Monday, December 31, 2007

We've been busy

It occured to me that while I have been posting on this blog the last few days... you wouldn't really notice. Why? Well, I was getting all my archives over from the blog host I had previous to this one (my account is set to expire tomorrow).

Anyway, now that I've finished that little task up we can resume regular posting!

Here's the other thing we've been up to:

Friday, December 28, 2007

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

--Our DVR unit is totally broken rendering us completely unable to view TV in the master bedroom. And it will be a few days before they can have another device sent to us... This totally sucks since this is the only place that we watch TV, after the kids are in bed and we are winding down our evening... OH AND THAT MEANS NO BASKETBALL CAN BE RECORDED AND WATCHED LATER! This is a big problem!

--On our outing to the local driving range I was terrible. I was completely out of sorts. Frustration and sore muscles (from all the scooter riding, sad really) had my swing all wonky. Large clumps of dirt and grass flew further than some of the golf balls, pathetic.

--Leaving the driving range I stepped in dog doo, which I didn't realize, tracking it into the SUV, and then on to my jeans when I crossed my leg under the other... and of course on to seat (thank goodness they're leather, and it cleaned right up).

--Daddio picked up a new daily wear/camping watch for me! It's PINK and it was on sale too!! $12, gotta love Kohls!

--I finally found a recipe for meatloaf that turned out tasty enough that I would eat it (I'm not a big fan of meatloaf, and Daddio is... so it took a while for me to find something that I liked as well).

Holy Innocents

Today is a very interesting feast day, that of the Holy Innocents. These are the infant boys who were killed by Herod. New Advent mentions them as the first martyrs, noting "they died not only for Christ, but in his stead ." I had never thought of that before. Read the whole article:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07419a.htm

The Curt Jester points out some interesting theological stuff about unbaptized infants, baptism by desire, and "Limbo": http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/

It's an appropriate day to pray for the victims of abortion, and for those who have suffered miscarriages.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I see you!

My view of him.
His view of me.

On the Third Day of Christmas

To be honest, it was pretty much just like yesterday. It started off slow, we did some running around (Daddio needed golf shoes), and then hit another park with a concrete skate area. At this particular park, they have a roller hockey rink that no one was using which made the perfect place to unleash the little llamas with their scooters.

Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to have these little contraptions that fold up in one easy motion and fit easily into the back of the beast so that they can come with us when ever we so choose... trust me when I say that having those Razors in the back of the car are a perfect incentive to have well mannered boys while we run some not always fun errands!

Then home again for a late nap...

And because today happens to be the last Thursday of the month... a few of the moms from our homeschool group are getting together for our monthly Mom's Night Out. A lovely cup of hot apple cider, and then maybe a frothy delight top of the evening...

All in all, a good day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On the Second Day of Christmas

The Llamas spent the afternoon on scooters... even Daddio and Mama had their fair share of riding... It was pretty entertaining actually. Bobcat really has the hang of it. What Bubba lacks in ability he makes up for with fierce determination. And little Snookie, well, something always seems to be wrong with his scooter... if you ask him that is. Towards the end of the afternoon, though, he was really picking up speed and coasting from time to time.

St. Stephen

Brought to you by New Advent:

St. Stephen
One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr; feast on 26 December. In the Acts of the Apostles the name of St. Stephen occurs for the first time on the occasion of the appointment of the first deacons (Acts 6:5). Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these seven, Stephen, is the first mentioned and the best known.

Stephen's life previous to this appointment remains for us almost entirely in the dark. His name is Greek and suggests he was a Hellenist, i.e., one of those Jews who had been born in some foreign land and whose native tongue was Greek; however, according to a fifth century tradition, the name Stephanos was only a Greek equivalent for the Aramaic Kelil (Syr. kelila, crown), which may be the protomartyr's original name and was inscribed on a slab found in his tomb. It seems that Stephen was not a proselyte, for the fact that Nicolas is the only one of the seven designated as such makes it almost certain that the others were Jews by birth. That Stephen was a pupil of Gamaliel is sometimes inferred from his able defence before the Sanhedrin; but this has not been proved. Neither do we know when and in what circumstances he became a Christian; it is doubtful whether the statement of St. Epiphanius (Haer., xx, 4) numbering Stephen among the seventy disciples is deserving of any credence. His ministry as deacon appears to have been mostly among the Hellenist converts with whom the Apostles were at first less familiar; and the fact that the opposition he met with sprang up in the synagogues of the "Libertines" (probably the children of Jews taken captive to Rome by Pompey in 63 B. C. and freed hence the name Libertini), and "of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia" shows that he usually preached among the Hellenist Jews. That he was pre eminently fitted for that work, his abilities and character, which the author of the Acts dwells upon so fervently, are the best indication. The Church had, by selecting him for a deacon, publicly acknowledged him as a man "of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He was "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost" (vi, 5), "full of grace and fortitude" (vi, 8); his uncommon oratorical powers and unimpeachable logic no one was able to resist, so much so that to his arguments replete with the Divine energy of the Scriptural authorities God added the weight of "great wonders and signs" (vi, 8). Great as was the efficacy of "the wisdom and the spirit that spoke" (vi, 10), still it could not bend the minds of the unwilling; to these the forceful preacher was fatally soon to become an enemy.

The conflict broke out when the cavillers of the synagogues "of the Libertines, and of the Cyreneans, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia", who had challenged Stephen to a dispute, came out completely discomfited (vi, 9 10); wounded pride so inflamed their hatred that they suborned false witnesses to testify that "they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God" (vi, 11).

No charge could be more apt to rouse the mob; the anger of the ancients and the scribes had been already kindled from the first reports of the preaching of the Apostles. Stephen was arrested, not without some violence it seems (the Greek word synerpasan implies so much), and dragged before the Sanhedrin, where he was accused of saying that "Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [the temple], and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us" (vi, 12 14). No doubt Stephen had by his language given some grounds for the accusation; his accusers apparently twisted into the offensive utterance attributed to him a declaration that "the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands" (vii, 48), some mention of Jesus foretelling the destruction of the Temple and some inveighing against the burthensome traditions fencing about the Law, or rather the asseveration so often repeated by the Apostles that "there is no salvation in any other" (cf. iv, 12) the Law not excluded but Jesus. However this may be, the accusation left him unperturbed and "all that sat in the council...saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel" (vi, 15).

Stephen's answer (Acts 7) was a long recital of the mercies of God towards Israel during its long history and of the ungratefulness by which, throughout, Israel repaid these mercies. This discourse contained many things unpleasant to Jewish ears; but the concluding indictment for having betrayed and murdered the Just One whose coming the Prophets had foretold, provoked the rage of an audience made up not of judges, but of foes. When Stephen "looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God", and said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (vii, 55), they ran violently upon him (vii, 56) and cast him out of the city to stone him to death. Stephen's stoning does not appear in the narrative of the Acts as a deed of mob violence; it must have been looked upon by those who took part in it as the carrying out of the law. According to law (Leviticus 24:14), or at least its usual interpretation, Stephen had been taken out of the city; custom required that the person to be stoned be placed on an elevation from whence with his hands bound he was to be thrown down. It was most likely while these preparations were going on that, "falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (vii, 59). Meanwhile the witnesses, whose hands must be first on the person condemned by their testimony (Deuteronomy 17:7), were laying down their garments at the feet of Saul, that they might be more ready for the task devolved upon them (vii, 57). The praying martyr was thrown down; and while the witnesses were thrusting upon him "a stone as much as two men could carry", he was heard to utter this supreme prayer: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (vii, 58). Little did all the people present, casting stones upon him, realize that the blood they shed was the first seed of a harvest that was to cover the world.

