Friday, December 11, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Both kids at home, just need Linh home and the week end can begin! #

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lowes Build and Grow continues

This past week end T and I went to Lowes again to build a new toy. This week we built a garage for the #48 Lowes car. It also came with the #48 car so he would have one to park in the garage. T was very excited to go this week. We had other things to do this week and tried to persuade him to miss this week, but he just kept talking about the race car. So, off to Lowes he and I went. We had to rush it a bit to make it to our next stop, but that was not a problem. I had T put the sticker on the car to make it the race car, and he was pretty much done. he just wanted to play with the car, and left me to the job of assembling the garage. I tried to get him to help, but the few hits he attempted with the hammer were a little less than enthusiastic. I wasn't about to do any forcing, so I just finished the project and we were on our way. Here is what it looks like:
[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="#48 car and garage from Lowes"]#48 car and garage from Lowes[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lowes #48 car and garage"]Lowes #48 car and garage[/caption]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We Elfed Ourselves

You all know you want to do it too. Go ahead and put your link in the comments if you do so I can go check them out!

Enjoy our awesome dance moves!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Even Elmo Needs to Eat

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Have a safe, fun and HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Mario and Luigi!


!mario       !luigi
Photos courtesy of Stylized Portraiture.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things You Don't Say to Your Wife Song

I just thought that during trying times it might be god to have a little chuckle, and with all great humor there is so much truth behind it. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Touch a Truck Day

Two posts in one day, you know we have been having fun today. Our city area sponsored a "Touch a Truck" day for the kids to come out and see all the coolest vehicles from around town. We went last year and T loved it. Q was still a tiny baby and was stroller bound the whole time, so she had a much better time this year. She was just thrilled to be out of the house on an adventure. A whole parking lot filled with stuff to run around was just what she had hoped for.

T was very interested in the vehicles this year. The winners for capturing his attention were: (I think I heard a drum roll.)

1. Ambulance  (Also a winner last year.)

2. Dump truck

3. Tow Truck

4. Bomb Squad Robot

5. Sewer dept.'s sewer robot (Used for looking for broken pipes. Had a camera so he could see himself on the monitor. Small, but very cool.

6. Fire truck

7. Sheriffs dept.'s van.

Q on the other hand liked the city bus the best. She kept wanting to walk over to it. We let her go in twice and pretend ride it. She also liked the postal carriers truck and the ambulance. Any vehicle she can run around in I guess was good for her.

Here are some pictures of their adventure.

[caption id="attachment_775" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Back of the postal carrier truck."]Back of the postal carrier truck.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_776" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Fire Truck"]Fire Truck[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="T driving the Tow Truck"]T driving the Tow Truck[/caption]

It was a great afternoon, and everyone went home worn out from all the exploring.

Build and Grow Workshop - October

Time once again for the build and grow update. Twice a month Lowes presents a Build and Grow Workshop for kids. T loves to go and loves the projects. Today's project was a Frankenstring Magic Trick. (Pull the string out one side and it is red. Pull it out the other side and it is green. WOW, That IS magic! )

[caption id="attachment_762" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Finished Frankenstring Magic Trick"]Finished Frankenstring Magic Trick[/caption]

Going to these projects is a lot of fun for both of us. T is always excited about getting a new toy, and I get to spend that elusive quality time helping him learn to swing a hammer. Each week he gets a little better at hammering in the nails. sometimes he hammers longer, sometimes he just wants to start them and passes the heavy hammering on to me. For example:

[caption id="attachment_766" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Easy to follow instructions"]Easy to follow instructions[/caption]

T and I follow the simple instructions. They have nice pictures as well to make it even easier to follow.

T hammers just as much as he can until he notices the nail no longer going in any further. At that point he hands me the hammer and I get to wail away on it until it is set. T does final detail work with stickers and we are on our way home to show mommy our new toy. How much cooler can it be.

[caption id="attachment_767" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Hammer Away!"]Hammer Away![/caption]

Once again, our thanks to Lowes for putting on the Build and Grow Workshops each month. If you would like to attend one with your child, check out, go to How To tab and select build and grow. As far as I know they are always free. Just sign up, print out the parent permission slip and show up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop II

We went to our second build and grow workshop today. The project today was a ball toss game. T loves to go, and told me that this was the best time he has ever had at Lowes. I thought the fire truck might have been the better of the two, but apparently a game that comes with two free balls beats a fire truck in the four year old world. The whole project had six nails, so it only took us a few minutes to complete it. T enjoys hammering in small doses. He hammers a few times, looks concerned and then hands me the hammer. I hammer it in the rest of the way and he tries the next nail. After the nails were all in, T then felt the need to spend a few minutes testing out the balls, and threw them at the game. This led to a few minutes of chasing the balls across the floor of Lowes. All good fun though. He received another Build and Grow patch to sew on his shop apron.

[caption id="attachment_756" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Assembling the ball toss game"]Assembling the ball toss game[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_758" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Ready to Play"]Ready to Play[/caption]

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop

Today T and I went to the Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop in town. My wife heard about it and signed us up. I was expecting more of a step by step thing where someone leads it and the kids follow each step as they go. It was more of a here is the table, grab your kit and instruction booklet and hammer away. Either way I guess is ok. This way allows everyone to work at their own pace, and of course all kids had parents to assist them and the Lowe's workers were there to answer questions as you went. T and I both had a lot of fun.

The kit has pre-drilled holes in it, and T was able to push the nails into position, and with a little help from me he was able to hammer the nails into place. He was a little tentative at first, but after a few nails he was hammering like a pro. Once we had the fire truck together there were stickers to decorate it, which I think was his favorite part.

There was enough fire trucks for the 50 registered kids. After that they still had more kids and parents coming up wanting to participate. Lowe's employees were prepared and had other kits on hand for the extra children. They were not fire trucks, but still they got to build a toy like their friends.

We enjoyed our little outing today, and will definitely be attending the next one in October. Here are some quick photos I took while we were building.

[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="T Hammering a Nail"]T Hammering a Nail[/caption]

Lowes provided goggles, and an apron for each child as well. They were able to keep these. We have been home for an hour already and he is still wearing them, even while performing his Rock Band songs for us. Maybe its a new DEVO band gimmick.

[caption id="attachment_752" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="T assembling the wheel and axle. "]T assembling the wheel and axle. [/caption]

It was a good exercise in following an instruction plan and working step by step. The instructions were well illustrated so T could see what parts he needed to find and where the nails should go.

[caption id="attachment_753" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="T shows off his finished product"]T shows off his finished product[/caption]

Thank you to Lowes for putting this on, it was definitely fun, and we will be back for more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Entrecard removed from site.

My appologies to anyone coming by to drop for Entrecard. I have come to a conclusion that I will never have the kind of time needed to sit around clicking drops on sites. I love visiting many of your sites, and plan to still visit several of them whenever I get the chance.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • One down, one to go. Then the peaceful time of the day can begin. #

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The boy is home sick with pink eye and then reactions to the medicine. So we are having fun. He is in good spirits and still able to have fun. Better than the stay in bed cold/flu kind of sicknesses where you can't do much but watch tv and rest. He seems to be improving and hopefully will be back at school soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Rockin` Family

I received the Wii Rock Band 2 for my birthday. It has been a big hit with everyone. We are forming quite the band. Here is a sneak preview:

The Singer:

He loves this song. Maybe because it has three lyrics and lasts about one minute so it is easy to remember. Either way he loves to listen to it, air guitar to it, and sing it anytime he can. He brought a toy microphone to show and tell, and I am afraid to ask the teacher if he gave a performance for the class or not.

