Friday, October 30, 2009

The Greatest Night of the Year (It's not about candy or ghosts)

If you've read me for even a week, you know I love Christmas--my favorite time of the year but there is one specific night I dream about every year.

This night is heaven for me.

Yes, I do love taking the kids out in their little costumes, meeting neighbors and watching their excitement as they dump all their candy on the fireplace for the Great Big Pumpkin, but that is not what I am dreaming about.

No, I am dreaming of that magical night where daylight saving time ends. That silly tradition started to give us more daylight in the summer. And the night I get an entire, extra hour of sleep.

Sleep is one my favorite things to do these days and since children, I don't get as much of it. That is what makes this night so special. A whole extra hour.

When I first had Miley, I didn't know how to handle the extra hour. She was up anyway so it didn't matter and the whole thing completely messed with her day. I completely cursed dst until the next year when she slept through the night and I knew to get her ready for 'the big day'

This year, I have spent the last few weeks prepping the kids for the change. Up a little later at night, sleeping in a bit longer in the morning. Just to make sure this change goes off without kids waking up far too early on Sunday (or any day after that!).

So tomorrow while the kids are giddy with joy over Halloween, I will have my own giddiness over an extra hour of sleep!

Thank you dst---you are forgiven for causing me to lose an extra hour of sleep last spring--just don't do it again ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Get Your Kids to Give Away Their Halloween Candy

This is a repost from last year---I am on a mission to make the Great Big Pumpkin a household name ;)

Halloween is a huge event in my kids lives' --I am betting in almost all kids lives (except those who do not celebrate which seems to be more common than you'd think in Texas). My kids love to dress up--this year Miley wants to be Nancy Drew so Sara wants to be Nancy Drew; Dino plans to be Michael Phelps and Spanky may very well be Spanky from 'Our Gang' if I can find the right golf hat and pants. And then they love to trick'r'treat and bring back bags and bags of candy.

After they trick 'r' treat, we go through the bags and they tell me what their favorite ones are. They each eat one piece of candy. And then they take their entire bag of candy, dump it on the foot of the fire place and excitedly run to bed.

The next morning, the candy, except for a few of the favorites, is gone and replaced with a toy.

Confused? Let me explain. We have more than Santa, the Easter Bunny (they never fell for her), and the tooth fairy. We also have the Great Big Pumpkin.

The Great Big Pumpkin as you Peanuts fans might remember, lives in the Great Pumpkin Patch. He comes out on Halloween and searches for candy. If you leave a little bit of candy for him, he leaves a little gift. If you leave all your candy, he leaves the gift you asked for in a letter earlier that month. (Naturally, the gift has to be in reason--he is not allowed to upstage Santa so nothing to be big or special. Santa gets mad when the Great Big Pumpkin gets more attention.)

And that candy? Well, it turns out The Great Big Pumpkin has access to the conference room at a real estate office. He leaves it there. And the Very Busy House with 4 is almost candy free on November 1.

So does the Great Big Pumpkin visit you?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Gluten Free for This Family

In August, I was commenting on Dino's learning issues and got an email from a friend who commented that his issues sounded like auto-immune issues, specifically gluten issues (aka Celiac).

I was curious and remembered reading how dyspraxia patients had amazing results cutting wheat out of their diets. So I decided to give it a try.

He started holding his pencil with the correct grip. He spoke more in class. He began conversations (that weren't about cars!).

I was impressed and thrilled. One day, he slipped and had some cake at a party. This followed severe stomach pains and Dino now refuses any sort of cake at a gathering. I am guessing it hurt pretty bad.

At the same time Dino went off gluten, Mike did too. Within one week, the arthritis in his hands were gone along with IBS issues he had dealt with for years. I began to suspect Celiac and did some research on it.

It amazingly quite common and if a parent has it, there is a 25% chance offspring will also have it. It made perfect sense for Dino to have it. It also appears to have a major effect on muscles--this would effect Dino's muscle tone for writing and speech.

