Saturday, September 20, 2008

a charlotte of our own

just outside the door from where i sit and type, a beautiful orb weaver spider has laid an egg sac.  she is so beautiful that i just had to call for the kids and show them.  they decided that she was just like charlotte in "charlotte's web," so we have dubbed her "charlotte" in honor of the character.  here she is, watching over her unhatched babies between the rungs of our side porch:

here is a bit closer on her underside...

and a bit closer on the egg sac...

and here she is from the front.  how lovely to find such a treasure!  we'll keep an eye on her and her babies... maybe we'll have a real learning experience if we see them hatch!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

gratuitous pet shots

the days grow shorter, and the weather grows cooler.  it's only supposed to be 81 degrees today!  fall is upon us, and the kids have already started dragging out the halloween decorations.  a little premature i admit, but we do love halloween at our house.  the more time to enjoy the holiday, the better.  they've already chosen their costumes... h will be a magi from magiquest... the interactive game he played this spring in myrtle beach and this summer at great wolf lodge.  s will be laura ingalls from the little house books.  she just loves the stories of pioneer days, mainly because they tell so many animal tales.  she has her little sunbonnet all ready to go.

homeschooling is going well enough that h says he never wants to go back to "regular" school.  we'll see about that.  you can follow our exploits in so far as i am able to post about them on my other blog.

here's jane and tibby for your viewing pleasure.  thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

vacation deal!

i just discovered an excellent vacation deal!  hotels in hilton head 75% off... THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!!!

OMG!  it would be SO GREAT to be there amidst tropical storm hanna's wrath!  let's all meet there for a joint vaca, ok?

too good to pass up!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

homeschool blog

i started a blog about my brand spanking new homeschool experience.

check it out if you're interested... i'm attempting to chronicle our first year of homeschooling.  we'll see how it goes, and if i'll have time to post on EITHER blog.

here it is...

...and thanks in advance for any and all moral support.

Friday, August 22, 2008

my girl is funny

just a little twisted humor from my 7 year old.

you'd think it was a commentary on her grandpa, but she calls him "papa."

what a funny girl.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


well, we've finally been reunited with t after almost a month of separation. he flew here yesterday, and s celebrated by pulling out the front tooth that's been dangling for a few weeks. now she has that toothless grin so cute in kids this age. the tooth fairy came, yada yada.

today on the beach while swimming in the big-but-dangerous waves, what did the girl find floating in the surf? a full can of beer. and it hadn't even expired yet! but alas, it was a busch. almost undrinkable. well, it was a good find anyway. she was proud of herself. here's a strange photo of her 2 big things:

h built an army of sand yesterday then invited the kids next door over to help destroy it. good times.
and LAST but not LEAST... my mom paid s $5 to pit 3 quarts of cherries to make cherry pie for a special treat for t. she diligently put each cherry on the pitter, pushed the plunger, and placed the pitted cherry in the bowl until the whole lot was done. it wasn't until we all started to eat our delectable slices of homemade cherry pie that we realized almost none of the pits had actually been removed! we giggled and giggled, blaming that darn batch of cherries that "grandma" had pitted. s promised to teach grandma how to do a better job with the pitter. s counted the pits on each of our plates to see who had "won." grandma won with a record 9 cherry pits in her piece of pie. we were just glad we hadn't invited company! oh, and the pie was heavenly. wish y'all could've had a slice (with the winning number of pits).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


asked by 7 year old s while pointing to her ribs:

"wait a minute, wait a minute. what are these piano things right here called?"

Monday, July 28, 2008

fried smelt 'n' figs

two of my favorite things, both of which i only am able to have once a year.

imagine my joy when today i was able to have both together! what a combination! gourmets of the world are taking note, i'm sure. oh, and i washed it all down with a vernor's ginger ale.

fried smelt i only get when i'm visiting my parents in michigan. for those who are unfamiliar, smelt are little fish with the heads chopped off, rolled in batter, and deep fried. you eat the whole darn body... spine, fins and all. a few years ago i did a post on bortell's fresh fish market south of ludington on lake michigan.

figs i can usually only find at whole foods market in chapel hill. but today at the meijer store in ludington, there they were... 2 packages for $4! i was moronic with delight. the produce shoppers must have thought i was nuts.

