Monday, December 31, 2012

Ice Cubes

My friend Polly sent me the link for this common recipe.  I'm certain that you will enjoy reading the reviews!

Got Happy Haiku

Complain.  Argue.  Grump.
Caught huge snowflakes on my tongue.
Warmed up with some soup.

Sounds like a commercial, I know.  But I was caught up in the holiday blues this morning.  A little time out "snowflaking" helped change my bad attitude to gratitude.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

You Gotta Get Up!

That's what we were telling ourselves on December 26th and 27th after the attack of the Christmas Stomach Virus.  Thankfully, we had nowhere to go and nobody to see.  We all had our first post-Christmas meal on the 28th.  Too bad our adult fitness center weigh-in isn't until next week.  Mike and I would rock those scales today!

But before the attack, we had a nice family get-together and enjoyed a candle light Christmas Eve service at Living Word Church.  Here are a couple pictures of us and the kids with a few cousins. 


She's Back!

Move over Bionic Woman.  Rachel's back on the basketball court with her $35,000.00 knee.  Her coaches are being cautious - playing her only a couple minutes at a time - but that is about all this heart can take anyway.  We are so proud of her!



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Household Tip

The dishwashing tablet must be unwrapped for the dishes in the dishwasher to be properly cleaned. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Baking and Pinterest


New Cookie

Brown butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. HERE!  Need I say more?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Zombies

Rachel and Mr. Rellim watch that zombie show on TV.  I can't stand even listening to it.  But on their Christmas gift lists for my mom, I wrote "Zombie Apocalypse Supplies."  I met her at the mall today and she had a couple Zombie Apocalypse video games in her hand.  We laughed when I explained that I meant for her to buy bottled water, canned tuna, flashlights and walkie-talkies.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grandma Thoughts

I've been thinking about my grandma today.  She had red hair before it turned gray.  She sang first soprano with the Stephen Foster Singers in high school and had a chance to travel and sing to entertain the troops during WWII.  I'm not exactly sure why she did not take that opportunity.  She married a WWII vet, a first-generation German American, and had five children.  At age 35 she was widowed and moved her family across the country to live close to her mother (also recently widowed) and worked in a variety of desk and retail jobs to support her family. 

Grandma was a big part of my life.  She came to every birthday party and church program and school concert and high school musical.  She visited Mr. Rellim and me when we were newlyweds and drove hours to visit her great-grandchildren when they were young.  I used to call her on my days off and use my headset phone and clean the house while we talked. 

At age 76, she married again and I took photos documenting the joy on her face.  Within a couple of years it became apparent that her short term memory was failing and her husband Russ made the difficult decision to move her to a nursing home.  Grandma was just no longer safe in her own home.

I've visited Grandma at the nursing home a handful of times and it's heartbreaking to observe her cognitive and communication deficits.  I'm not even sure that she knows it's me.  But I'm sure she knows that it's someone who loves her.  It's so strange to be sitting next to her, yet overwhelming be feeling how much I miss her.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Communication

Communication - it's what I try to facilitate all day long.  Here is a great example of two people having some communication breakdowns and the importance of using vocabulary specific to the situation.  It also sorta reminds me of the type of instruction I have received from my superiors in the workplace.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Everyday Application

Last night I served as one of three women who performed dramatic readings of the scripture.  There were times when we read separately and sometimes in unison.  Often, the unison portions were mid-sentence.  After many practices, I had an idea of how it should flow, but the others just weren't in sync with me.  It wasn't horribly off, but consistently not-quite-right.

Before the actually performance, we had a quick run-through that sounded the best ever.  The difference that time?  I decided to listen and follow.

Listen and follow.  Trust and obey.  Why don't those ideas ever occur to me the first time?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas Dancing

video
This is a quick video of my niece, Evelyn, dancing to a Christmas story songbook that we recorded for her.  I miss the cute performances of toddlers.  I don't miss the diapers, however.  And it is nice when kids can bathe themselves.

