Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Quiet Christmas

Well it was a pretty quiet Christmas around here. We all went to Austin on the 20th and came home on the 23rd. Mom and dad went too. It was nothing like the Griswald's Christmas Vacation. No loose squirrels, obnoxious lights, or cousin Eddie. Mom did get a new puppy for Christmas though - that was lots of fun!

I guess the kids were good this year as Santa brought them their number 1 wishes on their lists. C-man wanted a shiatsu message chair - yes, you read that right (not sure if I spelled it right!) - and M wanted a teddy bear hamster. Santa did mess up on the hamster and got 2 dwarf Chinese hamsters which were a bit of a disappointment so I had to return them and get 2 teddy bear hamsters the day after Christmas. Who knew there was such a difference in hamsters? I kind of had the thought that a rat is a rat is a rat. Not so. I have to admit these are fun little pets. The kids put them in there exercise balls and they have races down the hall. Very cute . . . kind of like Rhino in the movie Bolt.

The other big and exciting gift was Rock Band. Yes, we have moved up from Guitar Hero that only one of us could play at a time to a full band of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. It is a full family affair - and quite a sight!

It's funny, since going back to work full-time, Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks have felt more like a vacation than they have in years. Lots of sleep, lounging, and shopping - things I usually have no time for.

Hope you too had a peaceful Christmas!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Flying by the seat of my pants!

So, I have obviously been a little busy, but that has definitely broken my computer addiction. I just don't have time to get on at all! I am loving the new job. Hating the new wake up time. My typical weekday starts between 5 or 5:30 in the morning and literally doesn't even start to slow down until 9:30 or 10:00 at night. And I am just crazy enough to try and keep my little part-time retail gig going for right now which means weekends are generally pretty packed with soccer, church, and work too! I don't know how long I can burn the candle at both ends, but it seems to have helped with the whole anxiety issue. Odd, I know.

I am not the only one who has been up to a lot lately. M's girl scouts is in full swing, we are taking a break from horseback riding right now, but we have filled that spot with choir and a slightly heavier homework load. I was informed by a boy in her class just the other day that she is the 2nd smartest kid in the 4th grade. I didn't ask who was 1st, I just thought it strange that he would say she is specifically the 2nd. But it still made me pretty proud . . . especially since just moments before she asked me what does f*** mean. Yes, the "mother" of all bad words. I was shocked to hear the word come out of my sweet baby's mouth. I asked her where she heard it and she said she hadn't, but that it was scratched into the side of the slide. I told her that it was just an ugly word that only really dumb people use and that we do not ever say it. She was mad that someone defaced her school's playground equipment with it so she took a rock and scratched it out. So, I have the 2nd smartest child in 4th grade who thankfully does not know what f*** means . . . I think I am doing something right!

C-man scored two awesome goals in his soccer game this morning. That was quite exciting. He is very quiet and reserved out in public so to see him score, then hoot and holler and wave his hands in the air while running up to chest-bump his buddy is pretty bold - a big confidence builder! I was concerned with him starting 2nd grade - when they get REAL grades - that he would not be as academically conscientious as his sister but after 6 weeks of school, he has proven otherwise. I know you shouldn't compare your kids with each other, but it is hard to stop them from doing it. It seems the older they get the more aware they are of their own strengths and weaknesses.

Larry and I just celebrated our 13th anniversary this past Tuesday. We woke that morning to up to a couple of kids who crawled into our bed sometime that night - which gets a little crowded when they are 9 and 7 - a great reminder of the great family we have created over the years. Later we dined on a romantic dinner of cheez-its and capri sun at C-man's soccer game. The weather was beautiful and our team won, so it was a pretty good night.

Well, it may be another month before I update again so as C-man would say . . . peace out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oops, I don't "stick" at this, I "stink" at this. Good thing I'm not teaching typing ; )

I stick at this!

Hi Y'all!

I have been really bad about keeping this blog up . . . sorry!

When I was scrapbooking, I started not only taking pictures with a page plan in mind but planning events just to get the photos! Sad, I know.

Well, the first week of school went great for everyone - kiddos and mom. M is having some adjustments to her teachers but she got one of her good friends in her class, so that made not getting the teachers she wanted a little easier.

