Monthly Archives: February 2009

What a difference a year makes.

(Now you’re singing that song, aren’t you?)

S's birthday

 This was part of S’s birthday a year ago.

Crawling and everything.

And this is who was making me so sick.

You're not taking my picture again, are you?

You're not taking my picture again, are you?

Is it just me or did that year go by in a blink of an eye?

This box looks fun.

This box looks fun.

If it were up to me, I'd get her an empty box for her birthday. Fortunately for her, she lives with 4 sentimental boys.

If it were up to me, I'd get her an empty box for her birthday. Fortunately for her, she lives with 4 sentimental boys.


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Filed under Forgive me for being sentimental, Girls are not boys, She's having a baby

Seven Silly Snakes or something like that.

S is 7 years old. 

Snake cake for a seven-year-old

He asked for a “snake cake”.

Seven is swell.

I used this site for inspiration.

And then I added a mouse because I know what boys get excited about.

The boys said the mouse thinks the snake is just a rock and doesn't know that he will soon be lunch. Or dinner depending on what part of the country you're from.

The boys said the mouse thinks the snake is just a rock and doesn't know that he will soon be lunch. Or dinner depending on what part of the country you're from.

It's not gruesome to the under 8 set. The 30+ were struggling a bit.

It's not gruesome to the under 8 set. The 30+ were struggling a bit.

You sunk my Battleship!

Happy Birthday, S!


Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Boys will be boys, That was fun, That's just gross

An update (With no witty title that only vaguely portrays the contents of the post. I know! So strange!)

I thought I’d give you a little update about our “move”. 

First of all, I’ve been trying to pretend it’s not really a move, just a “move” so that it didn’t feel quite so overwheming, but I think I’ve failed. We moved. Yes, we did. And we had to change our address and everything.

But, yet, we didn’t move. Because, hello! My red Kitchenaide mixer is still in my house! As well as my favorite bed and bedding. And for that matter, both of my couches. And I like them both. And miss them a little. But we see each other on the weekends and I’m sure it will work out.  Long distance relationships are notorious for being easy and long-lasting, right? 

The other thing about this particular move, where we split our things between two places and go between them weekly, is that it’s… awk-ward.

That’s it. Awkward. And a little bit hard.

It’s like wearing a giant blueberry suit and trying to walk around and find stuff. In the new house, everything is in a new place. I end up walking all over the place trying to find my clothes and forgetting which drawer I keep the knives in. At the old place, I know exactly which drawer my knives are in but then realize, upon opening it, that “Oh yeah, I took them to the other house”.

Okay, it’s also kind of annoying too.

Every week, we say to ourselves, It’s going to get easier, right? It’s not always going to be this hard, is it?

Also, in order to save money, we’ve canceled our internet and trash at the old place. (Actually we’ve just canceled our trash pick-up. If I could find a way to cancel our trash accumulation, I would totally patent the idea and sell it and then I would stop moving permanently.) (Okay, on second thought, I would probably not stop moving. But I would just get all new stuff in the next place and then it would be fun to move. Kind of like a vacation. But waaaay better.)

So, where was I? Oh, yes, picking up my own trash and not surfing the internet. Or blogging. Or e-mailing. Or anything to do with the World Wide Web on the Weekends. I think it will all be fine once we get used it. If we get used to it.

And don’t get me started on how I’ve only had the same vegetable peeler for the last 9 years and now I need another one even though the 9-year-old one works just fine!

You might also be thinking that this move is tad bit boring. 

It’s always the little things that get you though, isn’t it? Do you know how many vegetable peelers there are to choose from? They even have a monk- Oh, wait, you were being sarcastic when you said that, weren’t you?

So, in light of all that, I thought I should highlight some of the benefits.

Yes, the  b e n e f i t s  of moving to a new place.

So, depending on the number of green lights, we’re a 1 minute, 30 second car ride from Target, Meijers, Kohls, Barnes&Noble, Home Depot, and I can’t even remember the rest of the stores. And half of that time is just getting out of the neighborhood. We’re about 3 minutes from Borders (I know!), Panera Bread, and many other restaurants that we will probably never try but it’s just nice to know they’re there, dontchathink?

Mr. French is 16 minutes from work.

We’re less than ten minutes from Krogers, CVS, and our bank. 

But here is the best part. It’ll take me about 20 minutes to walk to Trader Joe’s. Walk to Trader Joes! That’s like France, or at least, Boston. That doesn’t happen in O-hi-o.

That’s a big plus since we’re down to one car again, too.