Rachel and Quinn attended the Christmas concert at church tonight and their enthusiasm toward my singing was also positive, though no interpretive dance was interjected.  Quinn said, "It wasn't all torture."  Rachel told me my (eight measure) solo was "Banging!" and "the dude's solo was ballin'!" I'll pass those along as compliments.  And the final choral number In the First Light was "REALLY GOOD!" per her handwritten notes in the margins of the concert program.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

No Arrest Required

I was shopping at a local antique store with my niece, Evelyn, who is 20 months old.  With my hands full of a darling little princess, I wasn't able to hold the small bowl that I had selected for purchase.  So I put the bowl at the top of my purse so it would stay safe and I could pay for it before we left.

Well, I found the bowl at the bottom of my purse the next day.  Oops.  Fortunately, the shop owner readily accepted my apology and cash.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Believe

I believe in guardian angels.  And I believe that Mr. Rellim just ground one up in the garbage disposal tonight.  I'm not even sure why he turned it on while he was feeling around for a small pork chop bone.  I do know that I haven't seen him move that quickly for a while.

I'll try not to think about it anymore.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Apologies

This afternoon during forced family togetherness, everyone signed cards and helped me stuff Christmas envelopes.  In passive-agressive protest, many of the letters have five folds or more.  So sorry.  I hope the post office sends them through.

Casualty, Pew Four

Our pastor asked us to consider which war in the entire history of the world has produced the most casualties.  I don't remember the answer.  I do know that Mr. Rellim leaned over to Rachel and whispered, "Zombie War?"  Rachel's reaction was intense and unexpected, and we later learned she thought he said, "Stop being a whore."

Of course she did.  We often speak to each other like that.  Especially during the sermon at church.

Saliva

Quinn asked me to report that the double bacon six cheese pizza caused him to salivate so much that he actually choked on it a little bit.  You can order one from Papa John's too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reason #37 for Wearing Eyeglasses

I've been drinking decaffeinated coffee all week.

I apparently purchased the coffee at the grocery store without wearing my glasses and have been preparing the coffee in the mornings without wearing my glasses.

Stupid decaff coffee.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Family Sing

At dinner tonight, I shared my favorite Christmas Song and began to sing, "Ring Christmas, Bells Merrily Ring, Tell All the World Jesus is King!"  Rachel started singing the harmony, "Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas!  Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas!"  Mr. Rellim (with a bit of spaghetti sauce on his cheek) bellowed the bass line, "DING!  DONG!  DING!  DONG!"  It was a different key than expected and we all started laughing. 

"What?!" asked Mr. Rellim, "Don't you like my 'DING!  DONG!'?"

Life is what happens at the dinner table.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Again?!

I didn't anticipate a loss for Romney.  I've been feeling blue all day.  Got my daily email from the Family Research Council and began to cheer up a bit.  Here is an excerpt:

"Until then, our mission is as critical as ever. It's time to get up, dust ourselves off, and trust in God's ability to work in dire situations. "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation," writes the Psalmist, "When his breath departs he returns to earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord ..." (146:3-5). We do not serve victory; we serve God. And to Him, in these anxious times, we turn."

Anxious times, indeed.  Especially for those of us who look forward to decreasing take-home pay beginning January first.  Especially for those of us who anticipate increasing health care premiums.  Stop.  I could rant for the next four years.  Instead, I will despair briefly, but not disengage.  America is not beyond repair.  The restoration must come from a transformation of individual hearts and minds.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Sandy's Lessons

I have to agree with Bill on many of his points.  I'm a fan of self-reliance v. dependence.  I'm a first-born.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cat Woman

Mike was so disappointed in my "Catwoman" costume.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sharing

Again, with another group of first graders today, the therapy probes were not going well.  We were practicing "social smarts" - thinking about what the group is learning and staying on topic.

