Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
What I'm looking forward to... Fall, pumpkin carving, festivals & Mini Candy Apples! Take green apples and a melon baller core out rounds of an apple. Stick a wooden skewer into the green skin, dip into melted caramel and whatever else your heart desires. Bite sized autumn.
Two of my favorite Authors (Athol Dickson and Dan Brown) are releasing books on the same day... September 15th. Now I just have to decide which to read first.
Our New parent volunteer program at school. I hope it's successful. I hope that I am able to demonstrate to other parents how rewarding it is to play a part in our students well being and success. It's going to be a great year!
Planning to.... Go to Wimberly in September/october for the olive pressing at Bella Vista. See my current dream below.
Go to Dewberry farm pumpkin patch and corn maze.
...Go to the North Pole on the Polar Express ( Texas State Railroad in November/December 1st class) in our finest pajamas for storytime and hot cocoa.
My current dream... Having an olive grove in the Texas Hill Country. Texas olives and olive oil, I guarantee, are the next big thing. Bella Vista Ranch is the first to offer commercial olive oil in Texas.
Matthew spent a lot of First grade learning about monuments and what they stand for, so this summer we decided to take a road trip to Washington DC. The idea actually came with the release of "Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian". We spent most of the summer putting off our trip, that is, until Daniel began demanding that we go to "Big City". He was relentless in his pursuit of this road trip. After some reluctance, we loaded up our Suburban and head to our first stop, Lafayette Louisiana.
Louisiana is the reason I dreaded this trip in the first place. It seems to never end and you go across one swamp only to find another. Since we left at night, I knew that we wouldn't make it through. We stayed in a Hampton Inn only to find out that it was right next to a small airport, which, as the planes fly over you, actually drip jet fuel onto your head. That was not a pleasant experience.
I annoyed Joe with my insistence of downloading state songs to my iPhone as we drove through each state. Needless to say, we listened to Ray Charles and Charlie Daniels as we left Georgia heading to our next destination, Biltmore, North Carolina. This was the ME part of the trip and I was really looking forward to seeing "America's Castle" the largest residence in the United States. Of course, it was amazing and I am really looking forward to going one Christmas.
Four Days into our Trip we finally made it to "Big City" Washington DC.
We stayed within one mile of The Mall, which I wouldn't recommend. When I say that transportation and parking is a nightmare, I mean it. If I had it to do over again, I would stay at a less expensive hotel twenty miles outside of DC. I would drive to Arlington Cemetery and I would pay whatever they are charging to ride the tour buses to all of Washington DC sites. They drop you off in front of whatever you want to see then you hop back on. We didn't do any of this. We walked the first day, for miles and miles with a four year old, who by this time has decided he has seen enough of "Big City". We managed to see a few museums and decided to head back to our hotel. Another problem with Washington DC, there are no restaurants within the vicinity of the mall (barring bars) that are open after 5:00 pm. There are hotel restaurants, which I have yet to find one that is kid-friendly. We didn't know this so we walked and walked... and three hours later decided, kid-friendly (or budget friendly) or not to eat at our hotel. Daniel promptly passed out as we waited for our food.
We headed back home through Tennessee, which just happens to be where my sister lives. It was the first time we got to use our tent the whole trip, as we got to camp in her yard, right next to the creek. Matthew found a Geode, which when we broke it open was better than any souvenir we bought the whole trip. It sparkled and will make a nice show and tell for school. We really enjoyed getting to visit with my sister, since she's so far from home now. She made sure to show us the town while we were there. We managed to see Nashville and Memphis, as we listened to Mark Cohan and Alanna Miles.
We were gone a total of twelve days and I have to say that my boys were amazing. They were attentive and interested. Nobody missed the TV or video games or toys(much). I know that they are young, but I do hope they always look back on these memories with fondness.
I have to say this about our country as we battle through tough times and turmoil. America truly is amazing, the people, the mountains, the oceans, the food, the music as well as the monuments that define us. I am so proud to be an American.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
My Pet Peeve of the Millenium - Forced self checkouts...
Let me explain.
It was 11:00 last night after taking the boys fishing when we decided that we really needed some groceries. Kroger was right around the corner, so we ran in and grabbed two kid sized carts, one for each kid. They are perfect for keeping the kids occupied, other than all the extra food you have when you get home. (honey, did you buy the 6 pack of cracker-jacks?), but I digress.
We made our way through the store and completely filled up our carts. When we make our way to the registers, we notice something! Not a human being in sight. Let me rephrase, not a human kroger employee in sight. There were other people with carts of groceries wandering around in a daze, realizing they had just possibly wasted an hour of their lives filling a cart with no one to take their money at the end of the trip.
Joe and I, although we despise them, head to the only area with lights...The Dreaded Self-Checkout Lane. We start scanning our items one by one bagging them while the machine hyperventilates if you don't place said item in bag within .5 seconds to be properly weighed to deter thieves. (Here's a hint, kroger, if you don't want your stuff stolen, get a real person to check us out.) Oh, oh fruit, how do you scan fruit! Item lookup, that's how. What, no fruit sticker! agghhh.
Meanwhile... Daniel has taken his little human cart and headed to the dreaded toy and candy aisle. What, is that an employee I see, eyeing my son suspiciously as he loads up his little human cart? How about you come up here to check me out? Again, I digress.
There are four bags on four weighers to stack all your groceries into. We have loaded all four bags full and have begun stacking stuff precariously around and on top of them. As I hold a can of peas contemplating whether to try stacking it or giving up on vegetables all together, the machine threatens to call an attendent. Please, call one, please! We wait and wait. 15 minutes later the machine gives up on said attendant (10 minutes past my giving up) and I manage to stack one more can on top of our bags. We manage to finally get the Kroger machine to TAKE our money.
Thank God, I didn't have coupons that night, as I cannot imagine what is involved in that process.
Next time I will find a manager and demand a 10% employee discount for scanning my own groceries. (along with healthcare and a 401K)
Now, about Home Depot....