But I still wasn't sure if it was what helped his learning. When I took Dino off gluten, I also started a more intense home school day routine, he began taking fish oil every morning and he was growing up. Maybe the gluten didn't matter on the learning end.

Well a few weeks ago, Mike took Dino to the neighborhood block party. In a momentary lapse of reason, both ate mac and cheese thinking about the cheese part of the dish not the gluten heavy pasta!

Within two hours, Mike was in pain and Dino literally spiked a fever and threw up. After that, Dino felt better (no fever, no vomit) but Mike was still in pain.

I sat down with Dino the next day to do a little work. The pencil grip he mastered so well was now a struggle. Simple letter writing led to tears and Dino spoke little the entire day.

I'm not a doctor but I know my son. He was not the same son the day before the block party. Dino struggled for almost a week with his speech and learning but slowly got better. The gluten did something to him. Something that hindered him, big time.

Gluten free is anything but easy but I am determined to make it work. I believe it is truly making a difference!

I am getting a lot of help from friends. I am finding more and more gluten free products including a special gluten free area at my grocery story. I just discovered a local pizza joint with very overpriced gluten free pizza. And ya know what, it is worth every penny :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Most Controversial Post--It is All about the Food

This summer I heard a radio personality mention he lost all his weight via diet and without any real 'exercise'. He went on to point out an article that said the same thing. The writer had spent countless hours and money with personal trainers but saw little actual fat loss; now there was some muscle gain and overall heath but not much else. So he really watched his food intake and then magic happened.

So during September, I ran. I ran all the time. And when I ran really well, I let myself have those cheddar fries with bacon and jalepenos. I felt great and felt more muscle but not much change in my jeans or my scale.

Then for the past two weeks during my kids' crazy production schedule of the Halloween play I had zero time to exercise. I decided to test the diet theory and ate very carefully. Annoying myself looking at calories, fat content and making sure a portion was a correct portion.

I have to admit, the food lover in me hated doing this. I did have a very small treat every three days so I wouldn't go crazy but overall, I stuck to whole grains, protein and very little fat and of course plenty of fruits and veggies. I quit snacking and cut out most my coffee.

Two weeks after the show, three pounds lost and loser jeans.

So as much I dread writing it, diet, at least for me, plays a bigger role in weight loss.

But does this mean no more running? Absolutely not! Exercise is invaluable for the heart, mind and soul. I truly believe that. It also gives your body muscle which in turn gives a better shape, even if you do have a few pounds of that high volume fat on your butt!

I just won't use a long run to justify a hot fudge sundae.

Diet and exercise work together to make a more fit you. Diet just has a bigger say in your pant size.

At least for this girl ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Randomness by Spanky

Every morning, Spanky asks for breakfast. His siblings ask for bacon, sausage, eggs or waffles. Spanky tends to wake up and say 'how about pizza?' or 'do we have french fries?' and my favorite 'we have hot dogs' --uh no honey we don't 'oh, but we have hot dogs'--no hot dogs all gone 'OK. Can I have one (puts up a little finger) hot dog?'

I am pretty sure he thinks if he says asks for it enough, we will suddenly have it. Wish it worked that way.

And then just yesterday at dinner, we were talking about the day and after we asked him about his, he said 'I'm going to be Spider Man and then go to Whole Foods and get a brownie.'

OK then.

And I said 'Spanky, can I have a million dollars? We have a million dollars. Can I have just one million dollars.'

He said, NO.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can't Sleep

I am not usually the type who can't fall asleep. Seriously, I am that person who falls asleep before my head hits the pillow.

But not tonight.

And I don't have a clue why.

I had my last cup of coffee around 2 pm so I can't blame caffeine.

I had a full day. I should be tired.

I am tired. I just can't sleep.

Anyone else ever get this? And if you do, how do you fall asleep?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Story Part 4 (A Couple Whipper Snappers)

Start from the beginning.....

