Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have all kinds of thoughts swirling around in my brain.  I've seen and read several different articles in the past week or so about education, the state of education and other such things.  So, of course this has me thinking about Boo.  About what we want for him and how we can give him the education he deserves.
I've always thought public school was OK.  Not stellar mind you, but good enough.  I think a lot of this has to do with my own experiences.

When we lived in Kansas, I went to two different alternative (I guess you'd call them magnet schools now) schools in the district.  I don't know if Mom and Dad had to pay any more to send me and my brother there instead of the "regular" public school closest to us.  That doesn't matter.  What matters is that our parents didn't send us to the public school right around the corner, but halfway across the city to something they thought would be better for us.  And it was.  I'm not sure when I would have learned this, but I know eventually I would.
Our first school, Earhart Environmental Complex (I guess I've been doomed to be a liberal tree-hugging hippie from the start?) only went up through grade 6 and then we would have had to go to a normal junior high.  The second school I attended was Isley, and was only 4th through 6th grades.  In both cases, there was a strong push for independent study, even in kindergarten, and an inquiry based approach to learning.  Questions were both asked of and expected to be asked by the students.  We were encouraged to find out things on our own.  Every few months there was some independent or small group project that had to be done on a particular topic.  (I remember two vividly, one was space and Josi and I panted this awesome (and huge) mural with all the planets on it; the other one was Kansas and I made this tote bag with the word "Kansas" on it and a sunflower.)  But, we didn't stay in Kansas until I was in 7th grad and had to move to a different school.  Instead, we moved to Pennsylvania in the middle of my fourth grade year.  Then I was thrust into the above average, but still a traditional public school.  To say it was disorienting would be an understatement!

At both EEC and Isley we weren't issued grades as such.  Sure, we took tests, did projects and had homework (some, but not loads like so many kids get these days) that were collected and corrected.  At EEC we got a week off of school at the end of every quarter and it was spent in parent-teacher-student conferences.  We were given a piece of paper (NCR actually... 3 layers) blocked out into different subject areas and we had to draw a face that represented how we felt about each subject and how we thought we were doing and the like.  Then the teacher would add comments and finally we'd have a conference with our parents, the teacher and ourselves.  I think there was also a time when we would leave the room so the parents and teacher could talk together, but I don't really remember.  In reality, this is much more like most of the "annual reviews" I've ever had in my working life than any report card is, but I digress...  At Isley, I don't remember what the quarterly reports were like, but each week we had a "contract" that we had to draw up and sign between us and the teacher.  We were given minimum requirements, but we could always (and I often did in some areas) add more work that we would strive to get done that week.  Again, this seems more like the way the "real world" of work seems to work.  But... when I got to Valley Forge Elementary, suddenly I had grades.  Sure, I knew what they were, I'd read enough books to know the concept.  But, I just couldn't understand them, or the importance that was placed on them.  (I still don't really....)
Another big difference came to light the first few months that I was at Valley Forge.  I was much more self motivated and could work on things with little guidance from teachers than my counterparts.  This became very apparent in science class.  At the time, the were using a really cool program.  Basically, there were a bunch of different levels, each with a bunch of readings and experiments and tests.  When you tested into a level, you were given a sheet (kinda like a flow chart) of all the parts of the level and you had to do a certain amount before you could move on.  It was just like what I was used to at Isley and EEC.  Well, needless to say, I took to this like a fish to water.  I quickly caught up and then surpassed my classmates.  While most of them had to ask the teacher just about every class what they should be doing, I just looked at my sheet, decided on a task that interested me and dove right in.  I didn't need anyone holding my hand, I'd been taught how to be, and expected to be, independent in my learning.

Is this right for everyone?  Maybe, maybe not.  I know there are a lot of kids out there that need more hand-holding and assistance than others.  But, I can't fathom how teaching a kid how to learn, not just what to learn is a bad thing.  I actually think that a lot of special needs kids would actually benefit from programs like that.  Learning how to ask questions, how to methodically work through a problem no matter if it's English, science, math, history or anything else.  Those problem solving skills and knowing how to ask questions gets you so much further in life than just knowing that Oxygen is the 16th element on the periodic table and that in 1492 is when Columbus "discovered" America.

