Friday, February 29, 2008

Classroom Conversation

Overheard in Miss Munchkin's classroom:

Teacher: "Now about the time they started putting aluminum floors on airplanes, women started wearing little sharp, pointed high-heels. So they they'd walk on the aluminum floors..."

Student: "The plane would crash and everybody would die!"

Teacher: "No.....people would wonder why big men could walk on aluminum floors with no problem and these little women would walk around and poke holes all over the floor."

Student: "If a really fat lady was wearing heels, would she fall though the floor of the plane?""

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Wishful Thinking, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Frodo checks out the local dining options.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Public Parade

"Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade in public. Never clothe them in vulgar and shoddy attire." -George W. Crane

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bob & Weave

I have been attending a kickboxing class. It's been a lot of fun and is a great workout. My dear friend Laura has graciously been coming to class with me. She's such a good sport - she didn't even complain when I repeatedly dropped a 6-pound medicine ball onto her stomach (oooof!). Of course, then she got to drop it on my stomach. Something about strengthening our abs...I'd say it's more like testing our friendship! ;)

Last week I brought my Favorite Sister to class. At one point in the evening we worked on bobbing and weaving, which involves ducking under a sweeping punch and coming up cocked and ready to counter. It was new to us so we both took it slowly at first. Suddenly we had the technique down and spontaneously started move in time to the upbeat background music. Bob...and weave. Bob, huh, and weave. Bob...and weave. There we were, 2 silly sisters, dancing and bobbing and weaving and having a blast together. I don't take these moments for granted - I was almost fully grown and gone when she was born so I cherish the time we spend together.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Summer Dream

Summer Dream, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

This is one of my favorite shots from last Summer. I think we are all longing for warmer weather at our house.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Here's Your Scoffee

My husband is very smart. There is a book on his nightstand titled, "Supersymmetry: Unveiling the Ultimate Laws of Nature". It contains such cryptic sentences such as:

"The universe is filled with a nonzero Higgs field in its vacuum state!" and "One can think of superspace as adding fermionic dimensions to our usual bosonic dimensions."

and, my favorite:

"We call the new set of particles superpartners or sparticles. The sparticles form smatter."

No wonder we have such a hard time communicating; we speak entirely different languages! I need to start learning his lexicon.

"Here's your morning scoffee, Honey. I added two packets of C12H19Cl3O8, just the way you like."

"Dear, it's 7:00 UT which, as you know, stands for Universal Time and is a timescale based on the rotation of the Earth. It is a modern continuation of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), i.e., the mean solar time on the meridian of Greenwich, England, which is the conventional zero meridian for geographic longitude. You need to get out of bed."

Perhaps I should just keep it short and simple.

"Darling, would you please vacuum our superspace?"

Think it will work?

Fish Burger, Hold The Bun

We recently had Miss Munchkin tested for food allergies and found that she is allergic to wheat and cow's milk and is sensitive to beef, corn, pork, lamb, honey, almonds, blueberries, oats, rye, yogurt, apples, coffee (what the?), green peas, safflower oil, barley, malt, peaches, and black walnuts. This child's favorite thing to eat is a hamburger and a big glass of chocolate milk. I'm thinking, "What in the heck am I going to feed her?!"

I've started researching gluten-free foods and dairy alternatives but, in the meantime, if you know of any awesome websites, cookbooks, or brands of tasty foods that she could eat, please chime right in!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stick Shift

Old Faithful, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

I learned how to drive in this beauty. Of course it was a stick shift and it had a large, bus-like steering wheel and even a choke button. AC? Pshaw! I had to crank down the windows. It was marvelous! This truck has driven from Missouri to Alaska. Twice. My mother found out she was expecting me on one of those trips.

