Monday, October 29, 2007

I ain't lion

Over the past couple of years, lions have become a popular costume in our house.

This is C in 2003, when he was 2. I don't even remember where I got this costume but it was just fuzzy sack with a hood. We put on yellow sweats (you can't imagine how hard toddler sweats in yellow are to come by) under it because it had no arms or legs.

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This picture is the same halloween, I just show it because of the funny back story. Dh worked nights at Kinko's at the time. We took C trick or treating and then stopped by to show daddy his costume. While we were there, he was running around behind the counter like he always did. As we headed out to leave, the cops pull up, guns drawn, yelling at us to get out of the way. While I was taking this picture, C was pushing the button for the silent alarm and calling the cops!! Never would have guessed I would get a picture of my kid doing that :)
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This picture is Lizzie in the lion sack last year. This was taken at school. she was tired and stressed (too many people she didn't know) and mad that she couldn't stay in my room.

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Finally, this is us this year. I am the lion in my brown sweats and silly mask. I wish they made lion sacks to fit mommies :)

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Devils are a recurring theme in our family as well. My aunt sewed me a devil costume for my first halloween and both kids have worn it. C for his second halloween because he was only 12 days old for his first halloween. Lizzie worn it on her first as well. I don't have pictures of because her's were lost when the drive died. I've also dressed a devil for various halloweens throughout the years. It and army man were my 2 fall back costumes. If I lamed out and didn't come up with anything, I would toss on camo pants and khaki green t-shirt and call it army or a short red dress and high heels with a horn headband and call it devil. I still have all the parts of both costumes but I like the ones I've come up with recently more :)

Our fun weekend

We had a fun and busy weekend. Friday night, C's school had a retro dance. Originally, I was going to dress him from the 50s and Liz from the 80s because both are easy and cheap to do. Then C decided that he wanted to dress "fancy" which meant dress pants, a button up shirt and his tie. He is so funny. Anytime we are going to a party, he always to dress "fancy" I agreed that was fine and he could dress fancy. I dressed from the 90s (C said 1996 was retro and that I would ok LOL) because I still have those clothes. Next year, I think I will either not dress up or I'll try for the 80s or 70s. As we got dressed, we found out that C's fancy clothes don't fit him well anymore. We couldn't get the neck buttoned and the sleeves were too short. We ended up letting him wear it with jeans and tennis shoes, unbuttoned collar and rolled up sleeves. He looked stylish, although not from a certain decade.

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We dressed Lizzie in an over sized t-shirt and ripped tights. Then we put a belt (actually one of my full circle head bands with an elastic piece because apparently her waist is the same size as my head :) )on her and pulled the shirt up so it created a blousy effect and skirt. Then we spiked her hair (we got some major gel to do the job) and put blue eye shadow on her. She was a punk rock super star

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The dance was fun. The major issues was the "DJs" were high school girls who had no idea about retro music. They ended up playing the same several songs repeatedly because they didn't know what else to play. Several other K students showed up so C had plenty of people to hang with. Both kids danced their pants off for the whole 2 hours.

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We came home and they CRASHED big time.

Saturday night, we went pumpkin chucking. A friend of FIL's works for the ACoE and a few years ago, they had a pumpkin chucking contest. He and his students made this massive pumpkin catapault and when the contest was over they didn't want to get rid of it. So every year we have a party at his farm and roast hot dogs and do a hayrack ride and chuck pumpkins into the field.

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We invited J and his family and the kids all had a really great time. At first, it wasn't terribly exciting because the field was unmowed and you couldn't see the pumpkins splatter. We chucked a few pumpkins and then FIL got the mower and mowed a couple of passes where the pumpkins were landing. Then it got better. The boys and Liz got to help load the basket and tell them when to throw the pumpkins.

We chucked for awhile then little J decided he was hungry and I agreed I was as well so we started roasting the hot dogs. The boys ran and played in the dark for a while, then we did the hay rack ride. MIL and her sister decided to dress up and scare the kids. She went way over the top and little J and Liz were both crying by the time my mom finally told them to cut it out and leave them alone. After the hayrack ride, everyone was tired so we headed home and to bed :)

Sunday we went to the free movie (surf's up) and then home to take a nap and finish carving all the pumpkins that have been collected this fall :)

