26 October 2006

I'll bet daddy feels that way sometimes, too

Thing 4 has been getting really wound up in the evenings lately. Last night, I held him on the couch and tried to calm him down.
He yelled, "Let me go!"
I said, "No, you're supposed to say, 'I love to snuggle with my mommy!'"
He said, "I love you, too. Now get off me."

23 October 2006

iPosted my iMovie

I replaced the kids video from the fair. It is still shaky, but the picture quality should be better.

Yes, I saw the title error. I'll fix it later.

iMade an iMovie

So if you have checked out the links on the sidebar over there, you have seen that iPastor's alter ego is that of Big Kahuna of the family biz. This means we have all manner of digital video editing software, and no-one would deign join the amateur hour and use that little iMovie gizmo that comes pre-packaged with the Mac. Also, as the cobbler's children have no shoes, so the videographer's children have no home movies. I have used the pro stuff enough to know my way around, but last night, when Thing 2 presented me with the dilemma of needing to finish a video project at the 11th hour (totally not her fault this time), I dug into my Applications folder and fished out iMovie. Thing 1 had helped her, having done a similar project last year. Being the video kids they are, they had shot 3 or 4 takes of all their scenes, so to hand in their raw tape would have sucked. I fired up the app, and I am hooked. For quicky little family vids, its just the ticket. I will go on record to say that iDVD sucks rubber donuts. Quit with all the music, bells and whistles and burn my verschlugende DVD already! I wish I had thought to try iMovie when I was wrestling with the fair videos (I am so going back and tweaking those--soonish).
Other than that, got through one insanely, unhealthily busy weekend, and now back to just insanely busy. I do want to do some catching up around the house, though, so I need to just. walk. away. from the Mac. Disengaging in 3...2...1

18 October 2006

Standing at the precipice...

...about to dive into the new schedule. Thought I had one last day to sleep in, especially since the iPastor was already up and certainly able to herd the cats onto the bus once I got them awake. Wrong. Wound up giving rides, bitchin' and moanin' the whole way. Oh, what a happy example I set!
Today's goals include continuing to chip away at the laundry pile, and finding the new packet of checks so I can bowl this afternoon without a trip to the bank for cash. Big dreams, indeed.
I got the email that broke the camel's back today. It was the 3rd or 4th time I've gotten it in one form or another recently:

Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?
Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage!
Consumers don't want expensive produce!
Government will tell you, Americans don't want the jobs!
But the bottom line is cheap labor.
The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, a lie...an oxymoron. There is no such thing as "cheap labor." Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children.
He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour.
At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.
He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent!
He qualifies for food stamps!
He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.
He requires bilingual teachers and books .
He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.
All of this is at the taxpayer's expense.
He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.
Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.
He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.
Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his.
The American taxpayer's also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean up.
Cheap labor?
Wake up people!

Kind of scary, isn't it when you think about it?"

I heaved a great sigh, recklessly hit "reply all," "paste as quote," and started typing:

"I've gotten this email in several forms lately, and I think I finally need to speak up. Please take this information in the spirit which it is intended.

I can only speak for the state of Minnesota. My husband and I work anywhere between 3-5 jobs between the two of us at any given time, and still qualify for some of these programs. I have also worked as an advocate, helping people who are unable to fill out their own paperwork. I have filled out the paperwork and hauled in the required documentation many, many times over the years...
--He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent!

Not without proof of citizenship and green card.
--He qualifies for food stamps!
--He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
Needs SS#, proof of residency, green card

--His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

Need SS #s
--He requires bilingual teachers and books .

Not getting it in this district, sink or swim
--He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

This is income-based only in MN, so probably true
--If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.

Don't know about this, but "SSI" indicates they would need SS #s

--He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Why? If he causes uninsured auto damage, its a ticket to deportation.

--Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

This is true, also braille, Swahili, and a bunch of other languages I can't read on the bottom of the form, but they sure look pretty.

Are there people who forge and fabricate these documents? Sure. But Joe illegal cannot walk into the local human services building and start accepting his dole. That's why so many illegals leave their families behind and wire their money home. Illegal immigration is a huge, expensive problem that affects everyone in the nation to some extent, especially with our crossover to a population of 300,000,000 made "official" yesterday. If we expect to motivate effective changes in the system, we need to be well-informed and work with the facts and not raw emotions. We have enough politicians trying to shove that crap down our throats this time of year! (Especially in my district, where for some reason over half of one particular candidate's advertising is being paid for by forces outside the district! WTF???) But that's a rant for another day..."

Then, I even more recklessly hit "send!"

