Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Up too late

Here I am again on the computer after everyone has gone to bed. I have been looking at/editing our pictures from the Easter Egg Hunt/Dinner at our Church from earlier this evening. Just had to share one with you....


A VERY busy day

Of course the dealership could not reproduce the issue with the van. But they figured out that it was probably the AC relay that drained the battery and the "smoke" was a release of freon from the AC system building up too much pressure. Luckily it was not too bad on the money side. It is funny how labor seems to cost ten times what the part costs. Oh well, it works now. The not so good side was that they kept it over night.

Luckily we were able to borrow a car yesterday morning and the CFO and I drove the Triplets to their day out program as three car seats do not fit in a normal back seat. My Mom then came over with her truck so I could take some yard debris to the dump. On the way to the dump we were waiting to turn at a light when... BAM! Yep, we got rear ended. Luckily no one was hurt and neither vehicle was damaged.

My Mom then dropped me by to pick up the van. When I got back home I got all the car seats and my stuff back in the van in time to pick the kids up from their day out program. We headed to pick up our weekly veggies from Grow Alabama. After getting them we met my Mom at Lowe's to get pine straw for the back yard. 20 bails later we headed back home, unloaded the truck, ate a snack and got ready for swim lessons.

At swim lessons all three waited till we were in the pool to decide they needed to go poopie. Did I mention that they decided one at a time! Lovely. But it is still better than them going in a swim diaper:)

After swim lessons we headed out for dinner and finally home to bed.

I am looking forward to a relaxing day home with the Triplets today:)

Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.
George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

Look wise, say nothing, and grunt. Speech was given to conceal thought.
Sir William Osler (1849 - 1919)

Al

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stranded

I headed down to get something out of the van this morning and noticed the battery was dead, weird since it is a new batter. No worries, I jumped it and let it run for a bit outside but I headed back in. A few minutes later the dog started barking so I went outside to find the van smoking, inside and out, and making a spitting sound.... NO BUENO!

Can't wait to see how much this costs and what it is!

Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him.
Art Buchwald, "How Un-American Can You Get?," Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.
Jason Love

Al

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying to get the right pictures

Isn't it every parent's quest..... no, not just potty training (don't even ask) but getting that perfect picture. First, you have to remember/be brave enough to bring the camera. Then you have to have it ready, then you have to... well... they are kids:) I do not bring the camera when I am on my own with the Triplets. I figure I have enough to worry about:) So when the CFO and I get out and about we usually have the camera with us. The CFO is the designated photographer. She takes her time to try and get the right shot. I am more like bombing run in WWII. If you shoot enough at a target you are bound to get a good hit sooner or later:)

When we went to the in-laws last weekend we spent part of the day at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. This place ROCKS for kids, I wish it was closer.



Take all the fools out of this world and there wouldn't be any fun living in it, or profit.
Josh Billings

Al

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Twins.

Our Twin Nieces had their fourth birthday party last weekend. We all had a great time at the indoor gymnastics facility they had it at. I am not sure if the Triplets enjoyed it more that the CFO and I enjoyed them enjoying it:) They also had two inflatables, one a slide, for the kids to enjoy. One thing we did not get a picture of was this big foam pit that you jumped into. It was like landing in clouds and crawling out of quicksand. On a side note, I can still do a round off and a flip:)



Now for the Birthday girls....

Watch out boys....



What to wish for... did it really work?



In childhood, we yearn to be grown-ups. In old age, we yearn to be kids. It just seems that all would be wonderful if we didn't have to celebrate our birthdays in chronological order.
Robert Brault

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Al

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monsters!

The Triplets LOVE playing Monster. Oh, that can be anytime anyone chases them. Preferably with a tickle attack at the end. The CFO and I are usually the Monster but the Triplets also take their turns being the Monster.

The other day William got his colored pencils out and asked for some paper. He said "I want to draw a monster, can you help me?" I said sure, took his hand that was holding the pencil and drew a "monster." I then told him to draw his own. He got right to work. Below are my three favorite ones.



Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
Ronald Reagan

Al

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ever get that sinking feeling?

The CFO took Friday off and we headed to the in-laws last Thursday after work for the weekend. Our twin Nieces were having their fourth birthday party. We headed north on 65 and everything was clicking along when all of a sudden we hit bumper to bumper traffic at a stand still. I look to my right and a sign says "All traffic must exit at 318" then it says "I-65 closed." THAT is no bueno! About thirty minutes and 2 miles later I see a radio station to tune into for details. Not many details other than giving you the details of the 17 mile detour. More no bueno. Turns out there was/is a sink hole.

Luckily it only delayed our hour and a half drive by about and hour and a half:) On the way back we saw that they have cut about a 25 yard section out of 65 Northbound.

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
Bill Watterson (1958 - ), cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

Al

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank you!

If you voted for my friend's kid, THANK YOU!!! He made the top 50!!! Here is the Dad's post on Facebook:

Drew is a finalist!!!! Thanks to all that voted. Drew finished in the top 50 of nearly 4000 entries. He and Aimee will go on an all-expense paid trip to LA to have Drew compete in the finals for a 1 year modeling contract and a $100,000 college scholarship. Thanks for all your support!

Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.
Gretta Brooker Palmer

Al

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Service call my sweet fanny

You know how it goes.... We are just checking your AC before the summer gets here. No worries, I think. Then the tech sets both AC units to 60. Uhhhh, that's a bit chilly when it is 54 outside. No worries, I think. Two hours later it gets to 65 inside so I speak up. It seems we have an "issue" with out upstairs unit. This is not a big shock as it was hot upstairs the last two Summers.

It seems the coil is leaking. No bueno. Now we have a decision to just replace it on a 20 year old unit or double down, check that, quadruple down on a whole new unit. Needless to say we now have a hole where out old unit was. I would rather get it all replaced now then it go out in the middle of the summer/winter and not be able to negotiate.

The good news is that we will have a brand new unit that will keep out upstairs cool in the summer and warm in the winter:) Last summer it was not uncommon for it to hit 80 upstairs on hot days. I know, I know, it was not all that long ago when no one had AC. It was not all that long ago when people pooped in outhouses and went to the well for water but I, for one, prefer our modern conveniences:)

So now the CFO and I know what we are getting for our 40th birthdays this year.... At least it is a gift that we will have for years to come and we can share with others:)

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.
Reuben Blades

The first gold star a child gets in school for the mere performance of a needful task is its first lesson in graft.
Philip Wylie, Generation of Vipers, 1942

Al

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grow Alabama

We picked up our first batch of veggies and farm fresh eggs from Grow Alabama today! In our box we received:
  • Sweet potatoes from Alabama
  • Cabbage from Alabama
  • Broccoli from North Carolina
  • Carrots from Georgia
  • Kale from Alabama
  • Oranges from Florida
  • One dozen eggs
If nothing else this will challenge me to actually cook meals and not just throw hot dogs or nuggets on the kids' plates.

We were out getting hair cuts yesterday and stopped on the way home to pick up our veggies. We got down for a nap around 3pm, which is later than I prefer. I woke up about 4:30, came down stairs and turned on the PS3. I was looking forward to a few rounds of Modern Warfare 2. But that stinking box of veggies kept staring at me just daring me to cook. Not to be double dogged dared like that and walk away I took the vegetable least likely to turn into something good, in my opinion and headed to the Internet. I had already found a recipe for the kale so I grabbed the cabbage. I found cabbage rolls.

I then did what I do best.... I combined several recipes, changed some ingredients around and got to cooking! To my, and the CFO's, amazement it turned out GREAT!! It is sweet. Here is the final recipe result:

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef
one bag of boil in bag brown rice
Sauce:
1 can tomato soup, condensed
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons sugar (in the raw)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well. For filling, combine ground beef and rice. Mix well. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling. Place in a baking dish. For sauce, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and pour over cabbage rolls. Bake covered in a preheated 350° oven 40 to 45 minutes.