So, this brings me back to Boo.  I know he's quite bright.  I'm not just saying that because he's my son.  I'm saying that because I've seen the wheels turning in his head and watched him figure things out and grow.  He's got a bigger vocabulary than most 3-year-olds.  He uses much bigger and more complete sentences and can hold real conversations better than some teenagers I know.  He's constantly trying to figure out how things work, taking things apart and trying to put things together.  He's extremely curious.  I want to nurture that, keep it alive and growing in him.
Because for me, my drive to learn and be independent died somewhere around the beginning of high school.  I had learned how to work the system.  I'd learned how to be challenged enough not to be bored stiff, but not so pushed that I had to work all that hard.  My grades could have been much better than they were and I developed a lot of bad habits that I fight even to this day and hold me back and get me in trouble at work.  I do not want this for my son.  I want my son to enjoy learning, to push himself and challenge himself for his whole life, to be the best that he can be, not just "good enough" to get by.

I know I've got 2 years to worry about this and ponder it.  Or maybe one if we decide to do a pre-K kind of program.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it... a lot.  I look around at our public schools and remember my experiences in public school and while we may live in a pretty good district, I'm just not sure it's going to be a good fit for Boo.  If he's anything like me or Gak, he's going to be too smart for his own good and push himself just enough to be "good enough".  Also, from some of the reading I've done recently and (I hate to say this...) watching my friends' kids go through their school careers... I worry about what the kids are actually learning.  Some of the things that my friends' kids do and don't know amaze me.  The writing quality of most of them sadden me.  Even the papers that are getting good marks and are almost high school level are full of errors that even I can find, and my spelling stink and don't get me started on the grammar.  And yet they don't get marked off for these things.  Sure, the intent of the writing is awesome and wonderful, but the execution I've seen in a lot of the writings is lacking.  (I'm sorry guys if you're reading this... just calling it how I see it...)
In the fall we went and looked at United Friends School here in town.  I fell in love with it almost immediately.  It reminded me so much of EEC in so many ways.  I still have a bunch of questions (that I've only recently started thinking about such as grading and reporting periods....), but over all it seems like such a great school.  Even if I can only give it to him for a few years, I want to give my boy-o the best foundation I can.  How many times and in how many places do you hear that the foundation is what counts?  Just about everything and everywhere.  So, I have my heart set on this.  Maybe unrealistically so.  It would be such a financial boon just to send Boo to the elementary school down the street.  But I have to ask myself, would we be cheating him out of a really solid foundation?  Would we be doing him a disservice in the long run?  (Not to mention that in Kindergarten at least, we'd still have to have half day daycare more than likely as our district only does half day Kindergarten... I never have understood that having gone full days myself...)

So, this is some of the goop that's been sloshing back and forth in my brain.  Like I said, Gak and I have time to think about this, talk about it and see where Boo seems to fit the best.  But, this is one of those things that I'm just not willing to "wing" at the last minute.  This is too important, because this is someone else's future I'm messing with, not just my own.
Again, I have more questions than answers.

I'm off to catch some sleep before one last work day this week.
So, I bid you peace and high expectations for education.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Size Was That??

I'm not sure if I've mentioned recently about my challenges with clothing.  For example, the other week at work the office admin (via messenger) asked what size button down shirt I wear, since they're thinking about ordering us some nice shirts.  This simple question put me into a panic and it took me almost 10 minutes to stammer out some kind of answer that made any sense.  This was not because I’m ashamed of my size. I’ve never been ashamed of my size. But because I just don’t know what the answer is.

Well, apparently I’m not the only one. Apparently this is a frustration point for many, many women, even those who are already small to begin with. I’ve talked about my frustrations of trying on 3 pairs of pants in the same size by the same company and only 1 slightly fitting right.

Yesterday morning, for example, I found a pair of khakis in my closet I’d put in the “give away” pile because I thought they’d be too big by spring, but low and behold, they’re smaller than my jeans that are too big, but only a hair bigger than my work pants that are too big and a good bit bigger than my jeans that actually fit fairly well for most of a day. Anyhow, the jeans that are too big and the work pants I’ve been wearing are both the same brand (Lee) and the same size (16, not 16W, just 16). The jeans are a good inch or two bigger in the waist than the work pants. Huh?  The jeans that fit fairly well are also Lee and a 14.  There's a pretty big difference between the two jean sizes (even though they're the same style even) but not such a big difference between the work pants and the 14 jeans. Oh, and the khaki’s I wore yesterday, they fit well enough (and in some ways better than my pants I'd been wearing), and they’re an 18. Of course, from past experiences, I totally expect to need a full size bigger in that brand (Cabella's) than my “normal” clothes. (I'm sure all this numbers and comparing just made your head spin, if not explode... mine was doing that yesterday morning at 6am while I was standing in my closet trying to get dressed for the day...)

