Monday, August 25, 2008

Risking Life and Limb

So yesterday Richard and Nathaniel risked life and limb to clean out the gutters attached to the pool screen. DSC03637 DSC03635 Richard did mess up his hand pretty badly. Got a blister that was larger than a half dollar. He did take pics but they really are too gross to show. I was nervous about them being up there but while they were cleaning out the gutter the worst that could happen was for them to fall, and if they broke thru the screen, they'd end up in the pool.
Me, I definitely took one for the team. I was spraying the hose up to help clean up the gutters.. took one step too many backwards and in the pool I went ~ clothes, shoes and all. Fortunately they were crocs. This is me after my little dunk in the pool DSC03633
We spotted this little guy just down the street from our house. DSC03631C He is only about 4' and didn't seem to mind getting his picture taken. As you can see, he is absolutely in someones back yard.
And for one last "eww" picture. Nathaniel fished this guy out of the pool. DSCN0650 He's a salamander which is sort of a cross between a lizard and a snake. I don't mind the little lizards (as long as they don't jump on me) but these guys really give me the creeps.
Kids went back to school today (Yeah!) and soccer practiced resumed tonight as well (double yeah). Hopefully the kids will sleep good and I've got a busy day tomorrow. Gotta vote (local election) and then a PTO meeting in the afternoon.

I'm so excited...

They just announced the new celebrities that will be dancing this season on "Dancing With The Stars." I have to say that I think this will be the best season yet. I can tell you right off the bat who Julz will be rooting for ~ Cody Linley aka Jake Ryan on the Disney show "Hannah Montana." AND he will be dancing with her favorite professional dancer Julianne Hough.
I think this may be the season my Jen watches too because Misty Bay Treanor hot off her olympic gold medal in women's beach volleyball will be dancing. I'm not sure who'll I'll vote for but there are a few people I can't wait to see. Among them are the fantastic Cloris Leachman; Soap opera diva Susan Lucci; In Sync and out of the closet Lance Bass who, if he does anywhere close to Joey Fatone may have to be my favorite pic. The other names are Rocco Dispirito; Maurice Green, Toni Braxton, Kim Kardashian, Ted McGinley; Brooke Burke; Jeffrey Ross & Warren Sap. It's gonna be a GREAT season. How will I ever wait until next month?

Friday, August 22, 2008

You know it's bad when...

You know it's been one hellova storm when there are fish swimming in the streets. These are two of the three fish Nate found as the water is beginning to receed.DSC03626 And just to give you an idea of their size DSC03625 I absolutely made him scrub his hands (several times) after this ~ ewww!
I finished the purse I cut out last night. DSC03623
It's a modified version of a bag from Quilts & More fall magazine. There are a couple of other projects in there I'd like to do. It's one of my favorite magazines.
Nate went and played at a friends house today and he was very happy to be out and about again. Julianne and I finished destroying her already messy room trying to find the source of the damp carpet. I'm thinking it's seepage in the foundation of the house from the 30" of rain we've gotten here. We are having a "professional" come check it out next week. The last thing we need is to grow some nasty mold. I've heard that lots of people here are having this problem right now. No surprise there.
I read this book earlier in the week. I just love Carl Hiassen. He is a South Florida native and most of his books take place there. It's fun reading about places you know and this was no exception. It takes place in and around Everglades City where Jen & Jeremy lived for a year. Trust me when I tell you this place is SMALL. I did find one small error in the book though ~ He talks about one of the characters in the book slapping down his soon-to-be ex wife's credit card to buy a drink at the Rod & Gun Club and I happen to know (from experience) that they don't take credit cards. It's cash or check only! I may just have to write him and point this out. But honestly, if you like seriously funny and deranged characters, you'll love all of Carl Hiaasen's books.

Anybody have a towel?

