Saturday, December 19, 2009

fun month

Sorry for the lull - Its been a busy month with Thanksgiving, cub scouts, Christmas, school, etc.

On top of that in the past six weeks there have only been two weekends where someone wasn't sick. But I think we are all on the roll to recovery (Lexi is just getting over a sinus infection).

Starting last Wednesday I started vacation for the rest of the year! I never had that much vacation saved up before. So far I have been helping with the kids at school with there Xmas party. But after today they have the rest of the year off as well.

I am not a Christmas movie person but I do want to point out an awesome animated show I saw last week "Prep and Landing". Click on the link if you have high speed internet - its an cool show.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Awesome pic - left vs right

This has a pretty good definition of left vs right. After the Schiavo law passed in Florida though I believe its hypocritical at best to say the right believes it should not interfere with the rights of others.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Ode to another chair. Nate's birthday

Well a month back I had to put the lazyboy out on the curb a couple of weeks ago I had to put the black metal rocker out on the curb. One of the main connection pieces for the back to the seat sheared off. This time though I decided to fight it and rented a MIG wielder. Now for those who don't know me I do like to tinker but I have no skill in it. So as you can imagine the first attempt looked like something out of a horror movie and pulled away when I screwed the back of the chair in (when I tapped it with a hammer most of the weld fell off - so it was not even a good weld). So I made a final attempt and that one looked even worse but snapped off as soon as I leaned back in the chair. Though this time I did not budge when I gave it a solid blow with a hammer so it was a reasonably good wield on one side of the chair. At that point I had to decide on returning the wielder or keeping it for the weekend so I sadly put the chair on the curb, bad wield and all, and returned the wielder. But I do console myself that the only true failure is not trying and I never wielded before.

So now Dad you got a couch when you come over (if that last).

Nate had his birthday party this weekend. We have always given him a choice between a large bounce house party or a ride with one friend on the tarantula train (aka puffy) and he has always chosen the train ride. Last year the friend he picked did not show up but this year the friend he picked did show up and they had a blast. We posted the pics on the website. Enjoy.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ode to an chair. Scout time

Last week I had to take my lazyboy recliner out to a curve. Last year, one month after the warranty expired, the springs broke and after applying some redneck ingenuity (bungie cords) I got another year out of it when the plywood frame cracked. So now I have the old black metal rocker that we got when Nate was born and I put an old roller desk I got at a company sale in the playroom. So sorry Dad - next time you come over you will be in the black metal rocker. Personally I like it better but I'm not sure if it will be a good sleeper.

The first day of cub scouts went well. We picked up four new wolf scouts and may pick up some more with the Fall Rally at Nate's school. So we may have to break up the wolf scouts (1st graders) into two groups as we already have a dozen scouts and only one den leader (moi). God the things I do for the kids.

Speaking of sacrifice Lexi had her first girl scout meeting last week and Chris is one of the two assistant leaders (they have one leader and two assistants). The dealing with groups of people has not gotten to her yet as that has been overpowered by the fact that all the meetings are late at night and Chris hates driving in the dark. But like I said it one of the things we do for the kids.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Popcorn and school

Well the kids have been enjoying school. Lexi got the same kindergarden teacher that Nate had (poor Mrs. Riggs ). Nate is having a great time in second grade as well. He got to go to the "big kid" section of the library last week to check out books but the problem is he is already reading some of Chris' mystery books so he ended up checking out two Hardy Boys books he already read.

The cub scouts popcorn"Show and Sell" is almost over with. We did WalMart and Kroger this weekend. Nate was a real trooper. I could tell he really did not want to be there today but he hung in there and sold popcorn. Next weekend we are doing one day at Lowes and then we are done. After that we will be doing "Take order" so expect an email from Nate in a couple of weeks :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Six flags - sorry no pics

Nate had a free ticket to six flags as part of the reading challenge he took in first grade. I had planned to take a weekday off just before school started and we could all go up. But then we noticed that the tickets expired 8/9 so I took last Thursday off and we went up there. The kids loved it but Chris and I are definitely showing our age - I had blisters on my feet (odd considering I do multi-mile hikes with the cub scouts) and despite hitting every water ride in the park Chris almost got heat exhaustion. I did not take the camera so no pics here - sorry.