So, with my experiments at home yesterday, it looks like I need to go down to a 14 or maybe even a 12 in my work pants and get another pair or two of 14s in jeans. I never in a million years thought I'd be in those sizes. Then again, with the "vanity sizing" that's been running rampant through the industry, it probably should be about an 18 from a decade or so ago...  Even though my weight has been mostly the same the last several months I'm hesitant to buy new clothes.  I do want to loose a little more, but it's not even that.  I really do need to buy new clothes.  The ones I have don't fit right and clothes that don't fit right no matter if they're too big or too small just make you uncomfortable and self conscious.  (That and I'm sure my coworkers, even though they'll say other wise, are almost as tired of the same 5 or 6 shirts I've been rotating through as I am.) 
Oh, and don't get me started on shirts.  I have 3 (woman, not unisex) workout T-shirts that are a size large that fit beautifully that I got from Target.  A few weeks back I tried to get a button down shirt from there that was an XL because the arms looked slim, and well, if I had no bust I could have buttoned it (and the arms were still a bit snug...).   And if my shirt fits nicely and slimly (is that even a word?) through the tummy and my pants are baggy and falling down, do you tuck in your shirt (and have it pull out every time you raise your arms) or do you leave it out and have it fall into your waistband anyhow?  Either way you look sloppy.

So, it looks like I really do need to break out the sewing machine and find some new and fun patterns and convince mom to help me whip up a few additions to the wardrobe.  (Maybe even a skirt, that'd be nice to wear in the summer to work and still be cool enough to play on the playground with Boo after.... hmmm.... one advantage to dresses/skirts...)

Anyhow, all of this personal angst was just to point you to a very interesting piece from the New York Times yesterday. I totally agree that if there was some kind of standard in clothing labels, then clothes shopping wouldn’t be such a long, arduous and mentally and emotionally painful task. The only size "system" that makes even less sense and seems almost as random as woman's sizing is that for infants and even toddlers.  The tags are so "helpful" with height and weight suggestions and trust me, no two brands, or even pieces are cut the same...

(Oh, and I looked at the Levi jeans… first off, I don’t have $70 to spend on a single pair of jeans and they may have different curves, but please, not all of us can wear skinny jeans, nor do we want to… I mean, I have curvy hips and a butt and my thighs go right along with them and will never, ever fit in "skinny jeans", they have ever since puberty and always will. I like my curves, they just need to be smaller over all, not go away completely!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shower Musing

Friday evening I wasn't feeling very well.  I'm still not sure if it was just a bad allergy day with the end of a stressful week and some interrupted sleep on top, or a small spring cold.  Anyhow, Friday evening I really, really wanted to soak for a long time in a nice hot shower.  So I did.
While I was standing there, enjoying the hot water, I was ruminating on the fact that this was Earth Day and here I was, wasting lots of water and energy.  Not very bright, eh?  So, I had a brilliant idea.  Wouldn't it be cool if someone would come up with a recirculating shower?  One where you could run the shower for a bit until you had enough water and then start up a recirculating pump of some sort and maybe one of those in-line water heaters.  Then you could almost guilt free take as long and luxurious a soak of a shower as you wanted.

Well, it looks like I'm not the first to come up with that idea.  I did a quick google search and there were lots of hits.  There were some where the responses to the posed question were not at all positive.  I was thinking of something like a jacuzzi tub, but as a shower instead of a tub.  I mean, if you can do it for a tub, why not a shower?  Anyhow, this one seems to be the "standard" that everyone references back to.

So, it looks like there are options out there.  And, yeah, I think if we ever could own our own home, or even better build one from the ground up, I'd seriously look into something like this.  But, that's a pipe dream.  For now, I'll content myself with doing it not that often and for not as long as I'd like.

But, I'm feeling much better today.  And it's not raining and the sun is out.  So... yeah.  Just a random bit of brain fluff.  It sounded better in my head, but I just couldn't pull it together this morning.

Peace to all and may your ideas be good.