The bodies of men stoned to death were to be buried in a place appointed by the Sanhedrin. Whether in this instance the Sanhedrin insisted on its right cannot be affirmed; at any rate, "devout men" -- whether Christians or Jews, we are not told -- "took order for Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him" (vii, 2). For centuries the location of St. Stephen's tomb was lost sight of, until (415) a certain priest named Lucian learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. The relics were then exhumed and carried first to the church of Mount Sion, then, in 460, to the basilica erected by Eudocia outside the Damascus Gate, on the spot where, according to tradition, the stoning had taken place (the opinion that the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom was east of Jerusalem, near the Gate called since St. Stephen's Gate, is unheard of until the twelfth century). The site of the Eudocian basilica was identified some twenty years ago, and a new edifice has been erected on the old foundations by the Dominican Fathers.

The only first hand source of information on the life and death of St. Stephen is the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-8:2).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

On the First Day of Christmas

Good day, and Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

Today is the first day of Christmas, which means I will joyfully listen to Christmas music... of course come morning none will be played on the radio, so my CD's and my own singing will fill these walls (my poor children)... I'm totally hoping to score a Noel CD on sale!

Our tree went up on Friday (the 21st, as mentioned previously), and how long will it stay up??? Well, my good readers, till the last day of Christmas Proper (check out your missals)... drum roll please... January 13th, the baptism of our Lord. Usually we take it down after Epiphany, you know the 12th day of Christmas... but we're goin' with the actual Christmas season this year.

So, what was under said tree for the little llamas of the house... well they each got a scooter (we're going to work on balance before we attempt bikes again), each a new flashlight (shock resistant of course) for camping, and transformer underpants (no Christmas is complete without either underpants or socks, right?).

(It only took 50 tries this morning after Mass to capture this image!)

From the Llama family to yours, may this be a blessed Christmas season!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snaggletooth Christmas Part 2


When it rains it pours. Tonight before bed, Bobcat lost two more teeth (bottom row, on either side of the two in the middle which are permanent), and Snookie lost the other bottom center tooth next to the one he lost on Thursday. Bubba and Bobcat both have one more loose on top which will probably go within a week or two. They are so tickled by the resulting speech impediments.

Snaggletooth Christmas

Everyone has a hole in their head today. (And their pants, evidently. Sad-lookin' little ragamuffins, aren't they?) Snookie lost his very first tooth on Thursday. Sadly, we weren't here for it. My mom was babysitting and Snookie used the loose tooth as an excuse to get out of bed and complain. Why do grandmothers always fall for these lame excuses? She felt sorry that it was bothering him so she helped him take it out. I don't believe it really needed to come out at that moment. Kind of a bummer that we missed out on his first tooth. My mom is so gullible. Anyway, I digress. He's pretty excited to have joined the big boys' club.


And Bubba lost his third tooth (the first one from the top row) before church this morning. He's very amused by his own lisp. Bobcat's top tooth has been gone for months, surely the replacement is on the way soon.




And that is a Christmas tree you see there. Who says procrastination doesn't pay? If you wait until December 21st, the trees are on super sale. This one is very high quality, and pre-lit. I do prefer colored lights, and lots of them, but you just can't beat the convenience. Considering that we have to rearrange the furniture to accommodate the tree, we just can't seem to get motivated. We put it up Friday and decorated Saturday. Here's a fun game - click on the first image above for a larger version and play "Count the Santa's". Heh heh. I know there are varying degrees of Santa-ism among very devout and God-fearing people. I'm not criticizing anyone who enjoys the fantasy, but it's just not our thing.

Anyway, we pushed through our laziness and got it all done. We've even wrapped all the gifts, and the lights are up on the roof. (I should replace this one burned out bulb that I didn't notice until last night. I thought I had checked them all on ground level. Grrr. We shall see if scrupulosity prevails over sloth. So many vices to choose from...) It's ironic that we had more Christmas cheer before we had children. But now that the work is done, I'm glad, and the house does look nice. And smells great too, as the Llama is baking cookies today. Here's a close-up of our favorite ornament.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How many?

22

Find a Ultrasound school near you

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cool Idea

For those who still have Christmas cards left, you should send one to the White House. They will send you back a letter around New Year's, it's kind of neat. And who knows, your card may end up on display in a presidential library one day. We first heard of this idea when we were greaduating from high school. Our government teacher told us to send an invitation to the White House and we would get a letter of congratulations back from the President. It worked. It was President Clinton... but still, kind of neat scrapbook material. There's your nifty idea for the day.

Ron Paul

What do you all know about Ron Paul (the presidential candidate)? I had only heard him dismissed as a wacky Orwellian conspiracy theorist on some conservative websites and radio shows. But his website is pretty interesting. He's a former OB/GYN that is very pro-life. He supports school choice and vouchers for private schools and tax credits for teachers, and is probably the only candidate that even mentions home schooling on his website. He really emphasizes border control.
I'm not sure I agree with his very anti-war, isolationist ideas, but otherwise his statements really resonate with me. It doesn't look like he really stands a chance of winning, but hopefully there will be enough support to influence and shape the policies of whomever does get the Republican nomination.

Homeschooler wins Heisman

This is a really cool story about a successful homeschool student. Tim Tebow, a home schooler raised by missionary parents, won the Heisman Award, college football's highest honor, last week. Tebow played high school football in Florida while still being homeschooled. Florida law allows home schoolers to participate in extracurricular public school activities.

Here's the full story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22162696/

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photos from the weekend

Busy weekend at Casa de Llama. Sunday was our seventh wedding anniversary (that's an entire quarter of our lives), so Saturday night we went out. No sitter, the boys came with us, it's kind of become a tradition). Dinner at Buca di Beppo (you must try the chicken glorioso). Then a tour of Christmas lights and dessert at Steak 'n Shake.

Sunday afternoon, we made our annual gingerbread house. We just buy a kit from the store, nothing too fancy or difficult, but it's fun.



Sunday night, we put the boys to bed early and had a romantic dinner at home. We used our wedding china. We have service for 16 (long story short - we thought we lost our original eight, felt sick about it for three years, I eventually bought a whole new service for eight, and then we found the originals...) so we feel obligated to use at least some of it at least once a year. No cooking required for the Llama - I got everything from Central Market (overpriced, but yummy). I grilled a couple of awesome steaks, and the sides were pre-cooked, just reheat in the oven. Paired with a nice pinot noir. And turtle cheesecake with coffee for dessert.


Happy anniversary, my sweet and feisty one!

Christmas Shoes

Does anyone else get annoyed by that song? I think it's ridiculous.

We're not totally grinchy though, we put up some decorations this weekend. Everything but the tree. We don't have a tree, actually - we did a real one last year, and gave away our old fake one. I'm waiting to find a nice pre-lit tree on sale closer to the 25th. I was going to stick to our "Penitential Advent" theme until the 24th, but when I came home Friday, MommaLlama had taken the decorations out of the closet. It's been a rough week, she needed to see something cheerful. So we're pseudo-Christmasy. Actually, I heard on the radio that the Vatican Christmas tree went up last week. So I guess if the pope is ready to decorate then we can too.

