Wednesday, January 30, 2008

For Those That Seem To Think I Always Send Them My Crappy Weather!

I got this in my e-mail this morning. Just thought I'd give you a little notice! ;)

Weather Alert!

: Johnson (Kansas)
447 AM CST WED JAN 30 2008




447 AM CST WED JAN 30 2008





Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Something Funny And Something Interesting For A Cold Day

Someone posted this on the Weather Blog and I thought I'd post it here too. It's at least good for a chuckle. As of right now, we're in the 12 degree range (5 degrees with the wind chill). It could be worse, though. We could still be in Dubuque where it's currently -6 degrees (actual temp) with a wind chill of (no kidding) -31 degrees! I do not miss those temps at all, since that's typical of winter there. Two winters there was enough for me!

First, the funny...
Temperatures and What They Mean

40 degrees - Californians shiver uncontrollably, Minnesotans go swimming.
35 degrees - Italian cars don't start.
32 degrees - Water freezes.
30 degrees - You can see your breath. Politicians begin to worry about the Homeless.
25 degrees - Boston water freezes. Cat insists on sleeping on your bed with you.
20 degrees - Californians weep pitiably, Minnesotans eat ice cream. You can hear your breath.
15 degrees - N.Y. City water freezes. Politicians begin to talk about the homeless.
12 degrees - You plan a vacation to Mexico.
10 degrees - Too cold to snow
5 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the car going. Cat insists on sleeping in your bed with you.
3 degrees - You plan a vacation in Houston.
0 degrees - Too cold to skate. American cars don't start.
-5 degrees - You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo.
-10 degrees - Too cold to think. Politicians actually do something about the homeless.
-15 degrees - Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you. You need jumper cables to get the driver going.
-20 degrees - You plan a 2 week long hot bath.
-25 degrees - The mighty Monongahela freezes. Japanese cars don't start.
-30 degrees - Californians disappear, Minnesotans button top button...
Below -30 - The kids call home from college. End of the world...

Now the interesting...
The following article taken from a less than favorite weather blog (I go there when I don't particularly care about weather accuracy and need a good laugh...also known as the site where the meteorologist said that, "the worst of winter is behind us," 3 days before winter even began) that talks about how we're going to be heading into a deep cold period. Check it out. Changes in the Sun’s Surface to Bring Next Climate Change

Monday, January 28, 2008

This Weather Sucks

Okay, not the weather for the past couple of days, but the weather we're going to be getting. Yesterday and today was nice. We actually hit 60 degrees today. That was awesome. Of course, you had to take the 20 mph winds and 45 mph gusts, but I'll take 60 and wind any day over 15 and no wind. At 10:15pm, we're still sitting at 55 degrees.

Tomorrow, we have a massive cold front (according to Gary Lezak, our weatherman, it's the strongest front of the season) coming through that will take our temps from 50's down to the teens with wind chills below zero. The National Weather Service says that our temps will drop as much as 10 degrees an hour. That's exactly what I want to wake up to in the morning. Oh, and our wind will not change. 30-50 mph winds with the cold temps. AND they're calling for snow midday tomorrow.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Race Day

Today was the day of the Big Race. We arrived early to enjoy the pancake and sausage breakfast before racing started. Poor Daniel...his car consistently came in last...of course, so did Jacob but his had more of a fighting chance. At least both cars crossed the finish line. Here are some pictures...

Daniel gets ready to enjoy pancakes.

Daniel and his "best buddy" Josh.

Hannah and Josh's sister, Abby.
Jacob and his friend, Alex.
Daniel's Cheesemobile crosses way after everyone else's car. You can see the rankings on the board.
Daniel's car comes in 5th because of a tie for 2nd.
Daniel and his participation trophy.
Jacob, Alex and Andrew wait for their cars to race.
Jacob's car (2nd from left) waits to race.
Jacob's car races...his is on the far left.
Jacob with some of his friends after the race.
Jacob and his trophy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Derby Check-In

Tonight was car check-in for tomorrow's Pinewood Derby. We've been working on these cars for almost a month and there was a lot of pressure to make sure the cars met all of the requirements. If you don't meet the requirements, you have to go to the Outlaw Race and you don't get the chance to compete at the District race. Here are the big requirements (there are actually 11 requirements with requirements within each like the cars have to be at least 1 3/4" wide and cannot have offset wheelbases or all paint and glue must be dry but we didn't have to worry about those)...