The Drummer:

I got her off the gameboy video game long enough to teach her the drums. I think she might be a natural.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Good morning! Dr's appointment today. Time to find out if everything is working the way it is supposed to be. #

  • Dr. appointment went well. Nothing important to report. That is always a good thing. #

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Took a nice family bike ride this morning. The weather this morning was beautiful, later today it poured rain for a while though. #

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Hanging out with Q, watching Blues Clues and eating dry cereal snacks. #

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Post removed

Had a litle duplication here from twitter for some reason. At least they could have duplicated a cool post, but since mine seldom hit the cool level it was a lame post and who needs to see that twice?

Today's Tweets

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Watching seseme street with Q. One of the few shows that captures her interest. Thanks PBS. #

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Happy birthday to me! I wish for everyone I know to be perfectly healthy, more money, China to get out of Tibet, and of course Whirled peas. #

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Shaved my head down to the skin. Wow, feels so strange. #

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • First morning alone with Q. Brother T is off to his first day in his new school. He seemed upbeat. Hope it goes well. #

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Battle Rages On

I slowly step up into the room. The sign on the door marked confessional catches my glance, and for a minute a deep sense of despair tears through my body like the first drop on a megadeath roller coaster ride. What can I do, there is the computer right there, and beyond those few simple cables are a billion plugged in people I'm sure just sitting there ready to read my words. Then common sense sets in and the despair diminishes slowly. Seriously, what are we talking here anyway? Five, maybe ten people still reading this blog? It can safely be called a private journal by this point. I sit down and begin to type.

We have a mixed bag of results this time. I think that in the last week, I did actually get the Wii fit board on the floor. Twice possibly, when the goal was daily. So that was not as great as I had hoped. On the other side, I have gotten the bike out of mothballs and have started to ride. Two whole days in a row.

Here is how I know the bike thing has legs. I bought a speedometer/odometer for it and put it on the bike. Normally, a quickly passing fad doesn't get me to do extra things like get out tools to attach parts. So that's a good sign. On the other hand, one of these exercise fads have never really lasted more than two months. Remember also that the Tour de France had just ended a week ago, so I am still all high on the Lance comeback thing. Eventually that wave will diminish and I'll have forgotten why I am going out and torturing myself like this.

Let's just talk about the two rides. My neighborhood has a nice little closed in two block area. I found that once around it is almost a mile. ONE mile, with a slight incline going one way leaving of course a nice coast going back around the other way. ONE mile. You know the Tour de France is like over a hundred miles a day and they go up mountains? I went TWO whole miles on a tiny hill gradual slant. After that I staggered into the house and wondered who had stolen the air and asked why my legs no longer allowed me to move myself from the couch to the kitchen. I worried that the next day I wouldn't be able to move.

Good news though, I got up the next day and was only slightly sore. After finding out that I had again gained weight, I bought the odometer, put it on and rode again. The odometer is not just something to measure distance, it reminds me of high school, before I could drive, when I practically lived on my bike. Seriously, summers were spent roaming the streets of tiny town, Wisconsin on my bike, cruising out to my grandpas house in the next town on my bike, delivering newspapers on my bike, exploring the country roads on my bike... You get the idea. I put an odometer on that bike and just loved watching the miles click by. I though that memory might sustain this little excursion in diet and exercise. Who knows, but its worth the couple of bucks for the thing to try. Right?

So, that's where I am; losing the weight battle, but hopefully planning an awesome full frontal attack on it that could overcome the problem in the long run. Keep holding out hope for me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's Tweets

  • Heavy rain always makes me stop and look out the window. Watching the rain makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. #

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slow Start

My last post I got all excited about getting back on the Wii Fit and losing some of the pounds that had crept up on me over the past few months. I was serious too, and had great intentions to get right on it, assuming that the next morning I would be slalom skiing down Wii mountain. No such luck. It seems as though throughout the day there are a million things that prevent me from exercising. Needless to say, it had not started out too well. (Sorry Small Town Momma.) The good news is today I finally just grabbed the board and fired up the Wii and got going. T would only allow me about 20 minutes before he got "so bored" that I had to call it quits. At least I was able to do something, which is better than the past numerous weeks. The Wii scale says I gained more weight, so I hope that motivates me to get back on tomorrow and try to get a downward slope on the weight chart. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Throwing Down Some Words

Words. Something. Anything. Just write something. You have all felt that at some time. Things got really busy, and at times depressing, and sometimes just too tiring, so I took a hiatus. To sum that period up, I can just say we are no longer chicken farmers due to economic conditions currently affecting the poultry industry. I don't want to dwell on it. Let's move forward together. We live in town now, so I can actually look out my window and see people. We have fast food within a mile of us, close enough to walk to really, but I'm guessing that if you are the type of people who eat fast food, you're not the type who walk a mile to go get it when you have a perfectly capable car sitting right there in the driveway. Which leads to the next topic:
Weight gain. I once posted about how nice it was to be a chicken farmer because I had to walk several miles a day through the houses, which allowed me to burn ungodly numbers of calories. I could basically eat anything I wanted and not gain weight. Well, having been a non-working slacker for a while now I have gained 21 pounds from my final week or so of farming. It seems as though I will need some type of plan for losing weight. I was reading Small Town Mommy's blog and found I am not the only one facing the weight loss issue. I think I will take her advice and get back to working out on the Wii Fit. Wish me luck.

Although no longer being a chicken farmer can make one 'sad', it has worked out ok for me. It allows me to be a SAHD (stay at home dad). How depressing is that acronym? I know this is no longer the 50's or anything, but being a SAHD is still like fighting against the current. It is only temporary, but it will be long enough to get to be a lifestyle for now. It is definitely a change in life style for me. I'll most likely be using it a fodder for my blogs from here on out. That way you can all feel my pain, and joy as I go through this.

That wasn't so bad. I started with no thoughts on what to say, and after I typed a single word the rest followed. Let's see if that can happen next time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Funny or Sad?

Should I be amused or concerned? T had gotten a Star Trek toy from a fast food restaurant. It was Lt. Uhura. There is a button on the back of it that you push and it talks. This one says,"Captain, We're being hailed." T was having fun pushing it and hearing her repeat this one phrase over and over. He played with the toy for quite a while. At one point I heard him yelling, so I went back into the room to check on him. I see him pushing the button on the toy; she says,"Captain, We're being hailed."; he says, "I'm not the captain". He pushes the button again, and repeats the whole thing louder. "Captain, We're being hailed." "I'm NOT THE CAPTAIN!". This went on for several minutes with him pushing the button, and then yelling back at the toy, until I interrupted him and he started laughing. I mean, he does know it was him pushing the button, right? In my opinion he was doing it to be funny, but really no one was in the room but him at the time. So, hopefully he just likes to amuse himself...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Tootin Cousins

I saw this online and found it too funny to not pass along.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Looks like walking to me!

What do you think? Looks like she is getting the hang of it. Go baby Q!
(I did take the rubber bracelet away from her afterwards. Seems she has a liking of rubber jewelry. )
Happy first birthday baby Q!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On A Small Hiatus...

Sorry, I should have mentioned it earlier. I am on a little break from posting (and Entrecard dropping). I have some personal matters happening now that I am taking care of and require a lot of time. I still sit in the evenings and check in on some of your blogs, so keep up the great job of writing exciting/ entertaining material. I'll be back soon. Not soon enough to save my nice rankings from Alexa and Google, but they will recover over time. I'll be back in a couple of weeks, unless something so funny happens in the meantime that I just can't help but post it. Until then, peace and love to all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby Q starting to move into walking phase

Little Baby Q is starting to get the hang of walking. I had her pegged for about a month ago, but she has her own schedule. I just figured that if you can jump and do squats you should be able to walk. Here she is using some support to walk. Yesterday was the first day she tried it.

So amazing to watch her grow and develop into a little girl and start to leave the baby stage slowly behind her.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Severe Weather

This was a bad week for weather. I should learn to be more tuned into watching the weather channel or looking at because it always seems as if the inclement weather sneaks up on me. 