So all in all, London was perfect, amazing and everything else :) We did as many touristy things as we could. Riding the top of the double decker tour bus, visiting the Tower, Big Ben, Scotland Yard, Harods and a dozen other things.

And then it was time to move on to our tour. Before we got married, Mike and I met with a travel agent that convinced us joining a tour was the way to go for our first (and so far only) European adventure. We wanted to see the castles, specifically the castles of King Ludwig. There was a tour that featured the castles and visited Munich during Oktoberfest. We thought this would be perfect.

We landed in Zurich, Switzerland and immediately noticed a distinct difference no other city could compare. It was clean and by clean, I mean you could lick the trash cans clean. Even the toilets were spotless; after you flushed a mechanical arm attached to the seat and cleaned it. I was a very relaxed germaphob.

The hotel was nothing too special. It was incredibly modern with a giant life size chess board at the entrance (yes, we did play a game!). We looked around the hotel and then waited on the rest of the tour group.

I was a bit nervous. The hotel was almost empty, save a few older people with canes and us.

"What do you think the tour group will be like?" I asked Mike over a traditional fondue meal.

"I'm guessing honeymooners like us. Maybe some just married couples," Mike shrugged his shoulders and cracked some fresh pepper over the cheese pot.

I popped some bread covered in cheese in my mouth and nodded.

"Yeah, I bet it will be fun."

"I wonder if all of Europe is this clean?" Mike mumbled.


The next morning, we packed up and got ready to visit our tour group in the clean, sleek , lobby. As we got out of the elevator, we noticed a sharp contrast to the modern surroundings. Approximately 35 'older' people we congregated on the sofas and chairs. Was this our tour group?

I scanned to crowd and noticed a younger than high school boy calling a woman next to hime grandmum and then a younger couple with the buttons given to us in the tour guide. Were we supposed to wear those?

Naturally, we went beside the younger couple.

"Are you with the INSIGHT tour?" the girl from the couple asked us.

We nodded and introduced ourselves.

"Thank God, you're here," began Scott, the boy from the couple. "Everyone here is OLD. I mean dinosaur old."

Tracy, the girl, nodded. "If we didn't put on these stupid buttons, we would have left."

"It can't be that bad, hee, hee" I giggled looking around knowing it could be that bad.

Suddenly a younger, like in his thirties, man stood up and spoke. His name was Lars from Norway and he would be our tour guide. He briefly discussed the tour and then asked if anyone would need handicap assistance. Half the group rose their hands.

Mike and I slowly began to realize we would be spending the majority of our honeymoon on a giant bus with people almost four times our age.

I turned to our new friends. Our best friends for the next two weeks.

"Want to get a drink before we get on the bus?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will Spanky Be Where the Wild Things Are?

For the past year, Spanky has religiously asked for one book to be read to him throughout the day, Where the Wild Things Are. We read the book about seven times a day to him.

To say he loves the book is an understatement. He lives for the book. Every line, every illustration. He laughs as Max makes mischief of one kind or another and chases the puppy with the fork.

Spanky saw an ad for the Wild Things movie and has since been begging us to 'play it' on our TV. I was all ready to take him to the movie until I noticed the PG rating.

Why on earth would my son's very favorite book be PG? I asked Twitter. Everyone who responded said it looked too scary for a three year-old. I asked Facebook. Almost everyone thought it wasn't right for Spanky.

But Spanky still wanted to see it.

So I took the boys to see the Sleepy Hollow play the girls were in. Dino got scared and had to be taken out but Spanky...Spanky laughed. He imitated the 'evil' laugh of the headless horseman and called him 'the funny guy with no head'. He even wanted to meet him after the show.

Surely he could handle Wild Things.

And then just last night I heard a blood curdling scream from Sarah in the other room followed by cries of Spanky. It seemed Spanky decided to play Max and stabbed his sister right under the eye with a fork.

He got in the biggest trouble of his life. Since he was playing Max, I sent him off to bed with out eating anything.