The hardest part so far has getting up at a rather painful 5:30 in the morning. But everybody has made efforts to make the new morning routine run smoothly - what troopers!!

Keeping the early waking hour in mind, I am going to bed (it is 10:00 and 5:30 comes along really quickly) and watch the rest of the Republican National Convention. I know, it is an exciting life, but sombody's got to live it!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Let me just say I have been unbelievably busy.

Tomorrow starts the school year - not only for the kids but for me too! Yes, I am a full time working woman again.

I am teaching the "at risk" kiddos at an awesome elementary school in Allen. Not a classroom full of them. Just one on one or in small groups. No lesson plans, no discipline issues, no parents, no ARDs, none of the stuff that had kept me home a year longer than I should have been. I think this is an answer to many many prayers. I am still learning the ropes but am soooo excited. I am ready for this. I think I have been ready for this. I have needed this.

I had so many hesitations about going back to work full time after being home for 10 years. I mean how do I get everything done and meet everyone's needs and work a 40 hour week? But this was meant to be. My fears and hesitations had kept me from fulling pursuing a full-time position as seriously as I needed to. But this was meant to be. Thursday week before last, the principal got my name from a friend and asked if I could come in to talk to her and the person who is head of this particular department on Friday. I did and left there feeling like things went pretty well. Then I got the phone call on Sunday offering the job and could I be there for inservice on Monday.

How's that for fly by the seat of your pants?

This has actually worked out for the best. If I had too much time to think about it all I would psych myself out of it and be a nervous wreck. Which, by the way, is what I think is the source of all my health problems and panic attacks. My nerves are just shot. Odd to think that adding something else to my "to do" list would be what I actually needed.

I'll let you know how I survive the first day of school.

Monday, July 28, 2008

is this what they mean by the 'tween years?

I have already confessed to being a Guitar Hero family and we are sitting here at 9:55 am and it is 95 degrees outside so guess what we are doing? Yep, playing Guitar Hero. Not for much longer, we are about to go to the library. But while M was sitting there rocking out to Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy she tells me we have to hurry up and get to the library so that she can get the Pooh Bear book she wants before someone else does. Is it just me or does that seem odd? Is this what they mean when they talk about the 'tween years? Trying to grow up, but still hanging on to being a little kid. I'm not ready for the grown up part - she is only starting 4th grade in a month. Well, she decided she is done so it is off to get some new books . . . apparently Pooh Bear books!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Simple Life?

So my clothes dryer started making this really bad burning smell about two weeks ago and my house has become a virtual clothesline. There are clothes hanging in doorways and on the shower rod. It's kinda funny, reminds me of the old Honeymooners shows where they would have clothes hanging across a line strung through the dining room or something. I have spent several days disassembling the dern thing to figure out what is wrong. It is not the belt (it's not a rubbery kind of burning smell and the tub doesn't slip when it is turned on), it is not the lint (I've removed the hose and completely vacuumed out the line), so I thought for sure it would be the heating element as it only smells when it is on a cycle with heat. "Air fluff" still works fine (so I know it is not the motor) but it would take hours to dry a load on "air fluff"! Finally yesterday, I got the heating element out and I didn't see any signs of damage or a problem. UGH! I don't know if I should spend $80 take a chance on replacing the heating element and have it possible still smell, spend $200-300 on a repair guy, or bite the bullet and spend $450-550 a new dryer. None of the options are really in the budget right now.

Drying the clothes by hanging them hasn't been a big deal, but sheets and towels ... that's a different story! So yesterday I washed the sheets, packed up the kids, three root beers, and a pack of UNO cards and off we went to the local "Coin Laundry" to dry our sheets. I was ready for all kinds of complaining from the kids, but they didn't complain at all. Apparently, root beer and UNO can make any kind of waiting fun. It's the simple things that make life's bumps a little easier to take. My friends think I'm nuts for not just going out and financing a new dryer. I haven't convinced them that a dryer is actually a luxury that our lifestyles have turned into necessity. (I live in a very material world - but I try not to be a material girl!) We haven't financed anything in over 5 years and I have no intentions of starting now. So for now, I'll change my perspective and take pride in the fact that my personal carbon footprint just shrunk a little (at least for now) and try to focus on the fun stuff like UNO and root beer and living the simple life.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is it really so wrong?