Today Dave and C went bowling and Liz and I joined them for pizza. Now she is napping and he is playing a video game. In a couple of hours, we are going to go trick or treating at the mall, which will be crazy and insane and miserably hot. However, the kids enjoy it and it is a nice way to trick or treat, in case the weather turns dicey on Weds.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead> is a Mexican/Spanish holiday honoring the lives of the deceased. The first I ever heard of this holiday was my freshman year in high school in Spanish 1. A bit of background on this. My Spanish teacher was HORRIBLE. She rarely had control of the classroom, she cried probably once a week in class because the students wouldn't listen to her. She would take weeks (and sometimes months) to grade and return assignments. We did a food unit and she left the leche (milk) setting on the table for 4 days before a student finally took it and threw it away. During the same unit, a student in the class threw one of the fruits at her. She spins around from the board and demands "who threw that?" The person that threw it had picked up the other piece of fruit to lauch it as well and simply sat there with his hand in the air, holding the apple and just didn't move. Apparently she didn't notice because she demands again "if someone doesn't step forward, I'll have to punish everyone" Then she turned back to the board and continued writing. The student proceeded to throw the apple at her again. Students would show up until after she took attendence and then leave the room while she wasn't looking to go to lunch early. She never figured out what was happening. Her comment always was "hm, I thought they were here, I must have done attendence wrong but it is too late now" She had "Pesatas" that she gave out for participation in class. Her student assistant took her master and made tons of copies of it and passed them out to everyone. Then, instead of participating, all we had to do was cut out 5 (you only needed one a day) and hand them in at the end of the week and we would get an A for participation. It took a few months, but eventually she figured out that no one was participating, yet we were all handing in enough pesatas. She bought a cutsie little stamp (I want to say Cabbage Patch Kids, but I can't remember for sure)and stamped the backs of all the pesatas she handed out. To combat this, her assistant took her stamp, brought it to lunch and stamped all the copies he had made. She never did figure out what was happening. There were 2 Spanish 1 classes and at one point in the year, we took a test. Spanish 1 5th hour did much better on the test than Spanish 1 4th hour. She decided to add a curve to the grades but curves the classes seperately. This caused the people in 5th hour to have a general cow because they were all very competative about GPA, even during freshman year. We argued with her, explaining that class rank wasn't broken up 4th hour and 5th hour and the freshman class was the freshman class, that curving the grades seperately caused some people to lose their spot in the class rankings and that wasn't fair. She was having none of it so one of the girls in the class announced that she wouldn't participate again until the grades were curved together. Several of her friends were in the class and backed her and the idea spread to the rest of the class. We all sat silently and refused to participate for nearly 10 minutes. At that point, she had asked several questions and had gotten nothing back except silent stares. That was all she could take and she broke down bawling and promised to fix the grades and BEGGED us to "please, please please just start answering questions again. It isn't fair for you all to sit there and not say anything" She did fix the grades and it caused several people to score over 100 on the test, but there wasn't a lot she could do, aside from just teaching and hoping we retained something without participating. 6 weeks before the end of the year, she was moved out of the classroom, into a large closet in the home-ec, where she did lesson planning. She was replaced in the classroom with a sub whose only Spanish background was the fact that she taught in Texas for a few months. We learned little or nothing that year and from that point forward, all the Spanish classes were remedial, trying to catch us up to were we should be.

Anyway, all of that is because somebody mention day of the dead and it reminded me of her trying to celebrate it with us. She made Pan de Muerto, which is "bread of the dead" and brought it in. We had only been in school a few months but we already knew she was totally insane. The bread is supposed to have licorice in it but she went totally overboard. The whole room reeked of it for 2 days. I wouldn't touch it and neither would most of my classmates. Afterward, we termed it "Death Bread" because it probably would have killed us if we tried to eat it!

Torn paper tutorial

Creating torn paper

This is an action you can download from Atomic Cupcake. Although there are plenty of reasons to pay the fee and get the actions from them, this is not one of them.

1. Create a new document
2. Create a background or place paper on the document. Then you will need to select another paper or background to place in a second layer over the first. For my example, I have chosen the red and blue papers from Hummie’s patriotic kit.
3. Resize your papers to fit your document size. I scrap 8.5x11 and most papers are 12x12 (or 8x8 occasionally) so I have to resize nearly everything.

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4. Once your papers are resized, determine which paper you want to tear. Move this layer to the top of your layers palette. In my example, I’m tearing the blue paper so I have made it the uppermost layer.

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5. Select the free hand lasso tool in the tool box.

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6. Decide how big you want your torn piece to be. I prefer bigger over smaller so I am selecting a large area.
7. Make sure the layer you want to tear is selected, then click the left hand corner of the document and drag your mouse across the page. There is no need to worry about keeping a straight line since you want it to be jagged. Once you reach the right side of the document, drag the pointer up, over and back down to the starting point. It is ok to go outside the edges of your document for this to ensure that you get all of the paper you want to tear.

