When Life Gives You Lemons...
Right now, I am supposed to be in Denver, at a very swanky hotel, for a two-night getaway with my sweetie David. We'd planned it for a while and were very excited for the time with each other. We did not, however, plan for the root canal David needs that put the nix on our trip. Poor David is in so much pain, but his procedure is tomorrow so there's hope on the horizon. Once I realized we were stuck here, I had to plan to get the kids out of the house while David alternated between writhing in pain and passed out on vicodin.

Here I am combing the Internet for things to do in our hometown.

After a huge trip to the library (we usually check out 80 books at a time, no joke!) we went to one of our favorite toy stores. It is full of educational toys so they have them all on display where you can touch and experiment with them. Lily fell in love with the animal puppets and the kids put on some kind of crazy animal kingdom--where sharks and zebras cohabitate--play.

Carver's all-time favorite creature--the owl! Right after this Zinabu attacked me with a shark puppet.

Lily puts the bear and porcupine into submission.

We headed to a gymnastics gym in town for free play and my kids RAN AROUND FOR TWO STRAIGHT HOURS!!!! I would throw water bottles at them occasionally and pick foam out of Zinabu's curls when he zoomed by. My kids ran their little legs off! I have a good feeling about bedtime tonight. Ca-ching. The owner of the gym is from Russia, and she hollered at kids once in a while just to give the whole experience an Eastern-European/Bela Karolyi feel. Quite a nice effect.

Z in the huge foam pit. I only feared losing him two times.

The awesome bungee cords. Lily loves the flips.

A little blurry but you get the effect.
So even though I'm not on my mini-vacation with David, we had a fantastic day together. David would rather just wake up sometime in the next year and forget about this entire week. Depending on how much vicodin they give him, he might just get his wish!


At The Germ Factory....(I Mean, Zoo)

That is Zinabu's hand and a giraffe tongue. Right after this, Lily had a turn. Mmmmmmm!

Me and my new pal!

The African Millipede, that everyone touched, of course. We had a great time at the zoo the other night. The lights they put up are fantastic, and the animals were all rowdy and active. We saw the mountain lion feeding, and that pretty much put the fear of God in each of us. It got chilly that night, but the zoo makes small bonfires at different stations, so we warmed our noses at appropriate times.
Today I am going to my cousin's wedding shower, which means for the first time in a few days I will get fully dressed and engage in stimulating conversation. David is still so brain-fried from his PhD program and work that he's just now speaking in coherent sentences. Bless his heart.


Look at that face. That pretty much sums up that last 24 hours. We did Christmas a little different this year: we opened presents on Christmas Eve, because that's how David grew up doing it. Since we've had presents on Christmas morning for the last 11 years, I thought we could do it his way just this once. {So benevolent, I know.} The kids were delighted, although yesterday was freaking crazy long and resulted in forced time on the trampoline.

Today we are going to my mom's for dinner and to see my brother and sister-in-law. It is a balmy 50 degrees, so I think we'll even go to the zoo for the Christmas lights they have there.

From all of us to all of you: Merry Christmas!


Is There Money In This?
We made snowflakes the other day and despite Zinabu's limited scissor ability, we all made some beautiful ones. However, Carver more or less freaked me out with his intricate designs and attention to detail. Here are mine:

And here are Carver's:

Always loads of fun when your 10-year-old puts you to shame in a paper craft.


A List I Can Finish

There was a version of this list in my Real Simple magazine this month, and I loved it. I tweaked one or two items, but for the most part it's the same. I think I can do everything on this list today!!!

  • Hit snooze
  • Shampoo. Rinse. Condition. Rinse.
  • Forget to floss
  • Eat a bagel
  • Forget to put laundry in the dryer
  • Screen phone calls
  • See mailman coming and mentally slap self for still not finishing Christmas cards
  • Put off remainining duties while browsing facebook and etsy
  • Skip pilates
  • Eat a burrito
  • Pick up book on nightstand
  • Read one paragraph
  • Leave eye makeup on
  • Lights out

Don't ya love it?

In random other news, Lily got a letter from someone in her biological family. It is a big deal--not bad or scary, but a big deal. I'm looking for the right time--as it presents itself????--to sit and talk with her, show her the letter, and help her process. If she feels all right with us telling other people then I will share more here. But it's her life and her family and it's her choice.