so, on the way home from our shopping trip, i savored each bite of my lunch. it was heavenly.

you can go vomit now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


i promised a post on my summer reading, and i'm as good as my word. for those uninterested in kid lit, just stop reading now, for that is where i have been engrossed. the reading list was chosen for me by h, my rising 4th grade reader. he is neck-deep in "harry potter and the goblet of fire," but has a short stack of books he'd like to read before he jumps into h.p. #5. i try to read everything the kids read so we can discuss it afterward (although i admit skimming junie b jones and magic tree house) and this summer list is no exception.

the first book he chose was "the city of ember," a first novel from author jeanne du prau. i suspended my disbelief, and buried myself in the city below the ground along with the main characters lina and doon. i would have LOVED more character development, more descriptions, more logical explanations... but alas, i had to realize that it is a kids book. from that point on, i enjoyed it for exactly what it is; a courageous adventure story with a cliffhanger ending. will they escape ember before the city dies?

which brings me to h's second choice, the follow-up to the previous book, titled "the people of sparks." kinda gives away the ending of the first book, huh? it's a good "lord of the flies"-style what-if book that gives kids an idea of tolerance versus anarchy. it was more depressing and less adventurous than "ember," but still i'm looking forward to reading the 3rd installment in the series, titled "the prophet of yonwood," which supposedly explains how the emberites ended up in the city underground.

but instead h assigned me to read "the tale of despereaux," a newbery award winning book by the author of "because of winn dixie," kate camillo. his teacher read it to the class this past year, and he loved it so much that he begged me to buy it, read it, and then proceed to make s read it. this is a lovely, well-told fairytale with charming characters and enduring themes. it worked it's magic spell on me, and i understood why h was so taken with it. sophisticated yet simple, it told the tale of a little mouse who dared to be different, and where the consequences took him.

although i'm clean out of kid books for the moment, i did pick up "shadow of the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

now onto our summer listening...

last month weezer came out with their new album, their third self-titled album, but i call it red. i replaced "high school musical 2" in the cd changer of the ol' minivan with this, as hsm2 had run it's course with my brain. the kids were instantly absorbed, and made me play the first 3 songs on the album over and over until i almot got sick of them. we proceeded on to the entire weezer library for variety, and they are choosing their favorites among the repertoire. h likes "say it ain't so," and "the greatest man that ever lived," while s is prone to "pork and beans" and "island in the sun." she likes the "dip-dip's" in that one. my enduring favorite by weezer is "the sweater song."

at sam's club i found a "woody woodpecker" anthology on dvd. woody is one of the few old cartoons they DON'T show on boomerang which is a howling shame. he's hilarious! walter lantz was a genius. the kids are cackling their butts off, something like they do while watching "tom and jerry." nothing like the oldies but goodies, is there?

i would write about the summer movies we've seen thus far, but i'm out of breath.

hope your summers are all pleasant and may they all be filled with good reading, listening and watching as ours has.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


i greet you once again from the lovely western shore of michigan. we will be here, as usual, for an extended amount of time, soaking up the rays and enjoying the cooler temperatures. my parents are always kind enough to host us without either losing their marbles OR kicking us to the curb. so, for THAT, i thank them profusely.

i realized it's been awhile since h made a blog appearance. his hair has gotten really long, and is now, in fact, longer than his sister's. this creates no end of glee for the girl, who has morphed into a camo-garbed tomboy this summer. so here is h in his goggles after having explored the depths of lake michigan. this is the first year, believe it or not, that he has consented to swim underwater. we never pushed him, and after 9 long years, he is finally discovering the joys of swimming.

we were lucky enough to have a visit from my high school pal tracey and her son kailash who are normally found on the small island of koh tao off the coast of thailand in the gulf of thailand. the kids spent a fun day in the sand while tracey and i reminisced. below is the lovely lady who was once my maid of honor about a zillion years ago...

that's all for now. today is a wee bit overcast, so i may take the kids to a movie or sumpin'. although, it's terribly tempting to curl up with a good book while they're giggling at old woody woodpecker cartoons! more on what i'm reading in my next post. promise.

