Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nature Scrapbook & Natural History Museum

We went on a few nature walks (some of the kids feel intimidated when I call them "hikes"), and some of the kids enjoyed using this Nature Scrapbook to keep track of the things they found.  Feel free to print one out if it sounds fun to you!

Also, we went to the Natural History museum a few times and saw the snakes up close, and also the animatronic dinosaur exhibit -- make sure you check those out if you live in Albuquerque, because they'll only be here through the end of the summer or so.





Friday, June 29, 2012

Crash


Accidents are a funny thing. They happen in an instant. They can take a couple hours to clean up. And the aftermath can be minutes to hours to years.

This is my car. 
Goodbye, Sweet Car.


DON'T WORRY!! Everyone is ok. 

After a trip to Target, we were on our way home when I came to an intersection where there are two consecutive lights. I was stopped at the first and when I started to move, I saw a car in the opposite turning lane ahead of me. She had her turn signal on and was inching into my turning lane. I stopped with a car length, or two, ahead of me, trying to figure out if this was someone lost attempting a u-turn. Suddenly, she accelerated, getting right in my lane and hitting me head on. 

This is where the seconds feel like hours and milliseconds all at the same time. All I could see was her deployed airbag and thinking that would stop the car, I hoped it would all be over quickly. But, I was wrong. She continued to accelerate and pushed me right into the car behind me, giving my kids and I a double jolt from her hit and then my hit backwards. 

A million decisions floated in front of me in flashes. My foot was on the brake and she was still pushing. Foot on the gas, she's still pushing. Put in park...the car says NO. I couldn't change the gears. With both kids in the car, it was either let her keep pushing me, or pull away. I took a quick look behind me and turned the wheel to peel away from her bumper.

By the time all this has happened, the man in the car behind me was now reaching for her door trying to get it open. And with my car out of the way, her car sped off down the street. I watched in disbelief at her car racing down the street and not even taking out another car. And even more shocked that the man went sprinting down the street after her yelling, "Stop that car!!" By the actions of the driver, we knew it wasn't a typical accident. Something very wrong was occurring. 

When I turned back around, my daughter was crying, my son was frozen and confused, and our car was surrounded by people. I saw a woman in scrubs, who later identified herself as a nurse, talking to my daughter and checking for injuries. Two more girls next to us assured us they were certified in First Aid if we needed help. Another woman and a man on my side of the car asking if we were okay and if we needed to make calls. By this time, it was near impossible to hear the 911 operator on my phone as I tried to tell him what was going on. 

Amazingly, our former neighbor was at the intersection and, once the kids were checked out, took them to her house for water ice while I stayed at the scene. Once she was gone, I had a moment to breathe and almost lost it, but then realized I still had to deal with paperwork and police. 

The police officer was patient, kind and even funny. The tow truck driver, calm and helpful. Every person I came in contact with today has helped restore my faith in humanity. 

Some days, it seems like people are just jerks. They can be selfish, greedy and rude. But then there are days like today. When I'm already stressed and then a poorly-timed disaster happens, all of these people show me that people can still be wonderful, helpful and generous.

I would like to extend a deeply felt thank you to ALL of the people that were at that intersection today. Especially to Melissa Hellman, a complete stranger, who was not involved in the accident, but pulled over and stayed with me the entire time. Someone who I have never met stood there and kept me calm and occupied, and even made sure I had a ride before she left. Please check out her blog The Savings Wife and let her know how awesome she is! 

*It turns out the woman who hit us MAY have been having a seizure. After getting by my car, she hit a pole at a very high speed causing a power outage. I know she was taken to a local hospital, but let's hope she's recovering and not seriously injured. If you are interested in finding out more, you can go to our local paper, The Reporter, for updates.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Reading the Second


Hello there!  I've been reading.  I told you I would.  It's all been complicated by Coach though. 

He's all hot and bothered with the new Paleo movement.  If you're not familiar, it's a diet turned lifestyle, turned propaganda which preaches living as the cavemen did in order to insure good health.