This was one also of the first pictures I took with my first DSLR camera, the Nikon D80.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

59 Things About Me (You Probably Didn't Know)

  1. I completed CERT training (FEMA's Community Emergency Response Teams). At our final class we put out a fire, a searched a smoky building, and triaged people with terrible fake injuries.
  2. I like choral music and have sung in the local Community Choir.
  3. I can read a book then re-read it a year later and not know how it ends.
  4. I sleep with a teddy bear. Ok, currently it's actually a Snoopy, but I absolutely NEED a small, cuddly object to hold at night.
  5. Each of my children weighed almost 10lbs at birth.
  6. I have been spelunking.
  7. I met Maya Angelou in college. She said, "Hi Baby" in her warm southern accent.
  8. I helped physically build a church in Mexico.
  9. I like to watch UFC on tv. I am the only one in my family who does, unless I can make convince my husband to watch with me.
  10. I grew up in what most people consider a religious cult.
  11. I have sung on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York. Yes, in front of an audience.
  12. I know sign language and have taught at a School for the Deaf.
  13. I had a horse and can ride both English and Western.
  14. I lived in an underground house. When I was 13, my parents built it and I helped jackhammer out the sunken living room, build the deck and shingle the garage roof.
  15. I have arthritis.
  16. I have never broken a bone.
  17. I was an only child for 17 years.
  18. I am part Native American.
  19. I am slightly obsessed with thank you notes (both sending them and getting them).
  20. I do not have any first cousins. As a child, family get-togethers were pretty boring quiet.
  21. I use hand sanitizer religiously.
  22. I can ski and enjoy taking my children to the slopes. My daughter can ski better than me.
  23. I enjoy eating acorn squash, rhubarb and sauerkraut. Not at the same time.
  24. I love stargazing and will drag my children out of bed at 3 AM to watch a meteor shower.
  25. I am learning to play the cello.
  26. I get up early every day so that I can drink my coffee and read the newspaper online uninterrupted.
  27. I once stood right next to Holly Hunter at an art museum and pretended not to know who she was.
  28. I saw "Return of the Jedi" 13 times in the theater.
  29. I feel light-headed if I see, think about, or think I see a broken bone.
  30. I taught myself to play the piano.
  31. I don't play the piano very well.
  32. I have never pierced my ears. Neither has my mom. My sister and daughter do have pierced ears - I think they are very brave.
  33. I need to read something before I go to sleep at night.
  34. I used to wear glasses, but had a tumor removed from near my eye and now I don't need them. Update: OK, now I'm just old; I need glasses again. :P
  35. I am not a sports fan but I enjoy watching the Olympics.
  36. I don't know how to dance but would like to learn the waltz.
  37. I have homeschooled each of my children for a time.
  38. I am constantly putting my foot in my mouth. Not literally - I am not that flexible.
  39. I can not swim very well. I can dog paddle tolerably.
  40. I have a very dry sense of humor. Most people don't get it.
  41. I am learning how to kickbox.
  42. I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up.
  43. I don't like drinking tap water.
  44. I got married when I was 21.
  45. The smell of food-scented candles makes me feel nauseous.
  46. I would rather have a cavity filled than get sick to my stomach.
  47. I like a clean and tidy house but my house is not usually tidy. Or clean.
  48. I am irrationally afraid of stepping on earthworms on the sidewalk or road after a rain. The thought of them "popping"....shudder!
  49. I kill houseplants. And entire gardens full of vegetables.
  50. I love being in the mountains. And the woods.
  51. I honeymooned in a cabin with no electricity and lots of rodents.
  52. I am not a talented cook (but I can follow a recipe).
  53. For the first time in my life, I can now do push ups.
  54. I am on chemotherapy.
  55. At the grocery store, I once accidentally leaked sugar from a 10lb bag in every. single. aisle.
  56. One time I backed my husband's car into my mother-in-law's van. Not on purpose!
  57. I love my mother-in-law.
  58. I have never gotten a speeding ticket. Or been pulled over.
  59. I remember words to songs and melodies and can sing entire musicals and 3 hour choral pieces to you. Please don't ask me to.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Memory


Today we mark the date of our dear cousin's birthday. This is our first year without him. He passed away suddenly after a brain aneurysm and left us behind, along with his son, little T.

Nick, I remember your hugs and your gruff, "Love you."
We miss you more than words can say.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I do have a medical excuse to be paranoid mindful of germs; one of the medications I take for Crohn's suppresses my immune system and makes it hard for my body to fight off invasions. But, even if I didn't, I think I'd still be obsessed careful - it's just my nature. I have hand gel in my purse, in my car, and by the bathroom sinks at home. I avoid large crowds this time of year. I track the flu on this nifty website.

