Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cole gives the FHE lesson

video
You may not be able to hear him very well, but he's reading that book, I swear! Cole first started recognizing some words about a year ago, but his reading ability has really taken off in the past few months. Last night, he planned and gave the family home evening lesson all by himself.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Highlights of Our Trip to the Beach

We spent a few days camping at the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week. This was my first time to swim in the ocean (the two times I've been to the beach in Florida, it rained the whole time), and I have to say that I definitely prefer lake swimming to ocean swimming. Being slammed in the face by a great big wave is only fun to a point (not to mention my subconscious mind insisting that there are probably sharks lurking out there in the ocean, waiting to take a chunk out of my unsuspecting body). Michael, on the other hand, was in heaven. I've never seen him so excited to go swimming before. His one and a half days of body surfing left him fried (apparently only the second sunburn he's ever had). The boys spent most of their time playing in the sand, agreeing with me that water is more fun when it lies there peacefully like in lakes and swimming pools. I also decided after this trip that I absolutely need an RV.

Of course, our family can't take a trip without someone getting sick, and this time around we got a two for one - first Eli and then Rylan. Our first afternoon after getting back from the beach, Eli threw up and then crawled into the backseat of the car while Michael and I set up the campsite. I found him a few minutes later completely zonked out and wedged under the seat.















Rylan threw up in the middle of the night, which made for fun times sleeping in a tent. The next day, he had a fever, so Michael and I alternated holding him the whole day. Every time I laid him down, he started whimpering and dragged himself back into my arms. My poor baby!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

10 Essential Changes for People and the Planet

I haven't shopped regularly at Walmart in four years. There isn't a single Walmart in all of Montgomery County, MD, so after we moved to Silver Spring, I stopped shopping there for convenience sake. Then a couple years ago, I watched a documentary about how Walmart is destroying the American economy, so I was happy that it was so inconvenient to shop at Walmart, and I started making a conscious effort not to shop at Walmart.

Now that we are in North Carolina, I have been tormented with trying to decide whether or not to go back to Walmart. On the one hand, it's the cheapest grocery store, and we are on a tight budget right now with two house payments weighing us down. On the other hand, Walmart is evil. Right?

I started wondering if Walmart is really as evil as I've made it out to be in my head, and if other grocery stores are really any better. The result of my search is the fantastic website www.betterworldshopper.com, which rates companies based on their social and environmental responsibility.

The verdict?...Walmart is evil, but less evil than Exxon and Philip Morris.

This is a cool chart about what changes you should make to have the most difference for people and the planet. After looking over this whole website, I've discovered I'm a B- kind of person. I'd love to be an A, but it's just too darn expensive.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bathtime


I was giving Rylan a bath the other day, and as I watched, he shimmied his way out of his bathseat and pulled himself up on the side of the tub. You can tell from this picture that he was very pleased with himself.

Rainboots


I have been wanting to get the boys rainboots for a long time but couldn't justify the purchase since my kids never get to go outside when it's raining because I hate to get wet. Finally, I found these boots on clearance at Target the other day. They were the wrong size, but I thought they'd be fun anyway and they'd grow into them, so I bought Cole and Eli each a pair.

I have ungrateful kids.

Instead of hearing thank-you's for my fun, spontaneous gift, I had to listen to an hour of griping. The boots were too big. They hurt their feet. They were hard to walk in. They made them walk too slow. Blah, blah, blah.

Despite that initial hour of ungratefulness, though, both boys have worn their boots almost nonstop since they got them. This picture is of Cole pretending that his boots are fireman boots. (The jumprope is his hose.)

Say Anything


I've mentioned before that Eli spends half his day with no pants on. He puts on pants in the morning, but they're off the first time he goes potty, and if we don't go anywhere that day, he'll go pants-less the whole day.

I like this picture because it looks like he's reenacting the famous scene from Say Anything (except without any pants).

Also, btw, that's our new beautiful table in the background.
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