So far I've gotten one "atta girl" and no flamers, but the day is still young.

Now that I've filled the spaces here with that drivel and nothing substantial, I'll try to work on those aforementioned goals. Gotta get that bowling average up higher than my handicap, too.

12 October 2006

No light

With many thanks and apologies to Doug Adams:

"Whhhrrrr..." said Arthur Dent. He opened his eyes.

"It's dark," he said.

"Yes," said Ford Prefect, "it's dark."

"No light," said Arthur Dent. "Dark, no light."

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn't know about.

"Yes," he agreed with Arthur, "no light."

This is what I hate about fall and winter. I can handle the cold and snow, but I hate the dark. It makes me pertpetually sleepy. It makes it seem like midnight at suppertime in January. It smothers me like a choking haze and not at all like a friendly, warm blanket. It makes the cold seem colder. Yuck. I LOVE cloudless nights with a huge moon and snow on the ground. It's like a cosmic "In your face!" to the dark of winter. I realize I've got 6 months to go, but I thought I'd get this out of my system.


We got the first snow yesterday. It won't be around long; it barely covers the ground and temps are heading back up to the 50s this weekend. Had some cool visuals, though. The clouds pushed through really quickly, and in multiple layers. The snow came in hard teeny tiny pellets pushed by the wind, and often would be flying around in the sunshine as the layers of clouds overlapped. We had a windy, grey, overcast, bright, sunny, snowy day. In the evening I was driving home, and you could see this activity from a distance. It was yet another "wish I had my camera" moment. You know how you can see rain falling miles off, coming down in dark streaks from the clouds? Last night, with the cloud cover, sunset and twilight in just the right combination, we had the same effect in negative, white fluffy streams down from dark clouds. It was really cool. I love weather.


Christmas is coming. Our first Christmas gathering comes the weekend after Thanksgiving. I guess that's become the easiest time to get together for my side of the family.

I have been sucked into a "gift ideas" thread. Jennifer over at Snapshot has started gathering ideas for awesome presents.
I have 4 kids blessed with many relatives who love to give them presents. The girls are all now old enough to really enjoy getting clothes, though they still like toys, too. Even Thing 4 likes clothes if they have Elmo or Thomas or something cool on them. Several years ago, as we were trying to fight the battle of clutter, I asked the folks to think about alternative presents for the kids: ie, things that don't wind up on the floor for Mom to step on. Grandma D took us right up on that. Every year for their birthday, each Thing gets their own weekend with Grandma. They have gone to movies, museums, circuses, ice shows, and inevitably, Chuck E. Cheese. They have even opted to go combine weekends a couple of times. They do crafts and go swimming, visit neighbor horses and puppies, and are gifted with memories that will last far longer than any Fisher Price plastic.
Auntie Tahmi (shameless plug--also full of great gift ideas!) gives each Thing a B&N gift card, complete with a "just us girls" (so far) trip to the store to use it, and have a treat in the coffee shop. They talk about it for months, seeing something they like and stating that they'll save that for the trip to B&N. The trip includes a half hour ride to the nearest mall; they draw for turns in the front seat and whoever loses out gets to sit next to Tahmi in the booth. As much as they enjoy all their gifts, these are the ones that I hear stories about months after the fact.
I tried to do the same think with my nephew, and bought us tickets to see Elmo live. A snowstorm kept me from getting there, but thank God the crew at the Target center box office was really easy to work with and held our seats for his dad to come and claim so he could still go with his family. I intend to keep trying, and hopefully will be able to have some fun with him and his sister before they graduate.


I am the laundry maven today. Turning the closets over from spring to summer, washing, storing, throwing and donating to Goodwill as I go. One benefit of small closets: I have to do this twice a year so I can stay on top of the laundry monster. Having three girls has made it tough, but I've finally learned that I don't have to save EVERY cute little outfit until all three girls have worn it. My laundry is in the basement, but I have a TV down there, so I hope to sort into piles to delegate the kids to put away when they get home and dad wakes up. I can see already this will be the biggest challenge for me as we roll into this night thing. I can get a lot of laundry done on my day off, but I can't be banging in and out of the closet in my room. Oh well, we'll adjust as we have to. And now, to the basement!

10 October 2006

Insanity commences.