"I can't eat potatoes," says Coach, "cavemen wouldn't have known to dig in the ground for root vegetables."

"Yeah," I said, "well, cavemen wouldn't have known how to find all 78 ESPN channels with lightning speed either."

"I'm just saying.  I can't eat potatoes or peanuts because cavemen would not have known they existed.  And, according to this website, I need to sleep in a cool, dark room with no light, so if you're going to keep reading until the wee hours of the night, you need to get some blue-blocker glasses so your rhythms aren't disturbed."

"Yeah, I'm not going to do that.  And seriously???  You are actually aspiring to live like a caveman?"

"Yep." he said.

"Well, I'm pretty sure that cavemen spent the better part of football season hunting and gathering, soooooooo..."

And so for now the Paleo movement has been tabled.  We'll see what happens when the play-offs are over.  

Anyway, here are the next books I plan on plowing through.  I'm in a memoir state of mind right now, so I'm starting there, but if you are strictly a fiction gal there are some titles for you too!





Amazon says "Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives--the ones we'd like to pretend never happened-- are in fact the ones that define us." 


Considering a bird pooped on my leg, and I got ants in my purse just tonight; this book will probably speak to me.  Yeah, me.  You know, the one who ripped her butt open on a rock in a river and had to get 13 stitches in a rural hospital and then ride in a car for four hours?  The one who previously had a MOUSE in her purse.  A MOUSE.  Mortifying moments are my life.  I think I'll relate to this one.

Just saying.

It Looked Different on the Model - Laurie Notaro


Oh Sweetie, it always looks different on the model.  ALWAYS.

Notaro is described as the "idiot girl" who makes "misstep after riotous misstep" in her marriage and with her family, and it turns out there's a chapter about "Ambien Laurie," who apparently shops in the middle of the night and eats Devil Dogs.  I think she and Ambien Traci, a girl who, much to her own chagrin, finds herself on day 12 of the Insanity workouts (Ambien shopping trip), would get along fabulously.  Turns out I like to shop and eat Oreos in my Ambien-altered state.  Oh yes, I do think there will be much laughter with this one.

And for fiction lovers...




from Amazon: "Set in San Francisco, Three Stages of Amazement takes readers on a spellbinding journey across a landscape of national unease, when the fragility of one marriage reflects the tenuous state of the American Dream. Lena Rusch and her husband, Charlie Pepper, still believe they can have it all—sex, love, marriage, children, career, brilliance. But when life delivers surprises and tests, they must face, for the first time in their lives, real limitation. Told with eloquence and compassion, Three Stages of Amazement is a true thriller of the heart—about confronting adversity, gaining wisdom and finding great love."

Well, I love San Francisco, I think marriage is kind of fun, and who doesn't love a good story about the American Dream going awry.  (Damn thing tends to do that doesn't it?)  But, you can ask Coach- I have real issues with limitations.  And authority.  And tobacco products.

I don't really believe in them.  Limitations and authority are fictional characters in my life.



This one comes out next week.  I read Good in Bed a year after it was published, and I've waited anxiously for every one of her books since.  Jennifer Weiner and I are like soul sisters, except she's Northern and Jewish.  

Did I ever tell you about the time Coach asked our Israeli neighbors who were devout practicing Jews what Santa was bringing them for Christmas?  

I tried to smooth things over with a sausage bread roll.

Frankly, I thought the whole unclean meat thing would be a little more lax in the land of smoked pork products.  From what I could tell, they were still pretty serious about it, and according to the youngest child in the family, their father was a soldier who built bombs.  

Turns out he was a bariatric surgeon, but he had been an Israeli soldier.  I'm sure his military career was  much more exciting in my mind than it was in actuality.

Sorry for the tangent.  I think this one is about Hollywood and what-not.  Check it out on Amazon.  She could write about chicken breasts and make it interesting, so you really can't go wrong here.  Well, if you send her a sausage bread roll you might, but otherwise, I think you're good here.