This past Friday the weather caught us off guard again while L and I were on a date night. We had gone out for some sushi and as you probably imagined from past experiences we were going to head over to Target once again after dinner to do some quick shopping. Why that has become or normal date routine I am not exactly sure. It just seems that when you have a chance to head to the store and not be trying to control a toddler as you walk through the aisles, that just seems to be the right time to go. The only time that happens is when we are on a date, so... 

Well, this date night we were eating when my sister called. My sisters and parents tend to worry about us. They know that with T around we don't really get to watch "normal" television programs. When T.V. is on we have it on Noggin or Disney Channel depending on which has the most appropriate show for some one under seven years old. Unfortunately those channels do not give us weather warnings like a regular local station would. Because of this they call anytime they see a weather warning on TV to make sure we know about it. It's like having our own back up system in place. Anyway, she called to tell us there were tornado warnings and severe weather warnings for our area. 

We ate quickly so we could get out to the car and listen to the radio. All the warnings were for the towns we had to go through to get back home. We could see clouds along the horizon and thought we could beat them home. We were wrong. A short time into the drive we hit the storm. Rain, then heavy rain, and then hail. The warning was saying watch out for hail up to golf ball size in diameter. Just what we needed, golf ball size hail. Well, the hail was only pea sized so far but hitting the car hard, like gravel being thrown at us from evil clouds. We talked it over and decided the best thing to do was find cover. There was a gas station in the next town. We would head for that. We were not that far, but with the severe conditions it was hard to drive over 20 miles per hour. The ride took forever and we were paranoid the whole way. Finally we arrived at the gas station. It was obvious that other drivers had the same idea. The overhang was crowded with cars, except for one spot which we managed to move into. Most of the car was under cover, except for the back end. On that part we could still hear the constant barrage of hail hitting the car like machine gun fire. 

After a few minutes of hanging out we finally heard the hail stop and just the heavy rain was beating down on us. We looked out at the ground to see it was covered with a white layer of hail. My wife looked out her door and said, "Wow, look at that... Oh never mind. That really is a golf ball! What are the odds of that?" I was cracking up so hard. After all that stress of trying to get safe, and all the talk on the radio about golf ball sized hail, what are the odds of opening your door and actually seeing a golf ball laying there at your feet? Just hilarious! 

Having a nice laugh felt good. The rain let up enough where I could see ahead of me far enough to drive the rest of the way home. We arrived home to find our house and family were safe. My parents and sisters houses were without power however. Tornadoes had hit their area and knocked down trees and power lines. They had power again by Saturday night, so all things ended well for them and us. Hope everyone else is safe from the storms in the South East this past week end. Best wishes to everyone as the storms continue to move through the area day after day. Stay safe, Summer isn't that far away and we will be able to get back to talking about the drought again.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Random Tuesday

I like Tuesdays. I like them because it seems the best day to just blurt stuff out and not worry about putting things into any logical order. I think that Keely over at the UnMom is to thank for allowing us this Tuesday freedom from order by coming up with her weekly Random Tuesday Thoughts.

1. We went on a mini vacation this past week end for a wedding. Unfortunately we didn't think the whole thing through so well. The drive down should have taken eight hours. We had a baby and a toddler in the car, and much of the ride sounded like, "I have to pee!", "I am hungry!" "I have to potty!". Which lead to multiple unplanned stops along with many planned stops for exercise and food. Twelve hours later we arrived at our destination. Day two involved a three hour drive across the state, and then day three left from the new location allowed us to have a nice thirteen hour ride home. I have to add that I have the best wife and kids in the world. They made this long trip without any problems. I don't think the baby even cried more than five minutes the entire ride. We do now realize that flying would be a much better option the next time we head down that way. 

2. My son seems to have some odd powers that are a little freaky. He reminds me of some character on Heroes or something. Don't believe me? I don't blame you, but here is what we have seen so far: 

a. One rainy day I didn't want to go out to work in the rain so I jokingly asked T to make the rain stop. He put his hands on the window and yelled "Stop Rain!" and within a minute or two the rain ended. OK, I know that is total coincidence. I might be with you on that one. 

b. Driving him home from school we were practicing colors by naming the colors of oncoming cars as they passed us. When there were no cars coming I still asked him,"What color is the next car?" He told me a color, and the next car that eventually came by was that color. I did it again, and again he was right. I did it a third time, and he picked the right color again. I was about to drive him to some paranormal research center at that point, when he finally got the next one wrong. But three out of four car colors right on cars that he could not have seen coming due to hills and distance... That's freaky. 

c. Before this trip I found a gameboy game cartridge in a box full of junk. I thought it would be nice for him to have a new game to keep him busy on the ride. As we were driving my wife gave him the game. He put it in and it didn't work. He gave it to my wife because she said she would look at it and maybe get it to work. After taking it out and putting it back in and trying a few other things she determined it was just a bad cartridge. She told T that it was a bad game and he would have to play his other game instead. "NO! Give me it! I want to play that game!" I said,"T its broken, we don't have any magic to make a broken game work. If it is broken it won't work." He kept persisting he could make it work. My wife said OK, and gave it to him to let him see for himself it wouldn't work, but dang if he didn't flip the switch and have the game come right up. 

d. Finally, and this is a little lame in the paranormal world I would assume: T watches Toy story every once in a while and in it the mean neighbor kid plays that crane game where you move the crane over the toys and then drop it down. It grips a toy and then carries it over to the little door and drops it in. Everyone has seen this game, many have played it, but I have never seen anyone win it and actually get a prize. So I prepared him many times telling him that no one wins this game. I wanted him to be ready when the crane came up empty. We were at a breakfast together with the whole family and he sees one of these games. I thought I would let him try it. He tells me that he doesn't need any help. Come on, he just turned four. It is a crane operated by a joystick. I gave him the concept that he has to pick a toy, move the crane over it and then push the button to drop the crane claw on it. I reiterated that no one ever wins this, and that we were not going to play it again. I just wanted him to try it once and see how it works. You see where this is headed. Next scene has the family gathered around taking pictures of him in front of the game with his prize. 

3. I had my first dance with my daughter at a wedding. For being two feet tall she is quite a good dancer. I think the thirty hours of driving involved in the weekend were worth it for those few minutes. 


4. I am somehow now addicted to a game called Mafia Wars on FaceBook. It seems so lame, but I keep logging in to check on my "Mafia Family" to make sure I'm not being attacked and to attack others and cause general havoc in my attempt to create my empire of wealth and power. Like I need something else sucking my time away from me. 

5. Have a great Tuesday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Arcade Fun Page Update

Just a note for anyone who actually checks out the Arcade Fun page, which may only be me as far as I know. I have added some new games. I found I was bored with checkers, so I removed it.
I remember that as a teenager I played a lot of Ms Pacman at the Arcade section of the local bowling alley. Yes mom, that is where all my money from my paper route went. So many quarters went into that darn game. If only I had a quarter for every quarter I dropped into those silly games I'd... well, I'd probably have enough to buy one of those games. So I added a version of Ms Pacman to the page. If you like playing and not dropping any quarters to do it, then hop on over and give it a shot.
Later I joined the computer generation and got hooked on Bejeweled at work. (Oh come on, like all of you worked all eight hours each day.) If you haven't tried it, you are missing out on a great time waster. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sick Little Girl

There should be a law. The law should say that kids in preschool have to wash their hands every 30 minutes. You might be able to guess why I would be an advocate for this new law, which sadly is not and will never be a real law. We are all sick again. It is like a never ending battle against the every mutant rhino-virus that runs rampant through a germ infested preschool. T seems to bring home a new cold virus every other week and then we all come down sick. His last school had a better hand washing policy and that lead to less times we had to suffer the savages of samples of sicknesses. (Sorry, just sounded like a good place to run some 's' sounds.) 

