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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Girl's Road Trip!

We're back from our annual 'girl's only' school shopping trip to tax free New Hampshire. There was no tax on our purchases, how weird is that? I'll bet you're wondering, do we save any money by driving 2-3 hours one way, staying in a hotel, & eating out all our meals? NO. But, it's a great couple days! Paige won't be at home but a few more years, and hopefully she will fondly remember these trips. It's an adventure, and we have a lot of fun.

With hotel booked, GPS set, gas in the tank, instructions given to DH on the dogs, keets and boy, we were off! That porch better be done when we get back... ;)

First stop: Freeport, Maine. Home of the LL Bean flagship store, and hundreds of outlet stores. Every outlet store you can imagine. Gotta pay tax here (5%), but the Abercrombie Outlet is a worthwhile visit. The Abercrombie store is in the old Freeport Library building, yes, pretty cool. We climbed the large, original granite steps, and were greeted by blaring music (yes, BLARING, Sophia had her hands over her ears, and we had to talk loudly to be heard). It was packed with teens and their parents, we got some sweet deals there. By the time we finished there, it was lunch time.

Here's Sophia being a cutie, sipping her Apple Juice at McDonald's

Paige didn't want her picture taken. I think she was embarrassed I had my camera out at McDonald's! The flower isn't part of her outfit, but I had to add it to the picture so I could keep my 'G' rating!

I love this picture. Sophia was giggling, sipping her juice

We wanted to hit the road and get to NH, so we pulled into the Freeport McDonald's. This McDonald's is unlike any you've seen. It's in an old, big, white house. You get your food and go sit down in one of the original rooms of the house. Sophia enjoyed her nuggets & fries (ewww) and we headed back to the mini-van with her Hello Kitty toy in hand.

The drive that should have taken 2 hours from there, took more than 2 1/2. Torrential downpours (I-95 down to 40mph) and then just major traffic back up until we got off I-95 (I literally drove 5-10 mph for 8 miles. UGH!) Couldn't figure out what the slow traffic was all about. No holiday weekend, no accident... I did hear on the radio the Police were playing at Fenway Park, could that have been it?

Sophia's potty trained, you will remember. We were in NH, stuck in that awful traffic, crawling along. She announced "I have to poop". What's a mom to do? I told her I'd find a bathroom as soon as I could get off the highway, I would get off the next exit. She started to panic, and the look on her face told me it was urgent. I pulled over to the side of I-95, took her out of her car seat, removed her pants & underwear, and had her squat (like using a squatty potty in China!) just beside the van, on the grass by the highway. She was a trooper, and her 'business meeting' was done. "Wow, that's a big one" she marvels as I wipe her tush with the Domino's Pizza napkins Paige found in the glove compartment. I was torn. I'll confess - I considered leaving it there (wouldn't the rain have washed it away???) But no - so I asked Paige to hand me one of the doggy poop pickerupper bags (they're purple and scented). Good thing I left those in the van! I scooped the poop, tied a knot in it, and placed it in the van by the sliding door. Sophia told Paige "I pooped a big one, Paige."

Our first stop in NH was TJMaxx. On the way into the store I threw the bag away in the outside trash can. Phew, gone. We walk through the doors, and Sophia says (loudly), "Mommy, why you throw my poop away?" Shhhhh Sophia I'm thinking... Did anyone understand her? "Because it was going to stink up the van, honey." That seemed to satisfy her for now.

At TJMaxx we began our collection of bags in the mini-van. If you've got a teen, you know it's all about the name-brand stuff. Abercrombie & American Eagle are Paige's two faves. Ahhh... I remember when it was the less expensive stuff... (LEI, Sketchers, Mudd).

After TJMaxx we sought out the hotel. After settling into the room, we set out to grab some dinner, and then to the mall. Sophia's ready to check into the hotel

Found this Radisson hotel on, it was only 1 mile from the mall we went to in Nashua, NH

Sophia was dancing in the hotel room with her new shades on

We didn't bring a stroller for Sophia. GASP! You heard right, we left if home. The girl's a trooper. We put her squeaky shoes on (we call them her shopping shoes) and we shopped and shopped. We closed the mall (9:30 pm) and headed back to the hotel.

