Saturday, August 30, 2008

All Alooooooooooone

It's just after 7am and all my boys are gone! A camping, they went!

This is the first camping trip that I've not been a part of, and I'm pretty bummed about it... but it was the way it had to be this time (thankfully I don't have long to wait to get my camp on... we are going again in about a month with some of our homeschooling buddies). This is also the first time in a few years that Daddio has taken all three for a weekend trip and I've stayed behind. I teased the boys this morning that I wouldn't know what to do without them... who would take out the trash, or the recycling, or let the dogs out in the back... I'm gonna be busy all on my own :-). They thought that was pretty funny.

I had to laugh this morning... VERY EARLY THIS MORNING... Daddio is like a kid on Christmas morn the day of any family vacation. This morning his plan was to rise at 6:00am finish loading the car and be gone by 7:30am... well, I heard (the UFO landing in the kitchen) the coffee maker running at 4:40 this morning... he just couldn't stay in bed a minute longer!

I'm off for a spa treatment in my bathroom... Daddio picked a Burt's Bees Tips to Toes set for me last night while he was out gathering the last few things he needed... so balms away my friends!


A joke stolen from the Catholic Dads Blog:

Joe was a new Catholic going to his first confession. He began, "Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have been stealing lumber from my employer." The priest asked, "How much lumber." Joe continued, "Enough to build my house and a house for my brother." The priest then asked, "Is that all?" "Well I also built a house for my sister and a brother-in-law." The priest thought about it for a while and then said, "Because of the extraordinary amount you have stolen, an extraordinary penance is required. I'd like you to make a novena to St. Joseph." Joe looked puzzled and then eagerly replied, "Well, being a new Catholic I don't really know what a novena is, but if you have the blueprints, I have the lumber!"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Out of the Bag

As noted previously, MommaLlama is going to have a weekend at home alone. Yesterday, I spontaneously decided to take the boys camping this weekend. The weather looks to be nice enough in the hill country (not too stinkin' hot - we'll hike early and late and play in the water when it's hot). We're trying a new location. I've never been to Enchanted Rock, but it appears to be very nice and the trails should be easy enough for kids (and out-of-shape parents). Also supposed to have a lot of great photo opportunities.

The original plan did include our mommy, but she feels like relaxing, so this will be our first dudes-only camping trip. We haven't told the boys yet because I wanted to surprise them. We did tell them that we were doing something fun, but wouldn't say what.

Well, Bobcat is getting pretty smart. The zebra cakes tipped him off. You see, any time we are going camping, we bring Little Debbie zebra cakes. I don't know when that tradition started exactly, but it's set in stone now. We don't keep that kind of stuff around the house, but it is a well documented fact that sugary snacks eaten while camping have no adverse effect (and there is plenty of space for little boys to run and burn off the excess energy). So anyway, mommy and the boys were at the grocery store picking up a few things, and Inspector Bobcat read the clues. Bacon and eggs, fairly normal stuff. Hot dogs, also pretty typical. LOTS of granola bars... firewood... and zebra cakes?... DING DING DING! "I KNOW WHAT THE SURPRISE IS!!!" MommaLlama is trying to keep him from telling the others, but it's only a matter of time.

What they don't know is that mommy isn't coming, so it will still be a surprise to discover that it's boys only. I think it's going to be great. They're finally old enough that they can play nicely without falling off a cliff, while I cook or take photos. Wish us luck and pray for safe travels. We'll report back with photos next week!

Okay, now I can vote for him.

Works for me. I don't know anything about Gov. Palin, but I do like her take on capital punishment for child murderers, according to MSNBC.

"My goodness, hang 'em up, yeah,”

Some other stuff from Wikipedia:
Five children. The oldest is 19 (and in the Army), and the youngest is now just 4 months old. "On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down Syndrome. She returned to the office three days after giving birth. Palin refused to let the results of prenatal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said.

You do have to wonder about her ability to be the full-time mom that those kids need, especially the little one.

Also, she and her husband eloped, which I think is cool. We considered it, and of course wanted to be married in a church by a priest. But if a civil ceremony would have been enough, believe me we were totally ready to run away.

This should be interesting. I just love the fact that the feminist liberals are not the ones with a woman on the ticket. She and Clarence Thomas prove that you can be a woman and/or a person of color, and still have enough common sense to be conservative.