Now I don't know what mischief Max makes in the movie but I know I don't need it in our house.

So the Wild Things may have to roar their terrible roars alone while we wave 'good bye'.

Oh and don't worry about Spanky. When he woke up, he found a bowl of steel cut oats waiting for him. And it was still hot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Challenge for Today

We do not wear our hearts on our sleeves. As a means of protection, pride or something else, we keep our wounds hidden.

But we all have them, especially these days in the midst of ahem 'jobless recovery'.

The good news is the bad times never last forever. We know this yet they can be so hard to get through.

One thing that helps is a random act of kindness.

You may or may not know someone who might need a friend right now. But I can promise you, you ran into someone that would love to sit and chat with you. To do something fun. There may even be someone who needs help putting food on the table next door.

So here's a challenge. Do something for someone. If a neighbor just lost a job, drop off a plate of cookies or invite her over for some coffee. Laugh and bring some joy into a rather grim mood. Better yet, have your neighbor for coffee and send her home with cookies because 'you just can't have those things around the house or you'll eat them all' ;)

(One note: Never ever act like you are doing something out of pity. Honestly, they'd rather have nothing than that!)

Maybe there's a mom you see a pre-school drop off that looks kind of sad. Invite her to a local coffee shop and treat her to a danish and your company. A conversation with a caring friend can brighten anyone's day!

If you home school and don't get to see many people, call an old friend to see how she is.

And if you are just too busy or your current needs are too great, do the best thing possible. pray for them! Keep a list by your bed and make sure to pray for their welfare every day. It will help more than you know!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weekend Story Part 3 (Beyond the Velvet Rope)

Need to catch-up?

Martin Miller greeted us at the door. Inside, we saw a small yet tastefully decorated hall. A young girl appeared out of of nowhere and offered to get our bags.

"Welcome," began the girl. "I'm afraid our suites are taken so you will need to stay at the Byron room. It's right on the second level."

I was holding tight to Mike's hand. The out of the way bed and breakfast without a sign was small and looked more like a humble home than a place that provided accommedations for strangers.

Martin broke in, "We have cocktails in the main room tonight at seven."

We glanced to out left and saw the main room and pretty much gasped. I am not sure how I would describe this room. It was like looking at a well preserved room from the seventeenth century in a museum but without the velvet rope to keep you out. It turned out Martin Miller was involved in the world of beautiful antiques. My fear of being robbed or kidnapped was quickly replaced with the fear of breaking a hundred year old vase.

Martin quickly disappeared as the young girl checked us and filled us with the details of the bed and breakfast. She also asked how we found the bed and breakfast--we mentioned Captain Bucko, and we climbed the tiny stairs to our room.

The Byron room was yellow and blue and once again, tiny. The difference, just about every item in the room was a lovely antique. Even the giant quilt on the bed looked different. The one weird thing--the bathtub was also antique. Clawfooted and stand-alone, the tub was beautiful but I was more concerned as to how I was going to shower--dragging bags through the Tube is a workout, trust me.

When the girl left the room, we began to unload our bags.

"See, "Mike grinned. "I told you."

"Yeah, yeah," I smiled and gave him a kiss.

After finding a way to clean up in the tub, we got dressed and decided to check out the cocktails downstairs. We were expecting one or two people, but let me tell you the place was packed. And these folks were dressed. We walked in and were handed wine. Really, really really, good French wine.

My ever social new husband began to introduce himself to the various guests, almost all good friends of Martin stopping by before hitting the town. In about 20 minutes, we met a publisher, author, artist, professor and other incredibly interesting people. At moments I felt like we were in a different world, sitting on a chair more than likely 200 years old, drinking some awesome wine and speaking with truly successful Londoners. We were beyond the infamous velvet rope. There was no other place we wanted to be but then we were hungry.