OK, I've lied to my kids. I know it is wrong, but it is also kinda funny. My kiddos always wonder how mom always knows what they are up to. So I have convinced them that I have eyes in the back of my head - literally. They have spent hours digging through my hair trying to find them, trying to figure out why daddy doesn't have them, and wondering if they will ever get them. They also like to test me to see if they are working. Funny thing is, they always choose to test them while I am fixing dinner. That is my trick. They are too short to realize that I see their reflection in the microwave door which is above the stove. They test me to see if I can tell which one has come up and smacked me on the backside or what kind of crazy dance they are doing. Everytime I tell them precisely what they are doing and who is doing it they try to make it more challenging. It is quite entertaining to me and certainly helps keep them in line.

So my question is: even though I know lying is wrong and they are learning by my example, is this one OK to keep?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We are a pop culture family

Probably much to the dismay and horror of some of my friends, we are a Guitar Hero family. Yes, my children can recite the lyrics to Rolling Stone and Foghat. And they are quite proud of their accomplishments. Today, C was playing (because it is too stinkin' hot to go outside) and was thrilled when he bumped M out of second place on "Juicebox Hero", actually it is Foreigner's old song "Jukebox Hero" but C is convinced it is juicebox. He has been singing it all day, now I keep hearing the song over and over in my own head and he has me singing it as juicebox hero too.

Speaking of singing, I don't think I mentioned that my sis-in-law is in San Fran right now auditioning for . . . American Idol. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, she can sing. She finished med school, works in an emergency room, is performing in The Sound of Music in August (I think it is August.) now she is trying out for American Idol.

What can I say, we are a pop culture family . . .

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

miracles and humility

Well M is finally well - I really didn't think illness struck in the middle of the summer. It is just not right. She actually thought it a miracle that her fever broke night before last and this morning she could breathe sufficiently through her nose. That is how she woke me up this morning. Standing at my bedside inhaling and exhaling repeatedly and rather loudly through her nose. She proclaimed herself officially well. This apparently was a miracle to her because we made plans to go to Hawaiian Falls water park today with some friends and after M had been running fever for a solid week and was congested beyond belief, we really thought we might have to cancel. Honestly the modest side of me that really prefers not to be in public in a swimsuit didn't mind the idea of possibly canceling. But miracles can happen - not that this really qualifies, though it was a good lesson about God's perfect timing. So I dismissed my fears and inhibitions about cellulite exposure threw caution to the wind and me and the kids had a blast. I am quite sure I was able to provide at least a little comic relief for some innocent bystander who witnessed me trying to get my butt - with my swimsuit wedged deeply between the cheeks - out of a two person inner tube after screaming my way down the water slide! I know it wasn't pretty, but everyone needs a dose of humility every now and again, right?

Friday, July 11, 2008

getting caught up...

Hi y'all!

I didn't disappear, I've just had my hands full. You know, just enough time to read other blogs, not enough time to type my own.

We had a great 4th of July weekend - even if the FC Dallas game ended in a tie. The fireworks show after was like a 30 minute grand finale. I don't know if it is possible to overdo a fireworks display, but they certainly tried. I don't mind, I just feel bad for all the future disappointment my kids will feel from here on out. It was crazy big to say the least. My man's birthday was good, kinda low key after the show on the 4th. The kids had a great time popping fireworks with their PaPa (father-in-law) who is really just an overgrown kid too. Not to mention seeing mommajen after so many years on Sunday, what a blessing! (Jennie, we can't wait that long ever again, deal? And Kathryn, if getting to Texas doesn't work for you, I promise I will get my family down there before too much longer!!!)

I have spent this week slimming down. Unfortunately, not myself but my stuff. Mom came over and helped host a "Clean House" episode on my garage and extra bedroom (you know, the room that catches all the useless junk that for some reason you throw in there instead of the garbage). There was no camera crew or professionals to help - unless you count the old guy at the dump that helped me unload my truck of all the superfulous stuff. It was like detoxing my house and my soul all at the same time. It feels so good to be rid of all the junk.