We also wanted to set up the nativity because we got our new piece in. The nativity scene was always very important in my family when I was growing up. We had a beautiful porcelain set that my grandmother actually made herself, and it was always displayed prominently. I started a set for us the year we were married. I wanted something very nice, heirloom quality. I chose Lenox "China Jewels". I started with just the holy family and a shepherd, and have added a new piece or two every year since then. Unfortunately, it's been retired this year, so from now on I'll have to buy second hand pieces on eBay to complete the set. I got the donkey this year, he arrived on Friday. My first ever eBay purchase, and actually it was fairly priced and in excellent condition. I have all the important pieces, but there are a few more animals out there I would like to have. You should see the elephant (presumably ridden by one of the Magi). It's enormous and intricately detailed and has a lot of colorful decoration on the saddle. I should have bought it when I saw it in a store in 2000, but it seemed out of place with our small collection. Now it's going for about $350 on eBay. Yikes.



Here are a few photos, per Nicole's request. This is the whole set.



This is a close-up of our 2007 addition, the donkey. He was actually mentioned in the bible, if you're a stickler for historical accuracy.



These are two of my favorite pieces, the standing camel (2005) and the palm tree (2004). There's also a kneeling camel that I want to add someday.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Your heart and your mind

This morning at Mass the priest said something that I thought was very interesting...
"Your heart can talk your mind into anything." He stopped there and asked very one to think about that for a moment before he continued.

If your intellect is seeking Truth, then your heart will follow (to KNOW, love, and serve the Lord). But if you become disordered, and go with feelings... allowing your heart, your feelings which are not informed, lead the way. By leading with your heart, and allowing your intellect to drag behind... what is going to do... rationalize the heart's choices. It is easy to rationalize sin when you become disconnected from God! This turns our relationship with God upside down. No longer are we seeking God, moving upward... we become our own god... with obvious backward direction!

The Lord certainly knows how to speak to you at the right moment in a homily doesn't He...

In my extended family (my parents and sibling), this very issue... leading with feelings, has caused a mountain of trouble. They have become so disconnected from the Will of the Father, that they've created an alternate reality. A reality that exists without objective Truth, purely driven on their personal will and completely self centered. As an outsider, called upon in time of utter crisis', it's usually too late to make any visible difference... no matter how I try.

Over the years, I've tried different methods in order to reach them... to help (because the current crisis is one of a long line that spans decades). Since they are so feelings oriented, I've tried appealing to their feelings. Other times I tried to help with their guilt, the financial burden, and even to their rationalizing intellect... to no avail. The alternate reality simply will not allow Truth in... not even from the loving voice of their daughter.

What has kept me up at night (last night til the single digit hours appeared on the clock) is what's my role? If I'm honestly seeking the will of the Father, informing my intellect...??? I guess the first answer would be to continue to pray for them.

My problem comes when I deconstruct what is asked of us... to Know, Love, and Serve the Lord...
-I'm informing my intellect - To Know
-I work diligently to love the Lord daily - To Love

Serving is the problem... that is the point I reach when my answers run short! It's not because of a lack of trying... simply because all service is met with a door in the face.

Life would be so much easier if people would just do the RIGHT THING!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

St. Lucy Pray For Us

Saint Lucy: Feast Day, December 13.
Symbols: cord; eyes on a dish; hitched to a yoke of oxen; in the company of Saints Agatha, Agnes of Rome, Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria, and Thecla; kneeling before the tomb of Saint Agatha; lamp; swords

Saint Lucy lived in Sicily about 300 years after Jesus was born. Her parents were Christians, even though many people in the world at that time were still pagans, who worshipped other gods. The ruler of the country was a pagan and he made it against the law to be Christian. But Lucy's parents loved Jesus very much, so they were Christians and they taught Lucy about Christ too. She grew up loving Jesus and wanting to give her whole life to Him.

When she was grown up, something wonderful happened. Her mother wanted Lucy to marry a rich young man, even though he wasn't a Christian. Lucy didn't want to marry at all, and prayed to God for some way to persuade her mother that she didn't have to marry the rich young man.

Lucy's mother became ill, and they both went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Agatha to pray for healing. When Lucy's mother was miraculously healed, Lucy told her mother about how she had asked God for help so that she wouldn't have to marry. Lucy's mother changed her mind, and told Lucy that she didn't have to marry the rich young man. Lucy was very happy.

But the rich young man was not happy. He still wanted to marry Lucy, and he was very angry when she wouldn't marry him. He wanted to punish Lucy, so he told the ruler of the country that Lucy was a Christian. This was true, but it was also against the law.

Soldiers came to take Lucy away and sell her into slavery for being a Christian, but God protected her. No matter how many men tried to lift her, she could not be moved. They were so angry and so afraid of her because they couldn't lift her, that they tried to set her on fire! But God protected her from the flames. She told the soldiers that she was protected by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that she wanted to serve God.

Finally they took her to prison, where it was very cold, damp and uncomfortable. She died in prison, and went to Heaven. Jesus welcomed her and she is very happy there. Saint Lucy can pray for us, and often people who have sore eyes ask her for help.

Brought to you by: http://www.domestic-church.com/

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas cards...

We finally ordered our Christmas cards... and wow, that turned into a little more than we expected as far as annoying stress goes. Finding the right card, the photo(s)... Daddio picked a photo that I would consider a non-traditional Christmas picture for a card, but honestly I decided I really didn't care (he did try several services with multi-photo choices and none worked, so he just picked the best family shot out of the lot). Trying to get the yahoo's to pose for a picture, or having them made this year didn't seem all that appealing... so non-traditional it is!


So what did we pick...

Because we're cool like that...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Busy busy...

That seems to be the name of the game today as well. After an early morning jaunt to the store for ingredients, it was time to get goin' on the cooking for today's party. Our 2nd annual Daddio family Christmas gathering at Grandma's house (because we don't take part in their Christmas Eve Present Extravaganza, they started a whole new thing so that we would come for that). On the menu: Crab Artichoke Dip, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies.
Bobcat was my trusty sidekick in the kitchen. He chopped crab and artichokes, red peppers, and even minced come garlic. I think it helped that I had a small bowl of peanut M&M's on the island as we worked... and if I remember correctly there was also a small glass of egg nog as a reward for such a helpful attitude!

The end result was both pretty and tasty! (I should probably note that in the finished picture, the beer and wine belong to momma and daddio :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Roses in bloom

What a busy Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It started off with morning mass, and then some time at the local fast food joint for a little breakfast and indoor playtime.

When we got home and let the dogs out, what did we find on our rose bush in the back... roses... a few fully opened and several buds.

At noon we met with our new engaged couple... for some reason we are qualified to mentor engaged couples preparing for their marriages... I'll be honest, I was a little nervous (no this isn't our first couple... it's our second to actually have come over... two were a no go). But all turned out great. They are a very nice couple, and we connected with them right away. I'm actually really looking forward to our next meeting!

After they left, we jetted over to my parents home to hang their Christmas lights on their house... and mom made gumbo (especially for me... 'cause I asked real nice). Then home again we came for a late bedtime!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The decision

This got pretty long. It might be boring. Just warning you now.
===

I accepted the offer. I'm really looking forward to this. In one sense, it feels odd because I'm going back to the office that I left to take my current job. But things have changed. My current company has changed since the beginning of this year. There are fewer advancement opportunities than there used to be, and they've redefined the roles so that I'm not really interested in being promoted to that job anyway. Meanwhile, things have changed back at the old company, for the better. There's a new manager, morale is way up, and I will be exposed to more challenges on larger accounts. I'll get to round out my technical skills, and be very marketable when the next opportunity comes up. I feel kind of weird about going back to where I've already been. I can't help but feel that if I'd stayed put, I would have been even higher up the ladder by now. But, I don't regret the decision to take my current job. I have learned a lot over here that will serve me in the future. I will be more understanding of what my producers are dealing with, and I will be better to do business with as a result.