Out of the blue, one of the students said, "Look at my bandaid!  Here, let me show you what's underneath - it's from a skito.  A TEN POUND skito!  A TEN POUND GERMAN skito.  It just bitted me and now I have this mark.  Have you gotted a bite by a ten pound German skito?"

Student two replied, "Look at my bandaid!  Let me show you my ringworm.  See?  It gotted two creams and one bandaid.  Wanna touch it?"

Me:  "NOOOO!"

The session wrapped up so we could all go to the bathroom to wash our hands.

Questions

I was working with a group of first graders on proper question formulation.  It was not going well.  I kept giving them example after example of proper question formulation.  They kept answering my questions instead of imitating the proper grammar.  My favorite exchange:

Me:  "Who likes Halloween candy?"
Student:  "Mexicans!  My dad likes candy."
Me:  "Is your dad Mexican?"
Student:  "No, he drives a truck."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lunch

Quinn has eaten his lunch in the parking lot of the high school a couple of days now.  He just sat in the truck and ate.  I was worried that there was a problem or that he was being teased or bullied.  Angrily, he responded, "It's open campus, Mom!  It's a free country!  I want to try new things!  Is there a law that says I can't sit in the truck and eat my lunch?!"

I still think there might be something else going on, but he seemed pretty confident.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Could It Be?

I've heard that you shouldn't eat sushi from a truck stop.  Duh.

Mr. Rellim is wondering if the ham salad sandwiches from the gas station could be causing his gastrointestinal upset this evening.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Back in the Day

video
Speech/language delayed days, that is.

Does anyone know how to email a Power Point presentation?  Please help!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Rumble

It's what I'll be doing on Saturday night.  And it's why Al Gore invented the internet.  You should really check it out.  Should be a good time!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

'Twas Homecoming




Quinn had a date (She is a friend of Rachel's.), Rachel invited another girlfriend, and they all braved the dance together.  Yes, I know her dress is short.  Sometimes it's hard to be the tall girl.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hadn't Thought of It

"Mom, do you think "Johnny" will invite you to his funeral?"

and then later

"Dad, who will you invite to your funeral?"

made me start to wonder if I should start an invitation list

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cleft Palate Team

After many years of enduring what I considered to be sub-par cleft palate team evaluations, we finally were able to switch back to St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Quinn and I spent the day there today and he actually was evaluated by the various professionals.  Where we were obliged to go the past eight years (due to insurance restrictions), it seemed as though I would provide reports of medical tests/procedures/appointments and they would spend about ten minutes with Quinn, then dictate a team report summarizing the information that I had provided them.

Today, Quinn was evaluated by otolaryngology, audiology, speech-language pathology, orthodontics, plastic surgery, nursing, and child psychology. 

Toward the end of the day, Quinn started to get a bit punchy.  He mentioned to the child psychologist something about how his family tortures him and how we even have a torture chamber.  I reminded him that all the employees are mandatory reporters and that he probably doesn't want to spend the night with a foster family just because someone didn't understand his sarcasm.

He asked me how to spell "murmur," and I told him that he no longer has a heart murmur.  He said, "No!  Like murmurs that you hear.  You know?  Like how I hear murmuring all the time.  I should write that down on this questionnaire."  On the way home I asked about the "murmurs" and he said, "Kids are always murmuring things in class and I'm tired of hearing it.  'This teacher is dumb.  I hate homework.  I hope this class is over soon.'  Stuff like that." 

One of the questions was, "Do you think about sex too much?"  Quinn loudly asked in a surprised voice, "Is it bad to think about sex too much!?"  I told him it was only bad if it was interfering with his homework.

I'm certain the child psychologist is still writing up her findings on our interactions today.  But she did let us leave for home.  That's a good sign, right?

Kindergarten is Funny

A Kindergartener asked me if he could use the bathroom.  I nodded and he quickly walked to the in-class restroom, gently closed the door, then LET OUT A SHRIEK OF LIVING DEATH. 