Friday, April 22, 2011

This 'n' That

Another work week is coming to a close, and I'm thankful for it.  I'm sure by now everyone who reads this blog even occasionally knows that January, April, July and October are very tough months at work.  But, at least there's a predictable cycle to things.  And in reality, even though this hasn't been one of the more pleasant months, we're actually coming through this in better shape than we have in a while.  I credit good team work and great support from the rest of the building for it.
Anyhow, I'm sitting here with too much time to call it quits but not enough time to get anything productive done, especially since all my weekly paperwork is completed.  I thought I'd come here and ramble on a bit.

I really don't have anything interesting to say.  Or, maybe nothing I really want to make public.  There was a good bit of drama in my life Monday evening, but it's not for posting.  There are other things tied in with that drama that keep churning around in my head and heart, but again, they're not for posting here.  It falls under the airing dirty laundry category of things best handled offline and in person.

I'm still not sure what's up for this weekend.  We're really just going to play it all by ear.  I grew up with Easter not being much of a big deal.  I do remember a few Easter egg hunts and looking forward to Easter baskets for several years, but other than that, it was mostly just another day on the calendar.  Then again, we never did pay much attention to any religious holidays other than Christmas and Hanukkah.

Yesterday was an important day in my life.  Zoe turned 10 years old!  Yep, 10 years ago yesterday little miss Zoe was brought into the world.  She was about 6 weeks early and it was touchy there for a bit.  It was a bit touchy with Kat as well, the whole reason that Zoe was born early.  I'm  happy to say she's a thriving 10-year-old girl with most of the typical issues of her age.  For being a preemie, she really did escape a lot of the problems she could have had.  She's very healthy over all.  Sure, she has some lingering lung issues (but a good part of that is family as well...) and she can't put on weight and her ADHD is probably exacerbated by the fact that she was also a preemie, but the cards were stacked against her from the start.  But, over all, she's doing just fine.

And yes, she is one of the reasons why I walked last Sunday.  I'm thankful for all the research that was done that ended up with the technologies that saved both her and Kat.  I'm also thankful that my son and all of the other kids in my life were able to be born full term and healthy.

Well, this has been quite a bit of a ramble.  But, I did succeed in using up my time left at work and looking productive.  I'm off to go pick up my boy-o.  He was playing at Kat's house today with Grammy, Zoe and Billy because his school was closed today.  I'm sure he'll be beat because he probably did not nap this afternoon.  Oh well, hopefully that'll mean he'll sleep well tonight (which he hasn't been because he's been congested all week...) and he'll take a good nap tomorrow too.

Peace to all and may your weeks go well, your weekends be fun, and your family full.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fortune Cookie Wisdom...

So, I'm sitting here cleaning off my desk between projects, just trying to give myself a little breather.  And I stumble across a fortune cookie fortune from some weeks ago, just sitting there under my monitor.
"If you continually give, you will continually have. :) "  (Yes, it has a little smiley at the end..)

I must admit, this is one truism that I can totally agree with.  And not just in the positive way many people think of it either.

For example, take the person who is continually complaining, and giving other people grief.  They're making everyone else around them miserable, and what do they get in return?  More misery.  They get people who don't want to talk to them, be near them or work with them.  They end up in relationships that are one-sided at best and are just downward spirals.  Like the other saying goes, misery loves company.

Then you have the person who always smiles when they answer the phone (even if they're day is far, far from perfect).  They enquire about your family and your kids and your health and actually want to know the answer and aren't just being polite.  They share the goodies in their lunch or where they got/found something and when they've got it (and sometimes even when they don't) they'll share their hard earned money with those who need it.  Have you ever noticed how people who are like this are usually so very happy?  That they have such a positive outlook on life?  And even when things aren't going their way, they are just happy to be alive and around people who care, because trust me, these people attract good friends and good relationships faster than a little boy can find mud puddles in the spring!

I've known many people in the first category.  I try very hard not to fall into that first category myself.  It is so easy to do.  It is so easy to get caught up in the negative moment and let one small thing lead to the ruining of an entire week, month or even year.  Last year it was a very big struggle for me not to fall into the dark pit of giving only grief and anger to the world around me.
It is truly rare, however, to find the truly generous soul who can be the positive giver even 80% of the time.  I've been blessed, and truly, it is a blessing, to have worked with two such men.  And there is at least one other guy here at work who fits into that category more often than not.