It must have been taxing on M though, she is sick with a fever, headache, drainage - the works. This really stinks and is only supposed to happen during the school year...at least I thought. Now if I can just keep the rest of us from getting it. It's late and I'm affraid this is rambling on now so, ... goodnight

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th . . . and other stuff

Happy 4th of July y'all! Hope everyone gets plenty of bar-b-que, watermelon, fireworks, and family time. Tomorrow is also my honey's turns 37, so we will be adding cake to our list of fun!

Well it has been a busy week here in Frisco. Between cooking up a storm with my girlfriends, playdates with M's "boyfriend" (yes, I know she is only 9, but she has a crush on this very cute, smart, sweet boy Jake who is also a good friend - keep up the good taste in boys Meg!), my sister coming into town - thus cleaning like a mad woman as this is the same sister with the really clean, organized house, swimming, working (I don't know if I've mentioned that I still work part time at James Avery?), and catching up on an entire season of a tv show I am ashamed to admit I have started watching. No, I am not fessing up as to which show right now either! To top off a busy week we are going to the FC Dallas (pro-soccer) game and Frisco Freedom Fest tonight with my sister and her crew, work tomorrow morning, birthday celebration with the in-laws tomorrow night, and the Grand Finale: breakfast with mommajen Sunday morning!!!! I can't wait to see you Jennie! I know there are people who live for their old high school or college days, but I am not one of those people. I just have a couple of special friends whom I miss dearly and thanks to the computer have found again.

So, with all this crazy going on I'll probably only have time to check my computer 2 or 3 times a day instead of my usual 4 or 5! lol! I am addicted, it is an illness for which there is no cure - except logging off and that just ain't gonna happen! :o)

Oh, by the way, Jake's mom is my friend with the craft business, two girls who make crosses - just incase you didn't see it on my myspace page, she has some really cute tee's. It's a shameless promotion, I know! http://www.twogirlswhomakecrosses.com/ Nothing like free advertising.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Does it get much better than this?

I've spent the last two days in the kitchen with three other girlfriends being ultra-domestic and cooking enough food to feed all of our families for about the next three weeks (yea! I'll have an answer for the constant question, "Mom, what's for dinner?") while our kids - 8 total between the four of us - played very harmoniously. It was great. I got some girl time in and accomplished something.

We had to leave a little early today because C had an orthodontist appointment (that is a whole other story) but I forgot something and walked back in to hear my friends talking trash about me! Ok, why would I have friends that talk trash about me you ask? Well, it's not so bad because they were jealous that I only had to tell my kids once to get their shoes because it was time to go. There was no complaining or selective hearing. They just said bye to their friends, got their shoes and met me at the door. No, my kids are not perfect by a long shot, but they were looking pretty shining just then.

If that wasn't good enough, they were both on their best behavior at the dr's office. They both shook the assistant and the dr's hands. They answered politely when they were asked a question. And didn't interupt when I was talking to the dr! In all, a very successful trip - including what the dr had to offer as treatment!

A near perfect day is not allowed to go without at least one hitch. M and C did argue . . . over who got to help me cook dinner and do the dishes. Did you get that? They actually wanted to help me. There was no treat or bribe, no reward or privlege granted for helping, they just wanted to help. They finally worked it out and decided that tonight could be M's night and tomorrow will be C's night.

So my question is, "Does it get much better than this . . . and how long will it last?"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Aaaaahhhhh the Spa!

So I finally got to put my mother's day gift to use. Larry and the kids got me a gift certificate to a day spa in downtown McKinney called Essence of Eve. I love this place! It is nice without being pretentious and it is Christian based not "new age" like. It has that quaint old downtown look and feel. It is just awesome. Did I mention that I love this place?

I met my mother-in-law there yesterday. She was the one who introduced me to E of E with a generous gift certificate Christmas before last and another one last Christmas too. Now, before you start thinking I am some kind of spoiled lush, let me point out these are the only times I've been but would gladly go more frequently if possible!

I started with an hour massage, followed by a half hour rose petal bubble bath soak in a clawfoot tub with a glass of champaign and a couple of chocolates, and ended with a pedicure (which I haven't indulged in since I was pregnant with my now 7 yr old son).

