Thursday, July 31, 2008

Picture of the day

(warning: I need to go around the block to get next door on this one, so don't get lost) (if you don't understand that last parenthetic statement, you're clearly not from the south and have no southerners in your heritage).

One of my favorite free-ware finds is Google Desktop. For all of my frustrations with Google, they do make a good product. "Desktop" is basically a search engine for everything on your computer (including your emails, files, folders, pictures, whatnot, and etcetera). It also comes with several optional widgits (I think that's the right word), including a little displays a random slide show of photo's from your "my pictures" file on the right side of your monitor. (yes, I'm sure you can drag it elsewhere; don't bog me down with silly questions like that!).

Today, while slaving away at my laptop (not to mention occasionally playing free-cell during a conference call), I saw a picture of Tink pop up that I hadn't seen in a while. I provide it above for your viewing pleasure. I've entitled it "The Soccer Player and the Bag'o'snacks".


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Golfish types of things. . .

1) Belle just started her second week (this summer) of golf camp. She loves it. I don't know if its the friends she makes, the cool purple golf bag, or the thrill of a great drive, but she loves it. (That's probably the correct order, by the way).

Anyhoo, she's having fun and I'm thrilled. Rumor has it that there are gobs of women's golf scholarships that go unclaimed every year. Not being ones to let anything go to waste, we're doing our part to fix that problem. Starting in 3rd grade.

2) This weekend, my family gathers here to celebrate my father and his 80th birthday. As noted previously, the actual birthday was in June. Give us a break; we must have all been born late because we sure have been ever since. A key part of the celebration will be held in 18 segments, enjoying God's creation as we were meant to (hitting tiny white sphere's into the woods while pretending to aim for a grassy flat spot faaaaaar off in the distance). I'm one of four sons. Of the four, two are tragically good at golf (way to much time on their hands, apparently); I pretend to know what I'm doing (and am amazingly enough hosting the event at "my" club); the fourth is reveling in the fact that his "new" clubs aren't the ones he bought at a garage sale 10 years ago for $12. I'll keep you posted on the results, including the number of clubs that end up in the lake.

3) While celebrating my wife's aunts birthday this weekend, I saw this sign on their game-room wall. No added commentary necessary. 'Nuff said. Enjoy.

Coffee + motherboard = not good . . .

We had a little issue here yesterday morning. My wife (whom I love and cherish) moved her laptop to the sewing room for to move some monograming files to her mack-daddy computerized sewing - embroidery - latte brewing machine. Realizing the risk of taking her morning coffee with her, she had the foresite to put said coffee in a travel coffee mug.

Said mug has a tiny little hole that lets tiny little amounts of coffee out if tipped over.

Helpful hint: it only takes a tiny amount of coffee to fry a motherboard and transform a previously useful IBM laptop into a less-useful IBM doorstop.

Let me pause to acknowledge that my wife has willingly and cheerfully accepted my work computer hand-me-downs ever since she left the paid workforce 9 years ago. When my employers (may they ever be blessed!) deem it appropriate to upgrade my 2.5 to 3 year old laptop, she gets the rode-hard, put-up-wet cast-off. Hey, free (or practically free) is always nice. I thank her for never complaining.

Unfortunately, I'm not due for an upgrade for at least 6 months; maybe a year. Trust me when I tell you that she won't last that long.

If anyone knows of some great PC deals out there, beloved internets, please let me know. I'm now in the market.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Time for some campaignin' . . .

Now that's just darned funny.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just like any other family, right? . . .

So this afternoon, I came up to find Belle and Tink playing "Mummy Hunt" with their Egyptian archeological dig set. A bit later, Tink was found behind the sofa working on her Math Wrap-Ups ("plus 3's", I believe). While we prepared dinner, all three kids retired to the school room to practice drawing butterflies based on instruction from our "How to Draw" book.

This is how most kids spend their summer vacation, right?

UPDATE: here is Belle's butterfly (on a flower) as drawn on the white board in the school room. She was the teacher; Tink and The Boy were the students.

Hey, let's go to the beach! . . .

I had a meeting in Savannah last Friday. Hmmmm. Savannah; near the beach; on a Friday afternoon. Perhaps one might want to take one's family on one's business trip and take advantage of the beach-ish proximity to have some fun.

Hence, we up and headed out on Thursday for a last minute beach trip. Two night in Savannah; one night on Hilton Head Island. Sweet!

Highlights included:
  • wife and kids playing on Tybee Island, learning about coastal animals and such

  • a tasty dinner on River Street

  • a Dolphin Cruise Saturday morning where we actually saw real, live dolphins cavorting in the ocean (how cool were they?!)

  • a beachfront hotel on Hilton Head for one night

  • lot's of sandy oceany fun for all

Lowlights included:

  • the tiniest "suite" ever invented that barely fit 3, much less 5, in Savannah

  • ten million people at the beach and pool in Hilton Head (it's summer; who knew so many people wanted to go to the beach!)