I walked over to the bathroom door just in time for "Johnny" to exit.  I asked him if he made that noise in the bathroom.  He nonchalantly said, "No."  While he was washing his hands, his teacher said to him in the calmest, sweetest, most patient voice ever, "Now, Johnny, remember we've talked about this many times before - we can hear you when you are in the bathroom."

I couldn't hold it together and had to step out of the room.  I was laughing so hard that tears were in my eyes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fender Bender


Rachel was in the left turn lane when someone pulled out in front of her, attempting to cross all four lanes of traffic.  No injuries, just some muscle soreness.  Poor Little Red.  I feel badly asking that person's insurance to pay.  Maybe I'll just ask for a couple bungee cords.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eight Weeks

Today Rachel saw the orthopedic surgeon for her eight-week follow-up.  She is doing extremely well, she has full range of motion, and is now able to bike and use the elliptical machine.  Her physical therapy has been increased to four times a week, but she was still disappointed when he told her that she could not run yet.  I'm sure she'll ask him again in four weeks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

High Schoolers

Rachel and Quinn are both in High School now.  Quinn said he was worried about the "Freshman Hunt" and getting "trash-canned."  I told him to worry about his Spanish vocabulary instead.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day Shock

Every August when school starts, I wonder when I had enough time in my life to work a job.  I mean, I'm busy every day all summer.  How can I possibly set aside eight hours every day to be away from home?  To distract myself, I offered an entertaining introduction to the new teachers in my building:

"Hi, my name is Mrs. Rellim.  I vacationed in the Outerbanks, NC this summer, then spent the rest of it in rehab .  . . . . . . . . . . . with my daughter who tore her ACL."

Symptoms

There have been two reported cases of the swine flu in our county, so when Quinn woke up with a fever and a cough (and asked to go to the doctor!), I took him in to see the doctor.  We were having a little trouble getting in for an appointment until I shared that he had been showing hogs at the State Fair all weekend.  Suddenly, a spot opened with the practitioner of our choice.

Fortunately, Quinn does not have the flu, but sinus and ear infections.  He's working on day three of his antibiotics and feeling better.

Funny thing is that when I was asking him about his symptoms before his appointment, he said, "I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm coughing, and I can't even meow!"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pick Up Line

Rachel and I both commented to Quinn that he is looking kinda handsome and that he better watch out for silly girls at the State Fair this weekend.  I asked him what he might say to a girl (or group of girls, more likely - because don't they all walk around in herds?) who might walk up to him. 

Without hesitation, Quinn said, "Did you know caterpie can become metapod?"

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Disposable Thumbs

Apparently, my son has them.  It's what separates him from the animals, he tells me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Higher Than the Temperature

Rachel can now independently bend her knee to a 138 degree angle!

Teenage Girls

Teenage girls make about as much sense.

Rachel complained of feeling tired and dizzy during physical therapy this morning.  As soon as we got home I began to make her life miserable (per her report), so she walked about a mile to a friend's house.  I'm sure that will help her rest her knee.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Communication Specialist

During our walk around the neighborhood this evening, I reminded Quinn that Mr. C. would like him to water his flowers while he is out of town.  A few minutes later I asked Quinn to take the trash down to the end of the driveway when we got home.  Quinn  nodded, then pealed off to take the shortcut home - through Mr. C's backyard.  A few seconds later, I heard Quinn stomping around on Mr. C's darkened deck looking for his trash can.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Extender

Mr. Rellim's business ships viable genetic material all over the country.  To ensure the viability of the substance, a liquid is added to extend its shelf life.  This liquid is (cleverly) called "Extender" and is stored in a plastic milk jug in the refrigerator.  The other milk jug in the refrigerator holds fresh water that is also used to fill the ice cube trays.

I don't think I should finish this story.  Feeling gaggy.