All I have to say is, "Thanks Larry, you done good honey!!!" and aaaaaahhhhhh, I love the spa!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sisters Are The Best

The kids and I arrived home from visiting my sister and her family in Austin yesterday. We had a great time, the cousins got to play, and I got lots of good advice and rejuvenation from my sister. I love staying at her house. It is like being in a big hug and I am never ready to leave. Her house is clean, organized, and peaceful, not to mention the yummy, healthy home cooked meals. We hadn't been home 5 minutes before my kids started asking when we get to see Aunt Kimmy again (and Caitlin, Ryan, LuLu and Uncle Mike). I must admit, I was thinking it too! I do come home feeling like I want to do better around here. I confess, I am not a very good housekeeper. There, I said it, I admit it, I own it. Isn't that the first step to recovery?

See my sister is someone I aspire to be a little more like. She is a selfless, organized, compassionate, patient, Godly woman, wife, mother and sister. We used to live in the same neighborhood until Mike got transferred and they moved to Austin the day before M was born. My whole support system went south - literally. But my sister, being the great person that she is, told the movers where to put the boxes, packed her then 2 yr old twins back in the car and made the trip right back up here while leaving her world upside down in Austin. A couple years later, she came up with the twins (4 yrs old by then) to be here when C was born. They attempted to induce me, but he decided to wait another whole week before appearing and Kim stayed her an extra week with both kids. Those of you who travel with kids know it is not the easiest thing to do. That is just the tip of the iceberg. She takes care of us when we are down there and has paved the way for me on all kinds of parenting issues for the past 9 years.

So this is to say, "Thank you for everything Kim! Sisters are awesome and God gave me the best one. . . I love you!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

blogging from Austin

Ok, I can certainly see how this can be addictive!  I admit to checking on a couple friends multiple times a day to see if they have posted anything . . . 

I am in Austin visiting my sister and her family right now and wishing we could just stay forever.  I love Austin - it is so different than the Dallas area.  Much more relaxed not to mention greener.  Lots more trees, lot less concrete.  If only Larry's work had an office here and we could transfer.  But it doesn't, so we won't. 

M and C love playing with their cousins and never get bored even just hanging around the house here.  Not like home where the idea of just playing at home is some kind of torture or punishment.  I think they even sense how much more relaxed it is here.  

Friday before we left, my mom and I took the kids to see Nim's Island at the local dollar theater.  It was a really cute movie.  Just the right amount of "edge of your seat" action for my kids without worrying about the bad dreams later!  The scary part for me at this particular theater is the pervy men I have encountered two times before here.  The last one was about a year ago when I took the kids to se Shrek the Third.  All I'll say is that when a grown man comes into a theater showing a kids movie in the middle of a weekday without any kids, take it as a red flag!  That time I told the manager of the theater and she called the police . . . I left before I found out what happened.  Try explaining to your kids why you left the theater early and why you had to talk to a policeman before leaving and convincing them that you are not in trouble or going to be arrested . . . lots of fun!  Well, this friday a "red flag" showed up about 5 seats away and luckily nothing happened.  I  made eye contact with him in a way to say, "don't you dare try anything with my babies in this theater or I will rip your heart out!"  I get a little momma bearish that way sometimes.  Another mom and her kids had to sit right next to him so any privacy he had was lost and I was able to enjoy the movie with my kids and not worry about him so much.  Now I'm not saying all men watching a kid appropriate movie without kids in the middle of a weekday is bound to be scum of the earth, I am just saying vigilant moms be alert!  

Well, I think we are going to try and figure out what we are doing today so, signing off . . . 

Friday, June 20, 2008

24 hours panic free!!!

Praise God! I think this wave of panic attacks may be nearing it's end. It has been at least 24 hours since the last one - which woke me at 3:00 in the morining night before last and kept me up for about 3 hours! If this "demanding more" can truly work, I think I need more practice, but not right now. I am too relieved that this bout may be over!

Though I guess I am going to test my nerves a little later today as my mother and I are taking the kiddos to the cheap theater (can't call it the dollar theater anymore since it cost more than a buck) to see Nim's Island. What could possibly be unnerving about a kid friendly movie in the middle of the afternoon you ask? Well, twice in the past 15 years, I have encountered pervy men in this very theater. The last time was last summer when I took the kids to see Shrek the Third. I vowed I would never go there again. But, alas I am going as my mother and the kids both really want to see this movie. I will just be very aware of who sits next to us - hopefully just another mom with her kids not a man in his 40's by himself in a kids movie at 12:30 on a Friday afternoon. However, if a person fitting this description does come sit next to us, I'll just take that as a red flag and move right away!