Update: You've got to read this post from Creative Minority Report:
Alasaka Governor Punished With Baby

Good stuff. This is too perfect. The woman who chose life just this year versus the most evil pro-abortion Democratic ticket ever. It would appear that McCain was far smarter than everyone feared in the beginning. Or at least listened well to his advisors that warned him he would never win without appealing to us simple-minded single-issue voters.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quote of the day

You have to read one of the latest by Creative Minority Report. Freakin' hi-larious. And wrong. But funny.

Little Pink Condoms

The First Week... and now we are done...

Well, done in the sense that our first week of school is over (we only do a 4 day school week... GOTTA LOVE HOMESCHOOLING). The boys started off strong, fizzled in the middle... and then regained their brains as it were. All in all it went way better (during actual school time) than I thought it would. I'd prepared myself (lots of prayers) for the time to be much more difficult to get through. The boys did just swimmingly with their new books, and completed their work much quicker each day than I expected.

It appears that all my planning and worrying that it would be too much, was just a worry and not a reality... it will be just RIGHT!

And for a job well done, it looks like Daddio will be taking the boys on a little guys get away weekend! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well with the plans, and I will get a few days to recharge my batteries!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An interesting quote

"Peace of soul cannot come from the person, any more than the person can lift himself up by his own ears. Help must come from without; and it must be not merely human help, but Divine help."

-Archbishop Fulton Sheen


Bob has an interesting post up about Michelle Obama. You do have to admire her accomplishments, even if you can't stand her politics.

By the way, did you notice during her speech to the Convention that she referred to Barack as the son of a single mother, and how much he desired to be a good father to his own kids because of his absentee father? That's admirable, but didn't he burst onto the scene by bragging about his father, who was an African goat herder, or something like that? There's a lot of very interesting information out there about his polygamous father and screwed up siblings. You can tell they're trying to distance themselves from that mess.


I am obviously not voting for Obama. But if he wins, the one good thing that would come from it is the historical significance of a bi-racial president. I know the world is a lot less racist today than it was not so long ago, but racism still exists in certain areas, even if it's not stated outright. For our boys' sake, I do have to admit that it would be nice to have people of color as the First Family. Don't you think so? I'm not saying that's a good reason to vote for him, but at least it's a silver lining.

Also, I heard a fascinating interview with Clarence Thomas on EWTN Live podcast a few weeks ago. Now there's a fantastic black role model for our boys. He was also adopted - by his grandparents. He isn't very popular among the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton types. I hope to read some of his books soon and share my thoughts here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Picture of the day...

Okay, I'm not one for messes. I don't think kids are cute when they are coverded in yuckiness... especially food (oh man there was a kid at Rosa's the other night... gross)... anyway Daddio hollered for me to grab the camera and snap this shot of the Snookie Monster just after cupcakes...
YUCK... but I thought there are others of you that might enjoy!
Oh, that's Bobcat next to him without a mess to be seen ... ahhhh, at least I have one who knows how to do it!

Timing is everything

MommaLlama: I NEED an electric pencil sharpener!

Daddio: Well, a coworker is trying to sell his FL50. It's practically brand new and I can get it for less than half price...


D: Sweet!

M: Also, I want some things to decorate our school calendar.

D: Well, the deal has already been done. But okay!

Did you notice how I managed to spend like five times as much and still came out as the benevolent one? That's strategery.

Snookie's 6!

Age 2

Age 3

Age 4

Age 5

Now.... AGE 6

If you can't tell... that's Wall-E!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Water Guns

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I can't help myself...

It's an illness I have. No matter how busy I am, if something irks me, then I feel compelled to add fixing it to the mix of all my other jobs. During the entire month of August I've been preparing for the school year. We've also had several doctors appointments that led to needing to schedule follow up appointments... and not all of them during this calendar year. Well, that was a problem for me because my current calendar/planner only goes through December...

Now for years I've searched high and low for a calendar/planner that I like, but alas my search always falls short. For a few years I used a Catholic Mother's planner, but it was bulky and had way more things than I needed. Before and after that it was just some spiral bound calendar/planner that I would finally settle for after weeks of looking (and getting beyond frustrated). So after looking online for a while, and then finally making up my mind... I just made my own. I have tons of scrapbook paper I could never possibly use in a million years in a scrapbook, I found a template I liked for the calendar... and I got to work. I used some of my favorite papers that I thought went nicely with that month or season, and found a three tab template in one of my scrapbooking sets.