The personal benefits are substantial. Besides a little more money, I will not be traveling at all (maybe once a quarter, rather than once a week). We (wife and I both) really didn't mind the travel. I wasn't really gone all that much. We had adapted, and accepted it as a necessary part of me bringin' home the bacon. And I did enjoy getting out in the field. But it will be nice to come home every night and ever-so-gently encourage the boys to finish their school work. And I'll be able to re-commit to a hobby or two. I've been missing band practice for months because travel made me miss a few concerts, and the weeks that I was home I was with the boys while mommy went to band. Now that I'm home, I can try to find a reliable weekly sitter and get back into that. Or maybe commit to some golf lessons. I wanted to take a six-week class last year but I wasn't able to commit to six straight Wednesdays. Hey, maybe I'll even return to some personal healthy routines now that my work hours are set. Perhaps wake up early to walk or run. We'll see. At the very least, we know what time I'll be home every night, so we can plan regular family meals and cook healthy things rather than take advantage of convenience foods on my way home from the airport.

My current manager has not spoken to me in several days. He's in another city, so we don't speak every day anyway, but he didn't even respond to my notice that I was interviewing last week, nor my notice that I accepted today. It's kind of awkward... I've tried not to burn any bridges, because you just never know what the future holds. I might be working for or with some of these folks again one day. (Believe me, I've wanted to tell them off, and I've held my tongue.) But I do think I've expressed my thoughts about some of the events that lead me to actively seeek out a new job, and I think they've figured out that I'm dissatisfied. I have done my job still, to the best of my ability. Oh well. Life moves on. They couldn't seriously expect me to stagnate here forever. I think he's more worried about how his employees' dissatisfaction reflects on him as a manager.

My celebratory round of golf this afternoon was fun. My putting was awful, but I had some nice hits, and kept it mostly in bounds. Only lost four balls, that's a huge improvement. And now for the first beer. Good night.

She left me again...

She says she wants to do the grocery shopping in peace, without the boys. I think she just wants to drive my car... It's cool, I dig girls who can drive a stick.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Couldn't resist

So I've been on an apron extravaganza around here. I made the 'kitchen' apron on Monday evening and was pretty pleased with the way it came out... but I wanted more!

Tuesday during naptime I decided to whip out another. After studying the pattern for a few minutes I wasn't complete happy with the way that I thought it would come out... it would've looked unfinished to me on the backside. So I did a little twist on what they recommended by making it a double-sided waist apron... and they added ric-rac around the pockets and seams (with a solid fabric)... which wouldn't really work with the busy print I had. I went with a pretty purple groegrain ribbion to finish the pockets on one side... and left the others plain on the reverse. I also lined my pockets for more durability, which is something that was not included on the orginial pattern. Also by making it reversable I did without the binding around the outer rim! I chose a zig-zag stitch for attaching the waistband and pockets as well, I thought it added to the fun of the print.

I'm quite pleased with the finished product!!! The pockets are a lovely size... my hands fit nicely in them... as well as a water bottle (you never know when you might get thirstly vaccuming or what not).
If you are wondering about the fabric (hey, you never know, some of you might)... all of it (except the purple waist band) came from the same garden collection I picked up a few years ago when making my crochet/knitting yarn bag. I'll pull that out and add a picture of that at some point... it is pretty cool too.
Watch out Suzy Homemaker... MommaLlama's in the house!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Good news!

Thanks for your prayers. I received a job offer today, from the company that was my top choice. The other company has asked for a second interview which is scheduled for the 12th. I'm trying to decide whether to take the first offer and withdraw from the second, or put off the first one until I've seen the other one through. Lots of things to consider. I'm leaning towards accepting this offer because I believe it will be a more challenging and rewarding job with more future potential. But please offer another prayer for us as I consider how to proceed.

But it's great to know that one way or another, things will be better soon. And that I will get the satisfaction of resigning from my current position... This will be the first change I've made with no regrets at all.

Aprons, aprons... and more aprons!

The Apronista has continued finding great aprons for giveaways. The designers at Creative Outlet Designs, and Bee-Bops Party wear have generously donated an apron each to the lucky winners.

Of course I would LOVE - LOVE - LOVE to win one of these lovely treasures, but I'm not holding my breath... so instead I decided to go ahead and sew up a new apron for myself (maybe just maybe that will lead to me winning one... ). I keep all the fabric scraps from all the projects I've worked on over the years, and that is what I'm using for this apron. Unfortunately this will be a very spring/summery apron with a garden them... but it is a new apron, and that is what I've been wanting!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sports...

It's been quiet here on the Llama blog in regards to sports... why - because the Mavs were on a 3 game LOSING streak and I was just too devastated to write about it (and exhausted from staying up so late to watch that silliness).

Bad defense... bad shooting... bad bad bad...

They were able to eek out a victory against the T-wolves Wednesday night (only after giving up a 20 point lead, ouch)... so losing streak over, right MAVS????

Tonight, we (as if I am on the court helping) play the Portland Trailblazers... um that wasn't so pretty the last time we met up with them, but we were down Devin Harris. So maybe, just maybe with him back on the court for this match up (and I hear another new starting line-up... what would this be 9 in 16 games?) we will have a better outcome!

I will say... I cracked up when The General got thrown out of the game a few nights ago! Classic!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

** UPDATED ** Spring semester looming...

I like to give myself a few weeks of scheduling (catching moments here and there) to prepare my lesson plan for the coming semester. This semester has gone surprisingly well based on my current plan, so starting the beginning of this week I got to work writing out my lesson plans for the spring.

Am I done? Well, with Snookie's! I gotten Handwriting done for Bobcat and Bubba, and am currently working on Phonics for Bobcat... what's left? Phonics, Math, Spelling, Grammer and Religious Ed... While the list seems long, the system is in place and won't be too much work to get it in the book!

Why am I blogging instead of planning... a llama needs a break from time to time :-).

**Updated**

And to further my planning fun I received Seton's Winter/Spring 2008 catalog... which meant a longer break as a deligently investigated the treasures for the next school!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moments with Snookie

"Mommy, I was trying to write a 5, and it didn't go so well."

"Mommy, what are those animals called on Star Wars (IV)?" - Snookie
"Which animals?" -me
"Bobcat, they are are called WitchAnimals!" - Snookie
"Oh, no Snookie, I mean what animals are you referring too?"

"I don't think 5 year old boys can do a very good job drawing a race car on my magadoodle."
(As he sits frustrated that Lightening McQueen isn't appearing on the Magnadoodle as he draws.)

These moments have been brought to you by the letter S!

For the love of Music

I fall somewhere in the middle on the notion of what makes a child - Nature/Nurture argument... I think there is a little of both, and yet when the boys seem to gravitate toward things that are more like Daddio and I, I'm always a little surprised (and happy). I don't know what their bio parents like or disliked as far as foods go, colors, quiet alone time, group settings... blah blah blah, so I really am just assuming that they are leaning toward the things that we like because they've been with us and have been exposed to those things more.

Take for instance music. Pretty much since they've been home with us, when we are just kickin' around the house I have music on... because I like to listen to music. Country, classic cowboy, Classical, Big Band, Jazz, Oldies... I enjoy an interesting array of sounds, and as time goes on the boys have appeared to pick up the same enjoyment of music that I have. The only time I don't have music on is during schooling in the morning.

Except this morning... after instructed work was completed, Bobcat and Bubba moved onto their independent work and Bobcat made an interesting request.

"Mommy, can we listen to some music while we work? You know, something with no words, just instruments... I think it would be nice to hear something while we work."

"Um, sure, let's see what I can find that would be nice to listen to."