1. Each car can be no more than 5 oz each (but they can weigh anything under that). Jacob's was 5oz exactly. On our scale, it was 4.95 so I knew we'd be cutting it close. Daniels was 5.1 oz. On our scale, it was 5 oz on the nose, so we were actually relieved that he wasn't too far over. We ended up taking off the mouse's nose (which is a shame because he's so darn cute) and came in at 5oz. It looks kind of dumb but it makes weight.

2. They have to be no more than 7 inches long, but not less than 6.75 inches. Both cars passed with flying colors.

3. They have to have minimum 3/8" ground clearance. This is because of the way the track is set up. Any less and the cars can't run properly on the track. There was some question as to whether or not either made that since we had weights on the bottom. Our pack leader put both on the track and they were fine.

Phew. We cleared check-in.

Looking at the track, I'm wondering if the cars will make it to the end since there's more straight-away than ramp, but considering our weight, we should be good.

It was fun to see everyone's cars...some were very simple and some were very elaborate. That made me wonder how much the kids actually did on the cars. Although, I'm sure some were thinking the same thing about ours.

I ended up talking with Lisa, mom of Jacob's friend Andrew. I've always liked her. She's from Wisconsin and moved here about the same time we did. She was telling me that the thing that bothers her the most about living here is the lack of friends. She knows a lot of people but has no one that she feels she can call just to vent or talk. I told her that I felt the same. So, we made tentative plans to get together. It'll be nice if we can become good friends.

So, our pinewood cars are in the "Pack Impound Lot," all checked in and ready to go for tomorrow's race. I'll let you know how we do tomorrow!

Mike holds our cars as we wait to check them in. Sorry the picture's a little blurry. We'll get better photos tomorrow (and plan to glue the mouse's nose back on after the race). Daniel's Cheesemobile is on the left and Jacob's car is on the right. And yes, the boys did do quite a bit of work on the cars (sanding, painting, etc). It's hard to believe these started out as simple blocks of wood.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quite The Week

Between all of the birthdays (Happy belated birthday to Donna and Happy 16th Birthday today to my niece Megan!), federal holidays, trips, anniversaries and just general goings-on this week, I did not need a sick child. I got a call from the school nurse yesterday telling me that Jacob had an earache. I picked him up early (but not as early as I would have liked since he desperately wanted to shop the book fair at school) but didn't take him to the doctor like I probably should have. I figured that I'd wait and see how he was feeling today.

When I got up this morning, he was already up and camped out on the couch. Apparently, he'd been up for several hours (like around 5am) but didn't want to wake anyone. He looked terrible. I decided to keep him home and made an appointment for him after Hannah's gymnastics class.

We get to the doctor and all he wants to do is lay on the exam table. The doctor comes in and tells me that his ear looks really bad and that it's normal if we see any blood or puss leaking out of his ear ("just wipe it away," she tells me). What the heck? She goes on to tell me that it looks like Jacob's eardrum burst sometime last night...he tells her that he did feel stuff coming out of his ear and onto his shirt in the middle of the night, he thought it was normal. Seriously? You thought that crap pouring out of your ear is normal? Anyway, she said that it would help with the healing and the pressure and that he should be good in a couple of days. Aack!

He's currently napping on the couch...that's a good thing since I don't think he got much sleep last night. Poor kid.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nine Years

Nine years ago today, I married my best friend. It's been quite a ride that's given us 3 children, several different jobs, and taken us to 3 states (besides Illinois). I love you honey! Happy anniversary!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Adventures in Traveling

Friday morning, I left the house at about 7:30am to allow plenty of time for my 10:50am flight. With rush hour and the fact that I wasn't exactly sure what to do, I wanted to make sure I did have a good amount of time. I got as far as the end of the subdivision before I had to turn around. I had forgotten my directions from the airport to Sue's house. That would have been bad. Anyway, I decided to stop at the QT for coffee and made my way.

Traffic was good. The only places it bottled up was around the I435 and I635 junctions. Other than that, I moved right along and made it to KCI exactly when I thought I would. I found a nice parking spot, pretty close to the terminal and under cover of a parking garage. I was pleased. I grab my suitcase and head into the airport, pretending that I know what I'm doing.

As soon as the doors to the airport open, I see the Southwest ticket counter. Mike had said to try to find the automated kiosks so that I wouldn't have to wait in line but it looked like these were the automated kiosks. I walk up and, sure enough, they have ticket agents hanging out around these things, only there if someone needs help. I pop in my info and it pops out a boarding pass. Not sure if that's all I need, I ask the lady if that's it. She tells me yes and points me in the direction of my gate. About this time, I pretty hungry but I figured that I'd just get something when I passed security.

