Some Might Have Called It A Disaster…

Posted in Everyday Life on May 16th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

… but not me.  I’m talking about my hugely busy, albeit super-fun weekend.  It began Friday night when we took the kids to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (minor league baseball) game.  We decided to go mainly because we needed to get to a Ticketmaster outlet to buy tickets for an upcoming arena football game.  Since we live in a rural area, the nearest Ticketmaster is an hour away, but the drive to the city to get tickets was still cheaper than all of the service fees Ticketmaster wanted to tack on for phone or internet orders.  So we decided while we were in the city, why not take the kids somewhere fun, so we decided upon the baseball game.  The only problem is that we found out just as we were leaving (at 4:10) that Ticketmaster closed at 5 – we live more than an hour away, especially at rush hour on a Friday evening.  It was a big deal because we had already bought our baseball tickets, and the only reason we decided to go to the baseball game with such a busy weekend ahead was because we were going to use the money that we were going to save buying the football tickets at Ticketmaster – except now we weren’t going to make it by 5 (did I mention that Ticketmaster’s website said they were open  until 6?  So this really wasn’t our fault…)  Long story short, we arrived there at 5:20, and the people at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne were very accommodating.  We got our arena football tickets at the original price without the crazy sur-charges – YAY!  So on to the baseball game…  It was fun, though we had barely sat down on our lawn seats when my almost 2-year-old son took a tumble and was one dad-catching-his-shirttail away from falling from a 3-foot-high ledge onto cement and cracking his head open.  We promptly moved seats, and after my son ran around for a bit, we were actually  able to watch some of the game, even though our team lost.

Saturday was my daughter’s birthday party, and we ended up with about 10 kids (this is a guesstimate – they were never still enough to count them all!).  Thankfully, the weather was nice, so we decided to keep all the kids outside for the entire party.  The kids started to get rambunctious, and it was difficult to keep so many kids entertained and out of trouble for so long (note to self – next year, an hour is plenty long for a kids’ birthday party) – we had the parents coming 2½ hours after the party  started on Saturday, which was WAY TOO LONG!  Everything was going ok though, until one of the party guests opened the gate while playing hide n’ go seek.  Suddenly, we had 2 dogs loose and roaming the neighborhood.  2 of the adults fanned out to go catch the dogs, and I was left to control the 10 kids (AND my son and his cousin who are around 2 years old).  Some of the kids were scared for the dogs, some were bored by being outside, some were whining for cake, and others just stood there, looking as shell-shocked as I felt.  Then the phone rang, and it was a neighbor on the next street over (whom I’ve never met) saying that they have our dogs.  Thinking my husband was still around, I followed my mom and oldest daughter with some leashes to capture the dogs.  Somewhere in the melee, it became apparent that my husband was just on his way back from looking for the dogs, and he comes back to the entire birthday party which he thought was unattended (though I was leaving as he was coming), but in the meantime, my daughter had decided to lead her guests into the house, like some sort of catastrophic parade.  We got to the neighbors house, but they only had one dog by this time, so my mom and my daughter went to find the other one while I returned the puppy to the house.  When I got back, we were still missing a few adults who were out looking for the dogs, and my daughter the birthday girl is begging for her cake.  Eventually, my mom and my daughter returned with the dog, everyone was fine, but we were still missing some adults who were still out looking for the lost-now-found dogs.  We found everyone, and tried to relax, even though there was still an entire hour left of the party –  WHEW!  For the most part, the kids were good, but there was one little girl who was not a very good listener.  She seemed to rub off on  the other kids too.  Is it a coincidence that this is the same little girl who had opened the gate in the first place?  For the rest of the party, she was obsessed with the puppy.  She wanted to hug him, squeeze him, and hold him every second.  After his romp around the neighborhood, he was quite tired and made an easy mark to catch, but he was still a good sport –  good thing he’s great with kids.  I asked her to leave the puppy alone at least 4 times, and I heard my mom doing the same, and later my husband said he also tried, especially when he saw her dragging the puppy by his collar.  She reminded me of the character Elmyra from the cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, I had fun finding the following clip – picture this little girl at our birthday party leading the pack of 10 kids, and you’ll wonder how we survived.  Starting at the 35 second mark, this could have been a scene from our house on Saturday:

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After the fiasco of a party (the kids had fun, so I wouldn’t call it a disaster, even if it was stressful at times), my family took the kids to their hotel for a party, and Hubby and I got some alone time.  The problem was, after the busy week we’d had, we were too tired to do much of anything.  We hastily chose a Redbox movie,  and it was terrible.  To my husband’s credit,  he wanted to  just forget it after seeing the small selection, but I pushed for Meadowoods since it was the only horror movie available and it was just $1 and we had already waited in line at the Redbox – I didn’t want it to be for nothing.  But it was a complete waste of time (movie-wise I mean, for any time with Hubby is well-spent); we would have been better off watching someone’s youtube videos for 88 minutes instead, that would have been far more interesting.  If only Redbox had an imdb link at the Redbox units – perhaps Meadowoods’ 3.1 rating would have made me just want to forget it too…

Sunday our church service ran late (of all days), and so we were running late for the entire day…  But we had a nice brunch with our family before seeing them off back to Illinois.  We then picked up my daughter’s friend for a playdate, and I was off to my MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group get-together a little late because I  had to finish up my thank-you notes and my appetizer.  I had decided upon little smokies in the crock pot instead of picking up a 7-layer dip as I had originally planned because I didn’t want to be even later after having to stop at the store to get the dip.  Everything was well-planned, and the appetizer actually tasted good…  but I forgot to drive gently on the way there – I was already late and in a hurry.  I wasn’t even out of town before I had to hit the brakes and make a hard stop, sending the crock pot flying, leaving me with a huge pool of barbeque sauce on the front passenger-side floor.  I pulled over and cleaned it up best I could – I am so thankful I had a roll of paper towels and extra plastic bags in the car!  But when I got to my friend’s house, my smokie appetizer in my crock pot had NO sauce left…  oh well, what could I do?  There was plenty of other great food, and I ate too much.  I think I was the only one to take the food they brought home with them, but I can’t really blame anyone for not wanting seconds on the sauceless smokies.  To add injury to insult, the crock pot tipped again on the way home (what is WITH my driving?), and I had smokies on the floor of my car this time.  Did I mention that Hubby and I spent an hour cleaning out the car last week?  But I guess it worked out since if we hadn’t cleaned out the car, the BBQ sauce would have spilled all over the junk that was in the car – this way I just ruined the floor of the car and the floor mat – and luckily for me, I have 4 kids and therefore don’t put too much stock into the car’s appearance or condition.  Besides, talk about built-in air freshener…  if anyone accuses our car of stinking like anything but BBQ sauce for a long time, I will certainly be surprised!

After everything that went wrong this weekend, some might classify it as a disaster, but we call it FUN!!  🙂

When Stars Collide Over Warrenville

Posted in Fun Videos on March 2nd, 2010 and tagged , , , , ,

As I’ve mentioned, I read the suburban Chicago newspaper online.  Today a headline about the town where I grew up caught my eye – a kid filmed a short little youtube.com movie in Warrenville, Illinois.  I couldn’t care less about the battle between fans of Star Wars and Star Trek, but I know there are some tangents.org readers who are fans of one or both of the franchises – thought they might enjoy this little video.  It’s a creative idea, really – what would happen if the introductory words at the beginning of the Star Wars movies fell to Earth?  For its small budget (around $100) and the small amount of time invested, the special effects aren’t bad either…

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If you’d like more info about the kid or the video, here is a link to the original article.

My Favorite Music Comes From Sesame Street

Posted in music on February 10th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m not really hip with pop culture these days.  Sure, I read my share of celebrity gossip whenever it happens upon cnn.com, but I’m really out of it when it comes to the latest tv shows and music.  I am such a nerd that I had to wikipedia ‘Jersey Shore’ because I got sick of reading all these headlines about it and not knowing what the heck they were talking about.  Sounds like kind of a dumb show, by the way, not for me.

Because I listen to country music, mainstream music is usually of no interest to me.  But I couldn’t help but take notice when a snappy tune came out of the tv this morning – it was Sesame Street, and there was a musical guest.  I know that Sesame Street has celebrity guest-stars all the time, so I chose what seemed to be the title of the song and did a search on youtube.com.  The song is “I’m Yours”, and it’s sung by Jason Mraz.  Even all my reading of celebrity gossip didn’t help me here – I’ve never heard of Jason Mraz, but I have to say that I like his sound.  But that shouldn’t really come as a surprise that I’ve never heard of him – I don’t think he’s a regular in my pop culture circle that includes such characters as Dora, Miss Spider, Little Bear, or Wow Wow Wubbzy.  My 18-month-old son and I couldn’t help but bounce and groove to this song; see if you feel the same.  By the way, when Mr. Mraz performed this song on Sesame Street, the lyrics were changed to make the song be about playing outside, making it more kid-friendly.  Cute.