Transgenerational Communication

Driving the 1995 S-10 (We haven't decided whether to call her "Essie" or "Little Red.") with only a cassette tape player, my daughter has learned how to open a cassette case.  Her first attempt was comical with the shaking and sliding and pounding of the little plastic case.  The windows also take some manual labor to roll up and down.  Rachel told me yesterday, "Now I understand why people make a fist and move it in a circle when they want me to roll down the window."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Little Red S-10

I grew up in a small town.  A town so small that my mother's boss once walked into my bank (where he was not a customer) and cashed a check for ME.  The teller gave him the cash because he knew that I was away at college and that my mom worked for him, and that I would eventually get the money.

A town so small that I could call a car dealership and speak to someone I have not seen for over 20 years and buy a used truck from him - over the phone.  Of course, my parents (who still live in that town) were able to take it for a test drive.  And the salesman told me the name of the previous owners - a couple who just celebrated their 90th birthdays!  I knew them, of course.  My dad actually visited them after the purchase to retrieve the extra set of keys for me.  They handed them over without hesitation.

I'm happy to have a little truck for yard work and rummage sale-ing.  And my kids are crossing their fingers that I may let them drive it to school this year.  And Rachel said, "A 1995?! That's older than me!" 

"So, treat it with respect," I replied.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Collective Salvation

Since the 1980s, kids have been praised for every minute task accomplished - or nearly accomplished - or tried pretty hard to get started with.  At the end of a game, every participant receives some sort of reward nowadays.  The American culture has succeeded with convincing even the dunces making mud puddles that they are building sand castles (per C.S. Lewis in Screwtape Proposes a Toast).  And now, to round things out, we are telling the successful, the ingenious, the determined, that their accomplishments were not so very special.

Keep dreaming big, kids.  Keep thinking big ideas.  Keep taking chances to make the world a better place.  And make sure your parents get to the voting booth in November.

Angles

Rachel has begun physical therapy for her left knee.  Her treatment is initially focusing on strengthening the quads and gaining range of motion of the knee.  After four sessions, she can do a leg lift with minimal assist and has bent her knee up to 75 degrees.  The surgeon's goal for her was 90 degrees by August.  I think she's going to surpass that easily!

Treatment Option

I've been seeing my chiropractor a couple times a week for about a month for the same complaint.  Yesterday he asked, "Would you say you feel 2% better every day?"  I nodded.  "Good," he said, "then my advice is to come see me again in about 50 days."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Snap!

That might be what I'd say if a tree crashed through my home the same night I moved in.  This family is actually a friend of my sister, Jodie.  Good luck to them!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Word

Annoyment:  The act of annoying someone just for the enjoyment of it.  For example, "Mom, your friend just called here, but I don't know why.  Just for annoyment, I guess."

Thank Quinn for this new word.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updates: Heatwave Edition

1.  Rachel had surgery July 2nd to repair the ACL in her left knee.  The surgeon took out the stitches yesterday and physical therapy started today.  She is still in a brace  locked in place and using crutches as needed for balance.  The goal is to have her knee bend at a 90 degree angle by August, then assess the need for continued crutches.  As these things go, we are being told that she is healing well.  She's looks better than Mr. Rellim did when he broke his leg at age twelve.



2.  Quinn is excited to enter his first Yu-Gi-Oh tournament this Saturday.  I drove him to the store last week to check it out and make sure it wasn't just a front for a drug operation.  I was amazed to see so many 25 year old men playing a monster card game.  It was unclear whether, though highly likely, they still lived in their mothers' basements.


