Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?

We assemble the gingerbread house kit that has been sitting on top of the fridge since December. While not assembling this in December made me look like a rotten Mom to my kids, letting them assemble it in June made me like an awesome Mom. It all averages out, right?

Laws of the Universe

I am a firm believer in the law of averages.

In the presence of some overly chipper and bubbly person, I feel the need to become as bitingly sarcastic as absolutely possible just to keep things on an even keel. I wouldn't want the universe to be all askew due to an overabundance of cheer.

With the belief firmly in tact, I suppose then I shouldn't have been surprised that if playroom looked like this:
(This is a picture of it looking clean, btw.)

Then the family room would clearly need to look like this:

How do they move so fast in their destruction? It's like my kids can sense that there is clean carpet somewhere and are magnetically drawn towards it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We do Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, we buy a share in a farm and we get a share of whatever grows each week. We did a co-op back in NJ, but I really enjoy the CSA better. Spring in Ohio means lots and lots and lots (did I mention lots?) of greens come in our share each week. Every lettuce imaginable and all sorts of other good leafy greens. Coming up with new and exciting things to do with all of the greens week after week can sometimes be exhausting, so the farm is nice enough to send out an email with ideas each week.

Here's a tip from the most recent email:

Cut the kale into thin strips, and put your choice of dressing on it, then massage it! Five minutes is all it takes, and the process softens it up so you can easily eat it raw. If you want to add anything else to the salad (shredded turnips or radishes, pickled beets, gorgonzola,etc.) do it AFTER the massage. Enjoy!

I confess that I was amused at the idea of massaging my kale before eating it. When I mentioned this to Todd, I said something like, "Massage Kale for five minutes?! Why would I do such a thing?!"

Todd smirked and said, "Well, I could imagine you would if it were a hot guy and his name were Kale."

It's a fair point. ;)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Safety Rules"

In case anyone needed further proof that Benjamin is practically a clone of Todd we had this delightful experience at a McDonald's on the way home from FL yesterday.

Nathaniel: Okay, Mom, we're done eating can we go play on the play equipment?

Me: Sure.

Benjamin: But MOM, it says you need socks in order to play!!! We're not wearing any socks!

Me: Eh, let's just play until somebody notices us and kicks us off. (I did NOT want to rifle through luggage to find socks...and I think it's a silly rule.)

Benjamin: MOM!! It is a safety rule! Let's not find out what happens if we don't wear socks! Let's NOT take risks!

It is because of this child that I climb far fewer fences than I used to. He's making me all law abiding. harumph.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beachy Updates

Being at the beach totally rocks!...except when it rains every afternoon. I don't mean soft and gentle little rain. I mean the kinds of thunderstorms that send all three of my boys running from the TV (!!! Yeah, I was amazed, too) into the bed to cower under the covers.

Yesterday at the beach it started thundering and lightning while we were in the water. So we got out to leave. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. 10 minutes AFTER the first lightning strike the lifeguard finally called everyone out of the water. And not everyone would come!!! So she had to drive down along the beach and yell for people to get out of the water and THEN the beach patrol finally came and kicked everyone off the wet part of the beach altogether.

Benjamin kept looking at the silly wet people nervously, saying, "Mom! Don't they know that water conducts electricity!!"

Personally, I think that if you choose to play in the waves or lay on wet sand during an electrical storm, the human race stands a better chance if you get whatever's coming.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Beach Memories

The surf was rougher today than it has been all week, but Benjamin and I had lots of fun playing in the waves. He kept jumping on my back every time a big wave came, which reminded me of this story from a beach trip 10 years ago. My darling friend Mark, whom my children now refer to as Uncle Mark, and I went to Seagirt with a my roommate and one of her friends. This was the story that I told Benjamin of that long ago trip:

Mark said, "Emilia, let's be pirates. I get to be Columbus." To which I replied in a perplexed tone, "but Mark, Columbus wasn't a pirate...he was an explorer!" Ignoring me, he said, "I will be Columbus and you will be my Santa Maria, so I can ride you". At which point he jumped on my back and clung as tight as possible just as a large wave was coming. Unable to hold us both above water, we got mouthfuls of the wave. Disgusted, he climbed off and said, "I must have mistaken you for the Pinta. She sank, you know."

Benjamin found this story all sorts of funny and didn't stop laughing until a wave hit him full in the face. (Which I must admit made me giggle...just a little bit.)


Have I mentioned how much I love summer?

I love having days that are simply full of possilblity and NO set schedule.

I love seeing my boys enjoy popsicles in the backyard. (NO POPSICLES IN THE HOUSE!!!!)

I love being in water most of the season.

I love camping with my family.

I love spending hours at the library or pool, just because we feel like it.

I love being in my garden and then eating the fruits of my labor.

I don't necessarily love the summer long diet to make it possible to be in my bathing suit for most of the season, but I can wait until winter to have that cake. Are bulky, baggy sweaters making a comeback any time soon?

And with that, we are off to the beach and farmer's market. When we get home, we'll put on our pjs and eat dinner and cuddle on the couch to watch a movie.

LOVE summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We are in Florida right now. The month leading up to this trip people would ask me where in Florida I was going. My answer was always the same, "Um, northeast of Orlando." I only knew the town name. I didn't know what it was near.

