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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Betcha didn't know

Now they're saying that it was not the bite of an asp that did Cleopatra in . 
Christoph Schaefer, a professor of ancient history at Trier University in Germany, says that Cleopatra likely died of a poison overdose, not a snakebite. Some of his reasons include a cobra’s bite is not always fatal, and can lead to a slow and agonizing death, and she was reported to have died a quick and painless death. Also, she died in August, when the temperature would have been too hot for a snake to stay still long enough to bite its victim.

(We read about Cleopatra while studying Rome).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beautifully Put.....

This is a lovely response someone left on the subject of rude comments offered to women with more than an average amount of children:

"I have 5 children who are now all grown up. But I heard it all. I had a bunch of kids, a tribe, one or two more and I would have a team. Haven't I heard of birth control etc. Some people were just thoughtless. But my children are an intergral part of who I have become. They issued forth from my body and I have never been the same since they came into my life. They inspire within me a greater appreciation of life, of love, and of giving to others. Although they share the same parents, they are so remarkably unique and individual. To think of the experiences I would have missed out on if I did not have my children. Never allow any one to make you feel self conscious or bad about your children. For each is a gift a gift of life that is priceless. Priceless from the moment you hold them in your arms as warm soft little bodies to the day you stand proudly at their graduations thinking back to the day you unwrapped you gift by giving birth."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crafty Book Giveaway

If you're on the lookout, like I am, for new craft related books for the family, then check out this blog and giveaway: Exhale. Return to Center.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a book.


Jacob overheard Justin giving the dog, Cody, a piece of food and tell him "Easy!"  This apparently fascinated him and now he's sitting there on the couch, saying over and over and over again, "Easy!"  He's eating a pretzel and I don't think he has any intention of sharing with the poor dog, he just likes saying that.  And the poor dog thinks he's going to get some food, because usually that's what happens when you tell him to take the food easy! 

Duty Calls!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quilts & free patterns!

I ran into this site, for free patterns of all different things.  Sewing, knitting, crochet, printables, etc.  I found a page of doll quilts, but neater still, it shows quilts from different periods of history that match with each of the American Girl dolls.  A lesson in sewing, history, and fun!  It's always nice to find more than you were looking for!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is my blanket that my grandmother made for me when I was born.  Or at least very young.  I always loved the part pictured-it has one corner that was perfect for putting over your head as a hood.  So I could wear the blanket as a cape as well.  I remember running around with that blanket over my head so many times as a kid.  I miss my grandmother.  I'm going through situations that she went through as well, and I really wish I could go have a cup of tea with her and ask for advice.  We could sit at the kitchen table or out in her living room, her dogs and my kids surrounding us.  She was a good listener, but never pushy with her advice.  I really miss Mimi. 

Summer Fun

Justin is my best firefly catcher, he's also the most interested in bugs though, that helps.  He loves chasing them around.  The kids' friend Harry brought them each a jar, labled with their names, specifically for catching lightning bugs.  There is just something magical about watching fireflies and their soft summery glow spread through the evening air.  One of life's little pleasures. 

With Daddy

Looking over cards and books from the kids on Father's Day. 

Father's Day Gifts

Tom received a father's day card from each of the three older kids, they picked different ones and since they all seemed appropriate in different ways, we bought all three.  I gave him one as well.  Plus his favorite breakfast, bacon, eggs, and toast! 
I helped the kids make him father's day books.  Leanna didn't need my help for her book, so hers was a bit different, and she also made him gifts at Brownies (a coaster and a keychain tag).  Justin and Timothy drew a picture of themselves with their Dad, and listed things they like about him.  Timothy's got a little sticky, he used enough glue to drown a small army of ants.  I just had Jacob draw a picture. 

Leanna, on the day of her Ninth Birthday

Shirt curtesy of Brownies, they went to Crystal Cave that day and went miniature golphing afterwards. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Bike

New birthday present from Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop J

little boy treasures

Justin gave me one of his treasures to cheer me up one day. 
It's a price sign he picked up at Home Depot. 
Very sweet of him to share that with me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

13 going on 18

We ran into Maree' at the local carnival (and in typical teen fashion, she was mainly interested in money)
Leanna managed to talk her out of a few silly bands! 
And Tom enjoyed embarrassing her by yelling out to boys that Maree' liked them or wanted their numbers. 
Her (female) friend gave him a high five for that one!


Come celebrate Leanna, Justin, and Tom's birthdays with us at Antonio's on Saturday night between five and six.  Email if you need directions.  It should be different enough from our normal celebrations that it won't invite much comparison.  Meaning it won't feel like a lesser version of what we usually do this way. 
(Justin asked me if we could hang streamers, it made me sad to say no, this year will be very different)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nine! Already!!

Nine years ago I was in the hospital, my world spun around by a not quite six pound baby girl. 
Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fatherhood-I like this one

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

For Father's Day

Awww......many reminders lately of where one's priorities should be.  From a list of things Dads want for Father's Day, someone posted this:

"Jun 13, 06:21 PM

I would like nothing better than to hold my oldest son.They way that I did when he was three and we read books together…Just one more time."
I'm glad my kids are still that small. 
: )

More on addicts

I suppose I'm naive, but I was shocked by Katie Granju's story-an installment-of her son's treatment at a children's hospital.  She's compulsively writing as a way to cope with her grief at the loss of her 18 year old son.  I understand this impulse.  So many aspects of her son Henry's story highlight aspects of society that need a great deal of work.  (off the top of my head: our ideas about addiction and addicts, the way addiction is handled by the medical community, how families of addicts are treated.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Brotherly Love

Methinks someone is a little comedian! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

No longer a Brownie!!