Anyway, we are all suffering sore throats and runny noses again. It's not so bad when people who can at least talk are sick, but it is so sad when a baby is suffering and can't even tell you how bad she feels except to form sad little grunts and occasional cries for assistance. (I'm attempting to help the letter 's' make a run at the most used letter. 'E' has had the title long enough and his head is starting to swell salaciously.) 

Today, Q woke up with a runny nose and sneezing, which made the runny nose a total mess. She then smears the runny snot with her slobbery hands making the matter worse. So, I get to spend my day cleaning up sneezy and her slippery face and hands. Luckily, she is wise in the ways of illnesses and knows that getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids is the answer. It seems the fire place area has no age limit when it comes to being a place to rest and nap. 


[caption id="attachment_670" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rest and plenty of fluids."]Rest and plenty of fluids.[/caption]

We should have been able to see this coming because we have a wedding to go to this week end and how else could we make the long drive just a little more uncomfortable than to take it with two sick kids and two sick parents. Oh well, things could always be worse. At least its not the flu.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Day Like Any Other

"T, it is time for nap."

"No, thank you."

"I think you heard me wrong. When I said, "it is time for nap?", you must have heard "would you like to take a nap.""

"No thank you. I want to play with my cars."

"OK, let me try again. No thank you is not an option. Your options for nap time are: would you like to take a nap in Mommy and Daddy's bed, your bed, on the couch with the TV off, or... on the floor, or on a blanket on the fireplace?"

"Could I have a blanket on top of me on the fireplace and could Tigger sleep with me too?"

"Hmmm. Actually I was kind of kidding about the fireplace. You really want to take a nap on the fireplace?"

"I want to sleep on there with Tigger."

"OK, then the fireplace it is.

[caption id="attachment_661" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Don't worry, the fire is fake. "]nap by the fire place[/caption]

Some times coloring is such serious work that you need to put on your serious face and your silly wiki stick glasses to do it right. 

[caption id="attachment_663" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Serious coloring requires serious glasses"]Serious coloring requires serious glasses[/caption]

Monday, March 23, 2009

His First Two Wheeled Bike

Is it just me, or are kids not supposed to be excited about bicycles? I remember one Christmas my older brother and I got matching three speed bicycles. They were WAY too big for me. I mean sitting on the seat I couldn't even get my feet to touch the pedals, never mind put them flat on the ground the way they should fit. But as a kid, it was a new bike, and it was perfect. Dad offered to cut some wood blocks and tape them to the pedals to add an extra two inches. In today's world, that might even be illegal to ride like that, but to me, back then it was all I needed to reach the pedals and take off. It was December, in Wisconsin. Talk about bad conditions for getting a bicycle. That didn't stop us. We went outside and rode our new bikes on new fallen snow, on rural, never gonna see a snow plow roads near our house. I am sure I hit the road no fewer than four times that day sliding on patches of ice, but wearing a full snowmobile suit and winter mittens reduced the pain. It was the 1970's, don't for a minute think there was a helmet involved. People who rode bicycles didn't wear helmets back then. You just learned not to let your head bounce off the road when you fell. Now that I think about it, how am I still alive?
Fast forward to 2009:
For T's fourth birthday his grandma and grandpa bought him his first two wheeled bike. A green, orange and silver piece of machinery that would have made any kid wet themselves with excitement. It was hidden from view while he was opening his other presents, and I asked him to come into the other room to help me with something. To get to me he had to walk right past the bike. He turned the corner, saw the bike and said,"whose bike is this?" "It is for you!", we all shouted. "Oh, that's nice." he replied. While we were all excited about him getting his first two wheeled bike, four wheels if you count the training wheels, T on the other hand was much less enthusiastic.
A few days of bad weather came through where it wasn't possible to go outside and try the new bike, but even so, he never looked at the bike which was right there in the living room. He never asked about being able to ride it. It was as if he had received a chair for his birthday, but at least that he might have sat on. Finally the weather cleared up and we were able to go outside and try to get him on the bike. I talked up the bike and finally got him to feign interest in wanting to ride it. We got his helmet on and I put him on the bike. Granted, it was a little big for him, I think that's the way grandpa likes to buy bikes, but he could reach the pedals. I offered to push him around the driveway, hoping that just being on the bike and moving would in some way inspire him to want to push the pedals and take off on his own power. But, after one lap up and down our driveway he decided he wanted to go pick some of the flowers in the yard for his mommy. Nothing I could say after that would get him back onto the bike again. It is not as if he doesn't like to ride. He has a tricycle, and he cruises on that with no problem. He knows how to pedal that and can practically leave skid marks on the kitchen floor from taking off so fast. The brand new awesome two wheeler on the other hand, nothing, nada, zero interest.
Well, after trying to use all those expensive child psychology classes from college, I decided that the bike, being too tall made him feel insecure. The tricycle was low, and he could always put his feet down if he was worried. Following this theory, grandma and grandpa graciously came and took the big bike back and we exchanged it for a smaller bike. Not only that, I let him go to the store and sit on different bikes to decide which was the best one for him so it would be his decision. I don't know, call it kitchen sink psychology at this point. That helped a little, but still I couldn't get him to ride in the driveway more than five minutes. Out of frustration I put the bike in the house, and he has started riding it around in the kitchen. (It is very small, and he rides rather slowly, so it seems OK. Besides, it's a double-wide on a chicken farm, so, yes we are those kind of people right now who let their son ride his bike around in the house.) Finally, at bed time he wanted to drive his "motorcycle" across the kitchen to his bedroom. FINALLY! An unprompted, unforced ride on his bicycle. That's all this daddy wanted to see. Was that too much to ask? Just a little interest and enthusiasm about having your own bike. I know, I know. Patience...
Now, I can start looking forward to when he is a teenager and I buy him a piece of junk car for us to rebuild so he can have some pride in his first car, knowing that he had to build most of it himself and it probably took two years to get running perfectly. I am guessing that's not going to go over well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tales From the Toilet

Let's place a disclaimer here: For anyone who doesn't want to hear about the musings of a toddler about poop, come back tomorrow and hopefully I will have moved on to another subject. 

A month ago I was waiting patiently for T to finish his business on the toilet. "Are you done yet?" I asked. "Not yet! I made one on the left, and then one on the right. Now I have to make one in the middle." 

Today I was called in by the "I'm Done" call. What an honor that is. I headed into the bathroom, T leans forward and I see this huge monstrosity that could not possibly have come out of a child, laying there in the toilet. "Whoa!!!" I said out of shock. 

T looks up at me and says," It looks like a letter, but I don't know what letter it is." 

"That is the letter U" I tell him. "one of the biggest U's I have ever seen." 

He always did have problems remembering the U. Maybe this will be the thing that makes him remember it forever. "Remember the letter you made in the toilet?" I could use as a prompt. Oh how much fun this will be when he is 16 and his friends come over. I can tell the story of how T learned to recognize the letter U.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reading the longer books.

I am not sure how old kids should be when you move up to longer books. Where is the point when they go from those short books that take five minutes to read and don't require them to remember a story line for too long, to the longer books that you read a little bit each night and they need to remember what happened in the previous nights? I want to call them chapter books, but there are some books that are not quite chapter books yet, but long enough to read over a few days time. The ones I have started reading are Disney type big books. I grabbed Winnie the Pooh last night and T asked me to read that one. I thought I would give it a try. As long as he is a willing listener, I am ready to try it. 

He was a little tired already by the time we started, so he sat quietly and listened intently. I read for about ten minutes and saw that he was looking very sleepy. We were about a quarter of the way through the book at that point. I showed him how to use a book mark to mark your page so you know where to start the next night. I was assuming that stopping a story before the end would result in a little fight, but it went much better than I thought. We marked the page and put the book away. 