Wow, my post makes my life seem rather gloomy right now but really it isn't. We just returned last Thursday from a week in Galveston. We stayed bayside in a house right on the canal. We all had a blast fishing, going to Moody Gardens, and Rainforest Cafe but I think the most exciting thing for the kids was diving into the waves in the ocean and seeing two real live sharks right there on the beach! It didn't even stop them from getting back in the water! Some guys were fishing for speckled trout and when they would hook a shark - just small black tip sharks - they would have to walk all the way back to shore to unhook it with a pair of pliers. They might be small, but their teeth are still sharp and you can't really reach your hand in their mouths. The fisherman was going to leave it on shore to die, but PaPa (my father-in-law) came to the rescue and took the shark by the tail and released him back in the water. Two seconds later the kids were back in diving in the waves again! Above are pictures of me and C (yes, he gave me rabbit ears!), M and C with daddy hunting for shells, the view from the deck, and PaPa with M, C, and one of the sharks! Sunday me and the kids are off to Austin to visit Aunt Kimmie, Uncle Mike, and their 3 kids . . .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bring it on . . .

I confess, I have learned a bit about my mother in the past few months. You (the only possible readers of this right now) may remember my mother as a relatively nice lady with a tendency to drink too much. I have come to learn the reason why she drank too much. Anxiety attacks. Yes, as frightening as hell on earth anxiety attacks. Guess what? They are genetic and just this past January I became the next victim in our family. I literally thought I was going crazy or losing my mind. It happened one night after the rest of the family had gone to bed and I was working on a jigsaw puzzle. From out of the blue this brick wall called anxiety hit me. I was scared to death but managed to get in bed and fall asleep about 45 minutes after it passed.

The next morning I called my mother and asked her if she ever feared for her mental health. Very cautiously she answered, "Yes . . . why?" I told her everything that happened and she confirmed that the same thing happens to her every few months and has since she was about my age but never said anything to anyone!!! Uuggghh! A little warning would have been nice. Then I called my sister and guess what else? Yeah, you guessed it. She has been having them since she was well, about my age! Again, uuggghh! I really wished someone had just mentioned this to me.

This past Friday I encountered my 3rd round of attacks (they come in waves and last a few days because of the overwhelming fear and thoughts of having another one) and though mom has lived with them for 30 years, 6 months have passed and I am saying "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"

I visited my Dr after the first one and she gave me a presciption for a low dose of xanax (sp?) which I filled and have yet to take because 1) I think it will only mask the problem, not get rid of it and 2) addictive personalities run in my family, so I tend to stay away from anything that can be addictive - except the computer!

I found a "self-help" ebook program that is supposed to help break the cycle of fear of having another attack and thus diminish the body's tendency to have one. The principle is based on "demanding more" of the horrible sensations of the attack while in the midst of having one until you trust that nothing bad will actually come of it thereby reducing your fear of another and lowering the general anxiety level so that you don't have another (or at least if you do it is just a minor wave to ride out). I don't know if this will work, but what have I got to lose . . . my mind? lol

Kidding aside, this has consumed the better part of my life for the past few months. So, I write this to ask for prayer and to open the door if anyone else is suffering. No one mentioned it to me before it happened and oh, how I wish they had. Since I'll be trying to demand more to get past fear my new motto is "Bring it on" - which I can't say without thinking of blonde cheerleaders but then a little comic relief could be a good thing!?!?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ok, I am a little behind the times on this blogging thing, but like fashion I don't catch on until it has been out for a while! I am starting this primarily because I have been reading a couple of friends' blogs and am starting to feel odd about keeping up with them and not sharing about myself. So I may only have two or three readers and it will no doubt take me a while to get the hang of this but I will give it a try. . . later, right now my kids want to go to the library and who am I to stiffle little minds - especially since the rain thwarted our original plans to go swimming today! Come on Mr. Sunshine . . .