I get in line and grab a plastic bin to put my stuff in. One of the guards comes over to check my ID and boarding pass. He asks me if I have any lip gloss or lotion in my purse (I do!) and then he pulls out a Ziploc bag. "Make sure you put them in this next time," he tells me as he zips up my gloss and lotion. "Oh, and take off your coat." So, I take off my coat and shoes and put them with my purse in the plastic bin. I put my suitcase on the belt and turn to walk through the thingy. For the first time ever, I did not set the thing off! As I wait for my bag to go through, one of the security guys looks at me, points to my suitcase and asks if it's mine. I say yes. He grabs it, tells me to put on my shoes and meet him at the counter. He waits until I get there to open it up. He pulls out my makeup bag and unzips it. He pulls out my lipstick, mascara and eye cream and tells me that they are technically liquids. Ummm...okay. He spots the ziploc bag I had been given earlier and puts them in. He zips everything back up and tells me to have a nice flight. Well, that was uneventful.

I walk into the gate area and realize that I've just made a mistake. There are no food places inside security. They're all outside. I look up and see a big Starbucks sign up on the second level...mocking me. Ugh. I sit down and call Mike. He tells me that I should just leave and go through security again after I've gotten something to eat. I decide that it's not worth it. I do end up finding a little cart that has coffee and muffins so I get something off of there.

While I'm waiting for the plane to arrive, I look around and am pleased with the lack of people. Because Southwest doesn't have assigned seating, the lack of people means that I'll probably get a window seat (I love a window seat). I wasn't counting on everyone coming at the last minute. I'm still not sure where everyone came from. SW has three boarding groups: A, B and C. I look at mine and I'm in group B. Should be okay as long as there aren't many in group A. Group A boards and they call group B to line up. I finally get onto the plane and it doesn't look like there are any open seats at all, much less a window seat. Then, I see it. A window seat! I throw my carry-on into the bin and go to sit down. I didn't realize that my desperation for a window seat would mean that I would be traveling with someone's thigh in my lap (I'm not kidding) the whole flight. Gross.

I get my seatbelt on and look out the window. How did I not know that it had started snowing? The pilot comes on and says that we'll be delayed about 5 minutes while they de-ice the plane. I'd always wondered how they did that and now I'd get to see. The poor guy in a cherry picker comes by with a hose and sprays stuff on the whole plane. He had to be cold.

So, the plane takes off and lands a little later. I decide to take a look around to see how the airport is set up so that I don't make the same mistake I'd made in Kansas and to see how backed up their security line is. Looks to be busy but moving and there's lots of food inside. Good. I look around to find the car rental. I'm the only one there so I'm in and out pretty quickly. I turn around and there are a lot of people from my flight standing in line. As I'm walking out to the car, I realize she didn't tell me what kind of car I was getting...just a spot number. I get to the spot and laugh out loud. It's the ugliest car I've ever seen in my life. A puke orange HHR. This car looks like a PT Cruiser and a Hummer had a kid. Ugly, ugly, ugly. It took me forever to figure out the controls and whatnot.

A little while later, I arrive in Kentucky and call Sue. She tells me to meet her at the Amish Parking at the WalMart, she'll be there in a minute. When she pulls up, she laughs at the car. Not my fault! LOL! She walks me through the visitor's center thing and we head to her house.

A little later, she takes me on a tour of the post. Completely different than what I had expected. Of course, I'm not sure of what I expected but I wasn't expecting a little town, complete with fast food and schools. They've got a little of everything there. I think Sue was laughing at me the whole time. Of course, I've got my Band of Brothers groove on since everything screams Airborne.

Saturday, Sue took me up to the museum, which was really cool. I got some bears for the kids that had the Airborne eagle on them, but I'm kind of wishing I got more stuff. For the most part, we hung out and watched America's Next Top Model while drinking really bad wine. LOL! It was nice to just do nothing.

I headed back to the airport around 2pm on Sunday. I was getting nervous because it seemed to take longer to get to the airport than it did to get to Sue's. And, I was driving about 5 mph faster. Strange.

