Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hey guess what?! I got a job! I think it's gonna be good. I think that I'll like it. I think that I'll be able to move up the ranks quickly. Because I'm THAT awesome. You know I am, too. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spider Web

It was pretty and foggy this morning. There was dew on everything, and at the bus stop, attached to the STOP sign, there was a gorgeous, dew-covered spider web! After the kids got on the bus, I had to make a trip back for photos. Some of them turned out really well:

This is the lot across from my folks' house. I liked how it looked in the fog, but the picture didn't show it how I saw it. *sigh* Oh well.

Side view of the spider web. They get better, I promise. Keep scrolling down.

The whole web.

This is the guy that made the web. I found him hiding behind the sign on the post.

I included the photo of the STOP sign because even though the web took up almost the whole post, you couldn't see it head on. I thought that was interesting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Toes + A Little Too Much Time On My Hands =

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Stuff We Did

Here are pictures of some stuff that we did this weekend!

We went to the Cards vs. Reds game on Friday because we got an awesome deal on nosebleed tickets!

Here's a picture of the good-lookin' people!

The Arch in the upper left-hand corner.

Labor day we had a picnic at Forest Park before heading to the zoo!

Here's a great picture that Jeremy took of a gorgeous butterfly outside of the Jewel Box!

Lily pads in the pool outside of the Jewel Box. I liked these variegated ones!

Exoskeleton on a lily pad.

There's a dragonfly on the lily on the right.

Pretty blue flowers climbing up the outside wall of the zoo.

Lioness in the tree.

Hippo butt!

Do you see the frog in the water?

My charming husband, charming a cobra.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Text Book Names

Here's a politically correct word problem from my 4th grade son's math book:

"D'Jeran has $23, Becky has $42. Together D'Jeran and Becky have how much money?..."

I would like to know why rich Becky has more money than poor D'Jeran. And what's the likelihood Becky and D'Jeran even know each other, let alone live within walking distance? Is Becky just hanging out with D'Jeran because she wants to upset her daddy?

How did D'Jeran make it into this text book? The apostrophes were confusing to my son, who couldn't read this name. Really I'm not trying to be ugly, but why can't they just name everyone Sam, Jill, Bob or Sue? It's not because I only want my kids exposed to "white" culture (I just moved out of the ghetto - all of my kids' friends were of different backgrounds), it's about using names that the kids can read. This isn't English or World Geography, it's a math book.

Other confusing names out of the book: D'Nae, Anitra, Kazi, Tamira, Talnai, Raziya. I'm sure we'll come across more as we go.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Son Had A Birthday

My son had a birthday and the kids started school, and I made no special post about it. Worst. Mom. Ever.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Cool Spider!

I know that I take lots of spider pictures for someone so scared of them, but have a look at this spider living right outside my mom and dad's back door! It's some kind of huge garden spider with a web that stretches all the way across the door, and takes up at least the whole top half! Amazing!

This is a bad shot of the spider, but it's incredible of the web!

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Cheated!!!

Today Dan and Launa were playing tic-tac-toe. They were joking around and playing until Launa shouts, "YOU CHEATED!! Hey Mooo-oom! Daniel chea- ... Hey, wait a minute! I can't tattle on YOU... *I* was planning on cheating!"

I love it when they start growing logic. It's funny. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Frozen Dinner

The Lean Cuisine market creations chicken alfredo (in the steam bag) is goooooooooood! Usually those frozen entrees need to be spiced up a little out of the microwave (especially the diet ones - ugh), but these need nothing else (except maybe more inside)! As my dad says, "It's so good, it'll make your brains fall out!"

It will, too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dinner At Our House

This is a real-life conversation held over dinner tonight:

Jeremy: "Ugh, my ears are ringing."

Daniel: "I don't hear anything."

Launa, putting her ear up to Jeremy's ear: "Let me see if I can hear it...nope."

Daniel: "Let ME try!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tide Pools And Airport Stays

Today my daddy, Al Gross, interviewed me on his show in St. Louis at KXEN am 1010. I think he had me for most of the hour. We had a good time chatting and discussing life. We talked about our trip to the tide pools and I promised to post some pictures from the trip.