The next morning he remembered about the book, and was excited to keep reading. He brought the book out to me and along the way lost the book mark. Not really a problem, since I remember where we were. Unfortunately it was time to get ready for school so we couldn't read it then, but I liked the excitement and told him we would definitely read more of it tonight so he could see what happens to Pooh. Ahh Winnie the Pooh, how you pull at our heartstrings with your crazy antics. Why do you love honey soooo much?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Three Things to Say on Tuesday

1. My son just had his fourth Birthday. Happy Birthday T! It was a lot of fun for him because when you are little, birthdays seem to go on much longer. On Friday  he had to bring treats for the kids in his pre-school. So for the day he was King and everyone loved him because he brought the sugar. (Not that he isn't loved there anyway. As I mentioned to my wife one day after dropping him off at school, he reminds me of Norm on Cheers. I open the door, T walks in and since were always the last ones there the whole class turns and looks, and yells out his name.) The next day was actually his birthday. We had a family party at home with food, presents (My parents even gave him his first two wheeled bicycle), and cake, followed by a very off key rendition of Happy Birthday.  The next day he had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese with some of our friends whose daughter is just a little younger than he is. Lots of running around, pizza, video games, and more presents. I have to say I may be a little jealous. I'm thinking on my next birthday I want a three day extravaganza which should also involve Chuck E. Cheese. 

2. Happy end of St. Patrick's Day! Another St. Paddy's day slipped right past me. I remember those eleven years I was in college trying to get my four year degree I never let a St. Patrick's day go by unnoticed. It was a day I always looked forward to, yet somehow seldom remembered. I do remember they typically started early in the day with a special on Micky's big mouths at a campus bar named Kelly's in Oshkosh, WI. Ah, those were the days. 

3. I've been spending a lot of time with Baby Q this week since I am out of chickens. Yesterday I put her on the floor, in a tightly closed off area so I could get her a bottle. I came back in like two minutes and she is standing there with her pants in her hands playing peek-a-boo behind them. What is she, Houdini? Then I get the same thing when I came into her room after her nap. She is standing there in the crib in just her shirt and diaper, pants laying on the mattress over in a corner. All I know is I feel very lucky that after getting past the pants she didn't feel the need to go ahead and remove her diaper and fling that around. I think I need to look into baby suspenders or something.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Awwwwww Shucks!

Is it just me, or has life just gotten more and more time consuming. I guess that can be a good thing. I mean if you're busy it means you have a good chance to be doing something interesting. In my case however not very much interesting is going on. I do the same things, they just seem to be taking me more and more time. In fact, instead of being more interesting it is somewhat less interesting since I get less time to read other blogs. Yes, sadly some of what I consider interesting in my life is reading about other peoples more exciting lives. Hmm, I should work on that eventually... 

I guess one thing that I want to say today is that even though I have been extremely busy with life lately, and have consistently commented on how I was going to get back to setting aside time for blogging, and yet still hadn't gotten enough time in to do it frequently enough, I am lucky enough to have some people still consider me a friend. This week i received a note from one such friend  JB at It's Gonna Take More than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy . She let me know that she had something for me on her site. When I went there I found that she had given me the Friend Award!


[caption id="attachment_639" align="aligncenter" width="156" caption="The Friend Award! Thanks JB!"]Thanks JB![/caption]

The Friend Award

(for bloggers who aim to find and be friends & who aren't interested in self-aggrandizement)

That made my whole day! So, let me pass the happiness on to other bloggers who make good friends.

PeanutButter&Smelly'sDad Wife and Mom of 3

Oh seriously, I could go on and on with sites I think deserve this award. In fact if you have commented on my site in the past you are my newest bestest friend too. Feel free to take a friend award from me!

I need all the friends I can get.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freedom, Oh Sweet Freedom!

They took my chickens away. This has been a long flock. A good flock of chickens that grew well, but a hard flock for me to survive. I mentioned in a previous post that it is a great way to lose weight. I started the flock at 183 pounds, and ended the flock at 165. You don't lose that much weight doing nothing. I work by myself for the greater part of the flock, and I go until I can't physically take it any more. Then I hire someone to help me for the last week or so. Oh man, it was so good to have help that last week. This flock went for 66 days. Those are some big chickens. Big, and I might add that this flock was very healthy, so they were well enough to think that THEY owned the houses and decided I was an intruder. By the time I was getting the houses ready for the catch crews to come I noticed something pulling on my pants legs. I turned around and had three roosters taking turns attacking me. They were just running up and grabbing my pants, pulling on them and backing up. then the next one would come over and do it. I scared them away, but when I turned around to go back to work they just came back and did it again. Luckily when I ran the drill to raise the drinker lines up they got scared and ran away. Can't be mad at anything that grew so big it thought it could take me on in a fight. That is all I want from my chickens. Grow big and make me proud. In case you were wondering, chickens are very soft. don't tell anyone, but sometimes when I am working in the houses on something broken they will come and sit next to me. Occasionally I will pet them. As long as you pet from head to tail, with the feathers they like it. Yes, I feel guilty sending them all to slaughter at the end of the flock. I just tell them it is time to move on to a bigger house. One where they can play outside all day and the weather is always nice and sunny. 

I also think they are smart and bond together. I often wonder why frequently I find two chickens dead next to each other. Did one die, and the other die of sadness for the loss of his friend? In a huge chicken house, what are the odds that two would die within inches of each other? I'm just saying. 

I will assume that my brother Joe is already revoking another of my man cards. I should just shut up before I completely run out of cards. 

On another note, one of the more difficult things about chicken farming is dealing with the pay method. Think you have trouble budgeting with your week to week check, or your every two week checks, or even on a monthly pay schedule? HA! My last check came the first week of December last year. It works like this: You get paid for the chickens when they pick them up and weigh them, then they wait a week to compare you with the rest of the growers for the week, and then pay you based on your ranking in that group. (I won't even go into my opinion on that lame method of figuring out pay rate.) 

So last November I had my chickens picked up, and then the first week of December came and I got paid. Yay! Money to buy Christmas presents! So December goes by, and well the economy is bad and the company doesn't need as many chickens so they extended the times between flocks. Instead of 10 days between pick up of one flock and drop off of the new baby chicks, they extended it to almost six weeks. December went by still no chickens and the first week of January they called and asked if I was ready to take chickens. Apparently someone else was not able to take chickens, so they needed some one who could take them right away. I wasn't scheduled for at least one more week. I of course said "yes". Let's see, already one month has past since I got my check, and I am just scheduled to get new chickens at the end of the week. Now I get the chickens and the flock lasts about nine weeks. This flock went 66 days. Then they pick the chickens up, and I have to wait a week until I get paid. That means I have not taken in a dime from the farm in all of December, January, February, and finally in the middle of March I will get paid again. That is three and a half months without a check! Good thing my wife has her degree in business management and knows how to budget money or I would be eating steak and lobster for about two weeks, and 'mac and cheese' and Ramen noodles for the remaining three months. 

Luckily things seem to be getting better in the poultry industry. The out times appear to be coming down a bit and are now down to about four weeks. Still it will be a long time until the next check comes. Let's all hope that something good happens and I get chickens earlier than expected so I can go less than three months with out being paid this time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are You Sure This is Georgia?

As a chicken farmer I am always checking the weather. For the last couple of weeks I saw snow showing up in the weather forecast. After living in GA for a whole three years, yup that long, I have learned from experience that snow in the forecast means one of two things: either they are talking about up in the mountains, and in that case I won't see any, or it will snow, which in my experience means a very light dusting that will be gone as soon as the sun peaks over the horizon in the wee early morning hours. In either case, having been raised in Wisconsin, snow in the forecast really means nothing more to me than a chance to laugh at southerners and their concept of snow; until this week. 