So off to the 200 disc changer I went to find some homeschooling music. As I sat there scrolling through my choices I was somewhat in shock and awe... First that he is comfortable enough to manage his work while listening to music, and second that he asked for MUSIC... how awesome is that. Okay, I know you are thinking I'm dorky... but I want my kids to appreciate and enjoy music, and it seems to be rubbing off on them!!!!

Right now the distinct sounds of Spanish Guitar fill the house, while the boys complete their studies...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Prayer Request

I have a job interview Wednesday afternoon, and another Thursday morning. If things work out, I'll be traveling less, making more, on a better path for future advancement, and a lot less stressed. Please send up a quick one for me. Thank you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More birthday reflections...

I've been thinking of Bobcat a lot around his birthday. And the book I've been reading has me wondering about the extent of long term physical and emotional damage he still has from his first two years of life, and from the transition from foster care to our home. As the oldest, I believe he suffered more than his brothers. He was in the original home the longest and has the most vivid memories of the events that led them to us, and therefore, I assume, the most pain. It breaks my heart to think of him crying and hungry. We don't know of many specific abuses, it was mainly "neglect", but we know he had cigarette burns at least one time ("accidental", of course).

This picture is from Bobcat's first day at home with us. (We didn't have bathing suits for the slip 'n slide, so we used underpants.)


Sometimes I can't believe how far he has come in less than 3 & 1/2 years. He was so scared, cautious, clingy, and delicate. He still carries some of those scars. He's fragile in some ways, physically and emotionally. We're still bonding and filling in the early needs that were not satisfied. He wants to sit in a lap and be snuggled, and to hold hands when we walk. He enjoys any kind of touch.
But he's also confident, energetic, curious, and eager to learn. Always following and watching and asking questions and trying to be like me. (For better or worse...) And like mommy too -certain mannerisms, and they all talk with her mild accent.

But he's also very unique. He is starting to have a real personality, you know. Not just a toddler with certain moods and quirks, but a really individual way of thinking and expressing himself. It's fascinating because it feels like we're getting to know him, who his true person really is.



Coming soon, his first holy communion. I'm definitely going to cry. God is so good. He is healing our son, making him into the person he was meant to me. We're humbled to be a part of that process.

I think I feel more like a "real parent" every week. I always loved them, of course, from the day we heard that we might get them. But it took some time to establish a bond. I try to think of St. Joseph with our Lord as a child. He was a father in every way. He knew that Jesus was really God's son, but he loved him as his own son, and Jesus surely gave him the same affection. I like this excerpt from a well known prayer to St. Joseph:

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart, but press Him in my name, and kiss his fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

That's the power of fatherhood, even if by adoption. Bobcat, as you grow up, know that I love you more than I thought possible. I wasn't there for your beginning, but I will be here until the end. When I fail, God Himself will provide for us.

Party Time

With sick boys, and a busy schedule Bobcat didn't get to have his official party til last night. In Llama fashion, Bobcat picked out his own them and he and I had fun shopping for supplies on Saturday evening... just the two of us.

What was the theme... STAR WARS - DARTH VADER, of course. I was a little concerned on the cake... we looked for a theme cake pan - no luck, I thought cupcakes would be cool - nope not what he wanted, he wanted a cake with Darth Vader on it... that was why I was worried. On the way home from our trip Daddio called to find out the selections, and to do a little online research before we got back. He too, thought it would be cool to put Darth Vader on a cake... my worry level reached ORANGE (dang near RED). After some work on Daddio's part he found a sight with 'How To Draws' and found Darth Vader... and my friends DADDIO drew Darth Vader on that cake! What a great job he did!!!! My contribution was making and frosting the chocolate cake with chocolate chip frosting... And yes that is a Darth candle holder just to the upper left of the cake... SWEET FIND!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was pretty brisk out there, perfect Thanksigiving weather. MommaLlama's family sure can cook. The family who host most events live on several wooded acres, so the kids got to ride on a four-wheeler and play in the fallen leaves.
Bobcat with his new football
(Look closely, you'll see he caught one with his face and had a bloody nose for a while.)

Bubba

Snookie

The little girl is our niece. She's definitely one of the boys!

We made a deal

If Bobcat picked the "big boy shoes" with laces, he would have to learn to tie them by himself, and practice until he got it down. It actually went very well. I guess I shouldn't be so shocked, he is seven years old now. But sometimes he doesn't exactly have the patience and perseverence he needs when learning new things. In the store, I wanted to make an executive decision and choose velcro shoes for him. But he promised he would work hard, and recently we were inspired to allow him more control over the little things. (We heard an excellent speaker at the adoption conference we attended, and bought her book. I'm sure we'll write more about that later on.)

Our lesson started with some frustration, and maybe a tear or two. I told him he could put them back in the box and I'd take them back to the store, or he could calm down and try again. Three deep breaths, and ten minutes later... Voila'!



I'm proud of him!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Did I mention that I'm awesome?

If so, it bears repeating. I'm awesome. With my new irons (golf clubs), that is. Still need to work on my woods and hybrids, did better than the last time out but have a wicked slice. I'll be on a real golf course for only the second time in my life next Friday, and I'm actually optimistic that I won't completely embarrass myself.

Some of you might be interested to know how we're holding up without our Mommy this weekend. As we were driving to the airport yesterday, Bubba asked from the backseat, "Who's going to take care of us when Mommy's gone?" Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, son! Actually, I think he assumed I would also be going on the airplane. But it was funny the way he said it.

So we dropped the Llama off and came home to begin our innaugural Dudes' Weekend. I put the boys down for nap and went to do the yard work. I'm hoping this is the last time for the season, as I cut it fairly short and ran the mower dry and emptied the gas can into the car. So, Jack Frost, show yourself already, it's November and I don't want my grass to grow any more. Then, I attempted to rearrange the garage so that my new car could fit in there along with mommy's tank. It was pretty tough, but I think it will work. Gonna need some rubber door edge things just to be safe.

Leftover pizza for dinner and then off to our Blue Knights meeting to learn about the Fear of God and make spears with which to destroy evil. It went well. Nobody poked any eyes out, I call it a success.

Slept a little late this morning and had some toast and bread sticks (their request). Ran to Wal-Mart to get new shoes (Bubba tore his, and Bobcat has outgrown his) and new sunglasses for me ($5). Then to the driving range, as noted above. The place near our house is great because it's cheap and there's plenty of room for the boys to play safely away from the golfers.

Then home for lunch - PB&J. Daddy food is pretty simple fare. Bubba and Bobcat thought it was cool that their sandwiches were big (not cut in half) like big boys, and Snookie cried because it wasn't cut the way mommy makes it. Easily solved. Then a LOOONG nap, for all of us, with the windows open because dang, this weather is amazing.

This evening we grabbed some Wendy's burgers (noticing a pattern here? If you don't use any dishes, you don't have to wash any...) and went to the airport observation area to watch planes take off and land until dark. Bobcat brought his new camera, I'll post some photos later. Home for showers and into bed, now watching the Mavs. We'll see if we're able to get up for church by ourselves in the morning...

Hope you're having fun, mommy, we miss you!

===
Update: Sunday went well. We did get up for church on time. I made waffles and they were actually good. Played outside, and had another long nap. Then we learned that Mommy's flight would be delayed five hours... I'm sure she'll post about that later. We watched the Cowboys game (too close for comfort, but a win is a win), beans and weenies for supper, and off to bed. Up again at 11:45 to go pick up Mommy from the airport. I'll have you know that the kitchen was clean and the carpet vacuumed when she got home.

The dogs are mad at me because I made them stay outside pretty much the whole time. Like, well, dogs. Daisy gets indignant when she's treated like a mere animal. But I wanted the front door open for maximum fresh air flow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When it rains...

it pours...