I feel kind of bad because Sarah (my sister) was there, she was using her camera, and she took all of the pictures, so there are none of her. I didn't even think to ask her if she wanted some pictures of herself on her own camera! I'm ashamed. Anyway, she got some good ones of Dad and me. ;)

I was looking back to see if I had posted any of these pictures on my blog previously, but it turns out that I didn't get around to it. I also forgot to write about my 24 hour stay at chez LAX, which is actually a very good story, so I'll post the pictures and reminisce about my time stuck in the airport.

Sarah (on the left) and me overlooking the Ojai Valley on Dad's personal history tour.

Dad holding an octopus that we found at the tide pools in Ventura, CA.

A smaller octopus that clung to a rock for camouflage. Can you see it there? It's easier to find if you're looking for legs.

I finally worked up the courage to hold a smaller octopus!

I love this picture of Dad.

A hermit crab we found. I think Dad has owned those shorts since the 80s.

None of us knew what these were. We found them under a rock, and they slowly shrunk back down into the dirt after we exposed them.

Sea anemone.

The carcass of a horseshoe crab.

Cool rocks.

A barnacle and the underside of a sea anemone.

So! My stay in LAX happened this way: I was on a budget. A man from my church is retired from Delta Airlines, so he used his perks to get me an inexpensive, but bump-able seat on a flight to LA and back to Atlanta. I took the shuttle from Ventura to LAX. The shuttle left at 4 pm, and I had the last plane out of town. They boarded the flight, and instead of calling the stand-bys to get on, the senior flight attendant decided to shut the plane and take-off, even though there was plenty of room on the flight.

Of course, I didn't realize that I had the last flight out of town, and that I was in for the experience of my life. After my flight left me, the airport cleared out pretty quickly and suddenly there was just me and about five other people in the whole terminal. I was going to get to sleep in the airport! I grabbed my heavy carry-on bag, and I decided that it was time to settle in. I scrunched up on the seat, and tried to use my bag as a pillow, but I just couldn't get comfortable. After a while of this, one of the other young ladies in the terminal said to me, "Excuse me, but you'll be a lot more comfortable if you stretch your legs across the aisle and prop them up on the seats across from you, then put your bag in your lap and rest your head on it." It turned out she was the daughter of a Delta pilot, and had had lots of experience flying stand-by and consequently, sleeping in airport terminals. While propping my feet up was better, it still wasn't comfortable, and I mostly cat napped for most of the night, maybe getting a total of 90 minutes to 2 hours of sleep.

The airport filled up in the morning, and the six other displaced passengers and I started the process of moving from terminal to terminal in hopes of finding a flight with an empty seat to Atlanta. As we moved from one flight waiting area to another, the other stand-bys and I started to chat each other up. It started with the self-deprecating and good-natured looks we gave each other every time we had to haul our bags to the next terminal. Before long we were talking to each other about who we were and what we were doing. The girl that talked to me the night before and I stuck pretty close together and there were two other men that we spent a lot of time with. One of the guys bought us lunch. We told each other stories, and I went over to the gift shop to buy a pack of cards. The other girl and I played a game called speed. In the afternoon, she finally caught a flight! I was happy for her, but sorry to see her go. I gave her my contact information, but it changed pretty soon afterward, and I wonder if she ever tried to call. It would have been fun to see her again. I got a flight in the evening, and finally made it home in time for breakfast the next morning.

It was exhausting and could have been a pretty rotten experience if people had decided to be crabby about being stuck in a crowded airport terminal hauling our heavy bags all over the place. Fortunately we were having so much fun getting to know strangers, that it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip! I was glad to get home, and I slept for hours once I got there. I wish I had written down more about it right after it happened, because it made a great story, and I know there are details that I've forgotten by now.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the photos, and the story about being stuck forever at the airport. Feel free to leave comments, I always like hearing from new people. Personal shout-out to David Klaus. I hope you got to hear me today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Found in Launa's Backpack

Look what I found in Launa's backpack. It was too cute not to share. Translations under pics, in case you can't read Kindergartener.

From Launa, to Daddy - "I love Dad"

Dear Dad, Thank you for making me feel better. I really appreciate it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Daniel's Poem

We just got back from Daniel's writer's workshop tea. It is where his teacher gave us the portfolios of our children's writing assignments throughout the year. The kids also wrote poetry books. Here's my favorite out of Daniel's poetry book:

If I were in charge of the world
I'd cancel school for boys, not girls.
Punishment, work, and also the
only language would be English.

If I were in charge of the world
there'd be dancing animals, free prizes
every week in the mail, $1,000, and
a lot of video games.