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8. Once you have a shape selected (indicated by the marching ants line), click Layer>New>layer via cut or type shift+control+j. This places your selection on a new layer.

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9. Now you need to do something with the rest of the background layer. You can either hide it by clicking the eye icon next to it or you can delete it by right clicking and selecting delete layer. I chose to hide mine for this example.
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10. Click on your torn layer to highlight it. Then right click and select duplicate layer.

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11. Click your bottom torn layer to make it active. Select your move tool or type V

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12. Use the arrows on the keyboard to nudge the layer down a little bit. Try 5 or 6 pixels to start.
13. With the bottom torn layer still active, select Image>Adjustments>Hue/saturation or type ctrl+u and increase the lightness by 50.

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14. Next select Filter>Texture>Craquelure. Play with the setting until you get the right amount of texture.

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15. Select your eraser tool. At this point I like to zoom in to about 50% so I can actually see what I’m doing.

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16. Drag the eraser along the bottom of the lighten layer to make the cut more irregular.

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17. Hide all layers except your two torn layers then select Layer>Merge Visible or type Shift+Ctrl+E. This will merge the two torn layers so that they can be moved together.

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18. Don’t forget to add a drop shadow and you are done.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kudos and other things

So I posted a tutorial that I wrote last night. Typically, I couldn't care less what people think but in this case, someone I really respect commented that she thought I did a good job on it and I'm am outrageously pleased by it. I know I link and I link to her, but seriously go visit Hummie Her site is like the scrapping holy grail. Anything you want, you can find either at her site or from her site.

And there are a million other things I should be doing right now, but instead of vacumming, I'm sitting on my backside, blogging. Sad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Folded corner tutorial

Thanks to Claudette for providing the original tut that I followed to figure out how to do this. Thanks also to Hummie for the eyelet I used in the final corner. It is from her patriotic kit.

In your document, either drag your paper in or fill with color.

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Select the Polygonal Lasso tool. With this tool, draw a triangle shape in the corner of your choice. I have chosen the lower right hand corner.

Once you have drawn the triangle, use ctrl+alt+j to create a new layer with the triangle selection on it.

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Click on the background layer to highlight it. Then ctrl + click on the triangle layer to select it on the background layer. Then hit delete to delete the shape from the background layer.

Once you have deleted the triangle shape from the background layer, click on layer 2 to highlight it. Then select the movement tool (or type v). Click the bounding box and type 180 in the degrees turn box. Confirm this rotation by pressing enter or clicking the hand tool.

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Duplicate the triangle layer. Drag the copy under the original triangle layer.

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Switch the foreground color to black. Click the gradient/fill tool (or press G) and fill the triangle shape on layer 2 copy with black.

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Click the move tool (or press V) then click on the bounding box edge. At the top of the window, 3 icons will appear. Click the bend tool.

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This will cause a grid of points to appear on the black triangle layer.

Click the points at the edge of the triangle and pull them slightly outward. This will cause the black triangle to peek out from under the blue triangle. The black (aka the shadow) will show were the corner is folded because the corner will be further away from the background.

Click the check mark by the bend tool to confirm this change.

In the layers palette, select the shadow layer then the opacity slider. Make the opacity around 50% You can play until it looks realistic.

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Set the mode to multiply.

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Click the eye icon on the background layer to hide it. Then highlight layer 2. Next select Layer>merge visible.

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Unhide the background layer by clicking the box where the eye icon was previously.

You can now use the dodge tool to highlight the top corner of the folded corner, making it appear that the paper is catching some glare. Alternately, you can place a brad, eyelet or other fastner to “hold” the corner down.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Essential oils

Anyone know anything about essential oils? Can they go bad? I went to the HFS to get some stuff for the humidifier today and the testers were horrible. I actually gagged when I smelled the tea tree oil. Which, then of course I had to proclaim, "Evan, this is horrible. Smell this" LOL The bottle I bought smelled fine, but the tester was bad bad bad!