It took a while to get all the feasts and holidays in there, then getting birthdays and dr. appointments, and any other pertinent info... but it is now a working calendar. My templates are saved on the computer so I can go in and add items to a calendar I need (I need things to be neat, and having things typed and printed are a huge added bonus to this for me), reprint it and stick it behind the right tab. At a local craft store I picked up 'book rings'... hinged rings that work perfectly for this application, they are easy to open and close for adding and removing items and seem to be sturdy enough to last!

Ahhhhhhhhh, at long last I have a calendar system that I really like! And it's pretty too... always a bonus in my book!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Something to be grateful for

In other happy news, we have come into a little money today. Well, not "come into" exactly, but "avoided paying". When MommaLlama sprained her ankle ("sprain" sounds so mild, she nearly died, people) last March, we went to the local urgent care place. It was a facility that I knew was in our health insurance network, and we went to "Urgent Care" not "ER" because everyone knows that's cheaper, right? Well... try to follow this bit of convoluted logic: the hospital is in network, so the facility fees were covered. The emergency physicians group is NOT in network, and therefore subject to a separate deductible. Stupid, right?

Just after I sent the check for $299 (!), I decided to email the insurance company and ask them to explain to me how it is possible for non-network physicians to work in a network hospital, and how in the heck am I supposed to know that going in? And why didn't the admission clerk say something? They responded by saying that if it was a true emergency, their policy is to treat all charges as in in network. (Like I said, it was more than a "sprain" - it was an emergency!) And sure enough, three days later, they have paid the bill. Our annual deductible and coinsurance are both met, so this will cost us nothing.

Now I'll have to see if the check has cleared yet. I'd rather stop payment now than wait for an eventual refund. So, there's our happy news for the day. You gotta love it when things work out like that. It was a leap of faith to put something in the basket last weekend (and it wasn't very much...), but God has come through again. No surprise there!

Women's beach volleyball

I know that as a guy I should just be enjoying the show, but honestly... Why are they wearing bathing suits? And such skanky ones, at that? I don't care how good your body is, nobody looks good picking at their butt every 15 seconds.

Prayer request - Updated

Please pray for my little sister who I helped move into her dorm room yesterday. Let's pray that she has a very successful academic year, and also that she stays close to God. I know that she will be much happier and more well-adjusted if she attends mass and confession regularly. And while she has never had a serious boyfriend, this is the time when she may start looking, and I want a strong common faith to be one of her primary criteria for evaluating a potential date/boyfriend/fiance'.

Also pray for Bobcat. I won't get into details here, but the condensed version is that he is pretty small for his age. He went to a specialist earlier this year, and we thought everything had come out normal just a few weeks ago, and we were hugely relieved. Now there's a new diagnosis - possibly - we need to see yet another specialist. MommaLlama is worried, and Bobcat is definitely NOT going to like some of the tests that they may want to perform. As for me, I'm obviously interested in being thorough and having him healthy, and yet I also have, as a former claims adjuster, a very strong suspicion of doctors that tend to leave no stone unturned in their search for something to treat and charge money for. So, we're proceeding with caution. I hope I haven't sounded too ominous. It's nothing deadly that we're dealing with. Possibly some significant dietary changes to implement. Not the end of the world, but we'd really like to know what is or is not going on here.

Update on my sister: She went to the bookstore on campus to turn in the application that I suggested she ask for when we were buying her books yesterday. She turned it in, spoke to a manager, and got hired on the spot! She starts tomorrow! Thank you for your fast work, everyone. That was a huge relief for her. Last year she had a hard time finding something good on campus. (I suspect she didn't really look all that hard and was too proud to take a "lowly" cafeteria job, but to be fair, I know how difficult it can be finding student part time employment that happens to fit your class schedule. There are lots and lots of applicants at the beginning of each semester, but this one just fell together perfectly.) Do keep praying that she get herself to mass regularly, that's the most important part. Hopefully now that some other stress has been lifted (she even has a single occupancy dorm room in a brand new building), she'll feel the Lord taking care of her and stay closer to Him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are we there yet?

That's how I feel right now, trying to tie up the lose ends of my lesson plans. I'm done with my core curriculum, but the task of saint feasts has taken a back seat during my planning stage. Last year I didn't really PLAN my saint feasts... I would simply see one coming on the calendar and plan a day or two in advance or the morning of (I kid you not, sadly). This year Daddio thinks we need to amp up our game, and he is right (yes dear, I actually typed it for the whole world to read, aren't you proud). Anyway... the boys (mostly Bobcat) are finally entering the frame of mind that 'crafting can be fun' (in limited doses).