Also there’s a neighborhood cat that absolutely loves our house is constantly hanging around outside, trying to get in whenever the door opens. Wait. Scratch that. Wrong list.

The biggest benefit is that we have a job. And in light of everything else, we’re very blessed. Even if vegetable peelers are a lot more expensive than they used to be.


Filed under Moving is my hobby

And anyway, it’s not black.

“Hair dye” came up a few weeks ago. I was trying to explain to the boys what it was.

“It’s what people use to make their hair a different color. Maybe they have brown hair and they color it blonde like C. Or they have blonde hair and they make it red like S.”

They both had a funny look on their face.

“It’s mostly for women.” I added.

“But,” said S. “Why did you choose black?”


Filed under Aren't my kids funny?

And so she crawls.

Although she prefers to do it when no one is watching.


(Yes, my kids are loud.)


Filed under Boys will be boys, Girls are not boys

The Epitome of Kitsch

A long time ago, in a land far away, Mr. French read a book by Calvin Seerveld about how there is a moral element to good taste. In other words, kitsch is bad and maybe a sin.

While I would not go that far, it is an interesting point to ponder. And Mr. French and I have pondered it many times.

The reason I bring this up is that Mr. Seerveld’s illustration of “kitsch” was describing a dining room table surrounded by plastic lawn chairs.

(You might want to shield your eyes first.)

This is for illustrative purposes only. This is not to be used to judge our general sense of taste.

This is for illustrative purposes only. This is not to be used to judge our general sense of taste.

But, you see, I would contend that Mr. Seerveld has never moved with only a van and a car. And four kids. With two days notice. In the middle of winter. After having a truck stuck in your driveway for over three hours. Just to name one example.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you’ve gotta do.


Filed under I confess, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day, Why does no one get my jokes?

And then the police showed up.

Did I tell you we moved 2 1/2 hours away last Saturday? No? Well, here you go.

The Friday before moving day, we decided to rent a truck. Why not? It would only cost $150 and then we’d be all set up in the new house. I did bring up the fact that there was a foot of snow on the ground and sub-freezing temps outside but Mr. French was not to be deterred. 


Here he is not being deterred by the snow.

Here he is not being deterred by the snow.

Saturday, we picked up the truck. I drove home and started drinking coffee packing. I noticed Mr. French was home when I saw the truck stuck in our driveway. I rolled my eyes and went back to my coffee packing.

By 9:30 am, he had wrangled me outside to try to help. We did everything we could think of to get that truck out of our driveway and back on the clear road. Nothing worked and we were literally burning rubber with every try. I thought that it would start a fire if it had been summer time. But then, we wouldn’t be in this predicament if it was summer with no snow on the ground. Or would we? There seemed to be no reason whatsoever why this truck would not move onto the road. 

By 12, we were ready to quit and call a towtruck. It was 13 degrees outside. I did not have insulated boots on. I was really cold. Just then, as if out of nowhere, a guy with a big pick-up stops by and asked if he could pull us out. Thank you! Thank you!

He pulls the truck onto the road (stopping traffic both ways) and in so doing backs into the neighbors mailbox. They quickly unhook the trucks and both drive off. I walk back to the house, get in the car and drive to town to pick Mr. F up. When we get back, I drop him off at the end of the drive to pick up the mess of material we had used. He sees the neighbor coming down the drive so he heads across the street to talk to him and offer to pay for the damage. He is greeted with anger and even after Mr. F apologizes and offers to “happily pay for the damage”, he yells, “I JUST WANT IT FIXED! IT’S BEEN THERE FOR 25 YEARS! I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DEAL WITH THIS!”

We know just what you mean, sir. Not that we’re so busy and retired like you, but we can imagine (if we use all of our imagination and squint our eyes a little bit) how busy that keeps you.

And then, guess who showed up?

And the police showed up.

Oh, yes, he did.

And then we were struck by the absurdity of it all.

We have been out of work for over two months. We’ve been looking for work for over 7 months. We finally get a job two and a half hours away from our home and we are overjoyed that we’re so close. Then we are given our start date on Thursday, secure a house to rent on Friday, and try, with much delay, to move on Saturday so that Mr. F can start working on Monday. But no, go ahead and call the police to report that we (or the nice man who stopped to help us) accidently knocked into your mailbox after trying to get a truck out of our driveway for three hours in 13 degree weather. 

At least the kids enjoyed the visit. And they got stickers out of the deal!

police stickers

So, all in all, I’d say it was totally worth it.


Filed under Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day