Sunday, May 31, 2009

shopping....again

I took the girls shopping today for our trip to the Mainland. The boys and I went about 2 weeks ago and I got their stuff, so today it was time for the girls. The shopping experience was totally different since for the boys, shopping for clothes - or anything - is a chore and a punishment. For the girls, on the other hand, it's a religious experience. Angel #4 got 3 new dresses and #2 got 4 new skirts and a couple shirts. I got a new pair of shoes. I think we're all set for our vacation now, which is good since I leave on Wednesday. I'm leaving early so I can go to my writers conference next weekend. The rest of the family will follow on Monday, the 8th, the day school lets out for the summer. Of course, according to the older kids, being forced to spend 2 weeks with their family on vacation will totally ruin their summer and, in turn, their lives, but I'm sure they'll survive a little family together time. And, if they don't survive, hopefully the airline will refund us for the unused return tickets home.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am a sloth

Angel #4 had her spring band concert tonight. The school drama club also put on a musical play. It was set in the rain forest and two kids sang a song called I am a Sloth. How cool is that? Almost as neat at the kid who sang I am a Compost Pile during the winter play. I think I am a Sloth is going to be my new theme song.

Mark, our danger prone friend called today. He got a pickup truck for $200, but he only wanted it for the tires and rims, which were better than the ones on his own truck. So he asked us if we wanted the truck for free. It doesn't run real well, but the price was right. Angel #1 thinks he may want the truck for himself, but he's going to have to hone his mechanic skills to keep it going.

WE has a new goal in life. Hang on to your hats for this one, folks. He's planning on using his scamming skills in the court of law. Yep, he's decided to become a lawyer. The legal system will never be the same. He spent the afternoon looking for loopholes in the US Constitution. He discovered that the rights given to us by the constitution don't apply to minors and now he's looking into how to become an emancipated minor.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

some people just can't catch a break

I saw our friend Mark today. I thought he was looking kind of rough, like he hadn't had much sleep lately or something. Then he told me about the week he had. He was in mediation with his ex-wife - the last time they mediated, they had to be put in separate rooms (ie they don't get along well). So, this time, about 15 minutes into the mediation, Mark has a minor heart attack and has to be taken to the hospital. Then, if that wasn't enough, on Memorial day, he was driving his moped down the road and a woman pulled out in front of him. He slammed on his brakes, but still ended up clipping the back of her car, tossing him into the ditch and his bike onto the side of the road. The woman who caused the accident continued talking on her cell phone and drove off, not even realizing that she hit someone. Mark ended up pulling himself together, but he's suffering some nasty road rash. All he's got from the car that hit him are the pieces of her broken tail light.

Bad news on the nature front. Our island has been fighting a coqui frog invasion. Coquis are an invasive frog species from Puerto Rico with a horribly loud croak, the loudest of all frogs at 95 decibels, which is about the same noise level as a chain saw puts out. Now imagine hundreds of those suckers a croaking in your backyard. The island is losing the battle and the east side is already covered in coquis and they've now moved to MY side. Tonight we could hear them in the distance from our house. A month ago, the closest we could hear them was about 3 miles away. They'll be in our yard before you know it, which means no more peaceful nights for us. The state government has deleted funding to irradicate the frogs, so it'll be up to people to put forth the effort to get rid of them themselves - which hasn't happened so far. We'll give it a shot, but I think we're going to be fighting a losing battle. We're surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods, there's no way we're going to keep them out. I hear the Puerto Ricans have made them one of their unoffical mascots - I wish they'd come get ours and take them back to PR where they came from. Click here to hear/see an annoying coqui. It may sound cheery when you hear one, but imagine hundreds - turn up your computer volume to max to get the full effect.

Monday, May 25, 2009

winding down

We had a great time at the party yesterday. About 35 people showed up with tons of food. Funny thing - potluck food tends to be different down here than it is in Wisconsin. We had the standard potato salad, chips and ham sandwiches, but in with those were chicken katsu musubis, fresh pineapple, sweet and sour meatballs and Auntie Violets smoke meat (YUM!!).

The big draw of the day turned out to be the rope swing on the big tree out back, which was no surprise. I think I've told you about the rope swing before, it's awesome. The kids set up a 12 foot ladder and climbed up that holding the rope. Then jumped off the ladder and swung on the swing, soaring way up over our heads. The rope itself is about 40 feet long, so you can get one heck of a swing going on. Then they started doing tricks. I'm happy to report that no one broke their neck, though our friend Don came pretty close when his foot slipped off the swing platform when he jumped off the ladder (he kicked off his shoes and forgot he was wearing socks, so didn't have any traction).