I am truly considering "locking" Zinabu's hair. His hair is gorgeous! Perfect ringlets all over his head. But they get frizzy and crazy looking when he sleeps on it... so it's in the back of my head.

And the best news ever? GRACE IS HOME!!! She was practically in a coma on Tuesday night and the doctors warned that she might not ever wake up, or talk, or walk again. Not only is she all better, she is home and happy and back to normal.

I love miracles.


Recently Overheard

Lily has been pretending to be a reindeer lately--with the red nose. She takes a red marker and draws a big red circle on her nose. So this morning she was Rudolph and this is what I heard.

Lily: Zinabu, you have to make my bed for me.

Zinabu: Why?

Lily: Because I am a reindeer and I have hooves, not hands. I can't do it.

Zinabu: Okay!

What a sucker.



Have I mentioned how much I love my blog family? You are amazing. The update on Grace is that they've almost completely ruled out bacterial meningitis and are zoning in on a central nervous system infection, or encephalitis (no clue how to spell that), which is an infection in the brain. She remains in ICU, on lots of meds to prevent seizures and movement, and she is strapped in the type of bed that keeps her immobile. The scariest part is that she has not yet fully regained the ability to speak and there is the chance of permanent brain damage. Several of us are doing what any of you would do--which is make calls, take turns watching her other child, make meals, and offer support. Because you just feel so helpless.

This has brought back horrible memories of when Z was in the hospital. Thankfully we are past that and hope and pray Grace will be home, completely recovered, soon.



My friend B dropped her daughter Grace off at kindergarten today, just like any other day. At noon she got a call her daughter did not feel good. Her daughter threw up in the office right before B came to pick her up. On the way home, her daughter had a massive seizure. She is in the hospital right now where a CAT scan is showing this is probably not epilepsy. An MRI, spinal tap, and EKG followed. We are waiting for results as her sweet daughter lies in the intensive care unit, listless and unable to talk. I kissed my kids extra hard tonight and brushed my hand over their foreheads gently, barely able to hold back the tears... knowing how precious their lives are. How we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Please pray for Grace.


Behold! The Truffle!

There was one moment today when I almost put my face in the bowl and licked it all up, but I refrained. I got this recipe from Vivi, who writes a sometimes-cooking/sometimes-mom blog. I like all her recipes because she posts them when they work for her and work for her family. I can relate to that! The recipe is easy and makes such a yummy treat. I made these for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, so David if you eat ANY OF THESE you are dead meat!
All you need is a package of Oreo cookies, a package of cream cheese (softened), and white chocolate bark, melted. (You could certainly use regular chocolate, but I like the white for the holidays.) I also like that these don't have to be perfect. You save a little crushed Oreo to sprinkle over the tops and it covers all the imperfections.


Saddest Conversation Ever
Yesterday after school some other insane moms and I hosted an after-school craft party for 50 kids. There were 5 moms, so we had 10 kids at 5 tables and each mom was "supposed" to supervise a table. Unfortunately, 2 of the moms didn't understand their helping role very well and just sat by their own child and "helped" their child make their crafts perfect. So that left 3 moms and 48 kids... and it felt a little like 500 kids at times. Lots of glue, lots of noise, and lots of craziness. I had brought a DVD along just in case we had a little extra time at the end and needed the children to be sedated...er, I mean, quiet. That was a stroke of genius on my part because some of the kids raced through the crafts in record time and we had 30 minutes before their parents were scheduled to pick them up.

And here comes the sad conversation. When it was finally time to leave (after lots of clean up and seeing the last child off) I left with my kids and one of Carver's friends. We were giving him a ride home. He saw me put the DVD in my bag and he asked, "Oh, is that your movie?" I responded, "Yes, well... actually it belongs to the library but we get to keep it for a few more days."

Stunned silence.

"You can get movies at the library?" he said. "You sure can! And they're completely free." I told him.

"I've never been to the library before," he said.

WHAT????? WHAT???? Are you serious????? I was screaming in my head. He is 10 years old. How is that possible? How much I take for granted...that kids have parents who like to read and go to the library to get free books, magazines, movies, audio books, whatever.