I want to try thickening the sauce next time as one recipe called for with corn starch. I even put all the calories, fat and fiber on a spreadsheet to calculate them per serving.

The beautiful and the good are identical but the fleeting impressions created by the work of a cook or a musician disperse even as they are being experienced. Raphael's painting The Transfiguration is immortal, but Carême's 'Ragout de truffes à la parisienne' lasts while it is being eaten, just as roses that last as long as their fragrance can be enjoyed.
Lucien Tendret (1825-1896)

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.
Laiko Bahrs

Al

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wait for it, wait for it.... OK, now eat.

I have learned a valuable, all be it somewhat gross, lesson. Don't fix your own plate until the Triplets get done eating. I despise having to throw away food. But I also don't like saving food that has already been served to the kids. Anyone with kids knows how much spit gets shot around the table at meal time.

So I have made the decision to not eat until the kids get done with their meals. I then eat what they leave me. Think of it as recycling or as a natural calorie reducer. It is a bit gross but it cuts down on how much food I throw out.

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)

Al

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Dad's work is never done

As a SAHD (stay at home dad) I have several roles/jobs. One of those jobs is the fix-it guy. I am not talking about the around the house stuff, I do that too, but rather the "Daddy, it's broken!" fix-it guy. I am armed with screwdrivers to take apart toys to remove foreign objects, gorilla tape (MUCH better than duct tape), gorilla glue, and a veritable plethora of other tools to fill this role.

One of my recurring projects are Addison's favorite sunglasses. She LOVES them and looks VERY sassy in them so I keep re-gluing them. The picture below is/was the fourth repair job. I have to glue them then tape them to let the glue set. Once the glue sets I can remove the tape and Addison is once again a happy camper. That is until she sets them down again:)



When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Al

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Helping out a friend

A friend of mine, and fellow Dad of Triplets, has his older son in a in a modeling contest on Facebook for Nextdirect, a clothing company out of the UK, but coming to the US. They are doing a FB search/contest for models ages 4-7 and the top 50 kids who get the most votes will get to travel to LA for the final competition and could possibly win the grand prize of a one year modeling contract with Wilhelmina models and a $100,00 college scholarship!

Every vote counts so if you feel inclined and would like to, please vote here. You can vote every 24 hours here until March 18.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
William James

Have a great Sunday!

Al

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just keep swiming...

I have often found these profound words to be some solace in life. It is funny that they come from Saving Nemo. I always thought of them as a figure of speech until the Triplets had their first swim lessons. I use the word "swim" VERY loosely as they are more "getting comfortable with water" lessons. The CFO and I were very impressed that all three did everything their instructors asked of them. Jackson usually gets cold and is very clingy but this time William was ready to get out early. But he sucked it up and made it through. Of course I told him he could have ice cream at dinner if he did:)

We have finished two weeks of lessons and so far no mutinies yet:) Their swim coach, Mr. Pat, is very good with them. Just take a look at the interaction. What you don't hear is the conversation he had, and has a lot, with William:
  • William: I don't want to jump (you can also insert anything else he is asked to do)
  • Mr. Pat: I didn't ask you
See, the same love and understanding they are use to from Daddy:)


video

Sometimes God calms the storm. At other times, he calms the sailor. And sometimes he makes us swim.
Author Unknown

Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.
Author Unknown

Al

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cowboy up

I have always said "shut up or do something about it." So I have been largely quiet about organic foods and buying food locally. I actually have been of the mind set if it is cheaper then that is good. But the more I read, see and learn the more I think that is not always true.

I LOVE documentaries or as I have been known to say docureneries:) I watched Super Size Me and Food Inc. a while back. I have to warn you, if you watch these be prepared to have your stomach flip over a few times. Also keep in mind that these are laser focused on the negative side of things so they are biased to say the least. However it is a bit difficult to make washing meat in ammonia look like a good thing:)

As with most things I watched them, said "EW" then promptly went about my life. But I keep thinking about the choices I make everyday and how they affect how things happen. I am not an activist but as one of the movies says "you can vote with your dollar." So I figure I should start. I have been motivated by a friend so last night I put my first order in with Grow Alabama and Boutwell Farms for fruits/veggies/eggs and meats. It should have several good side effects of eating healthier and planning out our meals.