The week started with heavy rain, an anomaly in itself, since we are in this terrible drought. Then the cold moved in. I think it was Sunday afternoon that I looked out the window and said something like,"The rain looks funny." We all ran to the window to find that it was snowing big heavy flakes. T has never really seen snow in his almost four years, so we wanted to get him out there to at least catch some flakes on his tongue and see what snow was like. We rushed the process, because as I said before snow doesn't seem to last long down here. I figured that at any moment it would be rain again. 

[caption id="attachment_627" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Yay! It"]Yay! It's snowing![/caption]

  As you can see the yard was already flooding from the rain. T had fun trying to catch snow flakes and splashing in the puddles, although the picture doesn't show it too much. I think he was explaining to me the way I should jump in the puddle to make it splash or something. 

We played out there for a short time and then went in because it was getting cold, we both had colds already, so we didn't want to be out too long. 

Fast forward an hour or so, and the snow was sticking like glue to everything. The puddles were even covered with snow. The trees were covered, and the power lines were covered... And the power flickered off, and then on. Then again the power flickered, and eventually it just 

[caption id="attachment_628" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Ohhh it is really snowing..."]Ohhh it is really snowing...[/caption]

went out on us. The generator on the chicken houses fired up to keep the fans and heaters going in those houses, but for our house, where people live, we have nothing to keep heat going or lights on, or magically make my laptop work. L gathered candles and blankets as the night neared and the power still did not return. We kept hoping it would pop back on, but eventually we had to put the kids to bed bundled up like they were going to Antarctica. It was going to be a long night. 

The next morning we still had no electricity and the kids were looking a bit worse for the wear. T was getting sicker and no longer wanted to play, or eat. That is definitely a bad sign. As soon as it warmed up enough during the day L took the kids to my parents house in the next state. They had power, and the kids needed to be somewhere warm. Lucky me, I had to stay back with the farm and make sure the generator kept working and had fuel. The second night came. The house was freezing, and did you know that even double wides creak eerily at night when you are all alone in the dark with just a candle? Things went OK though, the generator had enough fuel, and didn't die on me during the night. Without fans running, it wouldn't take long at all to lose a whole house of chickens. There are so many in there and they are so big at this point that they would suffocate without the fans pulling in new air. Believe me, it was a long night wondering if I was going to lose my whole flock. 

The following day around noon the power came on and the generator shut off. I called L and let her know it was safe to return. It was so good to have the family back home in our house and have heat and power. It was two very long and stressful days and I am glad they are over. 

I now have learned that when the weather man says it may snow in Georgia, that I need to take it much more seriously. I also learned that we should really consider buying a small generator for our house so we can have heat when the power goes out. Will it actually happen? Maybe some day...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Books My Toddler Loves

Every night at our house, like many of yours, is story time. Before T heads off to sleep we let him choose a book to have read to him. He has a lot of books to choose from, but usually the cream rises to the top and the same top five stories or so keep getting selected. I thought for today I would just pass along some nice books suggestions that work great for toddlers around three to four years old. 

Tiger Can't Sleep by S.J. Fore, Illustrated by R.W. Alley Published by Viking, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. A small boy has difficulty falling asleep when the overactive tiger in his closet won't stop making noises. Almost reminds me a little of the old Calvin and Hobbes cartoons. 

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson pictures by Axel Scheffler. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers. A very smart mouse makes up a dangerous animal to keep from being eaten, only to find himself face to face with the very creature he was describing. great illustrations, and easy to remember patterns in the story telling. It is a little longer, but T almost has it memorized word for word. 

My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza published G.P. Putna,'s Sons a division of Penguin Young Reader's Group. A little pig "accidentally" knocks on the door of Mr. Fox's house. After being captured by the fox the pig gives the fox suggestions to help make himself a more delicious dinner. Unfortunately for the fox, things don't work out in his favor. I like the little surprise ending to the story. 

A Beasty Story by Bill Martin Jr. and Steven Kellogg published by Voyager Books. A good story for working on dark colors. Four mice go on an adventure into a dark house in a dark woods and come across a beast. They follow the beast and eventually find that the beast is not really a beast at all, but some of their friends playing tricks on them. 

Do Not Open This Book! by Michaela Muntean, Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre. Published by Scholastic Inc. A great story for kids who always end up doing the opposite of what they are told. This story involves the child in the story and actually helps the author finish writing the book. Very fun to read and T laughs every time he turns the page. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Q Meets Spiderman

Q was wandering around the floor and had an encounter with Spiderman. Luckily Spiderman sings her favorite song to her.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


1. The funniest thing to the baby lately is "1 - 2 -3  SWEET POTATOES!!"

2. The funniest joke to T lately is" Why was the cat playing with the others? Because they were playing cat!" No, I don't get it, but I guess it's all in the delivery, over and over. Apparently if you keep repeating it the joke gets funnier.

3. Pecans in salad, oatmeal, by the hand full, roasted...  I am getting burned out on pecans...  So sad. Maybe I need a pecan break. 

4. I need new glasses. I didn't need glasses at all until three years ago. Then things just started to get more blurry. I assumed all printers were just printing things smaller and fuzzier. Maybe it was just a lack of quality control in all printer companies. That worked for me until my wife said she had no problem reading the print on things that I couldn't. So I got glasses. That was three years ago, but now I am sure those printer companies are lacking in quality control again because now even when I wear my glasses the print is getting fuzzy again. 

5. Potty humor. On a car ride T decided he had to poop. We stopped at a YMCA and used the bathroom in the lobby. T got situated on the toilet and I waited outside his stall door. I waited, and waited. Getting impatient I asked, "Are you done yet?" "No, not yet." he replied, "I still have a little more on the left side." Now, that is being in tune with your body. 

6. My wife and I went out on an after dark date last night for her birthday. We went to a nice restaurant. The good news is that on her birthday they carded her for her margarita. If I was thinking in advance I should have suggested the waiter do that, but luckily he did it anyway. That was the best birthday present ever right there. The bad news is that after dinner we had no idea what to do. We ruled out most date things because we were too tired, or didn't want to sit in a theatre not talking to each other for two hours. We ended up shopping at Target and went home. I remember when we used to be cool and dates didn't include shopping for cleaning products and drain openers. 

7. The chickens are 43 days old out of 63 days. Right on schedule the dreaded reaction to the LT vaccine they get started rearing its ugly head. Luckily it is only taking hold in one house of the six, and a little higher mortality in another house. The rest are still doing well. With any luck, maybe they will stay healthy all the way until the sell date. That would be nice. I could use a break right about now. 

8. Q is getting some teeth! She has one through the gums, and a second one just about to come through. That little baby wants teeth. She definitely does not like to watch her older brother eat foods and not be able to have any of what he is eating. She knows her sweet potato puree is not a chicken nugget... That transfers to everything else lately. She wants everything her brother has. What ever toy he is playing with is also her favorite toy. She will crawl across the room to try and grab the toys he has in his hands. Luckily T is being very understanding and giving her alternate things to play with. He is such a good big brother.

9. A photographer asked if she could borrow Q for a sitting. She was working on different lighting techniques I believe and needed a model to shoot. Of course we agreed. Q loves to help out. My wife has the link posted on her site. Stop by and check it out! The pictures came out very cute.

10. I have been bombarded by spam comments recently. Has someone in russia decided I have a "cool name for a blog of this kind!" and shared it with all of his friends? Is there a way to block all comments from Russia?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reasons T won't sleep

It seems every night there is some reason either T needs to come out of the bedroom, or I need to be called back in. Here is a collection of some of them:

1. "I need a drink of water."

2. "I need a hug."  or  "I forgot to give mommy a hug."

3. "I need a back rub."

4. "You didn't sing me a song."

5. "I can't find my Tigger."

6. "I think something might be in my closet."

7. "You're making too much noise. You woke me up!"