I want to cry.


As good as it's going to get. This will be our Christmas card photo, so to all my blogger friends, here you go! I took this photo right after Zinabu accidentally kicked Carver in the head and Carver got mad and yelled at him. Aaaaahhhhh, such sweet memories. Still, no eyes are closed, they're smiling, and it's not blurry. That's a keeper!
Obligatory Elementary Holiday Musical
Try saying THAT three times fast. Last night was the holiday music concert at the kids' school. Orchestra, band, and choir. It was so sweet, albeit sometimes squeaky and shrill...but you just can't beat a bunch of kids dressed up and singing and playing instruments. Carver loves music and loves to perform. He had a hard time deciding between his regular red tie or his blue bow tie, so he wore the red tie to school and the bow tie for the evening performance. I was so proud of him for not getting any food or dirt on his white shirt. A true Christmas miracle!

Some of Carver's friends. Jada is the girl on the left and she is one of Carver's best friends. They eat lunch together every day and she gives him butterscotch pudding and tells funny knock-knock jokes. She is the sweetest little thing.

Carver getting ready to play. He had a ball!

We had a fabulous snow storm last night and we are hibernating today, so I have no more excuses not to clean the house. Really. No more excuses!


And For Zinabu...

I found this cape at www.loveseptember.etsy.com. My aunt, who is amazing, made Carver a cape when he was 3 or 4 and Carver still wears it. I wanted Zinabu to have one too, and I like that this one is double-sided. His will have the letter "Z" on it, obviously, and blue with blue flames. Perhaps this is the time I confess to you all that I hate to sew. I detest it. I loathe it. I don't know why, but it drives me bananas. I will happily let someone else stitch things up for me.
We do a mix of things for Christmas. Some handmade, some new, and some recycled. We have a rockin' thrift store here and my kids are very, very used to getting 90% of their wardrobes there, as well as the occasional toy. Because they're used to it, they are just as happy with a toy that is slightly used and not brand-new-in-a-box. Still, I do have to make a run to Toys R Us this week and do some serious shopping. I don't do a lot of gift exchanges with friends so I don't have to do any shopping there. I am doing a lot for the staff at my kids' elementary school. But other than that, it's just family and David.
Oh. David. Um... I'd better get started on that.


Too Cute!

Look what Lily's getting for Christmas! She is really into hedgehogs lately, and I found the hedgehog ponytail holder at AmyGaines2 on Etsy. Lily is ga-ga for anything animals, and these are so sweet. Not to mention they're super cheap and being shipped to my house. Gotta love Etsy.


Living in the Land of Crazy

While my husband walks around with fake eyeballs, I try to pretend I have a sweet, normal life. Never mind the fact that I have endless and repetitive conversations with a 5 year old for most of my day. For example, Zinabu came up with this zinger last week: Mom, when I ask for food, you either tell me yes or no. What a deep revelation. You can tell that {whatever} mundane thought flits through his mind HAS to come out of his mouth. And never mind that I have a 7 year old feminist lawyer living under our roof. Kids have rights too, you know, Mom! she said this morning. Uh, okay. And let's not forget my oldest, the child who has taken to sleeping in his clothes to get ready for school faster in the morning. He has the rumpled look down, for sure.

I'm wondering where I fit into all of this. Perhaps I don't want to know.


100+ Things

This was on Katie's blog (thanks Katie!) and it is such a great list. It made me realize what a great life I've had so far.

Bold the things you’ve done, and add your own interesting thing at the end of the list:
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Spent a summer “abroad”
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train/flight
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (just a piddly half-marathon)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Been at the top of the World Trade Center
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (funny story!)
47. Had your portrait painted / drawn
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (not anywhere worthwhile...)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Paid off a mortgage in full
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving/parasailing
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a cheque
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the CN Tower
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Criss-crossed Canada
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle--sorry Mom!
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person--next summer, though.
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox--I rock this one! I've had 'em twice.
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous--oh, Bono! Remember that day?
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby/been pregnant
95. Witnessed a birth (you mean live? not on TLC?)
96. Been present at a death
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone--I almost missed this one! Rats!
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
101: Peed on the side of the road as an adult (added by Malia’s Mama)
102: Milked a cow (added by Diane)
103: Been white water rafting (added by Jayme)
104: Been surfing-always wanted to but too afraid of drowning!
105: Here's mine: Posed nude as an art model for an artist. (Nothing revealing and it was for my friend Julie, but still...)