If I were in charge of the world
you wouldn't have cars that run on gasoline.
You wouldn't have cigarettes
or death
you wouldn't even have tornados.

If I were in charge of the world
A cat would be a dog. <--my favorite line
all people would be rich.
And a person who sometimes doesn't listen
and sometimes is lazy
would still be allowed to be
in charge of the world.

Okay, so I can't say that I agree with everything in that poem - I'm not raising a little xenophobe or socialist (I hope) but he's 8. We'll get to the finer points of politics when he's old enough to get it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parenting Quandary

I just received an EXTREMELY graphic text book about crime scene investigation. I'm tempted to warn my children never to touch the book. On the other hand, they have never shown an interest in my text books before (after all, they're text books), so I'm afraid that if I draw attention to it, they may not be able to resist sneaking a peek to see what all the fuss is about. Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Event # 1

Okay, so super-mega-ultra-cool event number one is:

Launa lost her first two teeth! Okay, this is not super-mega-ultra-cool to probably anyone but Launa and me, but it's a pretty big deal for us. Not only does she look adorable with the big, gaping hole in her face, but she has the cutest little lisp now that her teeth don't touch in front. Bad news is, she is already getting in her big-girl teeth, and one is in front of the other. I'm already calculating my kids' orthodontist bills, and I'm wondering which they'd prefer: pretty smiles, or a college education?

Why Are You Following Me?!

Speaking of his Christian walk, my dad (whose name is Al) sometimes says, "You know, I'd be doing okay if Al didn't follow me around all the time."

Today in general I'm feeling pretty much the same way: I'd be doing alright if Mary weren't following me around.

More posting later today. Muah!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sorry. :(

I lied about posting something every day. I didn't have time to post anything today, and I still have to finish some homework tonight, so there will be no update today. But tomorrow should work out for blogging. I'm a jerk. Manana, my friends.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sorry For My Neglect

I don't know why, but I have been supremely unmotivated on the blog front. It's not like nothing's been happening. A LOT has happened in the last month, I just have not been feeling up to writing about it. I was supposed to spend today catching up on my blogging, but I spent it churching, napping, and mothering, so it didn't happen.

Which reminds me: Happy Mother's Day! Being a mom is awesome, and I got to save my daughter's life today because she choked on a pickle at Larry's Subs in full view of everyone. I got to give her the Heimlich and pull chewed-up food out of her throat. I felt bad and hoped it didn't ruin everyone at the opposite table's meal (they were all watching, you know). I apologized, but they were nice about it. Jeremy, who actually has had first responder training at work (and has also been trained in how to save a choking child) was absolutely no help. But to be fair, I was the one sitting next to her on the outside while she was on the inside next to the wall, and he would have had to walk around the table and behind me to get to her. Also, I was so afraid of doing it wrong and hurting her, that I'm pretty sure she mostly choked it up on her own, I just helped clear it. BEING A MOMMY IS SO MUCH FUN!!!! If you're not in the process of actually giving birth to your kids, then you're knocking yourself out just trying to keep those little buggers alive!

Over the next week, you may expect a new post every day, each describing one ultra-exciting thing that happened over the last month. I know you're excited! I know you can't wait, but trust me...it'll be worth it! See ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Have you heard of that movie Buried about the guy who wakes up in a coffin? Don't bother renting/seeing/in any way supporting this movie with your money. It's just another one of those anti-American propaganda pieces that Hollywood is churning out. And it was boring. I should have guessed. Wish I could get those 2 hours back. I could have done something more productive...like make a scarf out of belly-button lint.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Glasses!

My new glasses came in today! I have to say that I had a hard time deciding to actually trade in my old ones for new ones because I REALLY liked my old glasses. They were the most fashionable and attractive glasses I think I've ever owned. I also thought that they looked really good on me. Anyway, since they were four years old, Jeremy pretty much forced me to go get a new pair. I think he said something about being terrified when I drive, and hating to read menus for me...

Anyway, just a refresher:

These are my old glasses...:

...And these are my new glasses!

(Those are rhinestones on the front and sides.)

The jury's still out on these ones. They're cute, but I just really LOVED my old ones! I asked J to help me pick them out since he was going to have to look at them for the next...however many years it'll be until he forces me to buy new ones again (because I HATE spending money on myself, especially when it comes to things I need...I know that's weird). Anyway, tell me what you think!