What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty


As a person who cannot remember much of what I did yesterday, I feel I will be able to relate.  Apparently, Alice's last memory is when she is 29 years old. Then she wakes up in a hospital as a 39-year-old in the middle of a divorce.  Oh, and she has three kids.  As I said, her last memory was when she was a 29-year-old whipper snapper with her whole life in front of her.  The next things she knows she's lost a decade and finds herself passed out on the floor of a gym.  

I can't tell you how much Alice and I have in common.  It's like we're soul-sisters except for the part where "she has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes."  

Yeah, the super skinny mom with really expensive clothes part isn't really me.  I'm more of a Rubenesque mom in Mossimo, but other than that?  Me and Alice = kindred spirits. 

So, according to Amazon, "Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…  "I'm crossing my fingers forgetting is a blessing, because I do it ALL the time.

There's more, but I have to go.  Coach just flashed a document in front of me and said, "Look what I made."

"What is it?" I asked.

"My pyramid for success."

Geez...let's just hope it doesn't involve foraging for vegetables and wearing blue blocker sunglasses.

See Y'all!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Canyons, Cabins, and Caves

We just got back from our summer vacation to southern Utah.  On the way, we stopped at The Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave near Grants, NM.  It was in a nice pine/aspen forest, and there were volcanic rocks all over the place.  We could really imagine this huge mountain erupting 10,000 years ago and making all these cool formations. 

It was freezer-cold in the ice cave, though it was hot outside
 After staying the night in Flagstaff, where we visited the Museum of Northern Arizona (lots of art, native artifacts, and a few fossils), we headed up to a nice cabin (okay, it was really a huge house) in Hatch, UT.  Though the town was not much to speak of, the house was comfy and plenty big enough for our family and my parents and brother and sister. 

The next day we headed up to Zion National Park, about an hour away.  Though the park was a little crowded (think Yosemite), we enjoyed the sheer rocks, the mile long tunnel through them, and the river and the wildlife.  We went on the River Walk Trail, which was cool and shady with plants everywhere.  Sapphire loved the Hanging Gardens portion of the trail, where water trickled down a shady rock face and fed ferns and other plants there.  My folks continued on through the Narrows a bit.  This is a trail where the river *is* the trail -- you wade through the narrow canyon walking in the river.  The river was so refreshing on the hot summer day.


 On a different day, we went on an adventure to Mammoth Cave (N 37° 34.103 W 112° 35.219).  This is not a developed cave where a ranger gives you a tour; neither is it a large, dangerous cave with drop-offs and many confusing passageways.  It's a lava tube, so it's fairly level and not too large, and it doesn't have too many branches.  But it was big enough to explore and feel like we were really in a different world.  In some places the ceiling was quite low, and it was difficult to crouch through (though the kids didn't even notice), but mostly the ceiling was comfortable for walking.  We found some cave crickets, and a bat, and at the end we found a lot of ice turning into mud. 

Everyone is happy after the cave, even though Onyx is covered in mud

  On our last night, Quartz and I went on a sunset hike at Bryce Canyon National Park with my brother and sister.  It was the perfect time to go hiking.  The weather was cooler, and the sunset on the red rocks and hoodoos was beautiful.  We got to see some rare bristlecone pines, the longest-living trees in the world.  Then, when it got dark, my brother pulled out his telescope and showed us Saturn, Mars, star clusters, the moon, and the Milky Way.  We could see so many stars from there; it felt like being on a different planet.








Friday, June 22, 2012

My love for Publix

Well, it's been over two years since I have made a blog post, but I guess I will now start using this to post my couponing saving!!

So, this is the 1st week I have taken a picture of my trip.  I have been extreme couponing for about a year now, and I must say, I am addicted!!!!  After gong last week and getting $631 for $164 total, I was not supposed to go back the rest of this month.  I honestly was going only for the free Japanese noodles and to get milk and bread, and well.....it turned into something much bigger! I do the majority of my shopping at Publix and refuse to shop any where else.  I have 3 freezers (2 fridge/freezers and one 7 cubic foot deep freezer) that can not handle any more food.  I wanted to take advantage of the big chicken/ground beef sale with Zaycon Foods, but I have ZERO places to put it!  

