Thursday, November 30, 2006

Even more upset with my stupid brother

I went to pick my father up today from dialysis. The man that met me, was not the same man I left last Thursday after Thanksgiving dinner (I didn't pick dad up Tuesday as I had the stomach flu and didn't want to risk exposing him). He was hunched over a WALKER (the man NEVER uses a walker) barely able to make it the few steps from the scale to the waiting room. I managed to get him into the van (always a monsterous task) and he complained how bad he hurt and yelled each time I hit a bump in the road. As we sat in the drivethru line waiting for his lunch (he always wants something after dialysis, like a small child who expects a treat for being!) he sat tense, his eyes closed, you could just read the pain in his body. When we got to the house, he could barely get in from the van. He collapsed immediately in the chair in the family room (he usually eats at the table with me) and barely ate half of the sandwich we had just picked up. He looks ghostly, I think he has probably lost 10 lbs in the last week or so.....

OK, to the title...I BLAME MY BROTHER FOR THIS SUDDEN DECLINE....yes, I hold him responsible....the dumb ass couldn't make it for thanksgiving, he said he had to work, and maybe he did.....but since when between the time you get your ass out of bed and your put your ass back in it can you not find 5 minutes to pick up the phone and call and wish your father a happy thanksgiving....believe me, that is all it would have taken! Short of me finding a cure for this damn cancer that is killing him , a phone call from my jerk of a brother would do more than anything else I can do. Doesn't matter how many times I see him a week, or how often I bring the kids to visit, a PHONE CALL is all it takes......

He is fading fast.....I hope that something stops this decline.....

Mom is waiting on results of tests they did this week to see if the cancer is spreading...I am not sure it really matters....his spirit is dead and the only person capable of reviving it doesn't seem to give a crap.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Christmas events:

Free Call From Santa:
This holiday season, Cincinnati Bell will send a personalized phone call from Santa Claus to your good little boy or girl. In the spirit of giving, the call will be FREE of charge. Just fill out the form below, select your child’s name and a time to receive a jolly call from the North Pole.

Living Nativity at Loveland United Methodist Church:
There is a wonderful "Living Nativity" at Loveland United Methodist Church this Sunday, Dec.3, from 4:30 - 7:30. We attended this event last year and are looking forward to going again this year. A costumed interpreter leads you station to station as actors (church members) reenact the Nativity story. At each booth or station a segment of the story is told. It is very well done. The church members really work hard to memorize their lines. The kids do well with it because you are outside, you only stand at one area for a short time, and there are live animals at the end. Small children are also participants and are a wonderful highlight at the end. Free candy canes, cookies, hot chocolate and coffee are available inside afterwards. They stagger small groups through the stations. 10975 S.Lebanon Road, not far from Loveland Madeira Road. 683-1738

Monday, November 27, 2006

Some local upcoming Christmas Events: I am not sure which of these we will be attending (other than the one in Downtown Loveland, as it is literally just blocks away), but I thought I would share these as I became aware of them.

Ohio National's Victorian Holiday Village

Wanted to let you know about a free Christmas village at Ohio National Financial Services. It is located right off of 71 on Pfeiffer Rd. Supposedly, it is really really cute. They set up little playhouses that include a post office to write letters to Santa, Gingerbread house where they have free cocoa and cookies, and many others. At the end, you can have your picture taken with Santa and get a copy of the picture for free. They also have a train you can ride which the kids always love

This event is outside, so dress appropriately. In addition, you walk along a gravel path – so strollers can be difficult.

Ohio National's Victorian Holiday Village is open on the following evenings:

Friday, December 1 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 2 from 5-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 7 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Friday, December 8 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand: the kids' train, the best cocoa ever, free, high quality photos with St. Nick (one per family, please), elf balloon makers. ONFS carolers (on Fridays, December 1 & 8 ) ... and more.

As always, the Village is free to Ohio National associates and the public -- it's a very special way of giving thanks and sharing the holiday spirit with our Greater Cincinnati community.

Christmas in Loveland:

Amazingly, it seems we are free this evening...Emily doesn't have Nutcracker, Grant's game is early that day (10 AM), Brett and Cade play on Sunday, so as long as there isn't a conflict with Jacob's game (we get his schedule soon) we plan to attend this event (weather permitting of course!)