Monday, July 07, 2008

locks of love

s had been thinking about her hair a LOT lately.  it was long, it was heavy, it was hot, and it took a long and painful time to brush the tangles out each day.  still she loved it, and when we went for a trim last week, she wasn't quite ready to say goodbye.

she thought some more, and when i went to get MY hair trimmed today, she had finally decided it was time.

our friend christie took the kids to see "kit kittredge" so i could have time to pack for our long trip to michigan tomorrow.  i gave her the option of taking the kids to "snip-its," the cool kids' salon by the theater, to do the deed.

i was kinda sad to miss the big event, but was VERY excited to see the finished product.  here she is, holding her hair that is destined for locks of love.  that is... after she shows grandma & papa.

cute, huh?  and much more spunky & practical.  and don't you just LOVE how she kept the hair wrap she got in myrtle beach back in april?

oh, and the kit kittredge movie?  the 9 year old boy proclaimed it to be better than iron man.  figure THAT one out.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

stimulating conversation

i'm just so curious...

what did YOU do with your economic stimulus payment?

wanna know what we did?

we paid our quarterly taxes with it.  

the irs stimulated ITSELF.  a whole new concept!


Friday, July 04, 2008

ding, dong the helms is dead

oh, gosh darn it, that iconic paragon of my great state of north carolina died this morning.

now what will folks think of our state?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wii wii wii, all the way home.

ever since the nintendo wii dropped in price to a piddling $250, we've had our savings stash ready to go and buy one.

the problem?

finding one!  we weren't willing to camp outside best buy on the off chance that a delivery MIGHT occur, and we MAY get an OPPORTUNITY to purchase one.  no.  were we willing to spend sleepless nights with black bags under our eyes bidding for one on ebay?  again, no.  but whenever we are in or near a big box store, we check the electronics department for the elusive console.

the kids and i needed to run some errands at walmart today-- toothpaste and lactaid pills being the MAIN needs-- and thought we'd check the locked glass display case on the off-chance that they'd gotten a shipment since monday when t was there.

imagine my surprise when i saw a fully stocked shelf!  i did a double take, then called t.  "is this for REAL?" i asked as i read the exterior of the box for him.  "sounds like it!" he said.  so to the delighted squeals of my chil'ren (no longer thinking i'm the meanest hag on the planet) i bought the darn thing.

we carefully unplugged the xbox 360, and replaced it with the wii.

they've been bowling ever since.

thank GOODNESS, because it's 95 degrees outside.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

not for the faint of heart

girlfriend turned 7 today!

we celebrated on wednesday since t had to be in charlotte for heroes con this weekend.  her request was for LEOPARD PRINT STUFF.  good thing she made the request months ago, because i searched every bargain bin, clearance rack, and closeout sale from here to eternity to find all this stuff.

an animal print NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!

look at all the loot!

she's pretty darn pleased with herself.

i will apologize for never posting anymore.  life has gotten in the way, and posting has been quirky and difficult.  i've found i need to find the photos i want to post, edit their size in photoshop, then upload them.  often, i've made posts only to have them refuse to upload.  my frustration and my general lack of free time has caused the neglect.  and the kicker?  i'll have even less time this fall because...



i'm homeschooling h next year.  if you find my dead body at the bottom of your local neighborhood cliff, you'll know why.  i think i may have lost my last remaining marble.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

strawberry day

today we got a box of fresh strawberries and found this giant among the batch...

s was quite tickled about it, and wanted to take a photo of it. i used it as a small opportunity to test out the new camera. i still need to read the manual and experiment some more.

the deck floor with shadows...

the girl getting cleaned by jingle bell.

and from the mouth of this babe came... "fallin'... yes i am fallin'... and she keeps callin'... my bank account."

we're going to see lou reed on april 28th! i am so excited.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

mouths of babes 2

s yet again, listening to the "across the universe" soundtrack:

"all you need is love.  you don't even need a toilet."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

mouths of babes

6 year old daughter s, as told to her father:

"wouldn't it be a horrible life if you had a dead old guy hot glued to your head?"

Thursday, January 31, 2008

totally tubular

to find out WHY ON EARTH we would need 250 mailing tubes, please go HERE.

it's pretty exciting!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

family resemblance

more than 50 years and a generation apart.  my mom (left) and my daughter (right).

what do you think?

anybody want a dog?

well, if you do, i found him for you in the durham herald-sun this morning.

sounds appealing, doesn't he?

makes jane look like a wimp.