  • we forgot the camera, so the only pictures we got were from my Blackberry (quality TBD)

All in all, the highs definitely outweighed the lows.


Hey, these blackberry pics aren't too bad!

The Three Amigos scoping out dolphins

Actual dolphins swimming in actual ocean water near our actual boat!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Words fail me . . .

Down here in Georgia, the words "cultural event" can sometimes take on a very new meaning.

Oh, and our wedding traditions can vary a bit, too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

That was my 100th post!!! . . .

Compared to my compatriot and doppelganger out west, I'm a slacker at this whole blog thing. I must confess, I haven't met too many people as verbose (or moreso, even) as myself. But still, the century mark is worth noting.


What a GREAT weekend . . .

The July 4th / Independence Day holiday is one of our favorites. Traditions since moving to the mountains include:

  1. staying home (no travel allowed);

  2. going to the Bicycle Parade to watch the kids ride in circles on their bunting-covered bikes and then get a medal;

  3. going to the soccer field to play games, watch the kids bounce on the bouncy inflatable castle thingies, and agree with the other parents that they really should have one of those set aside for the grown-ups. Along with an ambulance;

  4. have a picnic dinner at the playfield with lots of friends and let the kids run and play until it gets dark, and then . . .

  5. watch fireworks surrounded by friends and family.

This year, we invited some of our oldest friends to spend the weekend. (BTW, it's the friendship that's old, not the friends) We met while we were DINKs (double income, no kids) working in Atlanta and ended up working together in Birmingham where all of our respective chilluns were born and we became SINMs (single income, no money). They also have three kids (2 girls, then a boy, the copycats!) that are close in age to our three. They have visited us before, but this was their first July 4th trip. We're hoping to make it an annual event.

New additions to the list of traditions based on this past weekend include:

  1. not playing golf (WAAAAAY to crowded on a holiday weekend);

  2. not going to the pool (ditto);

  3. eating chocolate cake until it oozes out your pores;

  4. turning July 5th into an 18-hour board-game-apalooza;

  5. letting the kids play to their hearts content and entertain themselves (ie: making them leave the grown-ups alone!)

Item #4 was particularly awesome. Blockus, Rummicube, lots of card games, Boggle. We played them all, then we played them again. We didn't move one car from the driveway all day long. We cancelled evening plans in order to keep playing games. Fueled by #3 (a ginormous chocolate cake), we were game-playing machines.

When was the last time that any of us did that?!

Looking forward to next year!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Update and Additional info . . .

Re the wife's wrist: all is well! Apparently she has some type of cyst that can get aggravated when traumatized (such as banging one's hand against the lid of a cooler). "Take some Aleve and it should be fine". Yeah!!!!!

I omitted one critical event from the weeks chronology in that last post. Monday was my Dad's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! The big celebration will come in late July when most of the family will come to town for a weekend of fun. (note: when you're dealing with 4 sons, 4 daughters-in-law and 12 grandchildren, it's hard to get everyone in one place at the same time). Some of that celebration will be held on the golf course here in the mountains; fun and hi-jinks are sure to ensue. I'll report accordingly.

It's a busy week, but . . .

I will at least give an update on what's been happening here at the Mountain Homeschool.

1) Fitting 5 days of work into 3 days (tomorrow is an "official" holiday for us!) is painful, especially when last week was basically a write-off due to the funeral and summer camp for the girls.
2) Summer camp for the girls: 3 days and 2 nights at Girl Scout Camp; a GREAT time was had by all. Next week they both want to go for a whole week. Yikes! More on that later.
3) Last Friday we stopped at Costco en route to pick up the girls from camp. While trying to get the top close tightly on the cooler, my wife banged down on it with her left hand. "Snap!" We're still waiting for the results of the X-ray; hopefully her wrist isn't broken but it sure feels like it. Like we have time for that! Please pray for a quick recovery and lot's of patience.
4) To keep from getting bored, we got two new kittens on Sunday afternoon. MUCH more on that later, but boy are they cute!
5) Close friends from Birmingham are coming for the holiday weekend. The house is still a wreck. Plus, see numbers 3 and 4 above. Yikes!
6) As a result, you can just strike the "school" part from the title for this week and just call us "The Mountain Home", 'cause there sure isn't any schooling going on right now!

Anyway, lot's to do. Have a great 4th of July!

Oh, one more really important thing. One of my regularly-checked bloggers is another home-school Dad. Fletch, over at He and his wife have eight (double-yikes!) kids, the youngest of whom is less than two weeks old and is in the hospital with some wierd random virus. Check Fletch's or Kendra's blog for info on Mighty Joe and please remember him, Fletch and Kendra, and the rest of the family in your prayers!

OK, I really need to get back to work.