Today we're just kind of mellowing out. Angel #2 is meeting friends at the beach, but everyone else is just kind of hanging out at home. WE has a friend over and they were out diving for treasure in the water catchment in the front of the house. It's about 12 feet deep and we can't see the bottom. The boys are using underwater flashlights and diving gear to see what they can pull up. So far they've found a fork, spoon and a can opener. If they can find a bowl, cup and can of soup, we could have a meal. They were jumping off the roof into the catchment, so hubby was sitting at his desk working when he looked out the window to see what appeared to be a scuba diver, complete with mask and wet suit, fall from the sky and into our pool. Just another manic Monday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

busy day

Well, the chickens seem to like their new chicken coop - it's got to be better than the Rubbermaid tub they spent the night in last night. The kids and I got the house cleaned up for tomorrows potluck and then went on an unintentional baking spree. Angel #2 made mint chocolate brownies, WE made a pumpkin pie and I had a yearning for some chocolate chip cookies. So, we're good for sweets for a while.

Friday, May 22, 2009

cluck cluck

Hubby bought some chickens today. We've got chicks scheduled to come in the mail the end of June, which is a ways off yet, so we don't really have any kind of chicken place ready yet. But, these chickens were a good deal and already half grown, so we should be getting eggs a whole lot sooner then we originally planned, which is a good thing. Tomorrow is coop building day in addition to getting things ready for Sunday's potluck.

Today, I took our cans and bottles in to the HI-5 center to recycle. The guys were sitting there at their spot, but so was a sign saying the center was closed until either 11am or 12pm because they were 'locked out'. From what I could gather, they didn't have the key to get them into the shed where they keep the can weighing scales and other equipment, so they just sat there in their lawn chairs for an hour or two waiting for whoever had the key to eventually show up. What a fun way to spend a Friday morning. I wonder if they got paid for that?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yay for weeding





Hubby and I were doing a lot of yard work today. Between that and what Angel #2 and I did yesterday along the porch, things are looking pretty spiffy around here. The top picture is what it looks like if you're standing in the doorway that goes into the house. The next one is the lily pot - you can see a couple purple water lilies in there if you look hard. The bottom is another lily pot and some other stuff. We've got a lot of lily pots around here because that's what our landlord does to make money. He makes those lily pots and sells them to rich people for thousands of dollars a piece. We're not rich people, but we live at the place where he sticks all his leftover lily pots. There are probably about $25,000+ worth of lily pots lying around here. I call them little mosquito farms - I guess I don't have a rich person mentality. :P We stick guppies in all of them and they eat the baby mosquitoes which prevents most of the potential for mosquito invasion.

Thanks to some computer hacking skills by one of Angel #2's friends, the campus map on their high schools website now shows a secret zombie lab located behind M Building. I'm sure that'll come in handy in the event of a zombie invasion. That, and my awesome zombie head shooting skills.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

committed

We told everyone we were going to have a potluck after church next Sunday, sort of a goodbye to Renee and her family. Now that everyone knows, there's no backing out. Guess that means I've got to clean the house good - no slapdash this week. I found a big ham in the freezer when I was cleaning it out this week, so I think I'll bake that up and get a bunch of buns for ham sandwiches, so at least a good portion of the food will be covered right there.

Hubby, Angel #4 and I went downtown for the street fair this afternoon. The third Sunday of each month, they close down about 5 blocks of one of the main streets downtown and people set up booths, provide live entertainment and things like that. It's the road that goes right along the ocean, so it's a pleasant little stroll. Though it's mainly tourists, we also run into people we know, so it's kind of fun. I'm not into any of the stuff that's for sale though - I refer to it as all kinds of things that nobody really needs - so it never costs us any money. Except for the $2 sno-cone the Angel got. Down here, sno-cones are called shave ice and they look like giant snowballs in a cup. The kind Angel got was called monkey business, which is half banana and half root beer. Sounds gross but she likes it. Hubby did his part to make sure it was eaten before it melted too. He's so helpful with things like that.

Friday, May 15, 2009

wah!

My friend and coffee buddy Renee is moving back to Canada at the end of the month. We decided to go out to lunch and I was going to use my freebie KFC coupons to buy lunch for the both of us and our friend Lydia, who was joining us there. But, of course, our KFC doesn't take the coupons and the closest one that did was 2 hours away in Hilo and I'm not going that far for a free lunch, so we just got whatever instead. I'm sure going to miss Renee though, she was always a good excuse to head off to go Starbucksing.