We are still here... and it is still raining. We did get a bit of a break yesterday from the constant rain. The wind was still blowing pretty good though. I'm sure most have you have heard about "Brevard County and it's almost 30" of rain." I'm happy to report that although most of our streets are floodedDSC03617 our house held up very well. I can also tell you that our pool is definitely full at this point.DSC03605
We had a few "visitors" on our pool deck which Richard and Nathaniel thankfully removed DSC03602 Looks like this guy had already had lunch ~ ewww.
We did get out to the grocery store yesterday and man, did we need to get out of the house... but then I guess everyone had the same idea cause it was packed! I will say though, that everyone was going out of their way to be nice and polite to each other ~ guess cause we were all in the same boat, or at least all needed a boat to get to the store. Anyway.. Richard found this DSC03616 which we didn't actually get but how funny is that? I love the name and check out the picture on the label. That's my kind of "time out."
I've spent a bit of time in the sewing room. I made these "With love" bags. It's a free pattern from Joan Hawley at Lazy Girl Designs.DSC03613 Much prettier than the ones you can buy at the grocery store.. doncha think?
I also made this little fabric basket. I first saw it on Sandra Sew's blog DSC03621 Isn't it just too cute. The original link came from Pink Penguin which I've just started reading. She's got quite a few great projects.
And last but not least I cut out all the pieces for a new bag last night. Julianne loves spending time in the sewing room as well and she did these little pieces with the scraps DSC03620 I'm really happy that she is this comfortable around sewing machines.
With any luck today will be the last "no school" day for this non hurricane. The kids are loving it though, one day in school...6 days out. Richard actually was out of work for 3 days as well. Between the flooding (he works right on the river) and the power outages... He did work from home though which was really nice. I like having him here. Well off to start a new day...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We are still here

It's been an interesting day, to say the least. We've been getting the effects of TS Fay all day. Lots and lots of rain and wind. There have been rumors of nearby tornados but we have been fine. I took this video earlier (around 4:00 pm) while standing out on the pool deck.

It got quite a bit worse later in the evening but they say the worst of it will be over sometime after 1:00 am. The kids will sleep on the blow up mattress in our room just in case. My closet (large with no windows) is already outfitted with some big floor pillows to sit on or cover up with in case those tornados really do appear.
This not so little guy paid us a visit Buggy with frog He's the biggest tree frog I've ever seen.
Will try to take more pictures tomorrow. I know our pool has overflowed ~ thank goodness for drains on the deck. Oh, and no school tomorrow either!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First day of school

So today was the first day of school for all my kidlets. Nate started 6th grade,DSC03584 Julz started 4th grade DSC03579and Jen started her PHD. How cool is that. I don't have any first day of school pics of Jen because I didn't get to see her off ~ but considering it was 5:30 in the am she probably would have thrown something at me had I tried to take a pic. The other two did just fine ~ although they did get a bit cranky when I wouldn't stop taking their picture. DSC03578 They both woke up before the alarm and were already dressed by the time I got up. Nate had instructions to ride with his sister until/unless she rode in with someone else. One of the other girls on the block showed up just as they were leaving and he left her in the dust! We did drive up to the school for the first morning to bring in all the big bulky stuff (tissues, disinfectant wipes, baggies, etc) so they didn't have to tote it all on their bikes.
They both said they had good days, made a couple of friends and both like their teachers ~ Alleluia! They both had a bit of homework. Julianne had to make a "me" bag and had fun cutting up magazines and using stickers to make this.DSC03595
Nate had to make a Venn diagram ~ comparing and contrasting two family members. He chose his two sisters which was quite interesting. You can read about Jen's first day at school on her blog here.
Last night was also the first night for soccer practice. DSC03589 Boy did his coach wear out those kids. I think I'm gonna like this. Richard, Julianne & I all went and watched. I brought a blanket for us to sit on and it was a beautiful night. Nice and cool with a great breeze. DSC03590 I'm not sure why she was making that face, and no we didn't purposely dress alike. We didn't realize it until we were already at the field.
Of course, school has been canceled for tomorrow which seems complete overkill. Yes, there is a tropical storm heading our way but I really doubt it'll be much of anything and especially not much until at least tomorrow night. The kids think it's great but they don't realize they'll have to give up another day to make it up!
Me, I spent my first day of freedom making myself a new screen bag. DSC03585 I mean, I really can't show up at soccer games with my baseball purse! I did add a new feature ~DSC03588 a screen pocket on the inside for my cell phone cause I can never find the darn thing until after it stops ringing ~ oh and a new wallet too!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A visitor or two

Richard's mom came up for a short visit today. We met at Cracker Barrel for blueberry pancakes (yum) and she took the kids to get a couple more school outfits which was fun (although Nathaniel really would have rather had a new video game). Spent the afternoon in the pool and then to the Italian Courtyard for dinner (HA Jen!)
We found this rather large and impressive guy in the bushes outside the house ~
Not sure what kind of spider it is but I'm staying the hell away from it! Kudos to Richard for the amazing picture though ~ mine came out all blurry.