Christmas in Loveland on Saturday Dec. 16 from 4 to 9 PM. Live Nativity, free horse wagon rides in old downtown, historic museum all dolled up for holidays, hot drinks and a campfire, different local groups singing Xmas carols, ornament making, Santa Claus walking around, live music, shows and storytelling at other places in old downtown, antique shops and furniture store to walk through and all is free.. Grailville (across from Leaves of Learning) is just 1/2 mile away and every Christmas they display crèches from around the world.

St. Nicholas Eve:

St. Nicholas will be riding his horse-drawn sleigh through the streets of Madeira on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Beginning at 5:00pm, St. Nicholas will be stopping at a variety of locations to distribute surprises to children. The Madeira recreation department does a nice job on this. St. Nicholas is dressed with mitre and staff. He travels with some Madeira High School band members who play Christmas carols as they go. At each stop St. Nick passes out bags of treats (raisins, animal crackers and/or mints) with a note telling a LITTLE about his life as a bishop who helped those in need. It's a simple and fun way to celebrate St. Nicholas Eve. Here is the schedule - note that the times are approximate:
Mapleridge & Kenwood Hills 5:00pm
Kenwood & Cherokee 5:15
Navaho & Apache Circle 5:30
Rosecrest (off Dawson) 5:45
Pineneedle & Juniperview 6:00
Summit & Laurel 6:15
Mayfield & Southside 6:25
Fowler & Mar Del 6:35
Miami Hills & Timberlane 6:50
South Mingo & Shewango 7:05
Greenbriar & Mapleleaf 7:20
Madeira Elementary 7:30
Thomas & Dee 8:00
Berwood & Homart 8:15
Sanoma & Iuka 8:30
Maxfield & Longfield 8:45
Municipal Building (Miami & Euclid) 9:00

Neiderman's farm
Open the day after Thanksgiving through December 30th
5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Display is FREE to the public
Wheelchair accessible

Walk through this free, unique outdoor display located in Liberty Township, just off of State Route 4 in Butler County Ohio. Thousands of lights illuminate the path as you travel through the Bible. Come relive the history of the silent, holy night, which was the beginning of Christmas so many years ago. Sprinkled with the Christmas theme, begin by walking through some of the great events of Biblical history. See God's love as shown through the stories of the Creation, the Flood, and the Ten Commandments. Share the joy in the birth of Jesus, see the wisemen as they travel to worship the new King, and rejoice with the shepherds who first heard the good news. See the feeding of the 5000 and many of the miracles performed by Jesus. Join in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus praying in the garden, as well as His death and burial. See representations of the cross and the tomb where His body was laid. Stand in awe with the angels who announced the glory of His ascension into Heaven.

From I-75 take exit 29, go west on State route 63 towards Monroe. Go approximately 3.5 miles. You will pass under a bridge. Take the next left at the stop light. This is Salzman Rd. Follow Salzman to the end. At the stop sign turn right. This is Hankins Rd. Follow Hankins until it dead ends into Lesourdsville West Chester Rd. Turn left. Gregory Creek Inn and Niederman's Christmas Farm is the third drive on the left.

From Hamilton take Route 4 North towards Middletown. When you pass State Route 747 take the next road to the right. This is Lesourdsville West Chester Rd. Gregory Creek Inn and Niederman's Christmas Farm is the third drive on the left.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Geocaching, Round #2

Here is the email that I sent to Deanne, Sheryl and Carole:
Well, we appear to be on the one has been sick today, so I think tomorrow is a go for us.

Did we decide on Stansberry Park in Mt. Washington? They have picnic tables and playground equipment. I believe there are 5 caches there? I printed off the ones I could find BSA Tenderfoot, Get the Lead Out, Lair with Legs, Stanbery Cache, and Lil Stanbery Hollow. I also printed the ones for Withrow Nature Preserve, again I found 5....Church in the Vale, Lu-lu's Stash, Wishing You Well, BSA First Class, 10-10-220 but Withrow doesn't have any picnic tables or playgound equipment.

What time? I was thinking 10 AM....I have to leave by about 2:15 PM as I need to pick up a girl in Milford at 3:15 to take her down to Nutcracker practice with Emily.