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Bohemian Rhapsody By The Muppets

Posted in Fun Videos, Pop Culture on December 14th, 2009 and tagged , , , , ,

Came across this funny rendition of the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody the other day.  I don’t know about you, but the Muppets always make me smile!

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Christian The Lion

Posted in animals, Fun Videos on July 9th, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

My previous post became too lengthy, but I wanted to share the following video they had on the hotel tv.  Whether it was my relief that the baby had finally fallen asleep, or my being so tired after a huge busy day, the video made me emotional – I think it’s just a feel-good video.  I meant to show it to the fellow animal lovers in my family, but it skipped my mind that morning, so now they can see it here; it’s awesome!

Christian The Lion:

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Down And Out In Shipshewanni

Posted in Travel on July 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, life is back to normal, I guess you could say, whatever “normal” is.  My 3 girls were with their Grandma in Illinois for over a week, and they had an awesome time.  Our house was quite quiet and empty without them, so we made it our business to not be in the house much at all.  We were constantly on the go, getting to do  lots of fun things with  just the baby and even some things just hubby and me  – great times!  More on that later since I need to finish writing about our trip to King’s Island, and hopefully entice some people to come along when we go back close to Halloween.  But for now, here is a re-cap of our trip to Shipshewanni – I’m respectfully poking fun at my mom, who has a tendency to sometimes mispronounce things – love you Mom!

So Monday, instead of driving to Illinois to pick up the kids, we met them and my parents, uncle,  sister, nephews, and brother-in-law in Shipshewana Indiana for two days of fun in an indoor water park.  Anticipating this trip for months, I was sure I was going to have a fun blog to write – a family trip with 7 adults, 4 kids and 2 babies sounded like fodder for a National Lampoon movie.  But strangely,  especially considering this group of people – you know who you are 🙂 – nothing bizarre happened; no one in the group got crazy (except for our baby, but that will be addressed later on…), and we all had a blast!

I have to be honest and say that when we got to the water park, I was a bit disappointed to see that there wasn’t a swimming pool.  But as time went on, I became happy with the small size of the place since it was easy to keep tabs  on the kids and find other members of the family to catch up and chat.  There were two large water slides where you go down on rafts, and we had an awesome time taking turns going down with everyone racing each other.  You could go down one or two-at-a-time, and after a while, our oldest got brave enough to try and found she LOVED the water slides!  Same with her cousin, and the two of them went down together – it was adorable to  see the two of them work together to carry their huge raft up all those stairs.  I wish I had a picture, but it was impossible to have a camera in the water park – and please, with my camera luck, do you think I could have taken pictures in the water park and still have had a camera when we left?  Doubtful.  But anyway, we (exhaustively!) made our way up all those stairs time and time again to race our daughter and my nephew and even my mom and dad down the water slide.

They also had a kids’ pool with lots of things to play with and a soft floor for the babies to crawl on.  There was also a playground with 4 water slides –  the kind you go down without a raft – and I liked those too until I mistakenly went down one before it was cleared…  My husband was standing at the bottom of it holding our two-year-old, and I slid right into the back of his legs, bowling them over.  Thank goodness no one was hurt, and I’m sure it was an hilarious, stooge-like display of idiocy.

They also had a lazy river – my favorite.  You just grab a raft and float on down the river, and my 1-year-old son fell asleep because it was so peaceful to float down the river in my arms.  When we are rich, we are going to build a lazy river at my goat farm where I will play with goats, make cheese, and relax in my lazy river 🙂

We split up for dinner, and my parents and uncle were nice enough to watch the kids so  we could go out to dinner with my sister and brother-in-law.  We took the babies with us (our youngest sons are 2½ months apart), and they allowed us sisters and husbands some much-needed catch-up time; I think it’s been over 5 years since we went out together which is too long!  We went to an Amish-style restaurant, and at first I thought it was going to be a gimmick.  You know, yucky Sysco food disguised as Amish style food…  but thankfully, I was wrong.  The food was SO good!  The roast beef was incredible, the mashed potatoes homemade and not out of a package as so many are, and the chicken and noodles tasted like the noodles were also made from scratch.  Everything was all we could eat, served family style – YUM!  I highly recommend the Blue Gate restaurant!