The Perfect Storm

We had an unexpected snow storm yesterday and it made the end of our Thanksgiving break such a delight. Let me tell you, when we bought our house we had no idea that the big hill at the park across the street would be such a major part of our lives. When it snows, my kids become sledding/snowboarding fools. Carver was literally gone all day. Lily and Z went in phases. 2 hours sledding, then 2 hours inside. The snow was beautiful, and we had a fun, fun day being together.

Lily and Zinabu are under the red quilt, pretending to be elephants. They were a riot.

I don't get out Christmas decorations until 2 weeks before Christmas. But we did make paper chains to count down how many days until Christmas. Each kid got one attached to their chair. The bonus? It makes for better table manners since they don't want to accidentally damage their chains.

Sugar cookies! We baked and I let the kids decorate with abandon. Aren't they ugly? Ooooh, I love kid projects. And the best part is they taste just as yummy no matter how they look.
{Don't forget! If you're a coffee drinker, go to Starbucks today to help contribute to the Global Aids Fund.}



I was tagged by Melodie to list 5 things I am thankful for. Of course I could list 500, but I will go for 5.

1. My sister-in-law Diana. (Not to take away from my other 5 sisters-in-law, but Diana is on my mind today)
2. My children. Especially my "difficult" child. I am a completely different person today because of motherhood and I am glad.
3. My husband David. I don't talk about him much on the blog because he deserves some privacy and he does not need me blabbing about every little thing he does. But, in essence, he rocks.
4. Clean water. This is a basic need I take for granted every time I turn the sink on. I want to appreciate every drop I have because so many families in this world do not have it.
5. Twilight. It made my week really nice.


Starbucks Did Something Right!

Those of us who have adopted from Ethiopia have a love/hate relationship with Starbucks. There was the human rights issue where Starbucks fought to own the brand name for Ethiopian coffee. This would, in essence, cheat Ethiopian coffee growers out of a lot of money and was in no way fair or ethical. Recently Starbucks caved, so I no longer have to feel uber-guilty when I crave a peppermint latte. As for Starbucks' other issues--like their carbon footprint or contributions to obesity, well, I'll leave that up to you to wrestle with.

{But} Starbucks is making a major move in the right direction this winter. On Dec 1, World Aids Day, buy any hand-crafted beverage and they will give 5¢ to the Global Fund to help save lives in Africa. Totally amazing and completely wonderful! Do you have any idea how much money could be raised on that day? I am also pretty sure that for the rest of Dec. and into Jan, when you purchase certain drinks, Starbucks will contribute a portion to the RED campaign, which is set up to provide life-saving medicine and support to AIDS victims in Africa.

So mark your calendars and tell your friends. Buy some hot drinks on Dec. 1!



So I was getting a little kerfluffled that so many people I knew (Heather) were seeing Twilight once, twice, three times and I hadn't yet. Being stuck in the house all day with a sick kid, and knowing I would be stuck all day in the house tomorrow with a sick kid, I batted my best chilly-willy eyes at David and he shooed me out the door to the movies. I went to the late show, after the kids were in bed, and I had a fairly empty theatre, which was nice because I was hearing rumors of audiences screaming and wooing over a certain vampire. Fortunately, my audience was perfectly subdued. Here are my thoughts for those of you who care (Heather).
Edward--perfectly cast
Bella--perfectly cast
Jacob--gag, cough, sputter, what were they thinking???
Special effects--well it was a low-budget film and they looked kinda low budget
Favorite scene--when Bella walks into the science classroom and the fan blows her hair. Edward's reaction is priceless.
Baseball scene was great, exactly how it was described in the book, but why was Emmet wearing velour?
Bella at the Cullen house was also great.
My advice (for anyone besides Heather still reading this post): do NOT see this movie if you haven't read the book. It will look so cheesy. If you know the book and know what Bella and Edward are thinking about--what all the characters are thinking--you will really enjoy it.
I loved it. Heather, please comment!
What Do You Guess?