8. "I want to sleep in your bed."

9. "What are you eating?"

10. "But I'll be lonely without you."

11. "You forgot to give me my vitamin."

12. "Can you read me another story.... PLEEEEEEAASSSSSEEEE!!! Just one more story???"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Entrecard Love

I am, as usual, a little slow. I wanted to recognize my top Entrecard droppers for the past month. It is because of them, and many others that I was finally able to get my Google page rank up to a 2. I had been at a zero for so long I thought they had forgotten about me over there in the Google labs. Also, I feel a little guilty now after seeing how regularly these wonderful people visit my site, knowing that I have been so busy with real life here on the farm, and have been posting to my blog so infrequently lately. The good news, is that I am starting to get caught up, so I will hopefully be back posting more habitually very soon. To all of you faithful followers, I want to say Thank You for supporting my site even though times are a little stressed recently and there has been so much happening, yet so little to read. You are greatly appreciated. 

If you get a chance, and for some reason have not been to any of these sites, please click on their link and go check them out. They are all sites I frequent, and have found them to be very interesting, entertaining and even educational. Go ahead, check them out and see what I mean! 


Top Droppers on Dad to Two

Dropper# of drops
The Junk Drawer31
Lola's Diner28
The Frugal Housewife28
Your Parenting Info27
Juicy Alligator25
FickleMinded-A Life That Is Less Ordinary24
My Sweet Haven23
Glue 4 Families22
What's On My Mind Today22

Saturday, January 31, 2009

If I Could Put Time in a Bottle...

Baby Q is just developing so quickly. It is amazing to watch her go from stage to stage. I barely remember T going through all those stages. Time goes so fast that you never really get a chance just to absorb what is happening to them developmentally. It makes me think of the old Jim Croce song called Time in a Bottle. How nice would it be to just bottle up these moments so later, when they are all grown up, we could just go back and relive those moments that flew past us so fast we barely were able to save a memory of it. 

Q is now at full on crawl. She was in the ninja roll stage for the past few weeks or so. It was so funny to watch how quickly she could position her body and then just roll until she got to where she wanted to be. This week she went into a nice full arm and leg crawl and is no longer controllable. It is like trying to hold back the hands of a clock. Put her in one place, wait one minute, pick her up from the computer before she hits the power button. Place her back on the other side of the room again, and repeat. That blue power button light really draws her like a moth to the front porch light. At one point I taped up a protective cardboard cover to stop her, but she just found that interesting and pulled on it until it came down. I guess I like the fact she doesn't let little things like that get in her way. Once she sets her mind on something she is going to have it. She is a very determined little baby. 

The only problem with crawling is that it has a vertical limitation. You can't get things on top of small tables and ottomans. That was great for us, as we would put things we didn't want her to have up higher and she wouldn't even know they were there. Well, I guess seeing us put things up high just annoyed her. She decided the other day that she wanted to play with these things. She climbed over to T's little plastic table, and pulled herself up on the seat, and stood up so she could reach the top of the table. She then proceeded to pull everything on the table down to the floor. I was so shocked to see her standing there that I was running around like a madman searching for the camera to photograph this historic moment. My wife was at work, and I wanted to be able to prove that I saw what I saw. Of course by the time I got the camera in hand she had dropped down to her knees and the moment was gone forever. She is only 8 months old. I wasn't expecting this for a while yet. It shouldn't be too surprising though. On her first day of life she could practically stand. The nurses at the hospital were all talking about how big her leg muscles were and how funny it was that she could hold herself up on her legs and bounce on those unstable legs. We will have to wait and see how long it takes before she is actually walking, but I don't think it will be all that far away. Nobody puts Baby in a corner...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tagged Twice!

I was tagged twice. I feel bad that they were both a while ago, but I have been so busy with the farm I haven't been able to do much else. Now I have almost caught up, so I thought I'd take a shot at it now. One of the memes was for 8 Random things about me. Tagged by Lydia @ On the Verge.  The other was 7 Random things about me, tagged BY frogmama @ Frogs in My formula . Now I figure I could either do 7 things, 8 things, or all out and do 15 things. 7 + 8 = 15 I learned that playing cribbage. I chose the middle ground and decided on 8. 

1. I gained 13 pounds when I was out of chickens for five weeks, and now after having chickens for less than three weeks, I have returned to my normal weight already. Chicken farming is a good workout plan. I hate to think what will happen to me if I give up chicken farming. 

2. I am currently obsessed with those darn pecans. I picked over 14 pounds of them (almost 4 lbs after removing the shells) already and had them cracked by a machine. I know there are many more still outside just waiting for me to pick them, but I don't have time. I wonder if the below freezing temps we have had made them useless... Oh that would really make me mad to think I lost all those pecans because I wasted my time working instead of gathering nuts. 

3. When I was 39 and L and I were about to have our first baby I was told I was adopted at birth. So, everything I knew about my family medical history was slightly inaccurate. Within a month I located my biological family and now have two families I can annoy with stories of my childhood. He he he... 

4. Every July I am captivated by the Tour De France. I TIVO the races each day and schedule my days to include enough time to watch them. I know there is a lot of bad talk about the doping that has occurred in the past, and probably is still occurring to this day, but seriously, even on every drug known to man I could not train hard enough to survive one day on a bicycle in those mountains. Add the fact that Lance Armstrong is going to come back this year, and BLAM! I am peeing my pants with excitement already, and it is still six months away. 

5. I think most of the toys and games we get for T are things I like to play. Seriously, I'm 43 and show no signs of maturing into a fully functioning adult any time soon. 

6. I love to learn new things, but have no capacity what so ever to retain the information long term.

-When living in Germany I spoke German fairly well, and could hold my own in conversations with German people, and now, I could at most order some schnitzel and a bier and probably say hello. 

-I minored in Spanish in college and spent several months living and studying Spanish in Guatemala, and now, I may have trouble following along with Dora the Explorer. 

- After deciding not to be a teacher anymore I earned an associates degree in computer science so I could be a computer programmer. Before I finished my degree I found an awesome job in tech support with one of the best companies ever. So I decided not to leave that job when I graduated. Now, I could barely write a "Hello World" program in any programming language. (Hello World is simply writing code to make the computer output the words "hello world" to the screen. It is very simple, and therefore typically the first thing you learn to do.)

- I could come up with many more examples of things I've forgotten, but most of them I can't remember... 

7. Thanks to the Army I can eat almost anything. No, not Fear Factor Anything, but there are very few foods I will say no to. Beets, broccoli, liver, brussel sprouts, all veggies raw or cooked, no problem. Scrambled eggs still runny and dripping off my fork? No problem. Add some Louisiana hot sauce and I am all over it. Once I got the flu right after eating ribs, and had some trouble eating ribs for a long time, but I kept working at it until I could eat them again. You just can't let the flu take away any items from the meat group. It just ain't right.

8. I have had two motorcycles in the past. One was a a Vulcan 750, and the other was a Katana 750. The Katana was my favorite since it was more of a sport bike, and could get up to around 130 mph on a straight away. You know, in case you needed to avoid a car whose driver is reading the news on his laptop with one hand, while eating his egg mcmuffin with the other and driving with his knees. It has nothing to do with a need for speed. Currently I have no time for a bike, and no money to buy one. Sometime in the future though I can see me finally riding slowly down the old back roads of Georgia on a Harley.

OK that's a little about me. Now for the people lucky enough the be tagged, probably for their umpteenth time. So, as always if you have had this one plenty of times and prefer to pass, that is up to you. I only hold a grudge for a short time anyway. Remember? no memory. I'll have forgotten all about it fairly soon, so don;t worry about it. If you do go for it, just leave me a comment so we can all go check your random facts out.