Unfortunately for us, we lost one of those bright souls.  It'll be 6 months on Saturday since Ron left us.  Well, his physical presence has left us.  He's still with us here at work in so many ways.  Those of us who knew him and knew him well while he was here will always have a tender spot in our hearts for him, stories to tell and smiles as well.
The other guy who shares Ron's wonderful disposition is a man who has been through so much pain, so much uncertainty and so many trials, that some days I wonder how he can stand with all the weight that has been put on him.  He's always smiling though.  He's the one that gave Gak and I our "new" bed when we moved.  You see, we benefited from his pain.  His wife has had so many, many medical problems over the years.  Just a year or so after they bought a new bed, she got very sick and had to have a trach put in and now can no longer lie in bed.  She's hooked up to oxygen 24 hours a day and monitored at all times.  And Randy, taking this in stride does what he needs to do.  He makes sure that she's got company during the day in case there are problems and he uses his knowledge from work to help keep her equipment up and running, even when a nurse isn't around.  And he does it with a smile.
What I will always find amazing is what he said about me.  There have been times since I've known him that I've been going through a rough spot in one way or another, and he tells me that I always seem so positive and that I'm always smiling.  Well, let me tell you, he doesn't see me in my darkest moments.  (Unfortunately, Gak does, and he can confirm that it's not pretty...)  So, every time I think of letting the dark win, letting the bad situation I'm in be passed on to everyone I come in contact with, I try and remember Randy's words.  And I remember how positive he always seems, no matter what.

One of the things that links these two men is their great faith.  They both have such a strong faith in God and forgiveness and everything that goes with it.  There are days that I wish I shared their faith, but I don't.  Well, I have a lot of faith, but it's not their faith.  My faith is much more subtle and complex than theirs.  But, yeah, I have faith in the world around me and look for the little miracles that are life.

Anyhow, just thought I'd dump what was sloshing about in my brain when I was cleaning up my desk.  I thought I'd take a moment to remember a friend who's gone and thank a friend who's been truly an inspiration.

I'd also be remiss not to mention the fact that today is my brother's birthday.  Yep, 33 years ago today I became a big sister.  Happy birthday Jon, I'm glad you're my brother.

Peace to all and may you give what's in your heart.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Busy and Stable

It looks like I've been falling down on the job again, and I guess I have.  You could argue that this isn't a bad thing.  You could argue that nothing exceptionally dramatic has been going on in our lives, either good or bad.  But, that would imply that we're not doing much of anything.  And, some days it seems that way, but our days are actually quite full.
For example, here's an average, typical mid-week kind of day in this family.
5:00 am, I get up.
5:30 am if it's a Tuesday or a Thursday, I go to the gym to swim for 45 minutes or so, shower and come home.  If it's a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I pop on an exercise video, find something On Demand or power up the Wii balance board.  Either way, I start my day with 30-45 minutes of activity, hopefully some pretty high activity.  After that I get ready for work.
6:30 (M/W/F) leave for work or 7:30 on Tu/Th.
7-4 or 8-5 I try and stay focused on the job at hand and maybe if it's not raining or I haven't goofed off a bit too much between tasks in the morning, I'll try and squeeze in a 20 minute walk out back at lunch.
(Meanwhile, Gak and Boo have been hanging out together with their own little routine all morning and then walk to school and work around 11.  Unless of course the weather is completely miserable and then I pick up the boys by about noon and ferry everyone about...)
4:30 or 5:30 pick up the boy child from school.  This is usually one of the biggest highlights of my day.
Depending on the day of the week and the weather, we'll either go home, run a few errands or go to the park.  The last option is both of our favorites, but we just don't get to as much as we'd like.
If we go home and it's an "early" day, I'll try and get dinner started before picking Gak up from work at 6:30.
We'll usually get home from picking Gak up at work by 7. (But not always because sometimes drivers are late or customers squeak in as he's trying to lock the door or the computer crashes or something else frustrating.  This is one of the reasons I don't always try and get dinner started... just because when I do, we tend to run late....)
After that it's a quick dinner, and maybe a bath for a Boo-boy, jammies and bed.
7:30-7:45 is the ritual for getting Boo into jammies and read to and a little bit of time in bed with the light on.
8:00 (give or take) lights out for a Boo.  I now have just about 1 hour until I'm about to crash.  So, here's where lately I've been spending quality time with my dear, sweet hubby exploring the world of Telara playing Rift.  This is quite fun and entertaining, but hasn't been leaving me much time for reading, crochet, chores, getting lunches ready for the next day, emails, blogging or any of a million other things I want to be doing as well.
I crash sometime between 9:00 and 10:00 to repeat the whole ordeal the next day.