So this morning I sat down and got to the business of fleshing out our Saint Calendar. Once I had that accomplished, I printed out the life stories of those saints that we will be talking about. It worked out to include 2-4 saints per week. Now I must go through the stories and pick out what I would like to focus on for the visual illustration of that Saint's life (cooking something in honor of them, coloring page, or some other awesome craft - which has yet to be found).

Next up... secular stuff...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To answer Red's question...

Red Cardigan asks: "How Do You Say "Milli Vanilli" in Chinese?"

I believe that would be Mirri Vanirri

I'm sorry, that's just wrong, but I couldn't resist.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Requesting advice

I ask that any Catholic who happens to read this please visit our dear friends (the ones incubating our godchild) and give some advice on their difficulties with scheduling the baptism. I am too irritated and flippant to be helpful. Thank you.

Praise God

MommaLlama and I have tried to make a habit of praising God in the midst of our troubles. No matter what the setback, to recognize it as temporary, and to find some reason to praise God for the experience. If there is a squeeze on the budget, or an unforeseen delay in our travels, or an unexpected visitor, or even a grumpy little boy, we first say "Praise God." There is always something to be learned from these experiences, if only a reminder of our utter reliance on God's mercy.

But, sometimes that silver lining can be hard to find. For example, what possible good can come of a flat tire, 20 minutes before mass begins? Well, let me count the blessings:

-It happened while I was there, instead of while MommaLlama was out running errands with the boys and our niece earlier today.

-The weather was decent, instead of the rain we started with today. Kind of cool and breezy. And it happened to be on the shady side of the car.

-We noticed the nail and heard the slow air leak in the daylight, instead of coming out to a flat tire after mass, in the dark, with three sleepy kids on our hands.

-We got there early, so I had enough time to get it done and wash my hands, and only missed the first two readings of the mass on this holy day of obligation.

-I actually had a little bit of fun because I did it so well and so quickly. The spare tire is pretty tricky to remove on her SUV, and the first time I did this exercise it took well over an hour to figure everything out. I think I've got this little process down pat.

-I have such an appreciation for the rubber mat we installed in the cargo area. Filthy tire will not dirty any upholstery. It has come in handy many times now, and it always makes me feel super smart when it's needed.

-I got up close and personal with the tires and realized that it's probably about time to replace them. Did the old "penny test" to check the tread depth, and apparently it's time. Not that I'm real excited about spending $500-600 for new tires... but perhaps our guardian angels want new ones on before bad weather sets in and she loses traction on the road in the middle of nowhere? See, it's a bit of a stretch sometimes. But praise God for whatever he may have been saving us from.

-Hey, it's still cheaper than hurricane damage! (Sorry, Turk and Olive...)

-I did not utter one bad word. Honest! I just sent the family into church and set about my task without wasting any time being irritated or angry. So I'm glad I was put to the test and demonstrated a certain level of patience.

What else can we be thankful for today?

-I still have a job, and can expect to for the foreseeable future. They consolidated many offices in my company (over half of the claims staff will have to either relocate or lose their jobs). I'm in the main office of the most successful division in our business unit, so while there will be some pressure to perform and grow our book, at least I will have this job in this town for as long as I need it.

-Our favorite priest said a great homily today (sorry, Matilda! - I heard who you got last night...) I admit to being a little flustered when we realized that we had forgotten about the holy day and needed to change our plans and get to mass. But everything was great, and I'm so glad we went. Even the music was perfect, and reminded us of Fr. Bob and his devotion to Our Lady.

-Cheap gas. Well, "cheap" isn't quite accurate, but less expensive for sure. We got a tank of gas AND a six-pack for less than $100!!! Okay, it's wasn't a totally empty tank to start with, but hey, we're excited. And I suspect it will continue to improve. Maybe never below $3 again, but close to it.

Okay, faithful reader(s), what challenges are you praising God for today?

New Room...

Okay, the much anticipated (but probably not) pictures of the new and improved office/school room!

I'm really excited about it, and the boys seem to really like the idea of having their toys in their room. And Bobcat has especially enjoyed spending time at his desk drawing next to me while I work at the computer. Right now all the desks are pointed together because at the moment all the boys are doing at them is a random coloring here and there. Once school starts up on the 25th they will be adjusted slightly so that the distraction of looking at your brothers face won't be such a temptation.

Here are few shots of what it looked like throughout the years with boys:

2004 (Bubba's back is to the camera, and Bobcat is the one on the floor)

2006 (Bobcat with the broken arm, and Snookie in the background)

Me too...