Lola @ Lola's Diner 

Outnumbered Two to One

Farrah @ Wife and Mom of 3

Jodi's Journey 

Signe Says

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Disney Pixar Cars for Wii

[caption id="attachment_546" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lightning McQueen "]Lightning McQueen [/caption]

Have I mentioned that we too love our Wii game system. I read so many blogs where people talk about their Wii games and how much they love them. It seems to be all the rage lately. This past Christmas T received the Disney Pixar Cars video game. He loved the movie Cars. It was one of those that a toddler has to watch over and over ad nauseam until the parents can't take it any more. By that time though the whole family can quote all the lines in the movie, mostly to be able to understand all the stories that their toddler is telling them.

Once T gets into a movie or a game, that becomes a part of our lives. Even a trip to school becomes part of the movie, or video game. "That is Sally's cozy cone, and that building is where Filmore lives. Don't speed, or Sheriff will chase you. We could do a donut on the road here." Mostly it is a nonstop dialogue related to the movie and the game for the entire 20 minute drive. Oh, and no, he didn't learn "donut" from me driving him to school. That is one of those words he just used, and I don't know where he learned it. Oe day he yells to me that oh so familiar command," Daddy watch this!" I look right away, because if I don't I have to listen to "Daddy, watch this!" repeatedly until I do watch it. I know. I have a degree in elementary education, you think I could have taken a few minutes to change that behavior, but no. So far it has just been easier to just look. Anyway, I look at the TV. T says, "Watch, I am doing donuts." Sure enough he had lightning McQueen spinning around in circles in a parking lot doing donuts. 

No one we know has this game, and he can't read so I'm ruling out the internet. I guess he just figured out how to do it by playing with the controller long enough. It took him about 5 minutes of "Not like that, push this button and this button, and turn the wiimote like this!" for him to teach me how to do it. I'm not exactly as quick as he is at learning new things. Eventually I got it. 

All I know is there is NO WAY I'm letting this kid near a car when he is 16. Can you imagine???  "Dad, Watch This!!!" Ohh no, I'm not liking the thought of that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photo Contest

[caption id="attachment_823" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Photo is copyright of Stylized Portraiture"]Photo is copyright of Stylized Portraiture[/caption]

Stylized Portraiture did our baby's newborn pictures and the photographers chose their favorite picture from each session they did in 2008 to be in a contest. They are giving the grand prize winner free digital files from the photo session.

If you have a moment and would like to vote, you can do so by:

1) Visiting the Gallery page to see the pictures (She is #56)

2) Then please VOTE HERE (#56)

Many thanks!

P.S. You are only allowed to vote once.

P.S.S It would really, really, really be appreciated if you could take that extra minute to vote for Q's picture. Is that enough reallys?

Final results: Well, it was a valiant effort. Q's picture received a total of 70 votes!!! That in itself is very impressive. While it does not earn us a place on the wall of Stylized Portraiture it does represent a wonderful sense of community, with so many of you coming together to help us. We really do appreciate all of you who took the extra time to go and vote for Q's image. Thank you so much. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are You Kidding Me???

The bronchitis came back and my nose is stuffed up again. How am I supposed to run a farm if I am feeling deathly ill and can't breathe. (Yup, still overly dramatic.) Seriously though, this is the same thing I just got over. We send T back to school for two days and BLAM! he is sick, I am sick, the baby is sick and L is once again being our angel in our time of need. Honestly, I don't know how she puts up with me sometimes. Maybe I just look too pathetic as I hack up a lung with my nose running out of control. She surely must be reviewing those for better or worse, in sickness and in health clauses from our wedding to see of there is some sort of loophole. Luckily for me I think they are iron clad.

So, with all the sickness going around the kids again, I thought I would pass along this public service announcement. Someone was nice enough to send it to me after my last post on being sick, so I suppose it still is relevant.  Stay healthy! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If Life Gives You Lemons...

I was awarded the Lemonade Stand Award by Nicole at Juicy Alligator. She has an incredible blog and a marvelous sense of humor. I was blown away when I saw that she passed this award on to me, and only me. Now I must say that sure makes a guy feel special. After such a long December, filled with illnesses, and long days of hard work, it felt good to have some praise. Thank you Nicole!


[caption id="attachment_523" align="aligncenter" width="292" caption="Look who's making lemonade"]Look who's making lemonade![/caption]

The rules state that I bestow it on blogs that display great attitude or gratitude! I also am supposed to pass it on to TEN other blogs. Ten is really a stretch for me, plus I really liked how being the only one to get it made me feel more special. So, with that logic being used to cover my laziness lack of available free time, I am going to pass it on to one person also. 

Thanks to EntreCard, I read a lot of blogs each week. I do what I can to try to read each persons most recent post as I am dropping my card on their site. So far I am very grateful for all of the wonderful blogs that it has helped me find. I could easily list off a bunch of them that I follow very closely, but that would cause problems because I would undoubtedly forget some of them and feel bad for not having listed them. So, I will just get right to the point and announce the WINNER of the LEMONADE STAND AWARD. And the winner is: Frogs in my Formula

This is one blog you should check out if you are not already reading it. Her family is incredible and seems to give her a never ending stream of entertaining things to write about. I can totally relate to her stories, and I think that is what makes her site so enjoyable. I am always laughing with her as she describes the craziness in her world in her own intoxicating, irrepressible, always entertaining voice. Congratulations Frogs in my formula, and thank you for having such a great attitude.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Those Darn Beechnut Trees

[caption id="attachment_520" align="alignleft" width="277" caption="Definitely Not Beechnuts"]Definitely Not Beechnuts[/caption]

I really need to read a book about trees. We have lived on this farm for several years now. It is lined with trees on three sides. Since the day we moved in we really haven't given the trees a second thought. This past year however someone pointed out to me that along the front of the property there are some plum trees. At first I didn't believe them when they told me, until I went over one day and looked at the trees. Sure enough there were fruit on a few trees up there. As I was walking back I also found a section of raspberries. Seems to me that some one would have pointed that out to me when we bought the place, and not let us find out after we had lived here a few years. 

The side of the property has these tall trees that grow some strange looking nut on them. They start out green, and later turn black and fall off the tree. Not having read a book about trees, I thought these were beechnut trees. Someone had to have told me that since not having ever read that book, I couldn't tell you what a beechnut looked like. Each fall the darn trees would drop all these nuts to the ground, and I would drive over them with the lawn mower, cursing them under my breath for littering my lawn, and because they were little missiles when shot from the lawn mower. Those darn beechnut trees. 

The other day, I was outside and saw those darn nuts on the ground again, and it made me wonder if there were any use for beechnuts. Are they edible? There must be something I can do with them besides risk peoples lives when I run them over with the mower. So, I went online and was searching for them. Not too much was coming up, but eventually I found a picture of one. Ummm, that's not the same as what I have in my yard. Outside I go, dodging raindrops as I run to the trees, pick up a nut, and run back in. More searches. I searched for nut trees in the state of Georgia, and started going through the images until I found one that looked exactly like what I held in my hand. Can you believe it? I was holding a pecan. I LOVE PECANS! For over three years I have been driving over pecans with my truck, mulching them down with the mower and cussing them out without having a clue that they were pecans. It is so sad. I mean the row of nine very large pecan trees is only about 15 feet from my house and I didn't know it. 

I immediately went out and picked up a handful of them and brought them in to test. I got out the nut cracker and busted them up and ate them. They were delicious. Later I went out and got about 10 of them. I ate them and shared a little with L and T. Today, I went out with a bucket, and picked up about 300 of them. I am currently obsessed with pecans. I cleaned them, dried them in the oven, and started cracking them and extracting the meat. After about an hour I managed to crack about 25. Woo hoo! Talk about a slow process, but it is totally worth it. Anyone know any good recipes I can use pecans in? 

I am going to have to head over to the back side of the property and take a look at the trees over there. Who knows what trees I might find.