Paige put some of her purchases together, and modeled some outfits. We called the boys at home, and all was well. Sophia was able to tell Daddy about her 'big poop on the grass by the road." We all got to bed about 11pm, and slept until 10:30. We were wiped! This morning after some snacking in the room, we packed up and were headed off again to hit the mall. We weren't done yet!

Here's Sophia on the way home from New Hampshire. Minnie Mouse, Blanket, Gold Fish crackers & her toy, and she's ready for a nap.

Paige took this picture of her feet in the van, on our way home

We finished up the shopping, and by mid-afternoon we were headed home. A few minutes from home Sophia announced, "I have to poop." Oh no!
"We're almost home honey, wait a minute and you can poop at home," I reply.
"Okay. Me poop a big one on the grass by the road," Sophia says.
"Yes, honey, you sure did..."

Friday, July 27, 2007

We're happily under construction!

For those of you who don't know, we're building a wrap around porch on our house. We're very much under construction. Missing siding, tools & wood everywhere! When it is done, I will (finally) do my porch meme from a month ago.

Here's Sophia sitting w/Diesel on the porch. Ted & Noah were working on the porch today, and Sophia was supervising. Diesel is her bodyguard.

Awe... A hug for Diesel

A KISS TOO! It looks like Diesel leaned down to get one!

Ted & Noah on the scissor lift, nailing boards on the porch roof.

Ted explains to Noah how to set the saw for the correct angle & bevel

DH 'eye candy' - gotta keep you girls happy!

I took this picture from the 2nd story window, through the screen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dirt, Dogs & Underwear

Here's Sophia, on the dirt pile, in her underwear, hugging Diesel.

Climbing the dirt pile to play with Noah. Notice the 'Mongolian Spots' on her back? She's pretty well covered. Her tush is a dark blue! She has various spots on her legs, too. Do any of your girls have these spots?

Noah is looking for worms for fishing, Sophia is just digging.

Maggie, aka Maggie Moo Moo.
She likes to play on the dirt pile as much as the kids!

Diesel, aka Diesel Boy.
Diesel and Maggie play on the dirt piles a lot.
Maybe they're playing 'king of the mountain', I'm not sure.

Maggie lays in the grass and watches. Remember, she's NOT a rotweiler ... (did I spell that right?) They are both Cane Corso Italian Mastiffs. They are almost 4 months old.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Got ticks? Get Guinea Fowl!

We live on a private, dirt road, surrounded by woods. We have ticks, and plenty of them. They're nasty little things, that embed their nasty little selves into my children and puppies, trying to spread lyme disease... (Paige has pulled one out of her hip, I've pulled one out of Sophia's temple, and off Noah's neck. Each of the pups have been sucked on, too.)


Get ready to meet your maker, ticks! Friday we picked up our guinea keets, at Shady Hollow Gamebirds. We got 7, and hope they'll eat their weight in ticks each day! We'll just let them roam around the property, and consume ticks. That's what they do.

They need to stay inside for awhile, under a heat lamp, until they get their feathers and can survive the outdoors. They're cute lil things for now... check em out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mommy24Treasures has awarded me the Rocking Mom Blogger award! You can click on her name and read why... and while you're there, please leave her a comment. All of us bloggers just LOVE our comments!

She is so creative by scrapping her pictures when she blogs. So creative! Thank you Connie!

So, now I will nominate Val over at Malia. Malia is on the top of my cute list, and Valerie is great as posting regularly, and sharing her daily life with us all. If you haven't seen her blog, check out the cuteness!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Sleepy Time Meme!

The bracelet on the left we got in Nanchang, at the little shop by the Gloria hotel. We got our custom silk dresses (& ties for the boys) there, too. Her name is engraved on the inside of it. I'm not sure what the Chinese writing says, but it sure is beautiful!

Diesel, Maggie & Sophia crash in the office
(behind Sophia's little recliner is my desk, where I do my blogging!)

This is what happens when Sophia doesn't get put down for her nap. She's just like her big brother Noah, he always would (and still will!) sleep anywhere, when he gets tired. She's got her blankie right there with her. And did you see her outfit? A dress, with a skirt under it, with her Mickey Mouse crocs. The girl is styling! She gets her fashion sense from her father? ;)

I challenge you all to dig out those sleeping kid pictures, and post on your blog. Kids sleeping in funny places... in funny positions... or curled up in their beds. Then click below and add your blog so we can all check them out! Feel free to comment me as well. I know... I'm so demanding...