I tried to figure it out from the map....cincy parks website is the best I can figure it, coming from 275 you would get off at the Five Mile Exit (Carole and Sheryl, you would turn left onto 5 Mile, Deanne, we need to turn right), follow to Beechmont Ave and turn LEFT onto Beechmont Ave, follow for a ways (couple of miles, you will pass McNicholas High School) and turn LEFT onto Corbly Rd (I believe there is a Kroger on this corner) and then make a RIGHT onto Oxford (first street), it looks like this is how you get into the park.....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

December Unschooling Voices:

I have been a bit behind in answering the monthly question for the unschooling voices blog circle, so I thought I would get a jumpstart on December's topic, especially since the answer comes so easy to me!

December topic: What interesting activites, projects or experiments have your kids done this past year? We've gotten some really cool ideas from other unschoolers so tell us what you've done in 2006!

There are so many things that I can think of that fit this topic. I thought the easiest way to answer was to draw some of my favorite activities together in one post. These are really just the highlights from this "school" year (starting in July). You are welcome to search the archieves to find out more of just what we have done in the past!

Geocaching: what kids isn't up for a treasure hunt? This is by far my favorite of our new activities! The kids and I can't wait to find more local caches and to use our new GPS (I got one for my birthday, days after our first adventure) to find caches as we travel!

Homeschool Biography Fair: it is quite interesting when kids are free to pick their own subjects and present them how they chose! Even the youngest of children seem eager to participate! Although this could be quite "schooly" if run by someone with a differnt agenda, it is an awesome experience for all the kids. We also host a science fair (Jan), Architecture fair (Feb), Geography fair (Mar), Art Fair (May) and a writer's tea (June).

Pioneer Village Tour: It is funny when you attend an event run by homeschoolers, how they just UNDERSTAND what you want to get out of a fieldtrip. I can't recommend this event highly enough!

Red Hall of Fame Tour: My boys LOVED this program, little did they realize what an intensive math program it was!

Vactioning at Long's Retreat: The joys (and ADVENTURES) of vacationing off season!

4-H: Obviously we are a bit obsessed as there are 3 posts related to this,, and I can't encourage unschoolers and homeschoolers enough to research making 4-H part of your lives! It has been nothing but a WONDERFUL experience for us.

Monday, November 20, 2006

12483! That is the hit count when I update to beta!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Climb-Ucopia at RockQuest

Flyer at the website, info on this event is half way down (not the $30 one at the top)

RockQuest is having an event from 4pm Saturday, November 18th until 4pm Sunday the 19th. For an entrance fee of a few canned goods, you can climb all you like during the 24 hour period

Entrance: 3 canned goods
Harness Rental: 1 canned good
Shoe Rental: 1 canned good
Belay Lesson: 2 canned goods
One climb: 1 canned good
Overnight fee: 5 canned goods

As you can see, for 6 cans per person, you are able to try indoor rock climbing (regular price would be $22)! The facility is located on the south side of East Kemper Road between Tri-County Mall and Reading Road (near Scarlet Oaks). 3475 East Kemper Road · Cincinnati, OH 45241 · 513-733-0123

WOW! What an absolutely AWESOME time. Deanne and I agreed to meet at RockQuest at 10 AM on Sunday (we were going to go at 9 AM but Emily had to go to the dance studio). I was a bit apprehensive about how crowded it would be, after all yoiu could get 6 canned goods for less than $3 and that was a savings of $19! So for less than $12 I was going to be able to let 4 kids climb (usually $88, a savings of $76!) . When I pulled into their lot, I actually wondered if the event had been cancelled because there was NO ONE there. We went inside and were greeted by an eager staff and found that only 1 other person was climbing (and had their own belayer) so for the 5 kids (Chris, Emily, Grant, Jacob and Cade) there were 4 belayers, so only one person ever had to wait (althoug the kids seemed to prefer climbing one or two at a time while they watched each other). Deanne and I both thought from the flyer that the kids would be permitted to climb the wall ONCE for our donation (we each brought some extra cans so they could make additional climbs) and were shocked to find out that they could climb as long as they wanted as long as a belayer was available and if a belayer wasn't available, they could boulder (free climb) with a mat under them. For over an HOUR AND 15 MINUTES we were the only ones there! As the kids approached what they decided would be their final climbs, 2 other boys came in. From talking to the staff they had been packed the evening before (running out of harnesses and people having to wait about 20 minutes to climb) so obviously early Sunday morning was the right choice (we had debated going up last night). On top of the great climbing experience (we have never rockclimbed at a facility like this) we were also FED, bagels and spreads from Panera!

