Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Knight in Shining Armor

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life is Worth Living

When people ask me what led us to leave the "exciting" life of the NYC area to come live in Syracuse I try to explain that life down there is not just "exciting" but it is unbelievably stressful. It is a rat race--an endless quest to find the cheese in a myriad of mazes often lined with traffic stretching for miles. The focus there is quantity- not quality. Its a different world.

We used to live near the Tappan Zee bridge which would be closed down frequently--way too frequently--because people, regular people, couldn't handle it and they would jump from the bridge. Most people would forget about the problems that led the jumper to this decision and instead focus on the traffic snarl it would cause.

The officials thought that maybe this sign that Life Is Worth Living, would possibly save the commuters further traffic problems and prevent future bridge closures.

To me, every time I see this sign, it reminds me of why we moved.
Why we chose quality over quantity.

UPDATED: Sadly, not more than 8 hours after these pictures were taken on the Tappan Zee Bridge, another person jumped into the water.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It Must be Contagious

Another one of us joins the ranks of karate students...
(Too bad she has to take the shoes off though!)

At the end, she gets a white belt and a sticker....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How To: Make a Club Penguin Character Using Sculpy

For art this week, the kids made Club Penguin penguins out of Sculpy clay. Super easy and super cute!This purple on was made by Meagan. Michael made a red one with a mohawk.

We are obsessed over here with Club Penguin!

Thursday Things: What Im Loving Right Now

My morning couldn't be more perfect with these three things today.
The candle scents the air with the absolute smell of fall, my coffee warms the chill, and the fresh baked banana chocolate chip and flax seed muffins are just fantastic. They are my favorite things today.
What are yours?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 Years Ago...

I had less gray hair.
I didn't have the four creases on my forehead that I can't get to go away despite using insane amounts of Retinol.
I had one less tattoo.

But I also didn't yet have my Meagan...

My girly girl of a daughter who asks me to "hug her all night" when she goes to sleep.
Who covers her mouth when she giggles.
Who can light up a room with her smile.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Homeschooling Co-op

In March, with three other parents, I started a not-for-profit homeschooling group with hopes of it blooming into a wonderful community-eventually. I figured the first year or so would have maybe up to 10 families and we may grow from there.

I. Was. Wrong. and that doesn't happen all that often *snarky laugh*

Six months into our group we have 35 member families and I receive 3-4 emails a week now of people looking for a homeschooling community and inquiring about joining us.

It is fantastic. It is so diversified and there are so many things that my kids get to explore.

Right now Meg and Michael are taking a Science Exploration class which has been all about owl pellet dissection and skeleton reconstruction.

Next week its polymers.

Michael also takes Origami while Meg takes Yoga.

The next session- they are so conflicted over which classes to take as there are so many to choose from! It has really opened up a world of opportunities that didn't and couldn't exist just inside my home.

I ♥ Faces Challenge:Contemplative

Check out more this week at I ♥ Faces.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two Teeth Make ALL the Difference

Last night's conversation:
Michael: hey Mom, do you smell something that smells like ass?

Me: *chokes on lemonade* Umm. No (thinks: should I reprimand him on saying ass? Where did he pick up that word?)

Michael: Are you sure because I REALLY smell something like ass.

Me: Honey- lets not use that work ok?

Michael: uh...ok (leaves the room)

So now I am sure the cats have had an accident somewhere and I begin the search. Upstairs. Downstairs. Armed with my Nature's Miracle spray to remove the offending "ass odor".

As I stomp around I am getting increasingly annoyed at his word choice. What happened to butt, poop, or hiney? How did we arrive at ASS? When did we make that quantum leap?

Michael finds me in the hall.

Michael: Hey mom, I found the smell. Its a fire outside. I love the smell of ASS--I mean fire smoke. Sorry I forgot I can't say that word.

Me: Ohhhhhhh..."ASH". ( I look at the glaring spot in his mouth where his two front teeth are missing.) Um yeah, you can say that word.

I put away the cat cleaning spray.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


One word: pride.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The past week and a half has been a very hard one for me. I have been full of questions and emotions. Doubting myself and my choices. And as usual, it has made me contemplative.
This evening while walking through my garden I think I found the answers I was looking for--that I needed to see.
I find that my garden often is a perfect analogy for life. Here's what I found.
My Black Eyed Susan's have been a source of confusion, frustration, and way too much effort this season. I was too hung up on what they were in the past, how they used to make me so happy, and wondering what I could do to fix the problem that was surely destroying them.