We ended up bidding farewell to the guests as checked out the Brazillian Meat restaurant next to the b and b. When we arrived, we were a bit nervous. The place was fairly empty and it was 7:30 pm. Our fears were reduced when we saw the food. Maybe Britain wasn't into the big stick of meat. But by nine, the place was standing room only with a line out the door. Again, we noticed the lingering diners that were engrossed in their conversations-not their plates. We decided to do as they did and lingered at our table soaking in the atmosphere and our own conversation.

Back at the b and b, cocktail hour was still going strong with new guests. After our long trk through London and knowing we wanted to hit lots of sights the following day, we opted to head to our room.

By midnight, I am pretty sure every actor and actress who performed on London's West Side was in the main room. There was singing (incredible singing even if I was tired), laughing and crashing of empty bottles dumped in the trash. We both fell asleep to the sounds, almost like a lullaby.

In the morning, we saw empty bottles everywhere as I young boy was setting up for breakfast. The breakfast room was sadly nothing special but they had some quick meals and we were pleased. (Side note--the website shows a breakfast room now--we did not have this; guess we need to go back). Our breakfast companion was a younger man from Colorado. He was on business regarding an internet start up he was working on.

"Can you believe you found this place?" he began as he took a swig of his coffee (the coffee was in beautiful tea cups).

"No, "Mike laughed. "how did you hear about it?"

"My boss has a friend who knows the guy. And you?"

So we told our new friend the tale of Captain Bucko. He listened and then stood up, grinning.

"That's so cool," he shook our hands and left. He was in a hurry to get to a flight.

I looked over at Mike and noticed he had yellow streaks in his hair. Apparently, antique pillows should not be laid on after a shower.

After cleaning off some fabric bleeds, we headed off for a day of site seeing. We had to see as much as possible--we would be joining our tour in Zurich tomorrow. And who knows who else we might meet?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Guessing Game Answer

We love a parade! Especially when it's for the the local high school football team!
Yes, it was the small town high school homecoming parade. And if you've ever seen the show 'Friday Night Lights', you know just how big of a deal this is in our town!

The main streets are shut down for a couple of hours and all the neighbors come out to cheer on the team, see the court, listen to the band, and oh, get some candy the football players and others pelt us with :)

We've been doing this since Miley was born 11 years ago! The parades are always fun, festive and full of treats---one year we got so many treats, we just passed them out for Halloween :0

And now, time to get ready for the big game. It is Friday afterall ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Guessing Game -- What Are They Waiting For?

Here's a couple hints:

1. It is not Halloween but does involve candy.

2. It is associated with something that is a very big deal in small town Texas.

Got it? Go ahead and guess.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Staying Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season

Yes, it's that time of year again. A time of sniffling, sneezing, fevers and coughs.


But it doesn't have to be that way or at least not for the entire 6 months.

When You Aren't Sick at All

This is the time to make sure your immunity is strong. Take in as much fresh fruits and veggies and possible. Limit sugar intake---sugar can reduce your immunity for up to 24 hours. According to Dr. Sears, the busiest time of the year is the week after Halloween. There is a link.

Keep your stress as low as possible too. Stress is also an immunity killer. Relax, give your problems to God. Don't try to do it all. Give others a chance to help :)

Wash hands in public, especially before eating. I am a big fan of this spray (Cleanwell) for on the go (much better than the alcohol based hand sanitizer).

When You Feel You Might Be Coming Down With Something

If you do catch something, it is a big signal from your body to rest. We come into contact with thousands of germs everyday. When one makes you sick, quite often, it's your body saying slow down. Take the hint and do.

Put 1-2 drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears. If you hear 'popping', it means it's killing germs. If you still hear popping after 5 minutes do it again. Repeat for up to 20 minutes. This has stopped a virus in our family's systems more times than I can count!

Bulk up on some herbs and vitamin C. I give our family Umcka at the first sign of a cold every few hours. I have had amazing luck with it! I also like Emergen-C.

If you have a really sore throat, chew on some raw minced garlic. It tastes awful but it can really help your throat and kill those germs.