Renee is also, in addition to being my friend, an artist. Today she gave me 3 paintings she wasn't going to take back to Canada with her and I love love love them. They're all three so different, one is a funky looking vase of flowers, another is an abstract-y looking thing with sweet peas on it that is perfect for Angel #2, it's just so her. The third is everyone in our family's favorite. It's two guys portraits, a tall thin and a shot chubby one, both in robber's masks and black and white striped prison clothes. Angel #4 wants it in her room, but I want it in the living or somewhere where I can see it because just looking at it makes me smile.

The two older kids went to the orthodontist today and it's finally been decided that Angel #2 is ready for braces. Problem is, not only do we not have $5000 to stick in our daughter's mouth, but we also don't have the additional money it's going to take for the oral surgery she's also going to need about 4 months after the braces are put on. Apparently, she's got a tooth that is refusing to grow down where it's supposed to and instead has chosen to wander aimlessly inside her gums looking for a good time and cheap thrills. So the surgeon needs to cut her gum open and rassle that tooth into submission. It's always something, ya know?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Concert

Today hubby and I went to Angel #4's spring concert. Instead of singing, they dance the hula and other dances. The kids all did a great job but it was REALLY hot out there and I even got a little pink, which doesn't happen to me often. The teachers even got together and did a dance. Hawaiians are much more graceful dancers than white people and I don't think it was a coincidence that all the haoles (white people) were way in the back row, next was the Asian teachers and in front were the Hawaiian's. The Vice-Principal was particularly uncoordinated as only a really tall, skinny white guy can be, but I give him more than a few points for getting out there and doing it. There were also guests there, Japanese high school students visiting for a class trip and they did a traditional Japanese dance for us, which was cool. I'd never seen Japanese dancing before.

I've been pretty rough on shirts today. I changed tops after coming home from the concert since I was all gross and sweaty. A couple hours later, I spilled pineapple juice all over myself and it was so sticky I thought I was going to go nuts, so I changed again. Now, we just got home from Bible Study and I slipped into my pajamas, which is a fancy name for the big oversized tee-shirts I wear to bed. I started munching on a Hershey bar (one of the many I got for my birthday) and got chocolate crumbs all over myself, so I'll have to change again before hopping into bed. I've gone though a weeks worth of shirts in one day, a new record!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Laundry Tales

Yeah Tanya, I remember that episode with the laundry well. That was back in my pre-blogging days, so I'll give everyone a recap of that little incident. Back when Angel #1 was in first grade, our clothes line was in the front of our house. It was up by the barn and you really couldn't see it unless you actually drove into our driveway - which the school bus did. Angel was embarrassed and asked that I don't hang up our clothes there when the bus was coming through. Of course, ever sensitive to the needs of our children, I discontinued using the clothes line. Uh, yeah, you don't know how things at Daydreamer central run if you believe that. Hubby and his friend went to Goodwill and bought the biggest pair of underwear they could find and hung it on the line just in time for the bus to show up. Fun was had by all.

There was another time when Angel #1 didn't do something he was asked to do - I think it was put his clean laundry away or something like that. This went on for a number of days. This time, the Angel was no helpless 1st grader, but a kid who had chores and was expected to do them or experience the consequences. We were in a different house at that time so I had to set up a clothesline in the front yard since ours was in the back, out of view of the bus. I then took all the clothes that he was supposed to have dealt with, including a bunch of his underwear, and hung them on the front line in plain view of the bus for when he got home from school. Boy, was he ticked, but I didn't have a problem with him putting his clean clothes away after that. Sometimes you have to make the punishment fit the crime, ya know? Now, if I could just figure out how to get him to put the toilet seat back down....

Friday, May 8, 2009

the bouncy shoes theory

The kids didn't have school today - some kind of teacher inservice or some such thing. I scheduled an eye doctors appt for the two older kids. Angel #2 talked me into getting her colored contacts - pacific blue, to be exact. She explained to me that it'll help with the whole boy thing and I asked if more boys will ask her out with Pacific Blue eyes rather than her regular blue eyes and she gave me the bouncy shoe theory which I will now pass on to you: You can jump, but, if you have a pair of those shoes with springs on the bottom, they'll help you jump even higher. She can attract boys, but colored contacts will be something that'll give her that extra edge, like the bouncy shoes. Hey, it's not my theory, I'm just repeating what I've been told.