So it was with great satisfaction that I found this list, assembled by Dr. Weil, touting the nastiest germs sources at home and elsewhere. Reader: arm yourself with hand sanitizer and read on!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Deathy Murks

Master Munchkin was assigned to write the word "into" in a sentence and this is what he came up with:

"He dove into the murky deaths of the deathy murks."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When Fire is Cried

., originally uploaded by MrsMama.

When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
"God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
But when 'tis out and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

Friday, February 15, 2008

ISS Sighting

Tonight Miss Munchkin and I watched the International Space Station orbit overhead from our front yard. It was amazing! The space shuttle is currently docked so we "saw" that as well. Check out this websight to see if the ISS is heading your way anytime soon.

Like She Said

I really appreciated reading Jeana's recent Valentine Day post on her blog, Days to Come. It was a timely reminder on how I should view/treat my husband. Thanks Jeana!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


., originally uploaded by MrsMama.

We spend the day at the local ski slope yesterday. I didn't see Miss Munckin much - she was too busy barreling down the steep slopes. No, Master Munchkin and I stayed near the Bunny Slopes. This was his second time skiing and he was quite proud to make it all the way down the Big Bunny Slope without falling. "It was 99% scary and 1% ridiculously fun!" he reported.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lizzie, our Prissy Kitty

Lizzie, originally uploaded by MrsMama.


Improvement of Her Mind

"All this she must possess," added Darcy,
"and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

I always, always read before I go to sleep at night. Right now I am reading The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters, a brand new book by Joe McNally. It's very good.

What are you reading right now?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Playing with a New Lens

Almost Twilight, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

A Flickr friend lent me his Tamron (OK, you don't want to know what my spell checker just suggested for that word) 17-50mm lens. Master Munchkin, Frodo and I went exploring behind our house - MM with his BB gun and me with my camera. I'm not sure who had more fun shooting this bucket...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Stark Splash

Stark Splash, originally uploaded by MrsMama.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Latest Phrase

Miss Munchkin and I watched Jane Austen's Mansfield Park recently. At one point, a Captain from the navy was describing, with great enthusiasm, an adventure at sea, using props from the dining room table to demonstrate. Apparently, there was great danger to the ship and the crew was almost killed. At this point in the story, a lady at the dinning table exclaimed, "Oh dear! How very disagreeable!". Miss Munchkin almost fell off of the couch laughing. So lately, it's been her new favorite phrase.

"Oh dear! Broccoli for dinner? How very disagreeable!"

"Where is my blue shirt? It's dirty? This is very disagreeable indeed!"

Even Master Munchkin has joined in, although his version has a definite Yoda-like accent. "HmMMmm...Disagreeable it is. Yes."

Friday, February 08, 2008

How Taxing!

It's time to start thinking about taxes again. I rather dislike this time of year - it reminds me of one of my most embarrassing moments.

Back when Miss Munchkin was an energetic 3 year old, I had to make a visit to H&R Block with her in tow. As we sat down at the desk with the tax preparer, I handed my daughter a bag of toys and threatened gently instructed her to play quietly. It wasn't too long before a great commotion broke out; apparently at least a dozen computers suddenly lost power simultaneously. Tax workers were jumping up and exclaiming, clients were crying, chaos ensued. With growing unease, I looked under the desk to find my daughter with her chubby little finger on the bright red button of a very long powerstrip.

Krav Maga Techniques

These short videos cover some of the basic self defense moves in Krav Maga. So pick one that sounds interesting, for example, "Groin Kicks" or "Chokes and Bear Hugs" and learn something new and cool.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rustic Red Barn

Rustic Red Barn, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

This beautiful barn sits next door to our property. I've used it as the backdrop in some of my favorite photos. The lot also was home to a house and large outbuilding, both of which were burned down by arson last year. This barn is one of the only structures that survived.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Worth Its Weight

We have discovered the joy of listening to audiobooks in the car. Not only are the children being introduced to some great literature, but I get to enjoy the peaceful silence that comes from having siblings entertained by something other than fighting interacting with each other. I find books on CD invaluable for long car trips, but also helpful on our seemingly-endless treks into town.