And now for something completely different: A title with no question mark at the end.
Hubs has been officially redubbed iPastor. It's a long story.
We're heading off into yet another real life adventure hereabouts. iPastor will be taking a full-time position working nights where he's been part-timing, apparently well enough to be asked to go full. Since he is taking most of his schooling online, the major adjustment will be making the rest of us 7-3ers vampire-friendly. As for the house, phones can be shut off and shades can be drawn. I've worked enough nights to know that it is not the immediate family that's hardest to deal with, but the outside world, so we'll just work on shutting them out completely until after 3pm, thankyouverymuch. It will be a juggle until we can get some sort of routine down. Once we get his schedule, I'll be asking for a set schedule at both of my jobs. Harder than you might think. Both jobs try to be very accomodating to everyone. It's the "everyone" part that makes it tricky.
I can't think of anything witty or amusing for you folks, so I'd best be getting back to domestic business. If anyone ELSE calls me Martha, I'll crack 'em one...


Kids always like to play "tent" in the blankets on the clothesline. I didn't know cats were into it so much. I looked our my kitchen window to see the neighbor cat, Cosmo, hanging out in the yard by the clothesline. No big. Shortly thereafter, the wiggling clothesline caught my attention and I saw the back half of Cosmo peeking out of his "tent." As the afternoon wore on, he stayed pretty close to his little domain. I was quite amused.

Had a Skype session with sis in IA toady. Much fun, that. Hands free chat!

Thing 1 has reached the "It is gross to think of my parents having a sex life" stage. Of course, this means her father and I get all snuggly mushy in front of her at every possible opportunity just to creep her out. The sacrifices! G'ma noticed tonite and thought it was funny, so she was mushing on G'pa to up the creepout ante. It is more fun than singing and dancing to the 60s music at our fave grocery store, which we also do just to embarrass her. Well, I guess I would do that anyway, but that's just me. Better go love on the iPastor. (Shhhh. The kid isn't even around!)

09 October 2006

Is this the feast or the famine?

Just ending another 5-day stretch at work. I'm sure that sounds weenie to those of you who work M-F jobs, but the world of nursing means weekends, holidays, and really weird schedules. So there. Watched an episode from season 1 of "My Name is Earl" last night where he had to give an elderly woman eyedrops. That's my life every day.
We've had some lovely fall weather and been outside a bit. Hubs' dad had the whole fam damily over yesterday for a mini reunion with his sister from Nevada. It was fun to ee her, and we had a nice visit. G'pa had picked up a seconhand croquet set for the kids to play in the yard, so I wracked my brain to remember the rules for my kids. That was always my church camp sport of choice. Choose two, plus swimming. Kickball and croquet, for those of us with no stamina or hand-eye coordination!

Well, off to do some heavy-duty fridge and cupboard inventory and menu planning. I am truly amazed at how much money I save when I rememeber to do that, and that's even with buying the spendy "organic" and "all natural" stuff. Just call me Martha. On second thought, please don't.

05 October 2006

A sign of the end times?

Phelps is at it again:

From USA Today--

Church won't picket Amish funerals in return for airtime

In return for an hour of airtime on a national radio show, members of a controversial Kansas church canceled plans to picket outside funerals for the girls who died in the shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, The Patriot-News reports.

"It's awful for me to give up an hour of my radio show ... but I think it’s worth the sacrifice to keep them away," talk show host Mike Gallagher told FOXnews.com.

The funerals begin today, USA TODAY's Rick Hampson reports.

Westboro Church, which has drawn international attention to its anti-homosexual agenda by picketing at the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, blames Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell for the deaths because of his "blasphemous sins" against the church.

"They're insane," Rendell said, according to the Associated Press.

It's people like this who make it so much more difficult for those of us who want to spread the GOOD News. There are many things about the way people behave in this world that I am sure God hates, but the people he loves. God does not send mentally ill people with guns out into the world as divine retribution, nor does he allow soldiers to fall into harms way as petty wrath. Fred Phelps, leader of this misguided movement, needs to get back to the book and prayerfully listen to what God has to say. Sadly, his whole movement makes me wish God would retribute all over his butt.

04 October 2006

Typing with a three-year-old on my lap earns bonus points, right?

We're having a lovely game of "kiss the bear". This is a nice change from his usual statements like "you being mean a me" and "Stop screaming." Before you call family services, "mean" and "screaming" are doing or saying anything that prevents him from getting his way at that moment. The joys!
Bro and SIL just left from a nice visit. Pie was eaten, games were played, friends were visited, and a good time was had by all, I think. I like days like that. Got enough accomplished on my day off that I didn't feel like it was wasted, and had some leisure as well!
Got some fly strips to fight the Amityville battle. They're mighty gross, but far less toxic than all the spray I've been using to little effect.
I am completely bereft of anythin interesting or amusing to post tonight, so I'll just let 'er go.
Nite all!