Most importantly, rest. Rest. Rest.

When You are Really Sick

Hot baths are wonderful along with hot showers. The steam and water help with congestion.

Chicken noodle soup and clear liquids are required at this point. You need to stay hydrated or you get even worse.

Use a Neti-pot to help with the congestion.

Drink Mother's Milk tea. It contains fenugreek which also loosens congestion. You can take straight fenugreek but drinking the tea helps with the fluid intake! Please ask a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

For a really bad cough, try eating some high quality bitter sweet chocolate. Actually proven to work!

Again, most important thing. REST. The world can carry on without you for a few days. Stay home until you feel ready to take on the world. Your immune system will be down after your cold/flu so take it easy or you'll end up sick again!

I am personally not a fan of OTC meds. I do not think they help; I think they only prolong a cold/flu. Once Mike and I got sick at the same time. I did the stuff above. He took OTC meds. I was better within 48 hours. he was sick for 10 days.

I hope this helps you get through the cold/flu season!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weekend Story Part 2 (The dollar is not a heavy as a pound)

e landed in London, late morning (London time). We began to walk through mazes and were truly lost puppies looking for home. Mike turned to a guy next to him that looked like he rode Harleys for a living.

"You're new to this, aren't you, " he smiled.

"Yes, could we follow you?" Mike the ever trusting husband said.

"Sure," he nodded us through a gate and began to explain the whole customs process.

Mike, being his usual chatty self asked if our new friend would care to join us for coffee to thank him for his help. He would be delighted to.

So sitting down, I learned our friend, Captain Bucko, was a truly interesting individual. According to him, the good captain, he had been abroad several times and had visited many countries we were going to see.

"So where are you staying?" he inquired.

"This place called The Athenaeum," Mike answered as he pulled out the itineary the travel agent gave us.

The captain rubbed his chin, "Don't know anything about that place."

"According to our travel agent it's somewhere between a Hilton and say the Ritz--nice but not too nice, we're not the Trumps, "I was getting into the conversation.

"And it's really not too pricy, "Mike chimmed in. "It's only 380 pounds a night so that's what $185 or so?"

Captain Bucko started to laugh, "My friend, you are confusing your math. As you will quickly learn, two dollars is worth one pound, not two dollars per pound. "
Mike and I were speechless. He continued.

"The room is actually more like $760 a night. A bit OTT as they say here."

Mike and I both looked at each and mouthed 'Oh my goodness'.

I turned to Captain Bucko, "Maybe it's a mistake on this sheet. Maybe it's really dollars. A little too high but."

"We are staying there for four nights--that's like three grand," Mike blurted out.

"Well," Captain Bucko scratched his beard. "I do have some friends, the Millers. They are into antiques and have a little bed and breakfast. Let me write down their info for you. The guy who runs it is a great fella. I wouldn't be surprised if you called him and he came and picked you up himself in his land rover and took you about town."

"That would be great, "Mike was smiling. I was unsure.

"Well honey, "I began. "Why don't we see if it's a mixup at the hotel and take it from there?"

"But this seems..."

"I want to try the hotel, "I forced a smile. I was going to play the bride card and he knew it. Mike nodded and we got up from our chairs.

"Well the travel agent said we need to catch a train to the other airport because it's closer to our location and take a cab from there."

Captain Bucko nodded and got up. "I understand. Now when you get to the other airport, you exit to the left and find a que, that's a line, for cabs called blackies. Blackies are great cabs but they again are OTT."

"Oh great," Mike smiled.

"It was great meeting you again," I shook the captain's hand.

"Yes and thank for your help," Mike said pulling out his wallet.

Captian Bucko, pulled out his wallet and motioned Mike to put his away and paid for our coffee and pasteries. "You're own your honeymoon, allow me," he smiled. "And remember if you call the Millers, tell them Captain Bucko sent you they'll give you a good rate. And you can't get in without a referral."

