Friday, August 27, 2010

The Friday After the Grandparents Leave (Ugh!)

1. I know, I know. This should have been done yesterday. But it's the end of August and I am in my usual, annual funk. At least there's only a week left until school starts.

2. In fact, we all seem to be in a funk. Alex has gone back to rearranging the furniture in the backyard and is watching the same videos on YouTube again and again. Miranda is watching Peter Pan over and over again. We had a trip to the beach planned for Wednesday and neither child wanted to go. And Miranda got up at 5 am on Thursday and Friday (and subsequently napped during the day on both days) so both she and I are out of sorts as our schedules are off and our energy is down. I hate the end of August.

3. Earlier in the week I managed to get the children to bed happily and get back to my stitching. And the woman who cleans my house came on Wednesday, which helped tremendously, because it forced me to go through all my piles again and get everything put away.

4. Marshall is hard at work trying to finish the new shed this weekend. My father helped get it off to a good start, but it's slower going on his own, especially since both children want to "help."

5. I have been cleaning off the DVR, clearing through all my stored episodes of White Collar, Covert Affairs, and almost a whole season's worth of Leverage. That only leaves The Closer on the list of my unwatched summer shows. They are all fluffy enough to watch while I stitch, when I don't have to give it my full attention, or on my laptop while the children are playing in the other room and I can push pause when needed.

6. Thursday night I watched Letters from Iwo Jima, which I had picked up from the IFC earlier in the week. It was a good movie but I felt like I was missing too many details to follow the action perfectly. I think I was supposed to watch Flags of Our Fathers first, so I have requested that film from the library. I spent Friday morning reading through a lot of Wikipedia pages about the battle so I feel like I have a better idea of what happened.

I've spent a lot of the summer reading about war and am trying to start to synthesize my thoughts about it. Maybe one day, when I'm feeling a little more focused, I'll be able to write it down.

7. I would really like to get to the movies this weekend. Maybe if all goes well with the shed, I can sneak out one night to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

And here's Jen, from yesterday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Friday Before the Grandparents Go Home

1. After a long and wonderful visit (almost 3 weeks!), my parents depart tomorrow morning to drive home to Wisconsin. Sigh. Still, we have had a lot of fun. And the children will be back in school before I know it. Or that's what I keep telling myself.

2. Before their departure, we made sure to go into the city and see the Late Renoir exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum. I am not a huge Renoir fan and I still enjoyed the show greatly. If you are in the area, I highly recommend it.

3. We had our last Backyard Tour event for the Youth Group Wednesday night. I had to say good-bye to three of our senior girls; one has left already for college. This is the part of working in Youth Ministry that I really hate.

4. I haven't managed to get to the movies recently even though several new releases have received good reviews. It might be possible for me to sneak out some night this week, although Marshall has been using his evenings to work on the new shed. Maybe I'll just get a sitter for next weekend and we'll go see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World together.

5. My mother and I went out yesterday to get pedicures together, something we are starting to make a habit. I decided this time to pick a color that Miranda would like:

6. Here, finally, is a picture of the top level of my cross stitch, all finished:

4 pages down, only 16 more to go! I really need to get back to stitching. I've been reading too much. :)

7. My father had a lunch meeting with Andy Crouch recently, who graciously signed a copy of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling for me. Since its publication two years ago, I have read numerous good reviews of the book but never managed get a hold of a copy and actually sit down and read it. Now that I have a signed copy, I will need to do so. Unless I'm too busy stitching!

And here's Jen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Vacation?!

How could I possibly have another week-long vacation only a month after the last one? What mother of young children gets almost 2 weeks away from her kids in one summer? Seriously, my family loves me and wants me to survive.

Best Things About This Vacation:

1. I read a lot of books. Don't believe me? Here's the list:
Grand total 1,718 pages

Granted, the fiction went quickly, especially since Riordan, Laurens and McKinley are favorite authors of mine so I tend to read them quickly the first time through and then go back and read them again. But I was also devouring the history books. Probably because I could concentrate and there wasn't anything else I had to do or anyplace else I needed to be. Marshall also read at least 3 or 4 books himself and we would sit together in the same room, reading passages to each other like we were kids at university again. Yes, this is my idea of a fun vacation. But then if you read this blog regularly, you already know I'm a bit bonkers.