Today was a follow up appointment with our pedi for Bubba, and come up with a game plan to keep the asthma in check. Let's just say that I'm less than satisfied. We were also there for Bobcat's 7 year well check.

First off they measured and did everything on Bubba that they were supposed to do to Bobcat, even though I told the nurse that he was not here for his yearly check up (that was 1 1/2 months ago)... that he was here for a follow up asthma check. She claimed she knew that, but continued anyway... then looked at her chart and marked out the stuff she had written and did the same exam on Bobcat. After a long while the pedi finally came in, and did Bobcat's check up. After all was done with him, the doctor showed me the growth chart and said, "so are we still holding off on seeing the endocrinologist, or are you ready to talk further about this?"
UMMMMMMMMMM, what are you talking about???

"Haven't we discussed the fact that he is too small?" - dr.

"Um, well his bio's were small people, but last time we were in you said that you weren't concerned because he is getting bigger and he is in proportion and is quite healthy." - me

"Oh, no he's supposed to be tracking better than this. Right now we project him to hit 5'3" and that's being optomistic, he isn't even any where near the arc." - dr.

"His birthparents were very short... 5'1" and 5'6"ish, and we've talked about that every time we've come in and this is the first time you've told me this is a problem." - me

"Well, the way we look at it for boys is an average of both parents and then +2 inches, and he's not headed that direction. I really think that this is a case that an endo. needs to look at and start thinking about growth hormones and what that will do for him." -dr.

WHAT????

So now we have an appointment in January to see a specialist about that little problem.

Moving on to Bubba... his lungs sounded much better. He still has a lot of crud from the infection, but that is to be expected. Next the dr. said that he wanted to have Bubba on Singulair full time... ummmm, we've been into see you now 3 times in 5 business days and every time we've been here you've said this, but haven't looked in your chart to see that Bubba has been on that full time for 3 years now... and now 3 times I've told you that he is already taking it. WHY DO YOU LOOK SURPRISED? Why are down playing the situation, oh... suddenly, by the quizical look on your face, it is a little more serious now that you know that he has been on a medication that you regularly give to little children when they present asthma symptoms. What now?! His answer was more drugs, and call him in a week. I mentioned his history again (because clearly no one reads the charts anymore), and was pretty clear that I was more than just slightly concerned. I told him that I had researched the next specialist that would handle this, but he assured me that this wouldn't go that far... that he feels like these extra meds will manage things better.

WHAT????
He doesn't want to do any further testing right now, nothing - just see how a pill every morning, a liquid in the morning and at night, and a nose spray once a day... how that will play out. Thankfully I don't need a referral... I haven't made the appointment yet, but let's just say I'm not going to let this go so easily!

Calgon, take me away..................................................................................

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WOO - HOO

My husband is the greatest, bestest, most coolest hubby in the whole world... my dearest friend just called to let me know that I'm flying down Friday and spending the weekend with her and her family... and that Daddio had been planning it for quite a while!

Thank you Daddio...

Littlebit, I'm a comin' to see ya!

Cars...

Due to same changes at Daddio's work, the company car he has been driving will no longer be ours to use. For the last two weeks we've been looking, Daddio's been researching, and much test driving has occured.

On Monday I met him up at the dealer and signed a few papers... and we became the proud owners of a Mazda 3 (5-speed of course)!
Just like this picture, it is the dark grey... with an undercoat of tan so it has really cool look in the sun.

There is nothing like a manual transmission to remind you of just how much you like driving. This tight little car is fun to drive and gets great gas milage (which was at the top of the requirements for what ever Daddio chose). I'm sure Daddio will be writing a review soon!

Happy Birthday Bobcat

Today our oldest turns 7!


Last night we did our little family birthday celebration (a day early due to business travel for Daddio), and Bobcat got to open his gifts from us. The highlight gift would be a new little digital camera for him. He really enjoys pretending to take pictures (even using rocks for his camera), so we decided to get him a camera of his own. He spent an hour or so this morning taking pictures... 100 to be exact. We got them on the computer and 26 seemed good enough to keep for his first day shooting! If you would like to see what Bobcat found interesting enough to take pictures of check it out!

Aprons from Carolyn's Kitchen

Ladies, the Apronista is at it again this week with this great little apron from Carolyn's Kitchen. Well, actually not only will the giveaway include your choice of aprons, but also a set of matching dish gloves that are super cute. It really is too bad that I never win giveaways, but I think this one is my most favorite of all the apron giveaways I've seen!

Friday, November 9, 2007

National Adoption Month

Presidential Proclamation for 2007 National Adoption Month

2007 President's Proclamation
National Adoption Month, 2007

During National Adoption Month, we recognize the adoptive and foster families who have shared their homes and hearts with children in need, and we encourage more Americans to consider adopting young people of all ages.

Families who adopt show the generous spirit of our Nation. Every child desires a permanent home, and when parents adopt a child to love as their own, lives are forever changed. For parents, the decision to adopt a child is among life's greatest and happiest turning points. On November 17, families across the country will celebrate National Adoption Day by finalizing their adoptions, and each one of these homes will be richer for the addition of new family members.

My Administration is committed to promoting adoption of children of all ages. We are working to bring together more children with loving, adoptive parents through the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids at adoptuskids.org and by providing States with financial assistance through the Adoption Incentives Program. The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program helps improve care and services to children and families and ensure more young people in America have a caring, secure, and permanent home. Together, these efforts are building a brighter future for our youth.

During National Adoption Month, we honor adoptive and foster parents as they raise children of conviction and character. By accepting the gift of these children, parents are helping shape lives and contributing to the strength of our great Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2007 as National Adoption Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities to honor adoptive families and to participate in efforts to find permanent homes for waiting children.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Oh, and there's more....

NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY 2007 – NOVEMBER 17

ABOUT NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY
National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the 114,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. For the last eight years, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.

National Adoption Day is celebrated every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. For the first time in 2006, National Adoption Day was celebrated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In total, more than 250 events were held throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of more than 3,300 children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt.

Wow...

I just finished watching the Mav-Warriors match up (thank you DVR), but what a beating... no, not the game, but the TNT commentators. Note to self: MUTE (located at top of remote)... watch game in PEACE!

Final thoughts: GO MAVS! And the refs sucked!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Apon

OH Ladies,

If you have seen, The Apronista is at it again with another apron giveaway! Go check it out!

Two worlds collide

Bubba and Snookie have been under the weather since Tuesday (really starting with Snookie). By Wednesday Bubba had taken the lead with a severe cough... that he would get in fits with. I tried a lot of different things, nice steamy baths/showers, vapo rub, Delsym, chlora tabs... by 5:30 yesterday it was obvious things weren't going in the right direction for Bubba. His breathing had become quite shallow and labored and then there was this weezing sound at the end of the breath... and he wanted to sit with me. The last part was actually what really worried me the most (oddly enough), he doesn't usually seek my consolation but he desperately just wanted to stay in my arms. He was scared and told me several times he couldn't breath and that it hurt.

Once Daddio arrived home from work, we decided that this was beyond our ability to treat and that he needed to go to an Urgent Care place with Bubba. Turns out that the little man was having an asthma attack (I'm sure most of you guessed that, but we don't have any experience with asthmas and we weren't sure if this was that!). What apparently happened in this case was that an upper resp. infection exacerbated the situation bringing on the attack. Several things were done to help him out including breath treatments, steroids, and antiobiotics... the result was Bubba being HIGH AS A KITE. When they got home around 9:00pm he was bouncing off the walls. Actually it was really funny. He is a high energy kid, but this was a totally different kind of behavior from him.