Captain Bucko went back to the plane to catch his connection to France and we proceeded to take off for our train. Before boarding we exchanged our dollars for a small sum of pounds. Mike went to buy the tickets for the train, coach again.

"I don't know about that bed and breakfast, "I said as we were waiting.

"He seemed nice and come on three grand is going to kill us. We'll be broke."

"I'd rather be broke than on the British news as a serial killer victim, "I mumbled. "The whole thing seems like a scam. I mean who is really that nice?"

Mike sighed, "I guess you have a point. It did seem a bit odd that he knew about bed and breakfast. Well here's out train."

We got on the train and saw it was bumper to bumper people. I mean pressed to the glass so many people. There was no way we could even fit. I looked to my left and saw the other car was almost empty.

I grabbed Mike's sleeve.

"Come on, looks like no one saw this side," I was very eager to sit on one of the cushy benches I saw.

We got in and sat down across from an older man, a professor at Duke we later learned, and gave each other subtle high fives. We could not understand how the people in the other car were so well stupid to be all crammed like they were.

As the train began to roll, I was mesmorized by the beautiful countryside. It was truly lovely, The green was amazing and the little home adorable. I was getting really excited to soak in this new land.

"Tickets," the polite (and by the way, all British are polite--very polite) conductor asked our table.

The professor pulled out his ticket and then Mike pulled out his.

"Sir, "polite conductor addressed Mike. "These are for coach. You are unfortunetly in first class."

I glanced back at the crammed car behind us, and then I gave Mike my please don't-make-me-go-there look.

"Um, "Mike began. "I am so sorry. Is there anyway I can pay you the additional fee now."

Surely it's only a few bucks.

"Of course sir. That will five pounds, each."

Mike sighed and took out the wallet. Our pounds were dropping faster than a weight watcher meeting.

I smiled and continued to enjoy the countryside.

We arrived at the station and true to Captain Bucko's words, found the Blackies. We looked for the que but found nothing. We began to walk right up to the cabs when I noticed a rather large line way behind us. Our first lesson in England. You don't stand right up at the cabs for que. You poiltely wait well back. Now no one said anything as we walked straight to the front (very polite remember) but felt uneasy stares so Mike and quickly ran to the back of the que.

We got in the Blackie and drove for about a block to our hotel. Five pounds.

The Athenaeum was pretty, I will admit that. A door man went straight to our cab and grabbed our bags. He scanned our luggage tag and greeted us by Mr and Mrs last name and then led us to the lobby where he introduced us to the front desk by name and began our registration. I was impressed but not $780 a night impressed.

Will we stay at the hotel or trust Captian Bucko? Will we go see the queen? All these questions and more will be answered next week!

****Quick Update: I was reviewing old stuff and I am about 100 pounds off on the hotel room--it was 280 pounds. I thought $780 seemed too high :0****

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Very Different Playlists

My kids have the most unique musical tastes. They don't seem to care for the genre of their siblings. It makes for very difficult music choices in the car.

Miley is my pop girl. She loves the stuff on Radio Disney and is always happy to hear a Top 40 countdown. I hate to admit this, but I tend to shy away from her stuff the most. I just cannot get into it.

Sarah loves the 'pretty music' aka classical. She is very into the morning 'march of the day' and likes to guess the composer when a piece is played. I am guessing it is because of her love for ballet. The music and the dance go hand in hand. I do like classical and yes we do listen to it a bit more than pop in the car for the main reason that is calming (or so I tell myself).

Dino like his name loves the vocal music like Michael Buble (his Halloween costume a few years back) and the jazz. He loves watching Peanuts for the music and yes we have the Peanuts music at home. It tends to put us in happy moods.

Spanky is my classic rock fan. I have already head him sining the 'woo hoo' for 'Sympathy for the Devil' and he gets angry when I change from the classic rock station in the car.

As for me, I sometimes listen to talk radio--it keep the arguments to a minimum, at least in the car.