My kids are ages 13 and 6 so it can be somewhat challenging to find something that they both enjoy, but here are some of their favorites:

A Cricket in Times Square
Any of the Hank the Cowdog adventures (maybe not considered "great" literature, but hey, they are entertaining!)
The Hobbit
Little House on the Prairie series
The Chronicles of Narnia

Right now we are listening to My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, one of my favorite childhood books. They were hooked from the very first sentence: "I am on my mountain in a tree home that people have passed without ever knowing that I am here."

You can hear a few minutes of this book here:

What are some of your favorite family-friendly books on tape/CD?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Laid Back

Laid Back, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

This is Frodo, the most laid-back cat I have ever met. The neighborhood dogs aren't sure what to do with him because he won't hiss and run away. He will just amble up to them and rub against their chests or under their legs. This cat trots along with all the dogs on our walks to the mailbox and goes on adventures in the woods with us. He likes to sleep on our dog bed in front of the fire. Even our neighbor, who isn't a cat person, thinks Frodo is "cool". My husband, however, does not share this sentiment; perhaps it has something to do with the claw marks on the leather couch. (wince)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Musical Motivation

I am in the process of trying to get in shape so recently I pulled our old elliptical machine out of storage and have been trying to use it. Now I am fairly new to exercise and I think I might go mad if I didn't have something to distract me while doing it. So I put together some upbeat music to motivate me. Here's my playlist:

Now We Are Free (Maxium Mix) by Hans Zimmer - this version has a neat technobeat
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers
In The Light by Toby McKeenhan
Legend Of McBride by Mark Schultz (I can't understand all the words, but the beat is great)
All the World by Point of Grace
Run by David Meece - if this can't get me going, nothing much will!
Dead Man (Carry Me) by Jars of Clay
Gimme Some Lovin' by The Blues Brothers
You Really Got Me by Van Halen
He's A Pirate (Tiesto Remix) Hans Zimmer - this is a 7 minute version with a great beat
Fight by Point of Grace (my cool down song)

Austen Action Figure

Jane now comes in a convenient 5.25" in action figure. Apparently she has been traveling recently, and enjoying the modern sites. For example, here she is enjoying a sunrise at the Grand Canyon. And not too long ago, I believe she was seen at the Austin City Limits festival. Where will she pop up next? Rumor has it that she may make an appearance at our house soon! Keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Jane Austen on TV

Masterpiece Theater is currently showing several new adaptations of Jane Austen's work and replaying some of the movies that have already been produced. This Sunday is a new work, Miss Austen Regrets.

"Based on the life and letters of Jane Austen, Miss Austen Regrets tells the story of the novelist's final years, examining why, despite setting the standard for romantic fiction, she died having never married or met her own Mr. Darcy."

And next week is a MUST SEE, my very favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth. If you have not yet had the pleasure of watching this, you must remedy this immediately. Be forewarned though, it is being shown in 3 parts, with a week in between each. This will leave you obsessed wondering what will happen to Lizzie and how she will deal with the snobby Mr. Darcy, her obnoxious greasy cousin, Mr. Collins and the formidable Lady Catharine De Bourgh. Most likely you will break down and order the DVD long before the 6 hour series concludes itself on public television. I have a funny story to share about this, but it'll have to wait for another time. :)

The Hat

The Hat, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Master Munchkin sports a lovely knit in blue (and a not-so-lovely cat bite on his cheek).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Inspired Images

Starring...well....You!, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

1. patty cake, 2. Friends, 3. Tai Chi Movements, 4. Untitled, 5. Untitled, 6. Framed, 7. Untitled, 8. Picture Perfect, 9. rise and shine, 10. vintage steps, 11. the door, 12. Untitled

I've been slightly obsessed with Photography for about a year now. One of the greatest influences on my photography has been looking at other people's incredible talent on Flickr. When I find a photograph that moves or inspires me, I add it to my "favorites" (a fun Flickr feature that involves clicking on a little star above the photo). That way I can go back and study them and drool over enjoy them all I want.

You can see my favorites here. Be prepared to see some stunning images and incredible talent.