So then we went back to the water park for a little bit until it closed, and then it was time to try to get the kids settled down for the night.  My parents were gracious enough to splurge (the entire trip was a Christmas gift from them) and get us a room with some extra space for our large family, and the two oldest girls had their own little bunk bed area with a tv and nightlights in their beds.  They were out in a jiffy.  Not the case with the younger two – our two-year-old Disney had to bunk with us for lack of beds while her one-year-old brother had a crib.  Disney  and I caught up on life and her week with Grandma while whispering under the covers while Daddy tried to get the baby to bed.  Soon, Disney was asleep which just left one standing…  and standing…  Christopher refused to go to sleep.  In a hotel, especially in a room adjoining my sister’s where they also had a fussy trying-to-go-to-sleep baby, we could not let him cry it out, so  we took him down the hall to the mini-arcade – at least I could read my magazine and my husband could play some Madden while the baby crawled around.  Ha.  All he wanted to do was crawl up and (fall) down the stairs, so no fun for us.  I thought about taking him downstairs so we could at least sit with my dad and uncle and enjoy the evening air, but one of us had to stay with the sleeping girls.  Since our goal was to be able to spend some time together, this was not an option.  We ended up sitting outside of our room for awhile, letting the baby crawl, but soon he got crabby and we realized we were just assaulting my sister’s family from the other side of the room with our noise.  Finally we put him back in his crib and hid out in the bathroom so we were out of sight, and this did the trick – 4 down!  Except that now it was too late to do anything together, so we just watched a few of those weird youtube-like videos and went to bed.  Apparently the baby woke up again in the middle of the night and also early the next morning, and my awesome husband took care of him, even though he was dead tired by the time we got home the next day.  I didn’t sleep well either, especially with Disney in our bed who kept kicking me.

So the next morning, we were up for breakfast, and I couldn’t eat anything because I was so tired.  No problem; I’d get lunch later when I was hungry and at the very least, we had big plans to pick up some gourmet cheese from the awesome cheese shop before we left town.  We split up for the day since my husband didn’t mind taking the older kids to the water park again, and the rest of us had had enough water park, so we went to the flea market instead – what a madhouse!  I don’t know why it’s only open 2 days a week because for those 2 days, the area is MOBBED with tons of traffic!  But anyway, the flea market is huge and has a wide variety of things for everyone.  Before I left, hubby said to make sure I bought myself something, so I did – isn’t he awesome?  He takes most of the kids for the day AND tells me to buy myself something, awww…  (and this is why I obliged to let him try out for a play – he is a giver; he deserves to do  something HE wants to do.  Of course, being in a show takes months of rehearsal and prep time –  oh, man, what did I agree to???)  But anyway, I got a black and white vintage photo of Wrigley Field in 1946 – how cool is that?  I bought a Bears Superbowl frame and some hot sauce for hubby, and we left the flea market before seeing all of it – is that possible to do in just one day?  Then it was time to go home, and our oldest was really upset to see Grandma go – she has a Grandma addiction, so the more time she spends with Grandma, the more sad she gets when it’s time to leave.  But she got over it, and we achieved the coveted quadruple-kid-pass-out on the way home.  Overall, an awesome time, and I think we should definitely do something again next year.  As fun as the water park was, I might suggest a different location next time – maybe a campground or another place where we would have more sit-down time to really get together, catch up, and maybe even play some games.  My sole complaint is that I arrived home cheese-less 🙁  There was an awesome cheese shop, and we were going to stop on the way home, but the kids were just too crazy and the traffic too thick in Shipshewana for us to stop – dangit.  I had been looking forward to that cheese for two days!  Bermuda onion cheese, yummmm…
(drooling….)

Laundry, Origami-Style

Posted in Fun Forwards on February 23rd, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

I received an interesting email forward the other day; it’s a Japanese video that shows a woman folding a shirt perfectly in a matter of seconds using an origami technique.  I haven’t tried it out yet; I’ve been too busy blogging instead of folding my laundry 🙂

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Awesome Anthem Of Moms Everywhere

Posted in Fun Forwards on December 22nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apparently while people are on Christmas break – off work or just home with their kids – they like to send email forwards.  I’ve gotten a burst of them lately, and 2 caught my eye so I will share them.  The first is another personality quiz, but it had some different questions than ones in the past, so I’m posting it.  Second is a really cute youtube video of a lady doing a marvellous job singing a song with which every parent will identify.  She is very talented, and it’s a good performance.  Not only do the lyrics ring true, but the woman has a nice voice, and she just performs the song very well.  It’s amazing to me that she was able to memorize all those words – they come awfully fast!