I'm also very hungry. This is nothing new but I sat here for several minutes trying to figure out why I was hungry. Then it occurred to me that I hadn't actually eaten dinner since I had a super late lunch. So no wonder, seven hours after my last meal, I'm hungry :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Lizzie has croup. Fortunately, her mother still gets croup (the doctor tells me that I really should have outgrown it by my teens but I still get it every year)so no one knows better how to deal with it. She was up most of the night barking like crazy. She seems to feel better today, but that is probably as much being up (since laying flat makes it worse but she wouldn't stay propped up) as anything else. Once she gets up from her nap, I gotta get the bedroom cleaned up and get the humidifer out and set up so that can help a little tonight. I know they say that cough meds don't help, but I believe they do, so we have some of that (triamanic thin strips are really great) and hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. When I get it, it last for a week or more, because I won't take the time to rest like I should. We'll still do her ABC 123 class tomorrow (last one) and then probably won't do much else for the rest of the week.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Yesterday was Christopher's birthday. He turned 6 :) :( It is pretty sad to see my baby growing up, although I know that it is bound to happen. He shares a b-day with my dad (by choice since I had a scheduled c/s with him), which they both think is rather cool :) My dad gets off work for his birthday so weeks ago, we decided to take C out of school and do something fun for his b-day. Thanks to Henny Penny we were pointed to the Furrow winery and Red Barn Pumpkin Patch in El Paso Il. We took the kids there and it was pretty nice. Unlike Curtis ORchard, you don't pay extra for everything you do. There is a $3 charge for each kid, but adults are free. Unfortunately, since it was a Friday morning, there was a lot of stuff going on. They had a "straw castle", a bounce house, a corn maze, and a small petting zoo with goats and sheep. They also had some vehicles, a boat, a tractor and a truck, sunk into the ground that the kids could play on. We were there about 45 minutes before the 55 degrees, ominous clouds and 40 mile an hour winds proved to be too much for us. Mom and dad stopped at the winery on the way out then we surprised the kids with Chuck E Cheese for lunch. They both loved it with Lizzie running around exclaiming "I NEED another token" every few minutes. Finally we handed over the cup and she went and sat on the "vet truck" ride and just fed it token after token after token. Christopher was thrilled to get to play all the video games with paw-paw. When we came in, they asked if we were celebrating anything today and we told them birthdays. So they gave them both balloons with their ages written on them and birthday crowns to wear. Dad passed his stuff on to Lizzie :) As we were wrapping things up, Chuck E came and sang them happy birthday and they were presented with an ice cream sandwich with a candle in it. C apparently does not like ice sandwiches so he let paw-paw have it all. We rounded up all of our tickets to turn in and found out we were 15 tickets short of getting the thing he wanted. I took a dollar and went and played skee ball and won him 23 tickets. He was able to get a Spiderman pencil set that included a bag, a pencil, a notebook, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. With the 10 extra tickets, Lizzie got a Tootsie Roll. Then it was home for presents. My mom got C a Nintendo DS, we got him the Shrek the 3rd game to go with it. From Lizzie was the "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and a couple of other small things.

Today, we had his party. He invited 3 friends from school and their families. I'm so excited to report that they all showed up! This is only his 3rd year having kids at his party and in the past, it hasn't gone so well. Anyway, J and J, B and A, and L and L and their moms all made it, plus grandma Jan, Grandma Elsie, Grandma Jill, and Paw-paw Randy were all here. We had a Harry Potter party and we had beautiful weather so we were able to do it all in the back yard. We set up a canopy and decorated the front with a banner that had the trio on it and said "A Magical Day", then we took gold and crimson (Griffendor colors) streamers and hung them around the sides of the canopy, as well as the flag pole, driveway reflector and the gate in the front. When the kids got here, we let them play for awhile and then we had the decorate their treat bags (you can't buy HP treat bags. I looked everywhere and couldn't find them or things to go in them) with my super fun stamp/markers and HP stickers. While mom stuffed the treats into the treat bags, I had the kids play Bingo. We played until everyone had won a prize and then we let them go play and swing in the trees somemore (we have a magnolia tree that everyone that comes over loves to climb in because it has nice low branches). While they did that, mom and I set out the cake and ice cream. Then I made all the kids gather for a picture and then we served everything. Most of the kids didn't eat the cake but they all managed to make a terrific mess. :) Then presents. C got a Power Ranger gear set from J, die cast trucks from B and a Wolverine toy from L. Plus, he got a TRU gift card from Uncle Dave, a movie gift card from Grandma Jill and money from the other grandmas. Between the GC and the cash, he had $55 to spend. After everyone left, I made him help me write the thank you notes (I wrote, he signed) and then we went shopping. TRU has Buy 2 get one free right now on video games. He was able to get Scooby Doo: Who's watching Who, Spongebob:The Creature From the Krusty Krab, and Power Rangers for the BGA (which the ds will play)for $37. Then, while we were there, mom decided to get him the accsesory pack, which includes small boxes for the games, a car plug, screen protectors, headphones, extra stylus and cover for the system. Then she bought him a bag to carry it all in. She told him that is part of his Xmas, but I know she will buy him something else because that is what she does when she says something is for Xmas ahead of time :)