Here is how I did this week at Publix.
28 packs of 4 rolls of toilet paper 6 boxes of frosted flakes
29 bottles of vitamins (money makers)
10 boxes of waffles
10 packs of Japanese noodles
3 gallons of milk
2 pints of 1/2 and 1/2
4 packs of diapers
10 lunchables
4 benadryl cream
2 boxes of icecream bars
10 boxes of tyson hot wings
4 smoothie shakes
2 packages of salad
2 loaves of wheat bread
14 bottles of resolve or sticks of resolve
3 boxes of trash bags
I will also include the jelly beans that I opened to keep the kids quite during our trip.  I actually had to buy them because I have to take my glucose test next week (We are expecting our 4th child in 12 weeks). 
 All of that, $505 worth of products, and I only spent $13!!!!!!!  I was able to use 15 of my $5/30 Winn Dixie Coupons.  The benefit to shopping the same Publix for a year and also taking all 3 children, they don't make you do separate transactions!  Well, if your Publix is nice, they won't.  Gotta love it
Being 7 months pregnant and taking all 3 children has gotten to be a chore.  I will have to try to do my trip when the kids are napping, because my husband broke his foot two weeks ago and had surgery last week. While the older two are old enough to help him and really take care of themselves for the most part, they are not quite old enough to take care of our 2 yr old, and surely can not get her in and out of her crib when she wakes up.  He can not walk for now 9 weeks more, and we are having our baby in 12 weeks.  Talk about timing!  Thankfully, I am a stay at home mom; otherwise, I don't know what I would do.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Giveaway!

If you know me at all, you know that I'm all about getting your daily giggles. On Twitter, I post a #DailyGiggle any day that I'm on. I even wrote a blog post about why I do the Daily Giggle. Laughter really is the best medicine. It's benefits are immediate, and if you make sure to get your laughs every day, they can continually aid your physical and mental health.

I am also an avid reader. As a kid, I devoured books. Then I became a mom and for a while, I forgot all about the things that make me happy. So in the past few years, I've picked up books again. Each year, I try to increase my goal. The bookshelves are overflowing and there is never enough time to read them all.

Today, I'm combining my love of books with my love for laughter. I'm giving away a paperback copy of Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang! This book had me laughing so hard that my husband was giving me dirty looks because I was interrupting his TV watching. And he was the one who bought it for me! I loved it so much that I passed it to my sisters and I can't wait to read it again...and again...and again.


Now, while I have your attention...

I am looking to do a little guest posting on some other Mommy Blogs. There are so many of you out there and I have a VERY long list of the ones that I have read, but I'd like to send out an open invitation to all of you. If you have a mom-related blog, and are interested in having a guest poster, please send me an email at c_horos @ hotmail.com. We'll trade some details and get to know each other a little better!

HOLD ON! 

Having a blog, or having me guest post has NO influence on winning this book whatsoever. It was just a good way to get in touch with a lot of people at once. 

So....if you'd like to win this book, all you have to do is leave a comment that you'd like to win. 

AND...for a second entry, you can Retweet any of the tweets I post announcing the giveaway. Find me at @ChristineMarie_ on Twitter. And make sure to check my Twitter page on Sunday, June 17, to find out if you are a winner!

Good luck! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Go, Daddy-o! Craft & Quotes

 I'm sure all of you are totally organized and already have your Father's Day cards in the mail, but I thought I'd post this idea for a Father's Day card in case it's useful to anyone (Dad, no peeking, you'll get yours in the mail later).  Summer crafts are something the kids and I definitely appreciate.

The inside reads, "You make me soar."