Here’s a copy of the personality quiz email with the answers I wrote:

A little fun thing to do.
44 ODD Things about you! If you opened this, FILL IT
OUT! Learn 44 things About your friends, and let them
learn 44 things about you! Send back to Me and to
several more friends !!

1. Do you like blue cheese? yes
2. Have you ever smoked? yes
3. Do you own a gun? NO!
4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? mountain berry
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? yes
6. What do you think of hot dogs ? like em – especially Vienna Beef or Nathans
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf
8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning:water
9. Can you do push ups? barely
10. Favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding and engagement rings
12. Do you have A.D.D.? I just might
13. What is one trait you hate about yourself?  that I can be high strung
14. Middle name ?  Marie
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. My Grandma’s Christmas village is cooler than the one they’re showing on the news – I can’t wait until Christmas – I can’t wait until Chris gets off work
17. Current worry? money
18. Current hate right now? arrogant, self-absorbed people
19. Favorite place to be?  home
20. How did you bring in the New Year? with friends
22. Name three people who might complete this.  Jamy, Megan, Mary Beth
23. Do you own slippers?  no – I wear imitation Crocs around the house
24. What shirt are you wearing? a red sweatshirt with snowflakes on it
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? yes – but only in the summer
26. Can you whistle? yes
27. Favorite color?  green
28. Would you be a pirate? I’ve got a parrot…  but I don’t really know what this question means.  I would not hijack ships and steal from people, so I guess not
29. What songs do you sing in the AM. Country
30. Favorite girl’s name?  Taylor
31. Favorite boy’s name? Christopher
32. What’s in your pocket right now? a piece of Barbie fake dog poop – don’t ask
33. Last thing that made you laugh? My girls seeing their baby brother jumping in his bouncy
34. What vehicle do you drive? minivan
35. Worst injury you have ever had? emergency cesarean with a blood transfusion
36.  Favorite Season?  Spring
37. How many TV’s do you have in your house? 6
38. Who is your loudest friend? Lisa H. I guess
39. Do you have any pets? 2 dogs, a parrot, and one hibernating ladybug
40. Does someone have a crush on you?  does marriage count as a crush?
41. What is your favorite book? Monkeys on the Interstate by Jack Hanna
42. Do you collect anything?   board games, Legos, Cubs stuff, local historical memorabilia and books
43. Favorite sports team? Chicago Cubs / Bears
44. What song do you want played at your funeral?  Whatever other people want to listen to, I guess…  it’s not like I’ll be enjoying it!

And here is the Mom’s Anthem video:

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Fast and Dirty

Posted in Cool Internet Stuff on November 8th, 2008 and tagged , , , , ,

My friend Sue has been using that term a lot lately – fast and dirty.  It means basically a rough copy of something done quickly.  Thus, a short post with just the basic information.   What did you think I meant?  Shame on you.

A beautifully choreographed piece from beginning to end:

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Tim McGraw – Country Singer, Actor, Vigilante?

Posted in Current Events, music on July 1st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Being a country music fan, a recent news item caught my attention.  Seems country superstar Tim McGraw had to step in to perform security duties at his own concert.  He spotted a large man in the front row roughing up a female concert-goer, and since security wasn’t close to the guy, McGraw grabbed him up on stage to intervene in the situation.  I don’t know why security wasn’t anywhere near the front row at the time, but it seems McGraw can add something else to his list of accomplishments.  The guy already has an pretty interesting biography…  He believed his step-father was his biological father until the age of 11 when he accidently discovered his step-father was not listed on his birth certificate.  His mother took him to see his real father, baseball superstar Tug McGraw, who denied him until Tim was 18 and he realized how much they looked alike.  They remained close until Tug’s death in 2004.  He met fellow country singer Faith Hill – a country superstar in her own right – when they toured together, and they married and have 3 daughters.  He is one of the most talented and successful country singers of our time and has been in the headlines for a few bizarre incidents, including a run-in involving a police horse (his friend Kenny Chesney, a huge country star himself, was accused of stealing the horse and McGraw was accused of shoving an officer during the melee.  The two were later acquitted of all charges after it was proven that Chesney had permission to ride the horse and McGraw was trying to keep his friend from being thrown off the horse).  And now this.  What a way to get on stage to meet your favorite country singer.  And throughout the entire incident, the band played on and McGraw didn’t miss a lyric.  I really have to get to a country music concert; it’s been awhile!  Check it all out here:

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