So, when we arrived a couple days ago, I realized we are right next to Daytona Beach. Yesterday, while running a few errands with my Mom before she left to go back to Wyoming, we were driving along and this was the exchange:

Me: Wow! That's an enormous stadium! I don't think I've ever seen outdoor seating like that. What do they play there?

Mom: [looking at me with a bemused expression]

Me: And they have huge posters of cars all over the outside. Oh. Is that for NasCar?

Mom: [now smirking at me]

Me: Oh. Right. Daytona. Daytona 500.

Mom: Boy, you put that right together, didn't you?

Sarcasm is strong in my family.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Other Day...

It's dance recital season again. Which means you all get to enjoy a video from Benjamin's dress rehearsal. The actual recital was tonight and he was FABULOUS, but I wasn't allowed to record tonight. Anyway, fast forward a few seconds in to the video because it's just me shaking the camera around for a bit in the beginning and I would be sad if you got seasick while watching.

Benjamin is the tall and skinny bear.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Gym Chronicles, episode 2

I am something of a gym rat. And I'm okay with that. 3-6 days per week I'm there. I love going and trying to work up a sweat. I say "try" because I'm not a sweater. (No wool comments, please.)

Today it will be in the low 90s outside with disgusting amounts of humidity. I will feel sticky all over, but there will be no sweat pouring off of me the way it does many people. I remember when I was a little girl, my Mom and I took some Sister missionaries out to lunch at the Bridgewater Diner. One of the sisters, when discussing what it was like to walk miles and miles every day knocking on doors said, "Horses sweat. Men perspire. And women glow." My mom laughed. My mom sweats, though.

Anyway, the way I gauge how great a workout I get at the gym is how wet my shirt is afterwards, because usually it's not very. I was really excited by spinning when they first started the classes last year at our rec center. The first few weeks, I felt positively marinated in my own juices. And then I got better, so I stopped sweating so much. I even wear my heart rate monitor so I know how hard I'm pushing myself, and still not so much with the sweat. My shirt is vaguely damp at the end of a class.

The ultimate test of sweat is when one of two things happen:

1. The hollow of my throat is wet with perspiration. (wet, not sticky)
2. I can feel at least one bead of sweat rolling down my back.

Until this week, it had been a long time since I last felt either of these two things. My dear friend, Mark, gave me the interval training regime that his brother (who's a trainer for the NY Giants) gave him.

This workout kicks my bottom up one hill and down another. After 20 minutes, I am a mess and can barely limp home. (I seem to recover about half and hour later and feel good for the rest of the day.)

The workout, if you're interested, is this:

-no incline, walk for 2 minutes at 3 mph
-jack the incline up to an 8 and run as fast as you can for 30 seconds (for me this is between 6 and 7 mph)
Do 8 sets of this back and forth.
-wipe off your treadmill and try to walk away instead of collapsing on the floor like the big puddle of goo you feel like.

Good times.

Monday, June 2, 2008

PBJ Love

I could be doing all the laundry and cleaning the house to get ready for our trip next week. Or I could be reconciling my accounts and paying all of my bills before we go out of town. Or I could be making dinner, or baking the cake that Benjamin needs for Scouts on Wednesday. Instead, I have watched this youtube video WAY too many times today. But it makes me smile. =)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why We Like To Hike

Our Sunday School teacher today at church said, "The beauty of the earth is one of the many love notes left to us by our Heavenly Father."

Them Smith Boys and Their Cuss Words

Bad words have been a topic of much discussion in our house lately. Second grade has apparently been VERY educational for Benjamin in ways that I should have but didn't anticipate. Amusingly, though, it's Nathaniel who is mystified at all the hullabaloo over certain words having so much power.

Here was a conversation with him the other day:

Nathaniel: Mom, is there a "d" word and a "c" word?

Me: Yes.

Nathaniel: You should tell them to me.

Me: Um, no.

Nathaniel: But Mom, if you don't tell them to me how will I know what they are? And if I don't know what they are, I might use them by accident.

Me: [pause] Nathaniel, that is an excellent point. But I'm still not going to tell you.

This was the conversation the next day:

Nathaniel: Mom, is there an "F" word?"

Me: yes.

Nathaniel: Well, what does it mean?

Me: Um.....

Nathaniel: Well, Hell means a place, and b*tch means a female dog, and ass means a donkey. So they're okay words if you use them in the right way. So what about the "f" word?

Me: It's never okay.

Nathaniel: But what does it mean?

Me: Um.... Nathaniel, I'm going to help Benjamin with his homework now. Hopefully, I'll come up with a good answer for you someday.

And then there was the discussion at the dinner table last week:

Benjamin: I know the "f" word.

Me: WHAT?!

Nathaniel: What is it?!

Benjamin: It's REALLY bad. I read it in Calvin and Hobbes.

Me: Wait. What?

Benjamin: Calvin and Hobbes. I read the 'f" word in there.

Todd: No you didn't.

Benjamin: Yes, I did.

Me: No, you didn't. I'm sure there was a word beginning with the letter "f", but it wasn't THE "f" word. So what word did you read?

Benjamin: I'll spell it. (looking at us like we were BAD parents for making him spell this word.)

Benjamin: F-R-A-U-D

Me: fraud?

Benjamin: Yes.

Todd: It's not a nice word to call someone, but it's not bad.

Nathaniel: What does fraud mean?

Todd: Fake.

Nathaniel: (pointing up at some winter berries decorating our chandelier) so, those are fraud berries?

Todd: (trying to hide his laughter) Yes.