Friday, July 13, 2007

WARNING: Pout & Vent

Pouting because no one wants to play my game (see last post). I can see that since posting I've had more than 100 hits, and only two posts? Don't we all have funny little things our kiddos have said? Oh, I see... it's just MY KIDS that are witty and cute! ;)

Venting because I've left a few comments for people (you know who you are) and I HATE the little verification boxes, where I have to type a dozen italic letters that I can barely read. Sometimes I have to try 3 times before getting it right. I am wearing my glasses, too. Guess I'm getting old. What a pain. Do you all realize what an irritant this is? Have you actually had spam, where this is necessary? Stop the maddness, I BEG you!!!!

Oh, and since I'm on a full-blown rant... if you could all put your email address in your profile, that would be GREAT. When you leave me a comment, often I would like to reply to you (no, really I would!). But, if your email address isn't attached to your profile, I can't. Sometimes you ask me a question, and I can't answer it, because it says, 'no reply' on your email. (I get an email each time there's a new comment on my blog).

There. I think that will do it for tonight. I feel better already. Now, hand me the chocolate and nobody gets hurt!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI'm calling this meme - 'Kids Say the Darndest Things!'.

You know what I'm talking about... something they said in public that made you turn 3 shades of red... something they came up with at the dinner table... or at the grandparents house...

Maybe you laughed, maybe you cried... share it with us! Post at your blog, and link here.

Here's mine - from a few days ago.

Looks like I've figured out the link thing, click below. Please let me know what you think, do our kiddos come up with enough good ones to do this weekly? If so, what day of the week do you think would be the best? Please comment and let me know, thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If I had $10,000 ...

Oh, where do I begin. A few weeks ago, DH called a semi-local radio station, for a call in contest. Caller #100 was to win $50, and would be entered into the grand prize drawing to be eligible to win $1,000 a week for life (40 years). He was the 100th caller.

A couple of weeks passed, and they called to say he had been chosen as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER, and to meet at the radio station this morning.

Here is Ted, listening to the rules. There were 20 money bags. In each money bag was an envelope. There were TWO grand prize certificates. If he picked BOTH of them, he would win the $1,000 a week for life. We calculated the odds at 1/190. Not bad. (He already was chosen out of about 1,600 people to be the grand prize winner.) If he didn't find a grand prize certificate, all the other envelopes contained a prize dollar amount, starting at $1.

Ted chose two money bags, with $5,000 each in them! We left with a check for $10,000. Not the 'grand prize', but we are excited and very thankful.

We believe this is a God thing. Ted never calls in for those contests, and the first time he attempted, he qualified and then won. Then we are blessed with $10,000. It's not life-altering lottery winnings, but will get our porch finished... maybe some landscaping...

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Do all Asians look the same??

CLICK HERE to take the test. Then choose Exam #1 - Faces. "These are photos taken in New York City. The people who appear in these pictures are 100% Chinese, Japanese or Korean; nobody is mixed."

Maybe you've seen it before, maybe not. It asks you to create an account (FREE), and that takes just a minute to do. Put something bogus, it doesn't matter. The test takes just a minute or two, and will be an eye opening experience for you.

Once you take the test, please comment and tell me how you did! I got 2 right! There are 18, and when you're done it will show you the correct answers.

All right all of you lurkers... this just takes a couple minutes. Don't forget to comment with your score.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Busy, crazy Sunday.

Today we left the pups home alone for the first time. The pups HATE being crated (panic, sweating, constant barking & trying to shred the crate the one time we tried, for a solid 2 hours!). So, we cleaned out the mudroom (14 x 16'), and set them up with their dog beds, food & water, and a few toys. Then we held our breath, and headed to church. We rushed home from church only to find... they did GREAT! The only thing they did was take a throw rug and shake it around, which made a sandy mess to sweep up on the tile floor. No piles of poo - no puddles to clean up. Yahoo! :)

So... we let them out, played with them for a bit, and decided to run a couple errands and go have lunch. We gave them each a treat, and headed off again. Yes, we were pushing it. Twice in one day?