I dropped off the car and headed inside the airport. I went through everything like a pro. I didn't get stopped at all in the security line, though I'm surprised they didn't stop the elderly lady behind me who was doing everything I was doing and was complaining very loudly (at one point she asked if she was going to have to get naked). I took off my shoes and she yells to the guy behind her, "take off your shoes!" I take off my coat and she mutters to herself, "take off your coat? Why can't I go through this with my coat? I guess we have to take off our coats. (turning to the guy behind her) Take off your coat!" I handed my ID and boarding pass to the security lady who was rolling her eyes at the lady behind me. She told me to have a nice flight and I wished her good luck with what was coming behind me. She laughed.

I hit Quizno's for lunch/dinner and headed over to the magazine place to get reading material. I saw these little airplanes that act like they're taking off and got them for the kids and headed over to my gate.

Once again, I was in group B, but it seemed like it was a bigger plane this time. By the time I got on, there were plenty of seats and I plopped myself into a window seat towards the back. It felt like the seat may be broken and just as I was going to get up to move, a lady sat down next to me. I figured that I'd be okay for a little while and sat back down. At least I didn't have to worry about someone's thigh being in my lap this time. I hadn't counted on her wanting to read the paper the whole flight...every time she turned the page she'd hit me in the arm or boob. Ugh! I think she knew that I was getting annoyed because when the flight landed, she took off.

When I walked in the door at home, I thought Hannah was going to start crying. She didn't let go of me for 15 minutes. The boys were less excited about me coming home, but they still were huggy.

All in all, it was a good trip and it was nice to see my nieces and to meet my new little niece, Sarah. I hope I get to do it again.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Already?


Anyhoo...I'm leaving for my weekend at Sue's tomorrow morning. I almost feel like I skipped a week somewhere because the last time I checked, I was leaving in two weeks. LOL! The kids keep asking me if they can go too (no!). I finally did map out the way from the airport to your place, Sue. I told you I'd do it before Friday morning! Dad says that he thinks it's right. I guess we'll see! All I can say is that I'm really excited about it. I've never taken a trip, just me, without the kids. Even if it is just for a weekend. Should be a lot of fun.

It snowed about 3 inches last night and now it's freaking cold. Oh darn...I'm going to miss the coldest temps of the winter so far this can keep your single digit temps. LOL! For some reason, the kids have a snow day...not sure if there was ice or something under all of that snow (haven't been out yet today) so maybe that's it. I can't imagine they cancelled school just for a couple of inches of snow.

I got a call from the school the other day saying that Daniel had bumped into something and his two front teeth went through his bottom lip. There was a big deal about his coat being covered in blood (it wasn't but whatever), so I went and picked him up. Poor Daniel. Two days later, he still has a bit of a fat lip. You can clearly see where his teeth went into his lip. Looks awfully painful. At least it happened at school this time!

Other than that and the usual TKD stuff going on, that's about it from here for now. I need to get on the ball and get some laundry switched over and get the kids fed some lunch.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What Did I Do?

All of my joining is finally starting to come around to bite me in the butt. Our school district has this voice message system where each family has a voice mail account. It's a great way to get little notices out to teachers (and for them to do the same) or to other just leave a message to someone's voice mail and they can get back to you. It saves so much on notes going back and forth, potentially getting lost or ignored. I probably check ours on a daily basis since you're only allowed 15 messages total and some days we get 5 or more. Today was no exception.

I dialed in this morning to find 5 new messages in the mailbox. One from the school's new voice mail rep and two from Jacob's teacher giving the weekly agenda (she can never keep her messages under the allotted 3 minutes so she usually gets cut off and has to send a second voice mail). Then, I get this one:

"Hi! This is Betsey and if you're getting this message, you've signed up to volunteer for the third grade Southwestern Day! We're having our first planning meeting..."

Ugh. I press 9 to save it and move on to the last one.

"Hi! This is JJ and if you're getting this message, you've signed up to volunteer for the Family Night Supper and Bookfair next week! 8 me back and let me know which shift you'd like to work..."

Crap. At least Mike gets to take my place at the first grade Native American Day on Friday since I'm going to be on a plane, heading to Sue's! LOL!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Good To Have Friends

Mike invited Stephen and Roxanne (and their boys Jett and Quinn) from Tae Kwon Do over for dinner last night. Roxanne has been telling Mike that she wanted to get the boys together for some time now and we thought that this would be a good way to do that. We asked them to bring a bottle of wine and maybe a little desert. I had to laugh when they showed up with 4 bottles of wine (they couldn't decide which one to bring so they brought them all) and a French Silk pie. (For a visual of Stephen, Jett and Quinn (I don't have one of Roxanne, though), look here )

The kids immediately ran off to play...Jett and Jacob (they're both in third grade) desperately tried to keep the younger kids out of Jacob's room. Who would have thought that Quinn and Hannah would have become a pair. She told me this morning that Quinn told her that he was going to marry her when they're older. Ahhh...if arranged marriages were still around. LOL! It was nice that the kids all got along so well because we got to chatting and completely lost track of time.