So, as you can see, it's not really that we're not doing anything, it's just that we're not doing anything out of the ordinary.  We've been able to get some good park time in recently and Boo really suddenly loves to climb almost all over the place now with little fear, even of the big slides.  (This was a problem most of last year, as he took a tumble down a couple of slides and he swore off them for months...)
We're also easing ever so slightly into potty training.  We're trying to at least put him on the potty when he wakes up, when he wakes up from nap and before bath/jammies in the evening.  Most of the time he just sits there fooling around a bit.  But, he knows what to do with toilet paper (aside from just play with it) and he has managed to pee in the potty at least twice now, once at school even!  Mostly, we just talk about the potty a lot.  Part of me just wishes he'd hurry up and get going with this because I'm tired of changing his diapers (and I don't even have to do it that often!) but mostly I don't want to make this a horrible experience for him and want him to get there on his own terms.  So, I'll keep pointing him in that direction and hoping a lot and like with everything else, he'll get there from here.  On his own terms and in his own time... usually at a fairly inconvenient, or at least interesting, time for us.

The weekends are quite busy these days.  It seems like with the warm up in the weather, all the activities keep coming out of the woodwork.  Last weekend it was brunch at Amma and PopPop's with the Sugarpeople.  This weekend it was a pouring down rainy Saturday with Boo and I joining Kat, Zoe, Shelby and Jarred for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies.  (It was a great time, but the route was cut short by about 1 Km or so due to flooding from the day before....)  This week is Jon's birthday, Zoe's birthday, Passover and Easter all rolled into one hectic week.  We were supposed to have dinner at the Duck's house today, but Amma isn't feeling well, so that'll be next Monday.

So, that about sums up where we're at for the moment.  We're busy.  We're doing just fine and I'm having a hard time realizing that my son's 3rd birthday is only 6 weeks away!

I bid you all peace and may you have some stability and some fun in your lives.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Growing (busy)

Well, it's been two weeks almost since I've written anything here.  Ugh.
This picture from last week should sum up a bit how it's been.  I've been busily trying to get out of the way of moving objects, including my son on his tricycle.
A lot of it has been good, some of it has been average and a bit has been somewhat on the "aargh" scale of things.  Home has been good, work has been a bit aargh and there's been a lot of day-to-day stuff just humming along.
It's April, it's a busy time at work and add a cranky economy and a Congress and EPA that keeps changing their minds on things and you generate a climate where aargh can seem somewhat normal at work.  It's nothing new, it's really not that bad, but it's there.

We have done a few exciting things over the past week or so though.  Two weeks ago at Ethan's birthday party, we were given "wild flower confetti" as a thank you.  So, Monday Amma, Boo and I went to Lowes to pick up a nice planter box and some herbs to start.  We also got a watermelon planter cup and a package of Elmo cherry tomatoes to start with their own starter containers and everything.  Sooo... after dinner Boo and I had fun planting the watermelon and the tomatoes.  We've got one watermelon sprouted and a bunch of tomato plants (which I will most definitely have to thin a bit even before we get to the point of having to transplant them into the ground and/or containers.  We both had a bit of fun playing in the dirt. We didn't start the flowers and herbs until Friday, so we'll see what happens there.
(This is our started garden, the better picture of Boo actually helping plant the flowers is still on the camera, and no pictures of sprouted plants yet....)

Anyhow, Aunt Beverly and Uncle Richard are in town for a conference of some sort, so this meant brunch at Mom and Dad's yesterday with the rest of the family.  It was really awesome to see Ben, Jenny, Ethan and Daniel again after only two weeks.  Daniel and Boo had sooo much fun playing together.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I really wish we lived closer and got to spend more time together.  I'm sure the boys would enjoy it.

Anyhow, that's a quick little update.  I'm sorry I've been too busy with other things to squeeze out a few minutes here.  I'll try and keep the pictures posting at flickr and hopefully more words and pictures here.