The back of her sash with the Try-Its she was awarded at the ceremony

Bridging to juniors patches.

The front of her sash-I stayed up late the night before sewing the rest of her Try-Its on.  I don't think there's room for the new ones she earned!! 

Leanna is now officially a Junior Girl Scout.  She's very proud of that.  :  )
The whole family came to see her ceremony.  I thought it was important for us to support her.  Me, her, & the boys took a bus to get to the city and walked to the meeting.  Tom met us there and then he and Leanna's very sweet leader took us home. 
Justin asked when he can become a girl scout too.    :  )

Goin' to Work

Jacob and Noah like to go to work.  What exactly they do at work is anyone's guess.  In fact, I'm not sure they ever actually make it in work, I think they just go there.  "Hafta go to work!" Jacob will loudly announce and give me a kiss goodbye before starting off.  My favorite was the day Jacob pulled some women's high heels off Noah's porch and pranced up and down the street in them, going to work.  Noah immitated him and they asked me to take them around the block.  We got quite a few stares. 

Memorial Day in pictures

Jacob and Kobe in matching hats

The kids watched Shrek

I read I Stink to Timothy, Justin, and Noah.  Jacob climbed around us, but didn't really listen. 
My memorial day reading
Just one I like of Timothy

Jacob and Kobe went bannanas (stickers)
Cowboy Woody was kickin' it outside. 

Monday, June 07, 2010

Many other people are pondering it too......

An article written by a local music crittic and former addict on Henry's death.  Beautifully written. 
An excerpt:

"it was all I could do not to pull over and hold my own son close to me. Because the world is full of Henrys — young, amazing people with endless potential who don't realize the consequences of their decisions; who meet tragic ends; who leave behind a legacy of beauty marred by an end that's dark and ugly; who leave so many people, loved ones and strangers alike, asking themselves why."

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Heartbreaking news

It's strange how the Internet can affect you so deeply.  A while ago I posted about one of my favorite bloggers, whose son had been horribly beaten after a drug deal gone awry and he was in the hospital. On Memorial Day he passed away.  He had started to get better and then suddenly got worse after about a month of improvement.  I, along with many others, were praying it'd be all right in the end. 
I cry every time I go to her blog.  He was so young and beautiful and sounded like a talented, sweet, vibrant boy.  Drugs ruined all that.  After reading about her family since Leanna was little, in some small way I've come to know them as well.  As a mother, I just can't even imagine the pain she's going through right now.  I feel so sorry for his siblings-the two that grew up with him, and the one who is Jacob's age and barely got to know him, and one unborn yet, who will never know him.  It hurts me to just think about it. 
Many people have written that thanks to Henry's story, they are or will be talking to their kids about drugs, and are planning to handle the topic differently than they would have otherwise.  In Henry's memory, his parents are starting an endowed fund that will provide scholarships for families who cannot afford to pay for needed drug and alcohol treatment programs for their children.  I think his mother's coming forward with this story will help others going through the agony of loving an addict, and it does much to remove some of the stigma associated with being the parent of an addict.  And hopefully it will help people realize that all addicts are not bad people, nor do they all come from impoverished, poorly parented backgrounds. It could so easily be anyone's child. 
If you won't read the story on Katie's blog, take this message from her story: early drug experimentation should be taken seriously, because you don't know who will be unable to stop-until it's too late.  Many people said in early comments that they had done drugs and had no problem stopping, so they assume it's no big deal.  I encourage you to read the whole story on her blog, the first post is here or you could just read them backwards on her blog. 
As a result of Henry and his mother's story, I've already started the conversation about drugs with Leanna, and intend to continue them, as age appropriate, with her and her brothers.

Edit: I wanted to add a few more thoughts.   Lots of people have been adding beautiful words of sympathy and comfort for Henry's family, and writing on the subject.  It'd be easy to write it off as a result of his mother's popularity in the blogosphere, but I think there's more to it.  Henry's story has really touched a nerve with people. So many mothers could see their own sweet children in him.  So many have realized that good parenting cannot protect our children, no matter how hard we try, we just aren't in control.  You can do all the right things and still have a child end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It's so unbelievably scary.  You get through the pregnancy and the are they still breathing during the night stage, the toddling into trouble constantly phase........and you think you're safe.  This story just really shocked people because when you have a child, you're never out of the woods.  I have an Anne Geddes picture with the words, "The decision to have a child is to forever have your heart go about walking outside your body."   This tragedy just brings that home in a way I hadn't considered before.
I think one of the most difficult aspects of this story is that if you've been in a bad place, had bad events happen, you feel as though you're safe now.  Ok, the bad has happened, I should be alright now.  Having a child with a drug problem is hard enough.  Then to have them horribly beaten, left for dead....then in a hospital, waiting to see if they'll survive......isn't that enough?   Then to watch them suffer and finally die.  It just seems so unendurably cruel. 
But there is small comfort in the fact that this story has likely changed life's course for someone's child.  Positive changes are occuring.  Until this, we just didn't talk about drugs and our children, (not publicly, anyway).  I admire Katie for having the courage to tell this story.  To write so beautifully and honestly about such a raw subject.  A helpful dialogue has begun as a result of this tragedy.  People are not just talking about it online-so many have mentioned talking to their children as a direct result of Henry's story.  There is outrage over the police's reaction-or the lack of one-to the case.  Apparently it's rather common for police to not bother with cases involving addicts.  They are considered throwaways.  But they are people-with families who love them, someone's child they doted on, someone's older or younger brother, someone's cousin, someone's friend.  Henry's legacy may be to change people's perception of what an addict is, and what they are worth.  I think of him and his family everyday now.

Hug your babies, no matter their age.  Life is just too short.