I caught the fever of a new background, too. You people have to stop with this stuff... I will never get all my work done if I keep seeing all these new blog backgrounds, crazy comboxes, and every thing else going on... I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL... must stop getting on computer until my work is finished!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Just thought I would mention that Cranium Hullabaloo is a great game. Sorry, no pictures, the boys played in their jammies (aka only underpants in the summer) tonight, so I wouldn't want to put them on the internet. (I'll save them for later in life when a little embarrassment is needed.)

What else is new?... My company has decided to "optimize efficiencies" or some sort of nice way of saying get rid of a few folks. This is not bad news, we're still doing well and a strong Fortune 100 company. And it doesn't affect my department much, I'll just have to learn some new computer systems since one of our partner companies apparently has a better way of underwriting and it's too expensive to maintain IT for both systems. But they will be making some cuts in the claims department where I used to work, so it seems that my recent move to Underwriting was a good one!

I'll also share a little more info on the big school room/office reorg. I'm sitting here now and it is so cool. It wasn't too bad having the computer in our bedroom, but now everything just feels more "normal". The boys love having their toys in their bedroom. They have lost a little square footage for playing, but they do have their beds to play on. I made that bunk bed myself, and made it extra sturdy and tall so that it would be good for forts and tolerate rough playtime. Also, as they get older they tend to wander around the house looking for private, quiet space to play alone. And as they get older, school will take up more time, so we decided it was important to have a more permanent and comfortable space for school work. I know lots of homeschoolers make do with their kitchen tables, but that's just not our style. It took us a few hours to come up with an arrangement in this room that would accommodate the computer desk, computer chair, three small desks, two bookshelves, two dog kennels, AND a big comfy chair. The big comfy chair almost didn't make the cut, but I insisted that she have a good place to sit and read to them, and we eventually worked it out. It feels and looks great, and we'll definitely post some photos once everything is put away (she is in the midst of making lesson plans and organizing shelves). Give us a couple more days.

Oh, the best part? - This whole thing cost us nothing. Okay, maybe $12 for the new plastic bins in the boys' closet (all of their clothes are there since their dresser had to leave to make room for the toy shelves). But I didn't have to paint, build, or buy anything significant, and yet it feels brand new. This is truly HGTV-worthy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A new rule

I thought the Olympics were supposed to be for amateurs. Basketball in particular bothers me. I guess it's fun to see a reprise of the All-Star game, but they're not a real team. I propose a new rule: If I've seen you on Cribs, you don't belong in the Olympics.

Scattered Postings

For the next 2 weeks I expect my posting to be scattered if at all... I'm in count down mode to school starting up! If you're a homeschooling mom, you are probably in the same boat... finishing up lesson plans, last minute organizing, and going through stuff from last year for final analysis.

As of this afternoon, I've finished my formal subject lesson plans for the fall semester (woo hoo). Now I'm moving on to the religious and craft portion of the semester, which is slightly more complicated... but the ideas I'm working on are going to be super cool (I hope).

Thankfully the big Office Remodel of 2008 (this past weekend) is basically done, I still have a few more things to organize in that room... and need a few bins for the boys closet... and that will be considered COMPLETE! Next up SCHOOL... August 25 is a big start date!

Okay back to work... I'll try and get some pics up of the new office/school room sometime this week... it's super cool :-).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Will Survive

I Will Survive (the first year of homeschooling)
Originally written and produced by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris
Originally performed by Gloria Gaynor
Mercilessly altered with apologies by Natalie Criss


First I was afraid
I was petrified.
Kept thinking I could never teach
'Cause I'm not certified.
But we spent so many nights
Reteaching homework that was wrong.
I grew strong,
so now I teach my kids at home!
We study math
and outer space.
I just kept on despite the fear
with a big smile across my face.
I bought a set of Base Ten blocks.
I bought books with answer keys.
My parents think we're nuts,
but they don't even bother me

Come on, let's go walk out the door.
We're on the road now,
'cause we're not home much anymore
My friends would laugh and say we'd be unsocialized.
I heard one mumble
that I'd give up by July.
Oh no, not I!
I will survive!
As long as I know how to read
I know we'll be alright.
I've got all my life to learn.
I've got energy to burn.
and I'll survive.
I will survive.

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart.
Decided to attend
a play date at the local park,
and I met oh so many moms
who offered eagerly to help.
They used to cry.
Now they hold their heads up high,
and so do we!
My kids are cool!
They're not those chained up little people
stuck inside at school.
So if you feel like dropping by
and just expect us to be free
you'd better call ahead first
'cause we're probably busy.