Emily and Grant scaled the 40 foot wall their first climb. Jacob, Cade and Chris started out a bit slower on the 10 foot wall....believe me I'm not knocking it, I could have never even made it up 10 feet, I HATE heights! Cade never did make it to the top of the wall, but he had a blast. Everyone was asking in the van on the way home if we could climb again soon......unfortunately at the regular price, I doubt it will be something we do again soon, but I will stock up on can goods and we will definitely head back next year!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fujitec field trip!!!!

Friday, November 17; 10am – 12:30
Ages: geared towards 2nd grade, but older & younger children are welcome to attend
Organizer: Denise

Did you ever notice the Fujitec tower just off I-71 at the Lebanon exit? Fujitec is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial elevator and escalator systems. During National Elevator and Escalator Safety Awareness week Fujitec would like to host 2nd graders on a field trip of their Lebanon, location.
The field trip program would entail a 2-2 ½ hour visit to the company’s facility. It will provide a fun way for these children to become acquainted with basic tips and information on how to safely ride elevators and escalators.

While the children are at our facility they will:
*Be entertained & guided by Safe-T-Rider, the Safety Foundation mascot.
*View an eight-minute video that guides children through safety rules for elevators, escalators and moving walkways.
*Take an oral test of 10 questions that are geared toward 2nd graders.
*Be rewarded with a Certificate of Completion.
*Receive a coloring book that repeats scenes and rules from the video.
*Participate in a guided tour of the Fujitec Research Tower, which will include a hands-on demonstration on the proper use of escalators and elevators.
*Enjoy a movie while waiting for their group’s tour.

They are located at State Route 48 and I – 71 just north of Kings Island in Lebanon. I’m sure you have seen the tower just off of the expressway. If you need to map it, the address is 401 Fujitec Drive, Lebanon OH 45036. When you arrive at Fujitec, you will come to a guard shack. Just tell them that you are there for a tour and they will direct you where to park and enter the building.

You just have to check out this HILARIOUS video that they showed us: we came home (after hanging out at Deanne's for a while so she could cut the boys hair and the kids could play!) and the kids just had to find it on the computer. Emily and Sophie can now do the "dancing" in the entire is an absolute stitch!

The tour was really neat. They have an elevator that you can see the counterweights in (very cool) and a glass sided escaltor that lets you see where those steps go (anyone else ever wandered about that??). Even Sophie really seemed to enjoy herself. Of course the coloring book and crayons helped. They also gave everyone a lanyard and a tote bag. Always great to go away from a FREE tour with GOODIES!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tour the new Cincinnati Police Historical Museum
Tuesday, November 14th; 10 am
Location: 959 W. 8th Street
Cost: Free, but donations accepted
Maximum number: 25 people (group is full)

RSVP to Julieanne

This is a link to a Cincinnati Post article about it - some pictures to see as well.

It's best if you GoogleMap the address, as it's on the corner of W.8th and Freeman Ave.

OK, so my directions off of Googlemap totally sucked and I ended up making 3 wrong turns, but we found the place by accident and we actually got there EARLY! The museum is realatively small but is packed with history. Our tour guide was a bit hard to understand (he talked really low) but it was still really neat to walk around and read all the displays. Will of course was drawn to the motorcycle they had on display and really didn't want to look at anything that didn't have to do with motorcycles. Luckily since the place is small, I was able to sit with him in the waiting area and I could still see all the kids.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Yesterday a fellow homeschooling mom (Sheryl) and her kids met us at Symmes Park in Loveland to give us a taste of geocaching. Deanne and I had wanted to try it out ever since learning about the geocaching sites last year, but had never had access to a GPS receiver before. Neither of us wanted to invest the $100 or so it would cost to get one if it wasn't something that we would enjoy. Well, let me tell was a BLAST! The kids really enjoyed themselves and I have to admit that the lure of finding hidden treasure even inticed me! We found some small trinkets to exchange (Halloween toys on clearance for 80% off) and headed off for an adventure!

We found 4 caches yesterday, 3 in Symmes Park and one in Hidden Creek Park.

So for those of you that don't know.....What is Geocaching? Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.