Here's how to make it.
1) Get some blue paper and fold it in half.  If you don't have blue paper, you can always color yourself a nice sky.
2) Add some white clouds with white crayon or by gluing on cotton balls.
3) Cut a white piece of paper in half, and make a paper airplane out of it.
4) Cut the other half of that paper in half, and make a smaller paper airplane out of it.  You can also use origami paper or paper of another color or tinfoil if you like.
5) Glue on the paper airplanes so that the small one is following the larger one.
6) Once the glue is dry, add your message on the inside. ("You make me soar" or "Thanks for always lifting me up!" or "You're a high-flying dad!" or something less cheesy that you come up with).

And now, for some quotes from our resident dad:

Wes: "Okay, but I didn't want to replace my wife with a stray dog." (while playing Skyrim)
Wes: "I could do a two-hug combo."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Reading

I wasn't sure it would ever get here, but summer finally arrived.  This was a big year for us- Coach started a new job, G started high school, V started at a new school, and AC started middle school.  I just held my breath and jumped.

And now it's here.  Summer, summer, summer.  I started a reading list sometime in late February, and this summer I'm going to plow through a list of 40 books.

And I'm going to master pie crust, but that's a story for another day.

Today I'll just give you the first five books on my reading list.  I love summers when ALL of my favorite authors publish books, and this is one of those summers.

1.  Jeneration X - Jennifer Lancaster



I char-grilled my thighs in the pool the other day finishing this one.  Three days later I am testifying that it was well worth the second degree burns.  If you are a reluctant grown-up, this is your book.

from Amazon:
In Such a Pretty Fat, Jen Lancaster learned how to come to terms with her body. In My Fair Lazy, she expanded her mind. Now the New York Timesbestselling author gives herself—and her generation—a kick in the X, by facing her greatest challenge to date: acting her age.

Jen is finally ready to put away childish things (except her Barbie Styling Head, of course) and embrace the investment-making, mortgage-carrying, life-insurance-having adult she’s become. From getting a mammogram to volunteering at a halfway house, she tackles the grown-up activities she’s resisted for years, and with each rite of passage she completes, she’ll uncover a valuable—and probably humiliating—life lesson that will ease her path to full-fledged, if reluctant, adulthood.



Well, I've never read her work before, and I'll say that my neck is sore from nodding in agreement to so many of her observations on being a girl, a co-ed, a wife, a mother, middle-age, and what she calls "the renaissance" (because that's what follows the middle ages).  It made me hate being in my forties less.  It also made me think about my mortality a little bit more than I would have liked on day two of summer vacation.

from Amazon:
In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead—and celebrating it all—as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more.
 
As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. Using her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages, Quindlen talks about
 
Marriage: “A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn’t believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation.”
 
Girlfriends: “Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends. Sometimes I will see a photo of an actress in an unflattering dress or a blouse too young for her or with a heavy-handed makeup job, and I mutter, ‘She must not have any girlfriends.’ ”
 
Stuff: “Here’s what it comes down to, really: there is now so much stuff in my head, so many years, so many memories, that it’s taken the place of primacy away from the things in the bedrooms, on the porch. My doctor says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, she doesn’t believe our memories flag because of a drop in estrogen but because of how crowded it is in the drawers of our minds. Between the stuff at work and the stuff at home, the appointments and the news and the gossip and the rest, the past and the present and the plans for the future, the filing cabinets in our heads are not only full, they’re overflowing.”
 
Our bodies: “I’ve finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come. It’s like a car, and while I like a red convertible or even a Bentley as well as the next person, what I really need are four tires and an engine.”
 
Parenting: “Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”
 
From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it satisfying and even joyful. Candid, funny, moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.



3.  Spring Fever - Mary Kay Andrews





I just started this one tonight.  I was hooked by chapter two.  I'll let Amazon do the talking here.

from Amazon:


The New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental delivers her delicious new escapist novel about small towns, old flames, and deep secrets

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless.  They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history.  She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia.  But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance.  Maybe everything happens for a reason.  And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back.  But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town.  On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone.  Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.