And now it is bedtime, for having 8 children at my house wears me out. I didn't even do much with the kids, but the running and fetching and organizing was more than enough to knock me out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rakscraps October kit

I'm 100% for supporting breast cancer research and awareness and I think it is spectacular that so many companies support it when people buy certain products (which I get is totally a marketing ploy but I'm willing to be suckered in the name of something so important) I just wish that the color didn't have to be pink. I hate pink and the only I'll buy anything pink is when it supports breast cancer research. I also wish that even if they use pink, that people didn't make ugly crap in the name in the breast cancer research. When we order our checks, they all cost the same amount but two or three gives money to causes and I first looked at the breast cancer research checks. They are HORRIBLE. They are a mixture of light and pastel pink and are covered in these huge horrific rose pictures. I ended up picking the ones that support maintaining water ways and sea life because they aren't ugly.

I feel similarly about this months RAK Kit. I'm thrilled that they are trying to raise awareness about breast cancer but I don't like the stuff they are producing. I actually deleted probably half of the stuff I dled last night because it is covered in flowers and just nto something I'll ever use. This isn a knock about the designers because I dl their stuff every month and I typically love it. They are one of the few sites that I dl from regularly and they have great designers who work hard to produce good work. They just picked a really crummy motif this month (I was actually hoping for halloween or fall since I have a bunch of pictures about those things and don't want to use the same kits over and over.)

I'm really looking forward to the 3rd round of entries in the Just for the scrap of it so you think you can design contest. They are all fall based and I picked up a couple of piece off various designers blogs yesterday but the rest won't be up until after judging (at least I don't think because I can't find it on the site but they have lots of boy kits from round 2 available).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I am not normal

There was a commercial on the radio yesterday for a local jewelry store and the guy says something like "guys, I guarantee that if you give your wife jewelry for your annivesary or her birthday, you will get the best response you could ever imagine" Dh started laughing and said "If I gave you a diamond the response I would get would be a serious butt kicking" I nodded, because really, I don't like diamonds or jewelry of any kind. Then I said "If given the choice between a DSLR or diamond, I'd take the camera anyday. If the choice was diamond or poke in the eye with a sharp stick, well the diamond would win, but just barely" LOL Of course, then dh was teasing me about silly things that he could get instead of a diamond said "What if I got you Tupperware" I would be thrilled since a full set of nice Tupperware is on my way too expensive to buy list.

I told him I wanted to call the jewelry store and tell them they shouldn't guarantee something like that because not every woman in the world likes diamonds.

Hard Worker?

I volunteered in C's class today and I don't know what kind of slack ass volunteers his teacher is used to having but she always seems genuinely surprised when I finish a project in a reasonable amount of time. A few weeks ago, I helped stuff folders and it took me maybe 45 minutes to do 24 folders. It wasn't difficult, I simply collated all the large sheets together and then all the small sheets and then had a pile of bag tags that couldn't be collated with anything else. Then I picked up the little pieces, then the big pieces, then the tags and dropped them in the folder. She commented that the person that normally does it takes a couple of hours to do it and was really shocked that I still had time to help with snack.

Then today, she had me and another girl doing letter recognition assesments on the kids (I ended up having to do C's, which I didn't want to because he doesn't do things for me like he should, and I was AMAZED at the number of letters he knew) and when that was done, she had me make envelope games (I didn't mention that I'm halfway through making my own file folder games but that I haven't worked on them in forever). I was only there until 11:30 and I started bringing stuff in about 11:20 because I was done. She said "If you need glue at home, you can take that bottle with you" I said, "actually, I'm done, they just need to be laminated and when that is done, I can take them home and cut them out." She just gaped and me and said "you're kidding. You can't be done" Nope, seriously done.

I'm not exactly the world's most motivated person so it strikes me as odd that she thinks I'm such a great helper. It just seems like anybody would be able to do these things in a timely manner and it surprises me that she is surprised when it happens.