To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.
George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.
Alfred E. Wiggam

Al

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some bonding time with Jackson

The CFO and I try to do things one on one with the Triplets when we can but it is usually hard to make it happen. A lot of times it is dependent on them not waking up at the same time. Whomever wakes up first gets the one on one time:) One time when Jackson woke up first he got to spend some time "bonding" with me as I finished up a session of Modern Warfare 2. This is not really what I think of one on one time but it makes for a funny video.

video

The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness, can be trained to do most things.
Jilly Cooper

A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.
Lana Turner

Al

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A little bit of fame

So it looks like the Triplets and their Twin cousins made it to video on Facebook on the McWane Center's page. I even have a short cameo in it:)

Good thing they get their looks from the CFO:)

Al

Monday, March 8, 2010

What up cuz?

One of the many great things about living in Alabama is that we are close to family. This past weekend some of the Triplets' cousins came to visit. They came down Thursday night and headed back Saturday afternoon. The Triplets still miss them:(

One of the places we went was the Triplets' "favorite in the whole world," the science center. My sister in law was very patient with me as I jumped at the chance to get the kids, and maybe me, in a commercial for the science center. On the not so selfish side of things, all the kids (minus the newest cousin) got to pet some animals. Baby Trip, 7 months old, is not quite ready to follow instructions:) They got to see/pet a bearded dragon, a salt and pepper king snake, a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a tarantula, and a millipede. They also each got a "special drink" (slushy) for follow directions and behaving so well.

The Triplets got to have a lot of fun with their cousins and we all look forward to our next play date.



Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.
Author Unknown

In a houseful of toddlers and pets, you can start out having a bad day, but you keep getting detoured.
Robert Brault

Al

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Danger prone Daphney does it again

Addison has been dubbed "Danger prone Daphney" by the CFO. The name fits as Addison frequently has "gravity storms" and falls down, over, or into things. As I was writing this a wall actually jumped out and hit her in the head:) Seriously, she was just walking by when suddenly she slipped and went careening into the wall. Just another day in paradise:)

The CFO actually caught a piece of this on video the other day at a park.

video

I had to put all three quotes on here. One funny, one that can be tweaked and used a lot and one to ponder.

Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects. Dave Barry

The buffalo isn't as dangerous as everyone makes him out to be. Statistics prove that in the United States more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than are killed by buffalo. Art Buchwald

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. Aristotle

Al

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We all need some Pre-Grace

I have mentioned a few times that the CFO has introduced the idea of "Grace" to the Triplets. Addison has started to fall into the same trap many of us (namely me) fall into, pre-Grace. She will ask for something... like say a brownie. She knows those are treats that they do not get very often but I never hold it against them for asking. But when I say no she says "can I have Grace?" She won't take it THEN ask for Grace, she wants some pre-Grace.

Our Preacher even talked a little about it this past Sunday at Church. He said, and I agree, that Grace is so massive that we can never fully understand it. There is a slippery slope when it comes to Grace. It is all too easy to think, hey, I will be forgiven, so why not....

So if adults can't "get it" then it is an even more monumental task to try and explain it to a three year old. But since I love taking on the impossible or at least the very improbable, I tried. I seemed to talk myself into a circular argument and finally rested on this; "Honey, it is always OK to ask but sometimes the answer will be no. You might not know why the answer is no and it is OK to ask why but you need to accept the fact that sometimes the answer is no." Much like we need to when wanting something or asking God for something, MUCH easier said than done:)

Yep, you guessed it.... she started into a litany of "PLEASE" ending in a choice for her. Time out or stop asking.


I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude.
Unknown

Al