snow sculpture displays. Despite the fact that just four days earlier it was warm and rainy here, the snow sculptures were covered to prevent damage and the weather turned cold again, saving all those hours and hours of hard work!

And this is one little overtired five-year-old boy who said he just couldn't walk any more ... until Uncle Friedmann suggested we stop at the McDonald's Play Place on the way home. Hmmmm.
And that's our whirlwind weekend in a nutshell!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Watkins Giveaways!!

Are any of you interested in winning a $25.00 Watkins gift certificate for free? This week, the Sage and Savvy Reviews and Giveaways and Everything Up Close blogs have done product reviews and are each hosting a $25.00 gift certificate drawing for me! Anyone in the United States and Canada is eligible to win, so go enter the contests!! There's not even any disclaimers that you can't participate if you are related to me (because that would disqualify the majority of you)! Sage and Savvy Reviews and Giveaways contest expires on February 22 and Everything Up Close has hers going until the 27th. Ilissa at Everything Up Close is going to do a second review at the beginning of March and will be offering another gift certificate, so don't forget to go back to her blog and sign up for the second one, too!
Feel free to pass this information along to all your friends and family! Like I said, anyone in the US or Canada is eligible (sorry Karen and Roger!), so go sign up!

Good luck!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Little Canadian

Tonight on our way home from our Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Timothy was singing at the top of his lungs, "O Canada! I'll stand on my heart for thee." Now, I'm not Canadian and I don't know that I've ever really listened to all the words of this anthem before, but I was quite sure that Timothy's rendition was a little bit off.

Please listen to the REAL words of O Canada and see if you can tell where things went awry!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's It Called?

Daddy treated the boys to their favorite cereal this week ... Lucky Charms! At least that's what we THOUGHT it was called. Christopher, who used to faithfully ask for Yukky Charms is now thrilled that we have Sticky Charms. Because we are not quite sure what they are called anymore, we usually refer to it as The Sugary Junk. The boys all seem to know it by that name, too.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Snow Pictures

Stephen collecting pine cones for the snowman's hair.

Timothy standing proudly behind their finished snowman.

And here he is, watering can and all! (Do you like his boots?)

This is what our deck looked like since about the middle of November!
With the warmer temperatures this past weekend and the rain forecasted for tomorrow, I thought I'd better post some of our snow pictures before everything melts out there! We've had snow, snow and more snow since the middle of November, and I'm ready for it to melt. The only problem with that is that it starts to look so dirty then, but at least we'll find all those shovels and diggers and toys that went out the first day it snowed and then got buried because everyone thought the snow would melt in a day or two. Instead, it snowed and snowed and snowed and now we're finally finding the lost items!
What are we going to do when all this snow is gone?! I'll tell you ....... WE'RE GOING TO PUT AWAY ALL THESE BOOTS AND SNOWPANTS AND MITTENS AND COATS AND HATS AND SCARVES!! Did you hear me? We're going to PUT THEM AWAY!!! Far, FAR away! I'm so sick of tripping over the boots and drying out the mittens and hunting down the lost hat (that was also used for some game or other the night before). My mother-in-law always says to me, "You know, Martha, if I had to raise a family all over again, I would make sure I lived somewhere warm where we wouldn't have to have all these coats and boots and mittens." I think she is a wise, wise woman! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the snow, I really do! I'm just tired of all the paraphanalia that comes along with it!
Enjoy these snow pictures! Some of you don't have this beautiful white stuff to cool you off, so just look and imagine and remember. I'm sure we'll have more dumps before the winter is over, and I will love those snowfalls, too, but that's not stopping me from dreaming of the day that I can pack all these coats and boots away for another year!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's Over

We've come to the end of a special time in our lives. It's officially over now. Fred and I can no longer keep secrets or talk about the boys by spelling whatever we want to say to each other. It's a sad time for us because we used it to our advantage many times. But now it's over.

Last night when we were getting the kids herded upstairs to brush teeth and head for bed, I spelled out to Fred, "Honey, he (Christopher) won't be able to s-l-e-e-p this early. His n-a-p was t-o-o l-o-n-g today."

This is when Stephen poked his head out of the bathroom and said, "You just told Daddy that Christopher can't sleep now because he took a long nap today!" ..... uh. yeah.

Then this morning, the boys slept in and we were in a bit of an unusual hurry to get breakfast done, teeth brushed, snowpants on, etc. I raised my voice slightly (Ha ha. All you moms know how much 'slightly' is when you have two kindergarten boys putzing along and the bus is due in less than five minutes!) and told Stephen he'd better get a move on and F-A-S-T! He stopped mid-run (or mid-dance) toward the laundry room to get his boots and said, "You just told me to go fast! I can read what you spell, Mommy!"

So, it's over. No more spelling around the kids unless it's in German, Fred said, which of course would be of no use to me as I don't know German except for a few words like fahrschule and ausfart. (Don't ask. Only Nancy knows how those two words came into my vocabulary!) I love to spell. I love the way letters all have a place in words even when they don't make any sense at all. I love to connect letters to make words whether real or not. I love to spell, but now spelling used for my advantage will have to shift. I can no longer hide words from Stephen. He's just too smart!

Maybe I will take up German. But by the time I learn all the necessary words, Stephen will have picked up on them, too, and I will lose that option, too. Oh well. At least we got a couple of years out of our opportunity to spell to each other.