3.  Twenty years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart.  Here we are at my junior prom in 1987.  Who knew we'd still be having so much fun?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Among Other Things

Rachel has a complete tear of the ACL in her left leg.  We didn't suspect this.  Certainly an atypical presentation of symptoms.  Anyhoo - surgery on Monday, rehab for about six months.  She is very sad about missing her junior year season of basketball.  Orthopedic surgeon said that soccer in March is a very reasonable goal.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Met the Orthopod

He reviewed Rachel's knee x-rays, evaluated her himself and decided that the lateral collateral ligament is what was connected to the tibia.  He suspects possible ACL involvement, but won't know until after an MRI - which is scheduled for this Thursday.  I asked him to state in detail what Rachel may and may not do in basketball practice for the rest of the summer.  His face got pretty red.  I'm not sure if he was annoyed with me, embarrassed for me, or if he was trying not to laugh.  "Well," he began, "she can't run.  She can't walk.  She pretty much can't do anything."  That pretty much clears it up then.  Estimated rehab time depends on what MRI reveals.  Best case scenario is three months until she is able to participate in competitive sports.

Upside?  Rachel is looking forward to "bedazzling" her bulky knee brace.

I'm Up!

I was jolted from sleep less than one hour ago by a teen pounding on my bedroom door and shouting, "Where's the pen?!  I'm going to die!!"

"Epi-pen!" shouted Mr. Rellim, "Shoot him with the Epi-pen!"

I dashed to the stash of Epi-pens and quickly realized it was Rachel who woke me, not Quinn.  She continued shouting, "I'm going to die!  These mosquito bites are so itchy! Where's the pen?"  My adrenaline surge switched to annoyance.  My search then changed from Epi-pen to Benadryl anti-itch stick (which was not in the medicine bag where I left it yesterday).

"Oh!" said Rachel, "I guess it's over here at the computer where I used it last night."  She applied the topical Benadryl then went back to bed.

But I'm up.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rachel's Knee

Possible avulsion fracture of the tibial attachment of the PCL - or something like that.
Looks more like that photo you see in psych class that could be a picture of an old hag or a beautiful woman, depending on your perspective.  We see an orthopaedic surgeon on Tuesday for treatment options.  For now, it's ice, elevation, ibuprofen and crutches.  Too bad it happened during the first game of the summer season.  But perhaps Rachel is meeting surgeons in order to investigate future professional opportunities.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Would They Do That If They Had Won?

"We aren't going to go away. We're not going to pull a blanket over our head and pee in our pajamas."

Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, talking to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the loss of the power to strike and force state workers to pay dues.

Guess What?

Quinn and I just repaired the leaky faucet in the bathroom!  Thank you, online video.  Of course, we had to ask a strong football player friend to turn the water off (the handles had rusted shut), then drive to three different places around town to look for a replacement washer, then call a handy neighbor to check the work, but we did it!  Next time, it shouldn't take three hours.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Startled

I was working in the yard when I heard the sound of a man make a cough-sneeze-clear-throat-scream-because-I-was-just-stabbed-between-the-shoulder-blades-by-my-crazy-wife noise.  I've never heard a sound like that, but I found myself making quick steps toward my house.  Since I was in a portion of our yard that was sort of "echo-y," I was unable to determine the direction from which it came.  All I knew is that with Mrs. Neighbor on the left and Mrs. Other Neighbor on the right, I needed to find shelter.

Alas, my worries were unjustified.  For just as I made it to the driveway, the sound was heard again.  And this time, I watched in amazement as it came from Mr. Other Neighbor's body - his fully awake, alert, and presumably whole and uninjured body.  Pollen must really be getting him down.

This is What Democracy Looks Like

Both Walker and Kleefisch kept their jobs after the recall vote in Wisconsin.  Click here to watch a short speech from the Lieutenant Governor.  I'm not opposed to big labor.  I am a member of the teacher unions.  However, I am opposed to union leadership that places its own needs before the state's and country's need to maintain financial solvency.  I am also opposed to the mandatory membership that puts me out about $750 a year.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sunrise Farewell

We welcomed the sunrise before packing the car on our last day of vacation.  It was a good one.
Looking at this picture reminds me of something Mr. Rellim once told me.  I'm certain he meant it as as a compliment.  "You know another reason I love you?  You're not ugly when you wake up in the morning."  He has such a way with words.  Could write a book on romantic banter even.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Day Eight - Captain Wiley

Captain Wiley with Kitty Hawk Kites just called.  The winds have picked up to unsafe levels and he was letting us know that our reservation for triple para sailing has been cancelled. This is despite the fact that Logan's dad was able to find the website, download the waiver, fill it out correctly and completely, then find a fax machine in town and then fax the waiver to KHK.  AAAAAHHHHHGGG!