Our first errand was to meet someone at Dunkin Donuts to trade laptops. Long story, but we had an old relic laptop in a closet, and Noah found it the other day. I went on Freecycle (yahoo group), and asked if anyone had any games on old floppy disks. Can't buy them new now, and this laptop didn't have a cd drive. Someone responded, and offered to trade for a laptop w/a cd drive. Why not?

After that, we had a quick lunch, and grabbed a few things at Sam's club. Did you know that you can feed a family of FIVE on $11 at Sam's club? I kid you not. Plenty of food and drink, you should try it sometime! ;)

From there we stopped at the movie theater, to see when the Transformers movie was playing, DH and Noah have been wanting to see it. Turns out the movie started 5 minutes before, which really means that's when they start running the 15 minutes of previews, so I bought the tickets for them. They headed right in, and Paige, Sophia and I headed over to Staples. Their 1 cent school supply sale started today (runs for a week, while supplies last!). Oh, I DO love a bargain! I snagged all the 1 cent stuff I could, and we then headed to the Christmas Tree Shop. For those of you not in the New England area, click on the link to see the latest flyer. Lots of neat stuff for entertaining, decorating, gifts, toys. Some pretty unique stuff, you never know what you'll find. Usually prices are very good. We needed another big dog bed, and it's the cheapest place around to get one. Paige got some snazzy looking flip flops for 89 cents a pair, and I grabbed a few misc items.

Then it was home to get the dogs. Again, they did great. No mess at all. After spending a few minutes with them, they jumped in the minivan, and we were off. Sophia got her nap in the van, and we headed back to the 'big city' to get the dog food (we buy the 40 lb bags now) we needed, and to weigh the dogs. Diesel is 35 lbs, Maggie is 30. Man oh man do people make of puppies! I mean, I know they're cute and all, but geez! Reminds me of the attention we use to get w/Sophia when she would wear her squeaky shoes shopping! After stopping 10 times for people to approach & pet the pups, Ted & Noah's movie had finished, and we were all together again. We headed home, and have been chilling ever since.

Sophia was wearing an adorable new outfit today, (I just love yellow on her!) so I asked her if I could take a couple pictures. She graciously agreed. Noah has been playing with his new laptop, and I whooped Paige at ping pong. Ted has been snoozing on the couch for the past 2 hours. It's 7:30, and I guess it's time for me to figure out something for supper. Might just be a 'fend for yourself' or 'cereal' night.

I guess Sunday is my 'day off.' I haven't done any laundry, haven't loaded the dishwasher, and I'm not cooking! Oh yes, I'll spend 1/2 the day tomorrow getting the house back in order, but it's worth it for me. For those of you in a warm climate, today the high was 71.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I see cute buns...

Just moments ago, DH was holding Sophia, and he whispered to her (like on the Sixth Sense 'I see dead people'), "I see cute buns."

"Me too", Sophia says.

"Where?" Daddy asks.

"Right on your butt," Sophia matter-of-factly replies.

Okay, I know I'm risking my 'G' rating here, but I just couldn't resist!

My Family Friendly Blog

Online Dating

The word 'shoot' was used once. I couldn't resist looking it up, after it was revealed that CRAZYLADY's blog was rated R. We know you worked hard for that 'R' rating, though! ;)

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Lazy, Rainy Day!

Diesel being his handsome self

Today we had some scattered rain showers. DH is in the process of building the wrap around porch, so about 1/2 of it has a roof on it. DH and I sat on the dry part, and watched the kids & dogs play in the warm rain.

Here's Paige, watching out for Maggie as she runs by with a ball.

Diesel & Maggie had fun playing ball, and were sliding all over the place on the wet porch. We didn't use pressure treated wood, but instead that 'good stuff' that doesn't splinter, and is suppose to last practically forever (it better for the price!). DH would be disappointed in me that I don't know the name of the stuff. What can I say, I'm not a guy!

Silly pups!

They both look goofy here, but they're getting ready to chew on each other, just an every day occurrence around here. It's good natured play, though!

Sophia wet head

Sophia liked standing out on the rainy part of the porch, and letting the rain drip onto her head, just like Noah.

Where's your shirt, Sophia?

Yup, you guessed it, Noah removed his shirt,
so Sophia had to follow suit.

Diesel takes a break from play

Break's Over!

Noah throws the ball, and Diesel just cannot resist!

Noah, why are you pushing an empty dog crate???

Oops! It wasn't empty...