This weekend Nate's cub scout group went to a Paleontology dig that UTA is doing in Arlington. The kids had a real good time with that. I posted those pics on our photo site - enjoy!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

June update

Well the first month of summer vacation was good for the kids. Almost drove Chris batty because there were no activities planned and they were home all day but we survived. Three of the four weekends Nate volunteered with his cub scout troop at a food bank helping to carry out food. I don't think he really grasped the significance of him helping out but regardless I am very proud of him volunteering.

July starts up swim lessons. Chris has a doctors appointment Monday so I get to take them to their first class – yay. I almost think Chris planned this. And August will be cub scout popcorn sales (which I got volunteered to run – yay). In case you have not caught on the yays are sarcastic.

We just finished up a trip to my parents. The kids had a great time. Friday we went to a drive through safari. Who would have thought that they had those in East Texas! Mostly it was deer (no surprise) but there were also buffalo, antelope, llamas, elk, camels and emus. There was also an alligator pond but we took a wrong turn and missed that part. The part the kids enjoyed the most was feeding the animals. Each person get a bag of animal feed to throw out to the animals – we were advised to throw not hand out the food because some of the animals liked the hands more than the food . Most of the animals would come up to the van as we threw out the food. The funnest part was when we drove up to a big pond with ducks. The ducks (and turtles!) came out of the water to get the food we threw out. Several large catfish came up close to the shore to try and get some food. I was able to throw some food out far enough to get into the water and the fish went right after it. In that part was some of the biggest squirrels I have ever seen. I swear they were bigger than small dogs.

After that we came home and after a small rest we went out to dinner at Dairy Queen. I took my laptop to take advantage of the free wifi they had there. Mom has dial-up (shudder) so I tried to take the opportunity to convince her that her next computer should be a cheap laptop that she could take to Dairy Queen and McDonalds and do her email and internet surfing there. Overall I think that worked but the (small) flaw in the plan is that if she has to get another computer it would almost have to be a laptop because I don't think they make computers with modems anymore (and mom is not one to spring money for a high speed connection when there is free wifi in a place she goes to several times a week – sigh).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

be careful what you ask for

This week Nate and Lexi are in Twilight camp. Its a week long camp from 2:30-8:30 where all the cubscouts are broken up into smaller groups and each group does different activities throughout the day. For Lexi they have a tot lot where they play at the playground for the day.

Well the rule is that for each child you bring from your pack you need to have one person working the camp for one day. So for Nate and Lexi someone from our pack needed to work two days, and since I had plenty of vacation days left I volunteered for Wednesday and Thursday.

Now I made the mistake of putting a blurb in my out of office email message explaining that I was at camp to "say a prayer for me".

Well I have to say the first half of Wednesday was pure heaven. I was chaperone with a fifth grade group with three other adults (two of them police officers so we had the crowd control aspect covered). And all the activities planned for the day were archery and bb guns (so we just stood aside and watched).

But then the storm hit...

The whole day was cloudy and we were keeping track of the weather from one of the chaperone's iPhone when they told us at dinner that we would cut the dinner entertainment to try and get out before the storm hit. Then, when we were heading out for the first activity after dinner, they called us back because they posted a tornado warning. So we gathered up all the kids and called all the parents and as soon as the last child in our group was picked up we left.

Now where Wednesday was heaven (if you can take out the whole bad weather thing) Thursday was hell. Because of the weather the camp was held indoors. So now we had a bunch of kids locked indoors with nothing to do when their activity was done (cat herding must be easier than kid herding). But we survived another day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lexi has the flu - misses graduation

Poor Lexi caught the flu that has been going around. We know she has had it bad because she does not even want bread (she is a carb addict).

Because she has been running a fever all week she missed her last week of school and tonight she had to miss her graduation. So I went up to her school after I gave the kids their baths and picked up her papers and graduation cap and shirt.