A guessing game, if you will. How many ounces of fluid will pour out of Zinabu's nose today? He has a {monster} cold and has very poor nose-blowing skills. It just leaks out of him. Poor kid. He feels miserable, but I am having a nice snuggly day with him. I'm going to make some soup and hot chocolate and all kinds of other yummies that are fun to eat when you have a cold


What Does It Take...
for a girl to get noticed around here? Apparently I either need candy bars taped all over my body or I need to walk around topless and THEN someone will take note.

No one noticed my hair.


All right, I don't look anything like this, but I did go get my hair highlighted today and had a blissful hour to myself. Does wonders for a girl's spirit.


Someone Had A Good Birthday!

Zinabu was thrilled with his cake, his presents, and all the love he received last Friday. He was slightly disappointed when he learned we were not giving him a huge bash at Chuck E Cheese with 100 guests, but he got over it.

Life around here is good. Carver had a cold last week, and Lily has it today. She gets to stay home from school and hang out with me. The kids are very excited for Thanksgiving break next week, and I am too. I love Thanksgiving! I think last year I posted a rant and rave that Thanksgiving is now the forgotten holiday and that I, for one, was not going to stand for our country celebrating Halloween and moving right on to Christmas. I might have overdone it with my enthusiasm, though, because anytime we walk into a store and encounter Christmas decorations my kids yell, "Boooooooo! Too early!"

This weekend we are meeting with the contractor we've decided to hire to go over price (gulp), timeline, and other details. Does anyone else besides me have a very hard time justifying the price of all new kitchen cabinets when the ones already in the house are perfectly functional?

Somehow we are surviving David's PhD classes. I don't know how, but we are.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.


Happy 5th Birthday, Zinabu. How can you be 5? HOW???? I was going to pick a mushy love song for this slide show, but I knew you wouldn't like that. Instead, I found a song that talks about your favorite food. I know you'll love it.

Today we celebrate you and your incredible life. Your joy overflows to everyone who meets you, and I am so blessed to be your (second) mama!


Delayed Gratification

I don't espouse a lot of parenting advice here, as I am so far from perfect it would be laughable for me to give other people tips about how to raise their kids. And I have always made gagging noises when I read blogs where the mom goes on and on about what works great with her kids, as if there is some magic elixir we should all be taking to have perfect children.


There is one area that David and I are sticklers for. Delayed gratification. There is so much pressure in our society to have our kids grow up fast. There is also a growing frenzy of entitlement that I see everywhere--a trickle-down effect from grown ups to children. The "I want it and I want it now!" syndrome. Mortgage loan crisis, anyone? David and I have tried very, very hard to only allow our kids to experience things that are appropriate for their age. So that means no high heels for Lily (have you been in the kid's shoe department lately?) No Star Wars videos for Zinabu (he's 4!!!!!) and no cell phone for Carver (unlike some of his friends). We would both agree it is one of our hardest jobs. Trying to have our kids wait for things is a value that does not feel good to them. Teaching them patience and self-control is the hard road, but we have a job as their parents to let them be kids and enjoy that for as long as possible.

I happen to be a Harry Potter freak. They are probably the best books I will ever have the enjoyment of reading. Once Carver turned 9, I was dying to share them with him. (He still loves when we read aloud to him.) We could have blazed through the entire series in about a month, but he would have missed out on the anticipation of waiting for the next book. He would have not been able to absorb all the great details and clues Jo Rowling leaves along the way. He would have been scared at times and it would have been over his head at others. Carver knows that he has to wait, but we've seen the payoff. Last night I cracked open The Prisoner of Azkaban to start reading aloud to him and you should have seen his face. Pure joy!

Sometimes waiting is a good thing.


Weird Things I've Said This Week!

1. Can you please put on some underwear before you sit down to eat your lunch?
2. What animal did we just run over?
3. I don't know how to say "delicious" in Greek. Sorry.
4. I don't think you should eat 5 pancakes.
5. How about we have candy after breakfast.
6. I don't know why the Wiggles are singing about that, I just DON'T!
7. If you can't settle down, I will make you run laps around the house.
8. Are you sure the rabbit did it?
9. What do you mean you have a book report?
10. Kids in Ethiopia probably don't cheer for the Minnesota Vikings.