(H/T to Jenn who posted this to our homeschool forum)

On nurturing your marriage

Nicole has a great post up about making time for your marriage. It's so easy to neglect the primary relationship, your marriage, amidst all the hustle and bustle of raising kids. Our priorities should be God, marriage, and parenthood - in that order.

So, I would definitely recommend getting time alone, just as Nicole writes. Our kids have a relatively early bed time, judging by what we hear from other parents. But it's important for us to have alone time every day. When we first became parents, the boys were used to a 9:00 bed time. By the time we got them to bed, we were just exhausted and crashed without much time to talk to each other. And it began to take a toll. We crept it up 10 minutes at a time until we landed on 7:00. And now we have three full hours to talk about the kids, talk about our own work, and enjoy each others' company. Couple time doesn't have to be out of the house.

So, I think it's important, as Nicole says, for kids to know that their parents' marriage is important. Let them see you leaving, dressed up a little. They know you're off to be together, and they'll learn that Mommy and Daddy need a solid relationship so that they can be good parents. But... as often as you leave them with a sitter, I think you should also bring them along. Here's why.

Sometimes we have no choice - we need a change of scenery, but there's no sitter. And kids can get feeling just as cooped up as adults do. And, I often like to tell our boys that we're taking Mommy on a date. I have them think of a restaurant that she would enjoy (they don't always pick McDonald's). I have them hold doors for her (to the best of their ability). They need to learn chivalry at a young age.

But the primary reason has to do with the real meaning of marriage. We have some friends (the ones currently gestating our godchild) whose answering machine message began "This is the F___ family, sorry we missed your call..." They had the word family on their voicemail, and I believe their email address too. And this was all well before they ever had children. Many would think, "You're not a family yet, you're just a couple." But that's not the way they saw it! And, I would say that's not the way the Church sees it.

While marriage and parenthood are obviously separate things, they are also, in a way, both aspects of one single vocation called "family". Our family started when we were married. Our nuptual love begat children (not directly, in our case, as we were infertile - but our love gave us the desire to be parents, and drove us to make a home for our sons eventually). So you see, your wedding anniversary is not only a celebration of marriage and romance, it's a celebration of family.

We could not find a sitter on the weekend of our anniversary these last two years, so we took the kids with us. We went out to eat with the kids, and went to see a fun movie or some other event. We made sure the kids knew what we were celebrating and why it's important.

Now, of course, we found a night to be without them. Eventually, we got a sitter so that we could go out alone. And on the night of our anniversary at home, the boys skipped their nap and went to bed early while we indulged in some really good steaks and wine and dessert.

But, again, I think it's important for kids to be included in the occasional "romantic" evening.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh it's out now!

We're so glad Olive has decided that it's safe to put up a baby ticker. We think it's great that she's enjoying the pregnancy instead of only worrying.

Now, there's no rule that says we can't put a baby counter thingy on our blog for someone else's baby, RIGHT?!

So, if you're wondering who that sweet little bundle is swimming around in the sidebar... that's our GodChild (we have some ideas for names, but we will run them by the temporal parents first). It's exciting right?! We think so, and it's as close as we will probably get to having a pregnancy of our own, so we've decided to live vicariously thru Olive, Turk, and Pigeon!

Now, Olive... don't freak out :-).

(Daddio says that he gets credit for it, he thought of it first... I just found the widget and put it there.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Wow... catholic mommy bloggers are gettin' all snarky... I'm sure you've seen it over at DB's site from Tuesday, and the fun is gettin' all ramped up over at Red's place. Very interesting...

This seems to be one of those uber hot button topics... one fueled by mostly extreme emotion and it would seem that only the moms/women are saying anything (Daddio made a comment or two, but I've seen little else from the male perspective), which I think is interesting!

What are my thoughts and opinions... well, I rarely jump into this line of fire because of my own situation... since the labor force for my baby makin' factory unionized about 8 years ago and soon came to the conclusion that the work environment was unacceptable for their standards and has been on a prolonged coffee break until the conditions change... plus, I've been told that I really don't have a complete grasp of what the situation is.

But hey, this is my blog... right :0).