I really enjoy helping in his classroom. I had to submit a background check form today to actually be allowed to work in the class (which is probably part of the reason that I'm mostly stuck in the hall) so that should be done soon. I'm not sure if I want to go back to work of it I want to be a professional volunteer. I do well at this. It allows me to be in a classroom, working with kids, without having a terrible amount of responsiblity. It also avoids all the crap of work place politics since I don't actually work there, I'm just a volunteer. Nobody wants to piss off the unpaid help, especially if that help is actually helpful :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend round up

We did a couple of fall themed events this weekend, which were pretty enjoyable. Saturday, we went to Harvest Fest at Prairie Farms. It was great. They had hayrack rides, bounce houses, face painting, apple painting, pumpkin painting, necklace making, balloon animals, etc, all free. They were fully on the ball too. We got there at 10:50 (it was supposed to start at 11) and not only was it open, everything was set up and the tables were manned and ready to go. The only things that weren't up and running at that point was the hayrack ride and the balloon animals. The kids were able to get in and get things done before it got too crowded, which was great. Lizzie had a horrible melt down that resulted in my dragging her out of the park, while she screamed, cried, assaulted me and begged for her nonni (grandma). My apologies to any local mommies who got to witness that spectecle (sp). She went home and took a 2 hour nap :) C and my mom had such a good time, they ended up staying for 2 hours after we left and doing things several times.

Today, we went to pumpkinpalooza at Allerton Park. The best word to describe the whole thing is unorganized. We got there about 10:50, when it was scheduled to start at 11 (yes, we do generally show up for things early). We pulled in and the parking lot was full. There were a couple of spaces, but they looked like they were in front of a drive of some sort. I asked the girl working by the gate if I could park there and she shrugged and said "I guess, I don't know". So I went ahead and parked there and it turned out to be ok but I later found out there was a large parking lot behind one of the barns that we could have parked in. Once we got parked, we headed inside the barn. The only people in there were vendors so we walked on out the back and found the people that were working (this is probably 10:55 so 5 minutes before they were supposed to start) in a meeting where they were being assigned jobs for the day. None of the crafts were set up, no one was selling tickets for anything, etc. We walked back in the vendor barn and looked around for a few minutes. When we came back out, they had opened the ticket booth, although there were still nothing set up to spend tickets on and set up one craft. At that point there were probably 15-20 kids milling around. Since there was nothing else to do, they were all crowded around this little table trying to make leaf magnets and popcicle stick pumpkins. C started making a pumpkin but after having to wrangle for glue and paint and everything else, he finally gave up and just brought it home to finish. Mom also grabbed a couple of the leaf magnet kits for the kids to finish later. We wandered over to the hayrack ride and found out they were getting ready to take a group back to the pumpkin patch. We hopped on and headed back. It was, swear to God, like 100 yards away but the kids liked riding the on the hayrack. When we pulled into the patch, I noticed there was a gold pumpkin laying on the ground. I told C to grab it and he hopped off the hayrack and did just that. It had a sticker on the bottom saying to take it to the ticket booth to claim your prize. When we got back, C and I headed for the ticket booth and the guy who was selling the pumpkins followed us and said "any pumpkins you picked in the patch is 4 dollars" I sort of looked at the guy and said "this is a prize pumpkin, I'm not paying $4 for it, especially since I probably won't get to keep it". "Oh, I didn't know there was any prize pumpkin" All I could think was "if you had read the 3 whole paragraphs worth of information on the flyer that everyone got as they came in, you would have known it because it said it right there" We took the pumpkin to the booth and they gave us a little stuffed scarecrow guy. C asked if he could keep the pumpkin and the guys responded with "I don't know, I guess so" and C was stoked. He actually started to walk away without the scarecrow and then when he remembered it he said "I don't need that thing, I'll give it to my sister since I get to keep the pumpkin"

About that time, we noticed that they were finally putting up some signs showing where things were, only 30 minutes after it was supposed to have started. We went back in the barn and played some games and got face painting done. When we asked the girls running the games if there were anymore outside, we were told no so we wasted all of the tickets at the couple of games inside. Then, we went back outside because they finally had the pumpkin painting set up. Lizzie went to do that and mom and C went to build a scarecrow. C was bored to tears and they quit after a few minutes but not before we found out there were actually more games outside. We ended up getting some more tickets so that C could do the ring toss and pumpkin bowling. He is quite the rockstar at pumpkin bowling. He managed a spare both times and won himself and Lizzie candy bracelets. :) Lizzie tried real hard at the ring toss, but just couldn't manage it. The guy running it was super and gave her a piece of candy for her efforts.

Th day ended with another trip to the pumpkin patch, picking some HUGE pumpkins to carve our cool designs on (we bought books with princesses and superheroes at Curtis Orchard) and another screaming meltdown when I told Lizzie it was time to leave. I drug her to the car while C spend his last ticket doing the ring toss for warheads sour candy and mom bought a bracelet. We didn't get off the drive into the park before Lizzie was asleep. She ended up taking a super long nap which caused problems at bedtime. In fact, when I started writing this, I was thinking that my last line would be "and if she doesn't sleep soon, I'm going to FREAK OUT" Fortunately, while I've been writing this, she finally went to sleep.