I tried watering, cultivating, kind loving care--at the risk of often ignoring my other healthy beautiful plants. I spayed fungicide, researched, and changed my ways in order to restore the once beautiful flowers.

Nothing worked. Each day I was crossed their path, they made me sad. They made me feel bad. The disease spread to nearby plants and I felt consumed by the destruction. I felt it was a reflection of me. Soon I visited my garden less and less. I tried to avoid catching them in my eye hoping to only see what was beautiful--but there they were-- popping their dark brown crackly leaves up through neighboring plants.

Even though I knew there was little hope on restoring the Black Eyed Susans to their former glory, I thought about them constantly and tried to figure it out. I looked past the massive amount of brown and kept hanging on to the image of the one or two blooms left.
Tonight I did what I should have done some time ago.

I pruned them flush to the ground. They no longer will fill my garden with their ugliness and feelings of failure. There are no more constant reminders of what could have been. I can now see my garden for the good and put the ugly behind me.

I didn't dig up the roots of the Black Eyed Susan's. They are still there underground. They will have another chance next Spring should they choose to take it. If they do though, I will be less tolerant of their disease and prune them back again immediately should the need arise to prevent the spread of ugliness. Should they choose to grow again next Spring I will do all I can to help them flourish. I will not let it grow out of control in hopes that it turns beautiful. I will not let their brown leaves and fallen petals become the focal point of my garden.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Camera

So I got a new point and shoot camera since I just can't afford a new DSLR like I really want. But I figured I really needed an upgrade in megapixels considering my old one only shot 6.1.

Right out of the box I did a quick comparison:What d'ya think? New camera is on the left old on the right.

The quality does seem to have increased (I think).

Fall is Coming

Its apparent everywhere and even without being conscious of it- we have begun preparing for fall. The bench has been put into the mudroom to expedite the removal of fall and winter shoes-- far different then our quick slipping on of flip flops.

The bird houses we worked on all summer have been hung ready for our shelter seeking feathered friends.

The mulching has been finished and we slowly start to put away some of the heavily used gardening tools into the shed for their hibernation.

The ice cream shop has dwindled its flavors as they begin to prepare to close up for the season.
Pumpkin ice cream is now offered as a seasonal treat.

Its coming. Fall. And with the fall here in Syracuse, we know the snow is not far behind.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homeschoolers DONT Do It

We Don't go back to school. So on this the first day of school for all the others in our community, we party like animals in the nearby park.

Today was our annual Not Back To School party.

We had scavenger hunts, rubber duckie races, and pillow case hops. There was fun for all (and scuffed knees, some bloody noses, bashed toes...)

The BEST part was when Michael was outraged that we had to start the rubber duckie races over because, well for lack of a better term-- he cheated. Badly. All the other kids drop their ducks into the water on go and he throws his duck through the air down the creek and claims it was--flying.

Nice try kiddo.

(Notice his blue duck high up in the air! And to his defense-- you'l notice two other "creative problem solvers" with flying ducks!!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Letter to Be Shared With Husbands

Dearest Husband,

I love you. Thank you for understanding that I was too busy to cook you dinner. Thank you for telling me to go ahead and get some sleep with the kids and letting the 3 of us go snuggle and drift off into dream land together in our big king sized bed.

Thank you for fending for yourself in an unselfish attempt to make it easy on us.

However,-- and I feel pushy for even making a request, may I make one small suggestion? In the future, when you decide at 9:30 at night when all the little ones and their mom are sleeping and you feel the need to cook yourself hamburgers on the kitchen stove, could you please turn the flame down to "Medium"? (That's halfway between the big dot and the little dot.)

You see, as you might have noticed last night darling, when you cook hamburgers on a high flame in the kitchen, it can cause a lot of smoke. The smoke in turn, can make the ultrasonic fire alarms we installed go off. Those alarms, sure are loud, just as the installer said. They will wake your sleeping children and wife upstairs sending them into a panic that their house is on fire.

They will, sweetheart, attempt to evacuate the house-- all the while screaming in terror as your wife carries your youngest who is paralyzed in fear and can do nothing more than scream bloody murder, and your son screams "The house is on fire!!" as they run for the front door, just as they have practiced in those ever-so-helpful firedrills.

When they find you there in the kitchen making a feverish attempt to stop the alarm, you may remember next time to turn off the stove first as the alarm will mostly likely, go off again since those yummy burgers are still burning.

I love you so much honey, bon appetite!

Ps. As a really good bonus that would tickle my fancy-- could you leave the burnt hamburger encrusted pan on the counter for me to wash in the morning? It would just make my day all the more brighter!

Your darling wife

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