I am a very lucky girl, because I am going away for the night with some girlfriends to Breckenridge. Breckenridge has to be one of the top 10 most beautiful places on earth... it is so gorgeous. Good thing they let people like me in for visitation. Although there won't be any leaves on the trees, being in the mountains is breathtaking. I doubt I'll get much sleep (up late talking) ad I'll gain 5 pounds (leftover Halloween candy, anyone?) but it will be so worth it.


The Boys

This is how I found Carver the other night. He fell asleep with his book on his face--just like his mama! He loves to read and we usually have to force him to put his book down and turn off his light. On this night, his exhaustion won out.

And not to be outdone by his older brother, Zinabu went to bed with his Spiderman costume and wore his mask. I had to gently remove the elastic string from his curls and get the mask off so he could sleep better. Too cute.

I don't know how it is in your house, but my kids have NOT adjusted to daylight savings. They are up at 5:00 am, wide awake. They are also having a hard time falling asleep, just from being a little overtired, I think. Not to mention it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, and I look at the clock and wonder what we'll do for another 3 hours each evening. Last night we went to the YMCA and they played on the climbing wall and the huge inflatable pirate ship while I exercised, then we all went swimming together. Did you know they have treadmills now with TV screens on them? This was something new to me and it begs the question: are you really exercising if you're watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 at the same time?


Election Day!

I told you I would take photos. Here we are on the way to our voting precinct. It was about 3:45 in the afternoon, and David left work early to meet us there.

Vote? What vote? Lily is just happy to have the front seat.

Outside our polling place. Z striking a hip-hop pose.

Right before entering the building. Happy faces despite the fact that we'd just lectured them on good manners while waiting in line and while David and I voted. SO many people voted early in our county, there was no line at all to vote. I was pleasantly surprised!

After voting! See our stickers?

Dinner in the basement, in front of the TV while we watched the beginning numbers trickle in.

The media at this point was scrambling to report the numbers coming in. So much to report, we had pollster.com and were flipping back and forth between news channels to see who was reporting what. Two minutes after this picture was taken, the media called Ohio for Obama. And that might have tipped the scales...
And I am now crying for joy!


If you haven't already, do it! VOTE!!!! If you have kids, take them with you. Show them how the process works. Tell them why you are voting for the candidate of your choice. Take pleasure in the fact that you have this right. Be thankful for the people that came before you and fought for it. Rejoice that in 1965 Jim Crow laws were finally made unlawful--and my children have the right to vote when they are 18.

We opted not to vote early. We are making a big deal out of November 4th. David and I will meet at our precinct's polling place after he's done with work. The kids will be with us, and we will gladly stand in line for however long it takes. We will be taking lots of photos, too, documenting the occasion. I can barely breathe for daring to hope that the candidate of my choice will win. It's been 8 years, you know! After we vote, we will come home and watch the election coverage. We plan to let the kids stay up as late as they want and cheer for Obama. And if the first black man is elected president on Tuesday night, I can guarantee you will hear us screaming for joy no matter how many miles you live from us!



Okay, I know I am slightly biased, but darn it! Aren't they cute?
Carver spent the last 24 hours shouting "Expelliamus!" at everyone--so much so that the batteries in his magic wand quit working right before he left to go trick or treating. Zinabu, as you can see, opted for the Green Power Ranger costume, which is starting to get a little grungy as he's been wearing it for 4 days straight! Lily, bless her heart, made her own costume and is a "worker at a bug museum"--in her own words.

My mom, brother, and sister-in-law came over for pizza while the kids jumped around with ants in their pants, waiting for it to get dark outside. I hope your candy-filled Friday was extra sweet!



Last year--Z's first Halloween--we had a running joke that Zinabu must have thought America was the best place in the world. You dress up, ring doorbells, and people give you candy. Jackpot! This year Zinabu is torn between being Spiderman or the Green Power Ranger. He's been sleeping in the Spiderman costume but wearing the Green Power Ranger costume during the day. I'm curious to see what he eventually decides.

The only child in the family that would touch the pumpkin guts. She rocks!

Playing with knives, er... carving a pumpkin, I mean.

A portion of the leaves found in every one's clothes, hair, socks, shoes, underwear, and ears after a great day of rolling around in them.