It seems to be the same flu Nate had. Her fever is already going down and the cough started yesterday. If it gets too bad we may take her to the doctor next week but all they will do is give a stronger cough syrup.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Swine Flu and Mother's day

Well the swine flu came and went. I was real concerned originally with all the deaths in Mexico but in the end the worse case scenarios never occurred. Nate did come down with a virus but when we took him to the doctor it was not the swine flu but a common virus. So Nate missed about five days of school until his temperature finally came down to normal. For once everyone else did not get anything - you cannot imagine how happy we are about that.

Sunday was Mother's day. Chris did not want to deal with the crowds so Saturday I took her to Tandoor for lunch. The food was awesome as always!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A very volunteering week

Last Saturday there was a Texas Trash Off in Euless. Basically volunteers come and pick up the parks and roads in Euless for a couple of hours and for that you get a danish for breakfast before picking up, a t-shirt, and a buffet lunch at Incredible Pizza when you get back. Needless to say there was not a shortage of vonlunteers. Nate's cub scout pack did this as a scout project.

Nate and I went to Bear Creek Park. I was really impressed with Nate - he really did his best to pick up, even going through brier bushes to get trash. We went down to the creek to pick up and man there was ALOT of trash down there. We filled up our first trash bag in about 200 feet. The only thing we left behind was a trash can dumped in the creek (it was smashed almost flat so I was pretty sure it was empty). The people in the park were real grateful too. At least half of the people in the park we passed stopped and thanked us for picking up, it was really gratifying.

After a couple of hours we went to Incredible Pizza for our Pizza lunch. Nate really loved it and has been wanting to go back ever since.

Thursday there was a Senior lunch that a group of us at work volunteered to help out at. There was almost 1500 Senior citizens to about 150 volunteers. After setting up there were platers and servers. Platers put all the food (mashed sweet potatos, puree'd stuffing, green peas, ham and a salad) on a plate and the servers took the food out and served drinks. Then we broke down all the tables and chairs and put them all away while another group swept up.

I could tell the seniors really appreciated it. Most of them dressed up in their Sunday best and they all had a really good time.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cub scout campout Saturday and Sunday

Saturday was a slower day for several reasons. The planned hike was ONLY 1.1 miles but the catch was it was over 600 feet up a mountain. I made it almost to the top but we got to a last large dip/climb and my knees (still hurting from hopping around on Mount Scott) just hurt too much to keep going. So like Moses on Mount Nebo I sat and watched the rest of the pack make the last climb and took pictures of them at the top.

When we got back down we made a quick stop at a prairie dog town then, while all the other kids went to Mount Scott Nate and I went to Lawton (about 15 minutes away from the park) to the local WalMart. I went for two reasons: First for a knee brace and some deep heating aspercreme (by this time my left knee hurt to bend it and the right was a little better - but not by much. The second reason was that Nate really was not eating. He was eating the oatmeal squares I had brought but the only time he ate what was fixed was Friday they had plain rice as a side (so he had a bowl of rice with his oatmeal square). So as soon as we stopped at WalMart we went into McDonalds and Nate inhaled a 10 piece McNuggets.

Sunday we had a simple breakfast (pop tarts, fruit bars) so there was no dishes to wash. Packed up the tent and supplies and headed home.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cub scout campout Thursday and Friday

Nate really enjoyed the campout at the Witchita Mountain Wildlife refuge in Oklahoma. And I did survive four days without a computer.

The first day there was nothing planned. I got Nate up at 6pm and we left shortly after. We had a breakfast stop in Decatur. After we got there we set up our tent and then we went back into town for lunch (McDonalds). Fortunately the campsite we got this time had electricity and a covered area with four large picnic tables so we did not have to set up the scout tent.

Friday we had planned a three mile hike. About a mile into the walk we found out that two od the kids had decided that socks were optional for the hike. One had developed blisters on both feet and the other we put bandaids on the areas that rubbed. The dad, me and one of the other scout leaders took turns carrying the child with blisters on our shoulders seeing that we were almost halfway. Unfortunately the paths was not marked very well and after another hour we found a map that showed we were on mile four of the eight mile hike! Three of the more fit grownups jogged the other four miles back to the vehicles while the rest of us crossed a dam and waited for them the three to show up with our vehicles then they ferried more parents back to get enough cars to carry all of us back to camp. I have to say I have never been more proud of the kids. Very few of them complained and all of them had fun. I think part of it was because of the mix in ages. We have Tigers (first graders) all the way to Webelos (fourth and fifth graders) on the hike and I am sure the younger ones want to keep up with the older ones and the older ones did not want the younger ones showing them up.