First, we didn't know that he had asthma. It is something that has been sitting in the back of my brain for about 6 months... not sure why, but I thought there was a chance. Not because he was showing signs, but because his biogolical mother was a smoker both in preg. and after (among many other bad or illegal habits during pregnancy) plus the non-existant prenatal and birth care she and he received.

Sitting at home worried about my son and waiting to hear from Daddio, I was also struggling with another emotion... sheer ANGER. Why? Because I (we) work so hard to provide a very loving and healthy environment for the boys... making sure their nutrition and sleep habits are met in the best way possible, everything they need and want is provided. But no matter how hard we work, there are things that were done to them by their birth parents that I simply can't undo! You look at those faces, and while I don't have infant pictures of them... I can imagine... but I can't imagine how someone... a mother could do the things she/they did. My anger is at the birth parents... the sperm and egg donor who didn't care (I certainly don't not consider them to be the mother and father, that would be way too generous based on their behavior), who were too selfish, they couldn't take care of the boys, but they were able to evade the law for more than 2 years, running from CPS...

Today... today I have had to call our insurance provider, I've had to deal with our prescription provider, I have to take the boys to their regular Pedi, I have to drive half and hour to get a nebulizer that our insurance won't let us pick up at the pharmacy, administer breathing treatments, go back to the pharmacy to pick up more meds for the boys, give tons of meds for the infection that both Snookie and Bubba have, had to cancel Bobcat's birthday party this weekend because they (dr.) said that they boys won't be healthy enough for that... the list goes on and on... which now include Bubba having asthma and all that goes along with that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where's my brain?

I've been working on several blog posts in my head for a while now, but just can't seem to motivate myself enough to actually sit down and put them online. Talking with a friend (and blogger), we were discussing a recent dry spell among some bloggers (including ourselves) and trying to pin point where it is coming from. We theorized it might be the weather...

As for myself, I think it's the concept of No Mans Land as far as as where we are at in our school year. Meaning, we aren't close enough to the Christmas break to feel like there is an end in sight, and we are too far from summer to enjoy the glow of free for all fun. And while it was super nice to go camping, we still pushed a head a little before we left and then made up a little when we got back. My brain is worn down, and when we finish up with book work in the morning the last thing I want to do is think... or even try and formulate a thought. Plus the fog of allergy medicine doesn't help the situation either.

Hopefully in the coming days I will be able to type out some posts covering:
Tapestry Adoption Conference (which we attend this past weekend)
Adoption groups (and getting one started for our parish/diocese)
Book reviews
---The Connected Child (For parents who have welcomed children: from other countries, from troubled backgrounds, with special behavioral or emotional needs) by Karyn Purvis (she was the keynote speaker for the conference)
---God Help Me! These people are driving me crazy: Making Peace with Difficult People
---God Help Me! This stress is driving me crazy: Finding balance through God's Grace (both of these are by Dr. Gregory Popcak)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

You got it right!

This morning we headed out to vote and when we got to the city hall you will never guess what was already on the columns... GARLAND. WHAT???? We aren't even close to Thanksgiving yet, but we already have our GARLAND out????

Red has it right... here's her recent post on the issue: ...Holiday

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mavs - Cavs Season opener

I know, I know... I'm so behind on the times posting about the season opener for the Mavs... but what a game. At least the second half was (which is all I happened to catch, because I'm such a bad fan that I totally didn't know that it was the opener and just assumed it was another preseason game and I still had another week to get in B-Ball mindset).

Thoughts on the whole:

I'm sorry to hear that Mbenga is gone. Due to an injury last season which lead to surgery we didn't see much of him, but what we saw looked promising. With three years here, he racked up some where in the 75 games range on the floor... which really isn't enough to know for sure what he's got (or so they say). He's headed off to Europe to get some floor time which will be good for him! And I'm not sure what happened to Crosiere (sp?), but he was a good guy as well, and I'm sad to see him go.

Josh Howard didn't play in the opener and is out the next game as well, due to a two game suspension for a fight in a preseason game. Now, I saw the clip and it is pretty funny... I had to watch that clip 4-5 times because I was laughing so hard. If you haven't seen it, it is worth checking out... and who ever came up with J. Ho. as his nickname... people, come on, something better - PLEASE!

Dampier is out till December because of shoulder surgery, and George is out with a knee injury from preseason (um, did anyone see him sporting the mohawk... and WHY?).

Jason Terry (The Jet)... he's so cute (and you know all 4 of his kids are cute)! Apparently he's everyone's favorite Sixth Man... we'll see how long they have him coming off the bench, he played great in the opener! And we all know that Coach A changes up his line-up regularly!

Stackhouse lookin' good as well... what a pretty jumper! (I like to make up my own nicknames for some of my favorites - I call him StickyStack)

Dirk looked way more aggressive in the paint! Which is a good thing... no gentle giants! And Diop was handling himself quite nicely with what 4-5 blocks and I think a total of 3 fouls... tough to do when you're a center. It will be interesting to watch this slot (the 5 spot/center) as the season progresses, especially when Damp is back in playing form.

Devin Harris, starting Point Guard for your Dallas Mavericks... you go little buddy! He cracks me up, and is one young player that is going to be fun to follow. He can draw a charge with the best 'em, and is quick on his feet... and isn't afraid of the bigger players (did you seem him guarding Kobe last year... hysterical).

Bass & Hassell, both new guys... looked pretty good, it will take a while getting used to seeing them out there.

Because I came in late to the game, I missed JJ B. (Jose Barea), but I hear he did well (oh, his nickname... Little Chili Pepper :-). And I have no idea of Mo Ager played... but both of this guys are definitely young athletes that will be interesting to watch as thier careers progress.

So there you have it people... my first Mavs post for this season... more to come!

A new sport

Daddio sent me a little message yesterday while waiting for his car to be serviced, saying that he had gotten me a surprise. I LOVE SURPRISES!!! Well, that me rephrase that, I LOVE GIFTS, I don't like waiting :-).

When he finally got home, he brought something over to me... a glove! A golf glove. I knew he was going to be getting a set of new golf clubs for himself yesterday, so the glove through me a little, but I assumed he was going to let me play around with the set that he had been borrowing from a friend. Then he took me out into the garage to show me the set that he had gotten for himself... and low and behold... he got ME A SET OF CLUBS TOO!!!! And after dinner he took me out the driving range so that we could wack hit a bunch of balls!

Turns out I'm not half bad (Daddio's words). I hit the ball 90% of the times I swung, and I would say that some where in the 93%-95% range of those went further than 3 feet. I'm overwhelmingly pleased with how I did, and can't wait to go and hit more!!!

Feast of All Souls

Good afternoon and Happy Feast of All Souls!

My favorite priest said morning Mass today, and gave a great homily about today's feast and the beautiful BLACK vestments he was wearing. Here is his explanation paraphrased:

Black vestments were not done away with contrary to what people say about VII. They are still listed as the first color of use for furneral Masses, and this Feast in particular (check out the GIRM, if you don't believe me). The vestment cannot be solid black, but instead must be trimed in a hopeful color (today he was wearing one that was lined with a beautiful royal purple). Why black and not more commonly seen white? (He said that it is as if we are already signifying sainthood, and then he joked that if any of us are around at the end of his life, that he wants to be dressed in black and that the priest be in black vestments... because he knows there is little chance that he would have a perfected soul at the moment of his death.) The black was actually meant to signify our earthly mourning, and the trim/lined color was for the joy that was to follow.

I should say that I'm really not doing his homely justice because if you know Fr. D, you know he is an amazing homilist and this was just a bare bones paragraph.