4.  Porch Lights - Dorothea Benton Frank




This one doesn't come out until June 12.  I'll be ready for her!  She's also coming to Franklin in July!

from Amazon:


When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman with the NYFD, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island.

Crossing the bridge from the mainland, Jackie and Charlie enter a world full of wonder and magic—lush green and chocolate grasslands and dazzling red, orange, and magenta evening skies; the heady pungency of Lowcountry Pluff mud and fresh seafood on the grill; bare toes snuggled in warm sand and palmetto fronds swaying in gentle ocean winds.

Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Thrilled to have her family back again, Annie promises to make their visit perfect—even though relations between mother and daughter have never been what you'd call smooth. Over the years, Jackie and Annie, like all mothers and daughters, have been known to have frequent and notorious differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her flamboyant and funny best friend Deb are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got Steven Plofker, the flirtatious and devilishly tasty widowed physician next door, to keep her distracted as well.

Captivated by the island's alluring natural charms and inspired by colorful Lowcountry lore—lively stories of Blackbeard and his pirates who once sailed the waters surrounding the Carolinas and of former resident Edgar Allan Poe—mother, daughter, and grandson will share a memorable, illuminating summer. Told in Annie's and Jackie's alternating voices, and filled with Dorothea Benton Frank's charming wit, indelible poignancy, and hallmark themes—the bonds of family, the heart's resilience, and the strength of love—Porch Lights is a triumph from "the queen of Southern fiction" (Charlotte Observer).

5.  Off the Menu - Stacey Ballis  


I read Good Enough to Eat and loved it!  Additionally, Jennifer Lancaster recommended this one.  I haven't read a book off of Lancaster's lists that I've disliked.  As a matter of fact, most of my pleasure reading comes from reading lists she posts over at her place.  However, this one doesn't come out until July 3.  

from Amazon:

As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes—and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.

Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick—and Dumpling—find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table—one delicious dish at a time…

I'll post the next five next Wednesday.  Happy Reading!

See Y'all!



Monday, June 4, 2012

Art

I'm distracted right now because Coach and I are in the throes of a serious competition with the six kids we have here on vacation.  (Our three and three of our nieces and nephews)

We have less than 24 hours to photograph 30 abstract items/ideas and present them in a multi-media presentation.

Frankly, the competition was a genius plan on my part. It was an activity that was meant to entertain/occupy the kids for the next 24 hours, all the while incorporating art, physical activity, interpersonal skills, and iMovie mastery.

The genius part? It was an activity that required a spectacular lack of adult supervision.

Except that Coach cannot resist the siren song of competition.

So,  though we cannot win the prize, we are participating as an exhibition team.

What that means for me is that we will run around for the next 24 hours arguing over how one might interpret and photographically represent the word empty.

Of course, we could have marked that one off the list if he had taken my suggestion to photograph an empty grave in the cemetery, but he said that was a creepy idea and might scare the little kids.

Whatever.  Yesterday one of the little kids retold a news story about a naked man eating the face off of another man at an interstate exit in Florida, so I'm pretty sure a picture of an empty grave is pretty benign at this point.

Anyway, the competition was designed to keep the kids occupied while the adults sat on the beach and read, or in Coach's case, drew crabs in the sand and then made everyone come over and look at his "sculpture."




Instead, we're going to go 15 rounds over which of the following pictures is the best representation of the word soft.

Choice A


Choice B


It's something to ponder, but I have to go.  We have a strategy session in fifteen minutes; Coach just needed a few more minutes to complete his second "sculpture" of the day which, if I'm not mistaken, involves him standing on the toilet seat, throwing cotton balls in the air, and rearranging our toiletries into the shape of a paisley.  All the while trying to photograph the movement of the sculpture.

Personally, I think it's overkill.  Obviously, this picture is our ace in the hole...


Don't ask.  I can't even begin to give you a good explanation.

But, to be clear- yes that is a dead squirrel hanging on a speed limit sign.  And no, no one in our party is responsible for the death of said squirrel.

We're just recording it all for the sake of art.


See Y'all!