Several hours, and two bottles of wine (hard to believe it was only two) later, it was time to call it a night. Hannah had fallen asleep on the couch and Jett and Quinn were hiding from their parents so they wouldn't have to go home. It seriously didn't feel like they were here until almost midnight.

It was so nice to have people over again. I really missed having friends over for dinner. This is really the first time we've done it since we've moved here. Friends used to come over all of the time in Virginia. Having friends definitely makes Barb a much happier person.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm All Messed Up

I've been working on knitting a blanket for Daniel for a couple of days now. I took it downstairs to work on while catching up on some TiVo after the kids went to bed last night (I freaked out when Project Runway cut off just as they were announcing who was out...thank goodness Bravo runs it 3 or 4 times a night!). I was so into the knitting that when I decided it was time to call it a night, it was 2AM. Oops. So, go figure that I would accidentally turn off my alarm at 7AM instead of hitting the snooze button. I knew there was a reason I set my clock 15 minutes, or so, fast...I totally freaked out when I saw that it was 8:00. I was trying to figure out how to get the kids to be able to eat in the car on the way to school...then I realized that it was 7:45. Those 15 minutes made all the difference. Of course, the kids weren't happy at all with the way that I woke them up...screaming like a banshee. They did make it to school on time, fully clothed, fed and hair brushed, but now I'm feeling like I'm behind on something.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back In The Swing

It's been almost a week since my last post. Two weeks off has really messed things up for me. Getting back into the groove has been difficult, but we're managing. It doesn't help that Hannah's gymnastics times have changed. That really threw me off on Monday. The good news is that the boys have been so tired at the end of the day that they go down pretty easily.

We've been in full-on pinewood derby mode here. We spent the weekend sanding and painting the cars for the derby. We're getting close to being done...just have to figure out how to put those stupid weights on in such a way that it doesn't hinder the car's ability to go fast. The boys are having a great time making them. They usually come home from school and ask if they can do something with them. Jacob has even designated a display space in his room for after they're done. It should be interesting to see if we can pull this thing off! :)

I've got the beginnings of a cold coming on. Ugh. At TKD last night, I just started coughing uncontrollably. I hate that. Now, my nose is all runny and stuffy at the same time. I wouldn't mind it so much if it weren't making me cough. I guess it's time to up the fluids.

Hannah's latest thing is to take what the boys said they did at school (or at home for that matter) and apply it to herself. She's been telling me that her preschool's TV came and interviewed her and she told them how to cook a turkey. Jacob's favorite thing to do is the monkey bars at recess...she told me that she was doing the monkey bars at her school (they don't have monkey bars on her playground). She also told me that they are making toy cars at preschool (they're not). Jacob's getting pretty annoyed with it. I think it's funny. She's also not happy with me right now because I won't let her eat all day. She'd snack her way through the day if I let her. She decided to eat two bites of her breakfast and was "starving" by 9:15. I gave her a snack at 9:30 and told her that was it until lunch. She's been begging for lunch since 9:45. get lunch when it's lunchtime and not before.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pick Your Horse

Last night I had turned on the news to see how the Iowa Caucus was going. I cheered when I saw that my candidate was winning (full disclosure...he's been my candidate for a full 36 hours now...LOL!). Here's the conversation with me and the boys:

Jacob: What are you cheering about?
Me: Looks like my guy won.
Jacob: Who's your guy?
Me: Mike Huckabee.
Jacob: I don't like him at all.
Me: That's right...I forgot you're a Democrat.
Jacob: I don't know what that means but I like Ron Paul.
Me: Dad would be proud.
Jacob: I know!
Daniel: I like your guy! Who's your guy?
Me: Mike Huckabee.
Daniel: Mike Maccabee?
Me: *laughing* Not Maccabee...Huckabee.
Daniel: Oh. Mike Huckabee. It'd be funnier if it was Maccabee. *begins singing a song about Judah Maccabee he learned in Sunday School*

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big sister, Debbie!

I have to say that I'm thrilled to have 2007 behind me. Here's hoping that 2008 is a better year for everyone!