He went on to talk about how we are to spend (most especially) the month of November praying for those who have gone before us in the love and friendship of Christ... and that for those souls which are helped by our prayers & sufferings (soul which are still in a state of purgation), in return we have a special Saint in heaven praying for us!

Remember family and friends who have gone before us in the love and friendship of Christ, and the millions of souls who have been forgotten... and spend this month offering up your day for their benefit.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Caprock Canyons - Friday

Friday came with a chill in the air, and clean up looming. The boys armed with granola bars and pop tarts, had breakfast in full swing on the last day of our trip.

With a few sweeps, bundled sleep bags, and several trips back and forth to the SUV we were soon on our way. We stopped for one last small hike and look at the view.

The drive home was filled with fun stops for photo opps! We saw fields of amazing cotton, fun street signs, prisoners cleaning a monument (stripes and all) and even camels!

Here is one of my favorite photos that I took on the way back...


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Caprock Canyons - Thursday

Thursday morning we rose early, and had tasty Daddio Burritos! There is nothin' tastier than a breakfast burrito... eggs and bacon over a campfire, smothered with cheese and salso tucked into a warm tortilla!

Then we were off for our morning hike. We chose a new trail, this one told of a rocky ascent that was challenging... but was supposed to have a big payoff. The weather couldn't have been nicer... cool but clear, great weather for hiking. Once the backpack was loaded up with water and snacks we set off for our hike. About a mile in we were to merge off the main trail for the rocky up hill. Wow, this was definitely more tricky than we planned. Going up wasn't too bad, but I was more worried about heading down... and for good reason as it turned out. We didn't make it all the way up, but it was a good try. Back at the main trail we continued on and enjoyed the amazing landscapes, huge rock formations, and interesting plant life... and a few creepy crawlers that caught our attention. When all was said and done and we were back at the car we clocked in about a 2 hour hike which with crude estimation was somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 miles (images from this hike).


We headed back to camp for removal of some of our layers of clothing (the sweaters and long sleeves were no longer necessary), and to get lunch underway. Unfortunately our fly problem from the night before (yeah, I don't think I mentioned that... um, the tent was filled with them) had not gotten any better, and we were out of ideas of how to get rid of them... not only were they in our tent, but EVERYWHERE! So we made an executative decision to go a short drive into town for a bug response, and lunch in doors!

What was the answer to the flies... you nature lovers will just love this one... BUG BOMB! We removed all contents from the tent, the we bug bombed those darn flies... gathered more water (we wouldn't be able to go back into the tent for a few hours), and headed out for another hike. Usually this would be the time we would put the boys down for a much needed rest and Daddio and I would catch up on some reading, have a beer, and take a little siesta ourselves... but that was a no go.

Back to the next hike... this particular trail was one we were slightly familar with having hiked a short ways into it last time we were there. This time we went much further and enjoyed it even more. Every 30 minutes or so we would stop and enjoy the cool refreshing water and a snack of some sort... and then hit the trail again... and much like the morning we found our hiking abilities last about 2 hours and some change (again about 3 miles or a little more). This particular trail (intended to go all the way to the lake at the enterance of the park) is much more up and down, and by the end Daddio and I's feet were ready to fall right off at the ankle! But it was well worth it!

After this hike, it was back to the campsite to check out the bug situation and start getting the fire ready for dinner... oh and sit back and enjoy an ice cold adult beverage while we try to entice our feet to stay attached to our bodies! As Bubba would say "The bugs got DEAD!", and the tent was filled with our belongings once again! Dinner as usual was amazing, steaks and baked taters for the grown ups and hot dogs for the boys... and then SHOWER TIME.

Before the boys this is actually something we rarely did on our camping trips... but they sleep so much better (and so do we as it turns out) after they've been all cleaned up and are snug in their long underwear jammies. To bed they went while we enjoyed some star gazing... and were soon tucked away in our sleeping bags as well listening to the hum of the heater and drifting away!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Camping - Wednesday

Sorry it has taken me so long to get on here and post about our trip, but coming home from a trip like that has a lot of laundry to do, along with all my regular chores...

Okay, where did we go??? Caprock Canyons in Quitaque, Tx (West Texas).

We headed out Wednesday morning, and got to our campsite around 2:00. After getting the tent set up and all our gear in order, Daddio got a dinner fire going while I took the boys exploring. Our pad was located right near a ledge overlooking the Little Red Creek. The boys and I took turns throwing rocks over the ridge and into the water... that is hours of entertainment right there! Then it was time for dinner. We were able to take a short hike after dinner down to the creek bed and around the bend, then headed back to camp around sunset. It is truly amazing there, everywhere you turn is another awe inspiring sight.
Then it was time for S'mores, and bedtime for the boys! Daddio and I stayed up to enjoy the fire, and a little adult conversation... but were soon tucked away cozy in our sleeping bags for a toasty (thanks to the new tent heater) slumber.

Give away

I've wanted a fancy girly apron for quite some time now, and thanks to The Apronista my obsession is even stronger. She is hosting a give away for one of Heavenly Hostess amazing aprons. Please take a moment and hit both of these sites... and enter (either for yourself, or you men out there one for your wives!!!).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A few photos

I'll let MommaLlama write more about the trip details. But I thought I would post a few of the family portraits we took. The new camera has a 12-second timer which actually allowed me time to get into the shot (the old camera was only 5 seconds...) You can also get a remote control for it, but I don't have ALL of the toys just yet.


A different kind of portrait.


A silly one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Update

Just got back from the best camping trip yet. Will post more details and photos soon.

Also, someone out there owes us the two hours of our lives we lost watching a certain movie recommendation. I won't name names or titles, but man, that was terrible. We're going to just follow our instincts from now on.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Funny

Let's start Monday off with some funnies!

Why, Why, Why
Do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "Lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Man Meme

  1. Who is your man? Daddio
  2. How long have you been together? Oh gosh... 11 years.
  3. How long did you date? 4 years
  4. How old is your man? 28
  5. Who eats more? Him
  6. Who said “I love you” first? I honestly don't remember (Daddio if you remember feel free to comment)
  7. Who is taller? ha ha ha... he is by more than a foot!
  8. Who sings better? Well, if you mean you must stay in the same key, then I will concede that he is better :-)...
  9. Who is smarter? He is!
  10. Whose temper is worse? MINE...
  11. Who does the laundry? Me, myself and I.
  12. Who takes out the trash? Both of us.
  13. Who sleeps on the right hand side of the bed? Looking from the foot of the bed, I do.
  14. Who pays the bills? He does!!!!!!
  15. Who is better with the computer? TIE.
  16. Who mows the lawn? Both of us. It just depends on his travel schedule, and if I need some time outside to blow off some steam.
  17. Who cooks dinner? Mostly me, but he is a wizard at the grill (or campfire as the case my be)!
  18. Who drives when you are together? Mostly him.
  19. Who pays when you go out? He does. (but I should mention that no matter who pays it all comes out of the same place)
  20. Who is most stubborn? Probably me.
  21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? We're never wrong.
  22. Whose parents do you see the most? If you average it out... probably both evenly.
  23. Who kissed who first? Um... I'm going to say that he initiated the first kiss.
  24. Who asked who out? Well, one who could say our first date was one of being ditched by our friends. Our first official date he asked me out.
  25. Who Proposed? He proposed to me... at the same place we had our first official date... how romantic!
  26. Who is more sensitive? Me.
  27. Who has more friends? Neither, we are social misfits :-)... oh I don't know he would probably say me, but I think it is pretty even considering most are mutual friends.
  28. Who has more siblings? He does.
  29. Who wears the pants in the family? He does, and does it well!

Oh who to tag... I tag YOU!