This is the site we used to locate our caches:

After all the fun, I came home and did some GPS research. Here is a great site with a Beginners Maual

Now if I could just figure out how basic of a system I can buy and still have fun! I found one at Walmart for just under $80, but I am not sure it will do everything I need it to do, so I have to do some more research. Right now the two cheapest units I can find are the Garmin eTrex GPS Unit ($80) and the Magellan explorist 200 ($118). Off to do some more research! Maybe I will find some other options!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Jerk of the year

My friend Julieanne and I grew up in families with amazingly similiar dynamics. We both have fathers who are wonderful sweet, mothers who are controlling and somewhat disappointed that their daughters see being mothers as a career and younger bothers that although they were the "golden child" of the family tend to be asses! We have a running competition to see who brother is being the bigger ass, and her brother was winning (with his refusal to show up for his own birthday dinner at her mom's house) UNTIL my brother sent the following email to my dad in response to an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner:


Unfortunately both of us work this day. I no longer get any holidays off. Also, I regretfully report that due to personal financial issues and decisions, that we will not be exchanging gifts this season. We also do not want nor expect anything either. I know this will not be a popular decision, but it is unavoidable. We wish everyone the very best.

Love Always,

Steve & Carolyn

Now don't get me wrong, I suppose my brother COULD have to work on Thanksgiving, but my understanding has always been he starts work at3 PM (he is a cop) then why can't you respond with something along the lines of "well I need to be back on my side of town by 2:30 so would it be possible to eat at noon instead?" or even "I can't make lunch but I would love to stop out and spend the morning with you" The jerk hasn't seem my parents in almost a year (last Christmas Eve for less than 2 hours to be exact), my father is dying, and he has no kids of his own...what the HELL is his problem? Oh yeah, I remember, his wife.

OK, now the second part about the gifts doesn't really bug me as far as it relates to me and my family....two less people for me to buy for, but it bugs the heck out of me where my parents are concerned. From what he wrote you would think he spends HUNDREDS of DOLLARS on each of us, not the case. He probably spends about $50 on each of my parents and about $75 on my what $175? You need to come up with $175 between now and Christmas? You both work FULLTIME and at least one of you have a decent paying job, yet you can't figure out how to save $25 a week between NOW and Christmas?????? Hell, he had almost 2 months (dad invited them the beginning of Nov.) that would be $200? He could have emailed me and said "I don't want to do gifts with your family, it is just too much" and I would have been fine with it (like I said, 2 less people to shop for!) but why did he have to do that to my parents? $25 is just one less carton of cigarettes or 2 less cases of beer a week...doesn't seem like a HUGE sacrifice now does it? And if he doesn't buy for us, he only needs to save about $15 a week......3 less trips to Wendy's. Yes, I am slightly PISSED....doesn't help that I now have to listen to my dad lament about it every time I see him. It is just crushing him.

When my husband read the email, he said "You realize that this means he isn't coming for Christmas at all" and I said "Of course I do. He put HOLIDAYS in there, not just 'I have to work Thanksgiving', I'm not stupid".

It just frustrates me. Yes, my mother can be a bitch (it is a family trait I wear proudly!) but if nothing else other than the fact that she gave birth to you, can't you show up for an hour? It isn't like she abused him as a kid, we both got whatever we wanted, went on nice vacations, she showed up at any sporting event we participated in, ok she isn't the most lovely dovey person in the world and she can't always keep her opinions to herself, but we all have our flaws. Is an hour of his time too much to ask? My dad shouldn't have even made it this long, statistically speaking, this may be his last holiday season with us. I guess what burns me up the most is that I KNOW they will spend time with her family over the holidays (and guess what, they have to drive right by my parent's exit to get to her parents house!) but they can't stop in an say HELLO???? Of course it always IRKS me that ANY time he spends with them, even a phonecall to my dad, is RAVED about, when I am the one there 2 or 3 times a week helping out, but I will take being IRKED if it makes my dad happy!

I guess I can just hold on to the old saying "what goes around, comes around". My brother's wife is significantly older than he is (think like 20 years) so chances are he will outlive her. He has no children. By then dad will be gone, most likely mom too (since she is almost 60! now). I have a VERY LONG MEMORY!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

At this very moment 16 years ago my oldest son came into this world, 10 weeks ahead of schedule and fighting for his life, a fighting spirit that he still posesses today! I thought the moment that he entered my life that I could never love a person more than I did at that moment, little did I know how that love would grow and multipy over the next 16 years!