My guess is not everyone uses NFP perfectly (come on ladies we all know that our real desire happens during our fertile time and it can be hard to say no and wait till that time when we may have to work a little harder to get in the mood), plus some women run a little differently and can make using NFP even more tricky (which means they should probably look at other models out there to find a better fit to their cycle and readings... and there might be prolonged periods of abstanence in order to avoid pregnancy), so unplanned pregnancies will happen... as some have said "life happens" and you just have to roll with it. True, but what is the leading stresser to a marriage... anyone? MONEY, in all it's shapes and forms! For the sake of this argument: So you are already on some sort of gov. aid (or one more child will put you over the edge), money is already a stresser at this point, right? Is adding another child (by simply being open and not trying to avoid) really the best thing for your family... your current children, your marriage?

Personally I think we need to remember that our first and most important obligation is to our spouse... right (we get them to heaven, they get us to heaven... or that is what we are working on)?! Then to our children, those we already have... right?! I wonder if continuing to willfully have more children while needing the support of government aide, is in the best interest of the marriage and children already in trusted to our care? (Again, life happens, I get that...)

I would be really interested to hear more men speak up considering that in most of the cases I've read so far, they are the primary breadwinners. Where are their hearts in the matter? Do they understand NFP, or are they relying on their wives... or are they so depressed trying to manage the family income that they don't even voice their concerns to their spouses?

I certainly don't have the answers, nor do I go about my day judging others on their choices (and that certainly isn't the reason for my post)... the whole subject just perplexes me!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I win!

A little adoptive family humor, inspired by Angie.

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Free family tree software - Family tree chart

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Roots - Descendants

Maybe it's the hats that made the computer prefer me. Or it could just be our devastating good looks. ;)

Don't worry, MommaLlama, I know you feel like this some days...

Golden retriever adopts tiger cubs at Kansas zoo

But they are truly your boys. As a highly acclaimed "good cooker", you will always win their hearts!

Friends and business

I thought I would put in a plug for some friends of ours that are starting up a new online business.

Rockin' Horse Greetings is a one stop shop for all your custom photo card/calendar/announcement and more needs! They are completely custom, and if you have an idea or suggestion Jon will take it and run with it. Having received their Christmas Cards and Birth Announcements over the past few years... I can say that they are a creative and fun family! So if you are in the market for this sort of thing... mosey on over to their site and checkem' out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Help me answer this...

A question from Bubba:
"Why does outer space not have a place to land?"

Good one, eh? I'm open for suggestions.

The movie Wall-E prompted this question. That was actually a very good movie. We expected it to be really preachy, but it wasn't too bad. Put aside the green, anti-Wal-Mart message and some of the silly plot involving the humans, and just enjoy the interaction of the robots. They did a great job of giving Wall-E a lovable personality. He is so sweet in his pursuit of the girl robot's affection. It's very moving when she finally holds his hand. Definitely the kind of love story that you don't mind showing to little kids. Cars may still be my favorite animated movie, but this one is up there in the top five for sure.

And the music was really wonderful. There were a lot of old showtunes which MommaLlama loved, and the orchestral score was beautiful. Lots of great "spacey" music. I think we will definitely own this movie when it comes out on DVD, and probably get the soundtrack as well.

Bubba Llama

We finally got around to getting new social security numbers for the boys. Every year at tax time I've meant to do that. We do have adoption decrees, of course, and even birth certificates with their new legal names and ours as the parents. But we never changed anything with social security. We could have just kept their old numbers and changed their names. But we were told by another adoptive parent recently that it would be good to change the numbers as well, because the birth parents (or grandparents or anyone else with the info) could probably track them down later in life with those numbers. How do I put this charitably... I don't believe their family of origin are the sharpest tools in the shed... but you never know. They might have been able to find them. And maybe the boys will want to contact them someday, but we definitely want it to be done on the boys' terms, not the birth parents'. If they don't want to be found, they should have that right. So we decided to get new numbers to protect their privacy.

Turns out it's a fairly simple process, and today we got Bubba's new card in the mail (they have to do one at a time because no two family members can get new identities on the same day for some sort of post-9/11 security reason...) Anyway, it's very cool for us to see his name there, with our last name, and the middle name we gave him (we kept their original first names, they were good). He's been "ours" for four years now, but this is the last little step to make the full transition. Kind of fun, huh?

Prayers for a friend and his daughter

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the death of Kelsey Roberts. She was killed at the hands of her mother. This horrific event has put one person behind bars, and left a father without his daughter.

We are friends with Steve (Kelsey's father), and hope that he finds sweet peace knowing that his daughter is in the gentle hands of Christ.

The Llama family asks for prayers for the repose of the soul of Kelsey, peace for Steve, and conversion and repentance for Norma.