*update: I did a bit of research and this is a female argiopes spider. It is not poisonous ~ although a bite could cause an allergic reaction. It is also not aggresive and is helpful in keeping insects under control so I think we'll let it stay.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A very busy Saturday

Today was a busy one... We started off the morning meeting with Nate's new soccer team and lots of other teams for a day in the park and team photos. It was hotter than I can remember in a long time. Julianne whined the entire time about the heat and the gnats and everything else she could come up with. Nathaniel was in a foul mood cause he really needed to eat (and did much better after he ate) ~ Richard and I were also pretty hot and cranky but... pictures were taken... hopefully them came out good. I guess it'll be a couple of weeks before we get them back.... but in the mean time.. Here's our boy in uniform...DSC03536 Of course, it wasn't until we got to the field that we realized his shin guards should be INSIDE his socks ~ oh well.. live and learn. Anyway... attached to the park where he'll be practicing is a skate park. He had his ripstick with him and had fun trying out the ramps

Once we got home from there we all jumped into the pool as fast as we could to cool off. Once the storms started coming in, forcing us out of the pool it was off to
Target to drop a fortune on school supplies, back packs & lunch boxes.
Saturday night was a block party in the neighborhood. It was a lot of fun although still a bit warm and buggy. Julianne and some of the other neighborhood girls rode around on their scooters. DSC03569
The local fire dept showed up and was happy to show off their truck to the kids and adults

It was nice to meet some of the neighbors and the kids made arrangements to ride to school with some of the other kids on the block. Of course a lot of the conversation was directed at the storm possibly headed this way. I guess we'll know more Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for us and my family in South Fla and J&J up in North Fla. My guess is, unless we get really lucky ~ someone in my family is gonna get hit.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Everybody gets a haircut

In preparation for back to school Monday (yipee!) Nate, Julz & Sadie all got hair cuts.
Julianne with some temporary red hilights
Nate got his all buzzed just the way I like it
And Sadie finally got her summer cut
DSC03563 (she hates posing for pictures!)
The kids also got new hoodies (though why they need them in Fla is beyond me!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Master of their own domain

So on Thursday night I drove up to Jacksonville to stay with Jen & Jeremy. We got up early Friday morning and along with their two puppers DSC03530(Nacho & Oscar Meyer) we drove to Tuscaloosa Alabama. It wasn't a bad drive really.. DSC03486 Especially for Jen who "chilled" all the way there and back. To be fair she did offer to help out but I really don't mind doing the driving. Jeremy did a few hours which was most appreciated DSC03487 It is about an 8 hour drive and it was nice to get to chat with them the entire way. I think we don't always take the time to really catch up on each other's lives and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
In any case, we got their just in time to pick up Jen's brothers (from her Dad's second marriage ) and head over to campus to return some books. After which we stopped off at the local watering hole for a small meal and a couple of beers DSC03491 This brother just turned 21 over the summer so he is "legal" now. Her other brother, who is 16, stuck to sprite DSC03492
The graduation itself was short and sweet ~ Here I am with the two Masters afterwards DSC03511
The rest of the day was spent eating, hanging out and then eating again. I did go out with Jen, Jeremy, Jason & James (anyone else notice a pattern here?) to a local club. DSC03516 Great band ~ great music but we headed home about 1:00 am to try to get some sleep in preparation for the ride home. I talked to Richard about 8:30 on Sunday morning to hear Julianne wailing in the background. I had him take her right over to the walk in clinic because she had (as I suspected) a urinary tract infection. I felt so bad, not being there so I woke J&J up and we headed home ASAP. It was fortunately an uneventful trip. We did stop at a roadside stand to pick up some fresh fruits & veggies. They had some of the most beautiful wildflowers growing next to the building DSC03525 I got home around 8:30 pm and it has taken me an entire day to recover from the weekend. All in all it was a good weekend ~ and I am so very proud of both Jen and Jeremy and look forward to their future successes.