Happy 16th Birthday Brett!
Where do these questions come from?????

Yesterday the boys and I were running errands in a prodominantly black part of town. While we were driving around Grant (10 years old) posed the following question "mom, can a black person be president". I didn't really stop to think about what made him pose the question (most likely something about seeing election signs and numerous black people on the street) and simply answered "Grant, anyone who is born in the United States and is at least 35 years old can run for president" so then he decides to pose another question "then why hasn't a black person ever been president" which led me to describe how a canidate has to secure his party's nomination and although 10 or 15 people might want the nomination, only one preson is put forth from each party. I then added that since statistically blacks make up a smaller portion of the population that securing a majority of the votes might be more difficult. He then asked if it was because people are "racists" that they wouldn't elect a black president. I told him that I really wasn't sure, but that mamy people tend to vote for people they identify with the most, whether that be gender, race, political party or another factor. Still probing he asks me "would you vote for a black person" to which I answered that I had voted for a black man that morning (Ken Blackwell who was running for govenor of Ohio) and further added that I decide who I will vote for based on what a that canidate stands for.

So we reach our destination and go about our business. When we get back in the van the new question is "Mom, do you think a mexican could get elected president?" Again, I answer, "yes, if they were born in the United States and are at least 35 year old, I think they could get elected president. Why do you ask?" (I am looking around to see if he sees a Hispanic person). He answers "Because I heard on the radio that the mexicans have larger families than other people and that they will be the majority in the US within 30 years". This all from a kid who has never taken a social studies class!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What: Second Annual Biography Fair
When: Sunday November 5, 2006 3:00 PM
Who: ALL HOMESCHOOLERS (preschool to teen and anyone in between)

Cost: None
Organizer: Laura
Where: St. Bernard (directioned will be emailed when you RSVP)
What to bring: Your project and a dish to share*

Each child picks anyone, living or dead, and does a presentation about their life. The child chooses how to present the infomation. They can write a report, make a display board, a photo montage, a video. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. The great thing about this opportunity is that any age child can participate and present their research to the best of their abilities. No competing!

There is a great article online that explains the biography fair in detail.

Contact Laura if interested in participating. If you don't feel like doing a project but would like to come and check out the work of our aspiring biographers, feel free to join us for the fun. Remember to bring a snack to share.

*Please bring a nut-free snack to share. No popcorn please! It night be fun to try to tie your treat to the subject of yoru biography fair project, for example, if you did your project on George Washington, maybe a cherry pie or if you chose Johnny Appleseed, some baked apples. Plates, drinks, napkins, silverware and cups provided!

What a wonderful event and a great turn out! The kids were so proud of the projects. Two of the girls made dolls to represent the subject of the projects, they were just absolutely adorable....Johnny Appleseed, complete with a metal pot on his head and Pocahantas, complete with baby Pomp on her back! Two of the other participants decided to do a presenation about their subjects in front of the group. The one even made an elaborate costume to represent Queen Elizabeth. Another child made a book that illustrated the birth of her baby brother (her subject). In another family, the children portraited their subject and then were interviewed by another family member. The videotaped the interviews, very, very cool!

Sophie even did a project! On Thursday most of the kids were working hard to put together their projects for Sunday's biography fair. I was busy printing off pictures for one of the boys when Sophie (4...she wouldn't be going to kindergarten for another year and a half if we "did" school) asked me when I was going to help her with her project. I quickly answered "honey, you don't have to do a project, you are only 4" to which she answered "but I want to do a project. I am doing Nick Lachey". I chuckled and told her that I would help her in a bit and she ran off, I figured she would probably forget about it. About 20 minutes later she comes back in the living room with a HUGE stack of pictures she had ripped for magazines, all of Nick Lachey (remember she has teenage sisters). She then asked for the scissors and some glue and a poster board. She glued her WHOLE project together herself (which is more than I can say for her 6 and 8 year old brothers). She so proudly stood with her display at the fair and told everyone about "Nick A- SHAY" as she callls him.

So from my family you had Ashley Parker Angel (Hannah), Vincent Van Gogh (Em), George Washington (Grant), Willie Stargell (Jacob), Stanley Burrell (Cade) and Nick Lachey (Sophie).