And now, it is time for bedtime for me :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Letter people

Do you remember the letter people? I loved them as a kid and was looking for some videos to show C. Sadly, the library doesn't have anything but thanks to the power of the internet, I have found most of the letters on Youtube :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Preschool and preschool at home

I've done more research on preschools and unless I get the principal of a local high school to call me back, I think I have figured out what we want to do. I'm fairly certain we are going to end up going with the park district preschool program. Unfortunately, a lot of the others I looked at were religious based (which is fine, but having taught in that environment, I don't think I want that again also I have this huge post about religion composed in my head but I know that it will piss off and alienate most of my friends so I'm hesitate to actually put the thoughts out there), super expensive (when did $160 become the going rate for 2 days a week of preschool?), or don't offer a 2 day option for 3 year olds. I just don't think that 3 day a week is the best choice for someone who is barely 3. I'm going to call them and see about a visit in the next couple of months and then enrollment is in April. I'm still debating if I want to go with the 3 year old classes or if I want to hold off until 4 but touring won't hurt in either case. I toured C's school probably 5 times before I settled on it. :)

Some of you may remember that I set up my house to resemble a preschool, with centers and everything. At last posting, my centers were complete except math and science. Well it still isn't complete, but at least I've started on it. I started making discovery bottles tonight. Click here for several ideas Over all they are pretty easy, although I've only made a few. Basically, you just need empty water bottles and the stuff to put in them. So far, all I've done are the liquid bottles. We did an ocean bottle, which turned out great. Two glitter bottles, which are ok. If you do these (from the above link) don't put food coloring in the water. It just makes the glitter hard to see. So we did oen with red food coloring and red glitter and on with just red glitter. I also made a quite bottle (which Lizzie is currently sleeping with LOL)that didn't turn out so great. I don't know if it was because they syrup I used was at least 2 years old or if it was because it was light syrup or if it was because I put the wrong stuff in it but in any case, instead of remaining suspended in the liquid like it is supposed to, it all floats to the top. I can make it move by flipping the bottle endlessly end over end, but it takes a while and is a pain.

I have most of my file folder games colored and ready to be cut out and glued, I just need to get on it and get it done. Of course, we have the counting bears and the unifix cubes and I need something to store the magnifying glasses in. I need to get a couple of other discovery bottles done. I'm thinking the magnetic bottle, I just need to find the stuff to put in it and get some magnets. I also want to buy magnet balls and wands and a balance scale but that will have to wait until I have more money.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I read, all the time, anything I can get my hands on. I have been known to be be so obsessive about it that I will read cereal boxes and instructions, just to have something to read. I carry a book everywhere I go and I leave a selection of magazines in my car so that should I manage to get out of the house without a book (like if I'm on my way to the library or something strange like that) I'll still have something to read should the opportunity come up. I have a big purse for the express purpose of being able to carry a book with me all the time. I'm also considering buying some cargo pants for winter because the pocket is the perfect size for a book. I have some cargo shorts and I've worn them to death this summer.

Lizzie is following in my footsteps and totes book around with her all the time. She would gladly sit and have 10 books in a row read to her, if we would do it. She keeps several in the car and is always bringing new out to carry around with us.

From day one, we have always read to the kids. It didn't even matter what we read when they were little (when C was a baby, I was taking business classes and I would read my econ textbook outloud to him while he nursed. I had to do the reading and he got to hear me read, everyone was happy). What we have never done is compete in reading programs (aside from summer reading) mostly because I'm really too lazy to fill out the forms and take them in. Since we are at the library at least once, if not twice, a week now, I decided to do the Wild REader program. So we have been keeping track of the books we read to the kids.

Now, all of a sudden, all kinds of reading incentive programs are coming home from school. We got one last week that was "everyday you read at least 10 minutes, put a sticker on the day" When you take it back at the end of the month, you get a coupon for a free pizza. Then we got one today that said "for every book you read, decorate a pumpkin and turn them in" After you do five, you get a $5 GC to Borders. The problem with this one (and I need to clarify with the teacher on this one) is that we are currently reading Harry Potter Goblet of Fire at bedtime. We are about 100 pages into it, but there is no way we will finish it by the end of the time period. I need to find out if I can list like every 10 pages that we read because 10 pages of HP is the same, if not more, reading than your average picture book. I've been counting 10 page sets for the library so I hope they will let me count the same way for school. There is some incentive for the classroom that has the most books read during the time. C's class didn't win the Walk fundraiser so hopefully they can do something with this.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Overheard on the bus

Dude 1: "Hey, when we get done, we need to order a pizza. Do you like black olives?"
Dude 2: "Black olives? Yeah, I like them on my pizza but I don't want them on my penis"

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sick to death of tagging

I have spent literally the last 2 hours tagging like mad in ACDSee and I'm fully sick of it. However, I am almost done. I have my paper file left to tag, although it is by far my largest file. Fortunately, some of my stuff is already done in there. Since I figured out what the heck I'm doing, my tags have been better. Part of the problem, I think, is that the window for ACDSee and my "Files" folder in Vista look similar. I think that some times I thought I was moving stuff around in ACDSee and I was actually using Vista, which destroyed my tags and created orphan files.