Anyways after we got back to camp and had a quick lunch we went to the visitor center to walk through their museum. I forgot the instructions on what we were doing next so I took Nate up to Mt Scott (a mountain that you can drive all the way to the top of). Nate really enjoyed playing in the boulders and I loved the views. I was impressed to see the windfarms from the top of the mountain. Jumping from rock to rock though hurt my knees so Nate and I drove back to camp but on the way we stopped by the Holy City. The Holy City is a working chapel and a set for the longest running passion play in North America.

Once we did that we went back to the camp ground, had dinner, told stories by the campfire and then called it the night.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

caught up on chores - oh my back

Yesterday I took advantage of the good weather, and no one being sick, to get caught up on chores.

The first thing I did was get all my camping equipment out and make sure everything was in shape, and if I needed anything. Oh I forgot to tell y'all: Nate and I are going camping with the cub scouts during Spring Break to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Four days and three nights without a working computer - If that does not tell you how much I love my kids then you REALLY do not know me at all.

After that I got the lawn mowed. Unfortunately when I was playing chase with the kids with the cordless leaf blower I landed hard on my heel and it felt my spine compressed on itself. I can still move around no problem but it hurts to bend or turn to much. But most of that has been negated with alternate doses of Aleeve and Advil. The kids got to play outside all day so they had an absolute blast. The weather was perfect!

Sunday my back was feeling good enough that I finished up my chores (replaced a sprinkler head and clean the gutters). Then we had a BBQ.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Busy February

Well this has been a busy month. First Nate got the flu, once he started to get better both Chris and Lexi got the flu. I was trying to stay well until Chris got better but after she got over the flu she got an ear and sinus infection - and I got sick.

Despite all that I was able to go to Nate's valentines party at his school and Lexi had her birthday party at Boomerang's bounce house.

Oh well - I gotta run. Nate's cub scout den is doing their Blue and Gold Banquet tonight and I gotta go help set up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nate's pinewood Derby

Nate's had his pinewood derby this weekend. I spent the last weekend putting his car together and let me tell you that my skill with a coping saw has ALOT of room for improvement. Fortunately I had an ample supply of wood putty to cover all the gouges.

The easiest part was the weights. The cubscouts are very particular now on how much they should weigh. Originally the only rule I heard was it could not weight more than five ounces but when I saw the written rules it stated it had to be between 4.75 and 5 ounces. I got some cylinder weights and drilled holes in the back, slid the weights in and puttied up the holes. At the time of weigh in it was exactly 4.75 ounces.

After wards I had Nate sand it until he got bored (with all the putty there was a good bit of sanding to do) and then he primed and painted it.

The hardest part was the wheels. I made a classic first timer mistake and took on more than I could handle. One of the things you can supposedly do to make the car go faster is to move the axles closer to the ends. So I cut a new rear axle slot at the rear. The result was a little.... disasterous. Fortulatly I was able to get the rear axle fixed.

Nate actually won two rounds but he lost out on the next two rounds. I was real impressed at how good of a sport he was.

I posted pics of his racer on the photo album. Enjoy.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Every book ever written - except one

I read this comic Mister Bookseller a while back and found it again this morning. Overall the story has a sad ending but I loved the thought of having a magical bookstore that has everybook ever written - except one.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nate gets his report card - Lexi gets a haircut

Nate got his reportcard today. He got all A's (eight of them) and the teacher commented on his report card that he is "Respectful of Authority" and "works well in cooperative groups". We are really proud of him.

One thing that was interesting is that he came back with coupons from Cici's, Beef O'Brady's and putt putt for free meals/games. I don't know if that's for his grades or if its innovative marketing.

Well we have been planning on getting Lexi's hair cut for a month now as she has a habit of chewing on her hair but yesterday Lexi decided to do it herself. Fortunatly Chris caught her early.

So Lexi got an time out and a trip to SuperCuts

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Why you should never give a four year old makeup for Christmas

Oh well. At least its not on the floor this time. Once again - Thank you Grandmoo.