One of the wonderful things about our boys has been the fact that they play so well together nearly 100% of the time... except for the last few weeks. Bossiness from Bobcat, stealing and arguing from Bubba, and well... tattling from Snookie. That pretty much sums up our days, trapped in the house because of the heat and gas prices (which are finally starting to fall, but not nearly far enough to make out of the house adventures affordable)...

Honestly I am looking forward to starting schooling up again so that more of our days are occupied with specific activities (and individual work time) versus the days we are currently experiencing.

Uggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... did I mention how freakishly hot it is here, blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday! *Now with Pictures*

To Daddio! Today marks the beginning of the last year of Daddio's journey through his twenties... and what a day it was! Reaching temptures of 105 degrees, and wind that really felt more like a hot hair dryer... we ventured out of our cool cave after he opened gifts (a sweet new coffee maker that grinds the beans and has a timer, a golf flag for our flag pole, and a cool new golf shirt).

Activity 1: Driving range... first large bucket of golf balls went well, the second one was not so smart... sweat dripping in our eyeballs!

Activity 2: Movie -- Wall E... cute and funny, and not nearly as preachy as we thought it would be.

Activity 3: Central Market for some crazy awesome coffee beans (SnickerNut) for the above mentioned sweet new coffee machine. Oh, and for some amazing steaks for dinner! (And a lovely addition to the meal was Beer Bread.)

And then home again, home again... and out of the insane heat. After all the adventures of the day it has been a relatively quiet day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Birds and Bees

I always thought the birds and bees talk (I still have no idea why they call it that) would be a difficult one. We have discussed modesty and how bathroom doors stay closed and nobody except Mommy, Daddy, and Dr. M are allowed to see or touch their private parts. They're not all that modest, but they are pretty good about following the rules.

I knew they were getting to the age where we'd need a slightly more descriptive yet age-appropriate discussion of boys and girls and body parts. I've been wondering if I should find some photos. Well, not photos - maybe cartoons, or drawings, or something. As it turns out, it's a pretty easy discussion... if you let someone else do the talking for you.

We were visiting MommaLlama's extended family yesterday. Her cousin has a new baby girl, and went into the room where the boys were playing for a diaper change. They observed and, you guessed it...

Boys: "Where's her p3n1s???"
Cousin: "She doesn't have one."
Boys: "How does she pee?"
Cousin: "She has a hole."

This is all second hand information from the cousin, and I feel a little bad that it happened without me there. But, perhaps seeing a baby girl undressed was the best way to deal with that at a very basic level. I suppose that's how most children who grow up in large families learn about it. Seeing diaper changes, or bathing with brothers and sisters at a young age. So... thanks, cuz. That was easier than I thought it would be.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I came across a great article in the Texas Homeschool Coalition Review Magazine. It's not earth-shattering, and I've seen similar things before, but I thought the author did a nice job of summarizing the point, and it was encouraging to me. He writes:

Keep a good historical perspective. Most people who have ever existed on this planet, including heroic men and women of the Bible and some of the greatest minds of all time, did not do school like you and I did school. None of the early Pilgrims, Puritans, or Founding Fathers of this country knew anything even close to the standardized, secularized, compartmentalized, age-segregated, government-controlled schools that most of us attended. Yet they gave us our rich Christian heritage, the Mayflower Compact, the Delcaration of Independence, and the Constitution! Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for not schooling your children the way you were schooled. There were godly, well-educated children long before someone invented yellow school buses, Friday night football, and the prom.

Couldn't have said it better myself. This is not meant as a knock against other forms of education, and I don't for a minute think we're among the "greatest minds of all time", but at the very least this demonstrates that home education has a pretty good track record throughout the centuries.

Shark Week

My wife is weird. I may have mentioned before that MommaLlama loves shark week on the Discovery channel. I don't know why, but she's just a shark fiend. Anyway, just now on this show, they found a gigantic shark and they cut out its eyeball and there was a parasite worm-thing burrowed into its cornea. I almost threw up. She is loving it. The next time one of the boys does something mildly gross or strange, I do not want to hear about it. Eyeball parasite trumps just about everything else, dear.

PS - I'm off on Monday. We're going to the zoo to celebrate Boys Anniversary. I'm sure MommaLlama will write more about that later. It's probably going to be insanely hot and humid, but it's better than work.

Hot hot hot... *update*

5 - Day forecast:
Friday - 101° F
Saturday - 103° F
Sunday - 106° F
Monday - 104° F
Tuesday - 103° F

You've got to be kidding me!

OH, and today's heat index: 112° F