We've been studying in Exodus in our family Bible study and are presently reading about the plagues in Egypt. Our local library has the movie The Ten Commandments, so I thought I'd pick it up so we could get a visual of the whole thing. Fifty + years after it was filmed, it's still an awesome movie. Even Angel #1, who's grown up with todays special effects thought it was pretty cool and, of course, Yul Brenner makes an incredible Pharaoh. But, after seeing Yvonne DeCarlo in it (I'd forgotten that she played Moses' wife) I've got the theme song from The Munsters stuck in my head - remember, she was Lily Munster. I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Laundry

I do a lot of laundry - probably 10-12 loads a week. Through the years, I've come up with some strategies to make it easier. The first of which is to always buy the same brand of socks for the same person. Around here, Hubby wears Hanes low tops, Angel #2 wears Hanes womens no-shows and a few pair of what we refer to as 'clown socks' which are so obviously not white no-shows that they're a snap to match, Angel #4 wears generic no-shows and the boys share socks, Fruit of the Loom no-shows. I very seldom wear socks. When folding socks, I don't have to do much matching since everyone has a bunch of exactly the same kind of socks...but not any more. Apparently, the latest fashion statement for the under 12 set is unmatching socks. You actually buy them that way. Of course, I would never do that to myself, but Angel #4 somehow managed to get about 4 pair of these unmatched monstrosities. So, it's not only a matter of trying to match different brands of socks, but I'm expected to match different kinds of UNMATCHED socks. What the heck?

I also have another way of making laundry less stressful for me. Except for inside out socks, which I just leave on a big pile, I fold all the inside out clothes and put them on the respective person's pile. I used to set them aside and make them turn and fold them, but shirts could be lying there for ages before it would get done. So now, everything gets folded, including inside out jeans (WE's particular problem) and I figure that way, if they want to wear them again, they'll eventually have to put them the right way. Once schools out for the year, they'll go back to folding and taking care of the laundry themselves, then none of it will be my problem, but in the meantime, I do what I can to make life easy.

I just realized that Angel #2 was playing with my ringtones last night and didn't put it back to the one I had on my cell. Now, when I get a call, my phone moos at me. MOO

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yay for Trae!

Congratulations on getting Trae to try new foods, Amber. You'll have to call him Worm Licker from now on. Maybe WE can give him some worm eating tips when we're up there in June.

Yesterday I was weeding my pineapples (they're looking really good, I'll have to take pictures) and I realized that I was pulling plants out as weeds that people on the Mainland pay a lot of money for so they can try to grow them in their house. Gosh, I love living in paradise. I also replanted my garden. The original got flooded out during the great much clean-out on my birthday. I waited a while to see if anything survived and the only thing that came up was one cuke plant. So I replanted some beans, carrots, lettuce and peas, along with some zucchini, saving some room for the brocolli and tomato plants I've got starting in paper cups. I also need to throw some pumpkin seeds in somewhere so we'll get some of those also. I've got some heirloom seeds from old kind Hawaiian pumpkins, so I'm excited to see how that turns out. I'm turning into a garden nerd.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Star Wars Day!


An exciting extra post in celebration of Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you!

you ever see stuff that just ticks you off?

I clicked on a news clip to watch today and before they'd show me the clip, they stuck in a commercial. The one foisted on me was for Duracell batteries. Some mother was at the park with her kid, she turned around and little Timmy disappeared. She instantly goes into panic mode as she sees a van driving out of the park, but thankfully, she's got Duracell batteries in some little GPS device which apparently is hooked up to some chip she has surgically implanted in little Timmy so the kid can't take a whiz without her knowing exactly what he's doing. A short time later, Timmy comes bouncing along with a balloon, mom hugs him and all is right with the world. I am so disgusted by the fact that this company is pushing unreasonable fears on people in an attempt to peddle their product. Remember back when we could play in the park for hours without our parents feeling like they were required to keep constant watch on us? Know what? We can do that with our kids too, only society keeps trying to tell us that everyone out there is a potential pervert out to destroy our kids. The crime rate is down to where it was in 1970, so, if you're my age or younger, your kids are actually SAFER now than we were back then. The odds of a kid getting abducted and killed by a stranger are one in 1.5 MILLION. The odds of them being killed in a car accident are 40 times greater than that, but that wouldn't sell batteries, now would it? Don't get me wrong, I think child abduction is a horrible thing, but how dare some corporation prostitute one of a parents biggest fears to try to sell us something. Let your kids outside to play and enjoy themselves, don't be a stalker parent, let the little buggers have a life.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

busy busy

Yesterday was WE's birthday. He's 13, which means I've now got 3 teenagers in my house. Let the games begin! I made him the required birthday carrot cake and we got him a Zune, which is some kind of mp3 sort of thingy. I'm not sure exactly what it does, but he's happy with it, so all's good.

Last night Hubby, Angel #4 and I went to the grand opening of a shopping center. A friend of ours was hired to do the musical entertainment, so we really went to see Kevin play. They also had fireworks and sales at all the stores there. There were quite a few people there, which just shows that we're all pretty desperate for entertainment here in Kona. We bumped into a few people we knew, so did some gabbing, and of course, #4 found a whole bunch of her friends there, so she ran off and occasionally checked in with us. It was a fun evening.