So I called Corolla Jeeps for a two hour self-guided tour of the beaches with the wild horses.  They were booked.  Double AAAAAHHHHHGGG!  Guess we will be stuck entertaining ourselves this afternoon. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunset Day Seven

New glasses.  New dresses.  Sweet pictures.





Thanks, Outer Banks Eye Care

Mike's first attempt at using the boogie board ended with his glasses being sucked out to the bottomless sea.  An expensive lesson for sure.  Stupid Neptune.  I'm going shell searching and keeping an eye out for his old pair.

If not for the close location of the eye place, I would have been designated driver again on the way back home.

Now I'm going to the beach for a while.

Day Seven Side Trips


Mike had to stop at the pirate shop in Chicamacomico.  He and I both had our picture taken together at Bodie Island Lighthouse, but it was under construction so the teens were spared twenty minutes of torture of having to climb the stairs of yet another historic site.  Time to hit the beach.

Day Seven - Morning Activity


We took a drive down the coast to Cape Hatteras.  And we did climb the highest lighthouse in North America.  Here are the pictures to prove it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Storm Footage

A short video of the Tropical Storm Beryl from our bedroom window, ending with my dire warning to Rachel about not getting nail polish on the carpet.
video

Day Six - Rainy Day Edition

Mike and I took a short trip to Manteo Island to see Roanoke's Lost Colony and the Elizabethan Gardens. In the prelude to the storm, there were waaaay too many mosquitos. The kids, having decided to stay home and sleep in, missed the short window of sunshine and are now driving me crazy. Maybe it started with the ceiling leaking in the kitchen as the wind and rain picked up. Or the wrestling in the living area. Or Mike's great idea to start a beach fire (illegal here) in the Coleman charcoal grill. Or the giant sand message reading, "YOLO!" (You Only Live Once) when I glanced out to see my entire family "wading" in the wind-whipped surf. Or the profanity-laced rap music blaring when I got out of the shower moments ago. Yes, it's true that I snapped the pirated CD into bits with my bare hands while wearing only my bath towel. I believe I may have frightened them a bit because there is only quiet murmuring from the bedrooms now. The plan is to climb the tallest brick lighthouse in the country tomorrow. And then climb back down.

Hold the Swimming

Beryl will be keeping us indoors this afternoon. Rules for swimming in the ocean have been reviewed with the kiddos.

Day Five - Sunset

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day Five - Afternoon Edition

We found a big storage area under the house that has beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and more. Must be leftover items from previous renters. No mermaids, but lots of shells. Beryl is schedule to hit tomorrow. the tide keeps pulling away from shore. Some of our party visited this place and bought T-shirts. Here is the link for the brave souls who wish to know.

Day Five - Morning Edition

Jockey Ridge State Park with the girls. Minus Quinn. He really only wanted to watch TV for the entire vacation anyway. Logan was a bit unhappy about the rain shower - and the climbing - and all the sand, but the photo shoot turned out pretty well. We assured her this was not an historical stop, but a natural land feature made by God. The largest sand dunes on the east coast. She told me that God made amusement parks too. Looks like she and Rachel were practicing for America's Top Model or something.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day Four

Tricked the boy into joining us for a brief "outing." Girls slept in. Orville and Wilbur Wright Memorial was quite a climb but my parents got us in free with their National Park Pass. Score. Jockey Ridge State Park was the next stop to climb the largest sand dunes on the east coast. We plan on tricking the girls on climbing them tomorrow. I've already prepped Logan by telling her it will be a great background for a senior picture. Who in Illinois will have senior pictures taken from the top of a sand dune?