I also figured out how to clean up my database and get rid of all the thumbnails that are no longer connected to a file. That took forever but now they are gone and my tags should be good to go from here on out. My orphans are out of my database so know opening and moving files should be much easier. Now I just need to figure out how I should burn them to DVDs and then I'll be all set :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Scrapping template

Made by me, don't share and credit please
Download here

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Preschool and new Yahoo playgroup

Swear to God, is there a preschool (preschool, a couple of hours a day a few times a week, not daycare) in this town that isn't in a church and doesn't cost a fortune? I'm probably going to put Lizzie in a preschool program next year and since I'm OCD with regards to education (I spent over a year looking at schools for C) it is time to start looking. I had thought about going back to work when she was old enough for preschool and taking her with me. It has recently occurred to me that that might not be the best idea after all. First, because I don't really want to go back to work. Second, if I'm her teacher, she will never get used to being away from me and going to K will be a nightmare. There are still kids in C's class that are crying every single day at being dropped off without Mom. :( I don't want to do that to her because she will be a young 5 when she starts K (will turn 5 in May and start school the end of Aug). Finally, I'd like a little break once in awhile, whiles she gets to terrorize someone else :)

So anyone have any recommendations? Schools with websites are best because (as evidenced by this post) I do a lot of my stuff sitting in bed in the middle of the night but non-websites are good too. Even though I teach preschool, I don't have any experience with many in town. Just the one I taught at (the other, more recent one, was not in town and I wouldn't put Liz in their preschool) and they don't have a preschool program, they are strictly daycare, although they have a preschool curriculum that they use in the classes.

Also, for you local moms, I started a new Yahoo group to meet new people around the area. That is the email address to join, if anyone is interested. I haven't pimped it much yet so I'm the only member right. I'd love to see more people soon though :)

911 Calls

Have you ever had to call 911? I have. Twice, as a matter of fact. Once when C was about 6 weeks old we were coming home from the ILS on Xmas eve. It was snowing a blowing something horrible and we see this car in front of us weaving all over the road. He kept randomly slamming on his brakes and swerving everywhere. Finally, I called 911 and reported him as a drunk driver. Just as we got to the edge of the town that we lived in at the time, the cops came hauling out of town and pulled him over.

Then I had to do it again today. I took the kids to McDonald's to play for a bit and I had to run to the store on the way home. When I pulled into the store parking lot, I see a kid sitting in the car in front of me. I look a little closer and realize that there are 2 kids in the car. I looked all over and saw no adults that were anywhere near by. On the way into the store, I stopped at customer service and told them about it and told them they needed to find the parents or call the cops. Then I went about getting my milk. I was in the store about 10 minutes and when I got back to my van, the kids were still in the car, there was still no adult and there was no one from the store either :( So I called 911 and gave them the make and model of the car along with the license plate. I would have liked to have stuck around to see that the cops did show up but I had both kids with me and they were getting tired and grouchy and I was already running late to get home and get dinner started so dh could eat before he left for work. I ended up having to leave and I can only hope the cops really did show up. The windows of the car were rolled down and the kids were probably 5 or 6 so not babies but young enough. Honestly, I hope that the parents were arrested or at least ticketed for child endangerment.

I was all shaky about it and amped up for probably an hour afterward. It still kind of makes me jittery just typing it out. I don't know why. Probably adreneline or something

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


This program is STRESSING me out to the max. I went through and tagged everything and then moved it to the folders that I wanted it in. I'm using the program so I could find a piece or 2 that all matched easily. Hummie had the stellar tip of just dragging and dropping the files into photoshop instead of clicking tools and then open in editor and then Adobe, which is a pain. Now, however that doesn't work from the search pane (ha, I typed pain which would be true too LOL). I have to go to the folder that I have it and move it from there. Talk about a PITA! And even the tool option doesn't work. Why is this?

Someone help before I totally freak and throw this POS computer across the room (in addition to the ACDSee issues, I'm "running", although crawling would probably be more accurate, Vista and am generally unhappy about).