For some strange reason, there are no used books stores (that we can find) in our neighborhood. So, when we go on vacation, we visit every one we can find and fall upon their shelves like ravening wolves. And buy more books than we have shelves for, since our shelves are always full. We actually had to get rid of the contents of a 4 level bookshelf to make room for Miranda before she was born. And that doesn't even count the library for our children.

2. Lots of new pictures up at our Smugmug account.
3. Marshall and I managed to watch the rest of Doctor Who Series 5 as well as the first 2 episodes of the new Sherlock Holmes series entitled Sherlock. I think my favorite episode of the series was the final one, "The Big Bang." Steven Moffat knows much better than RTD how to end the year's worth of episodes. No kitchen sinks were seen to be flying anywhere. Now I can't wait for Christmas.

4. We did the usual fun things with the kids once they arrived, like swim in the big, indoor pool and visit a couple of cool playgrounds. We also returned to Claws 'N' Paws (which we found last year) and climbed around Bushkill Falls. The Falls were very pretty, but, remember, I grew up within a stone's throw of Yosemite.

While at Claws 'N' Paws, Miranda was running over the uneven ground and inevitably fell and scraped her hands. I picked her up, cleaned off the dirt and held her while she cried. I walked over to the Gibbon cage where, last year, we had watched for almost half an hour while the two Gibbons played and romped and generally entertained both kids. Well, this time, one of the Gibbons imitated Miranda's cries and then tried, through the fence, to cuddle with her. It was the cutest thing.

5. I haven't been able to get to the movies for weeks. Marshall and I tried to see Salt while in the Poconos but the theatre's air conditioning was broken. And I now think I want to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

6. While on vacation I finally finished page 4 of my cross stitch. I haven't been stitching much all summer and really need to get back into it.

7. I have the strangest pumpkin vine growing out of my compost heap. It should be fascinating to see how many actual pumpkins it produces.

Jen didn't post last Friday, so that's all, folks!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday at the Beach with 3 Grands

1. I know I am late posting this, but we spent several hours in Surf City today with Mimi and my parents so we are all tired but happy. I haven't looked at the pictures yet. I will try to post them later.

2. Tomorrow will be a busy day. We have family pictures at 10:30 am (the 6 of us), cousin Lilly's birthday party at noon, and then Marshall and I are supposed to go off for a few days on our own before my parents bring the children to join us on Wednesday. Somehow tonight I'm supposed to plan out what food take with us, pack my clothes and books and cross stitch stuff and otherwise get ready to leave. I'm not sure it's going to happen.

3. Did not manage to get to the movies last weekend. I did get the house fairly clean in advance of my parents' arrival, though, which always makes me happy.

4. My children have been very happy this week to have their grandparents here visiting. Except for the nights we kept Miranda up too late (if you put try to put her to bed after 7 pm, it usually ends in tears and some screaming) everyone's been pretty happy with everyone else. Makes for a lovely change.

5. So I remembered that my mother asked me in April to make an appointment with the photographer during their August visit but I didn't remember until after they had left home so yesterday when my mother and I tried to find clothes for 6 people that would coordinate, we were stumped. So we went shopping. Kohl's had a good sale and we used one of my father's shirts as a base and bought new shirts for myself, my husband, my mother and Alex. We figure Miranda's going to wear her favorite star dress anyway and it is difficult to reason with her these days about what she wants to wear. Hopefully, I will have pictures to post in a week or so.

6. Please be praying that the next week goes well. We really need the children to be cooperative with the grandparents as well as in the vacation villa.

7. Alex's last day of summer school with be Wednesday before they leave to join us up at the Delaware Water Gap. God Bless you, Miss Kim!

And here's Jen.