Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top Ten Things I Love About Summer

In no particular order: 

My kids sleep late.  This particular summer something has come over my kids and they are sleeping until at least 9 am and sometimes even later than that.  Granted, they are staying up later than they do on school nights, but they've never slept this late on a regular basis, ever

I only work one job.  Preschool is out therefore transcribing is my only job (well, the only job I get paid for) during the summer.  Being home all day to type at my leisure cuts my stress level in half, probably more than half. 

The heat.  I know, the kind of heat we've had lately is not enjoyable, but I'm talking about just regular summertime warmth.  I love the fact that we can go outside without layering our clothing, putting on a coat, or wearing shoes. 

The spontaneity.  During the school year, we are in a "routine."  I am not here to tell you routines are bad, I for one, thrive on them.  And by the time school rolls around again I will be yearning for a routine.  But for now, the spontaneity is refreshing.  Yesterday, for example, because there was no good reason not to, we watched a movie (My Dog Skip) and ate popcorn in the very middle of the day.  Other days it might be a spontaneous trip to the library, the fountain to splash around and cool off, or the more rare but oh so enjoyable trip to Baskin Robbins.  (They owe me a strawberry milkshake by the way, the last time I went, they were out of strawberry ice cream, can you believe it?!?)

The company.  When this week is over, we will have had two nights where we had a guest over for dinner.  Remember when we first moved into this house I said my goal was to open up my home and be more hospitable? I'm trying!  Of course, the majority of our company in the summertimes is children, and that's fun too. 

Fruit.  I love to sit on my backporch swing and eat an orange, or a peach, or strawberries in the heat of summer. 

Lemonade.  See above. 

More time to read.  Just finished a book titled "Look Again" by Lisa Scottoline.  I had never read a book like that - it was a mystery I guess you'd say, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Watching Price Is Right with my kids.  Once they do drag their lazy tails out of bed, we enjoy watching Price Is Right together.  It's good wholesome TV, which is lacking these days, and we love trying to guess the answers.  Of course, watching people act like goofballs is an added bonus. 

Water.  The sprinkler, the water hose, the fountain in front of Penney's, the pools in our friend's backyards, and water balloon fights.  Nothin' says summer like playing in the water. 

Enjoy your summer, my friend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Is This True For Your Town?

We don't watch movies that much, but every now and then we will get the bug.  Poptart and I are the biggest movie fans in our family.  There's just something about a "family movie night" with popcorn, M&M's,  and Coke in the comfort of your living room. 

We were to have such a night last weekend but alas it wasn't to be.  Already having checked the free movies available through Comcast, we decided we would go rent one the "old-fashioned way." 

We made the drive to Blockbuster.  We are making the longer drive to Blockbuster because our Movie Gallery left town several months ago. 

When we first moved to this thriving little suburb of our capital city, there were 3 movie rental stores.  One left soon after we arrived (can't remember its name, but I do not think it was a major chain) so that left Movie Gallery and Blockbuster.  Movie Gallery was closest to us so that's the one we visited most often. 

On one of those visits, after parking and walking halfway to the door, I realized the building was completely empty.  Gone.   Apparently, Movie Gallery filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closed all their stores. 

So that left us Blockbuster.  A little farther drive but we had no choice. 

On that particular night last week when we drove to Blockbuster, we were greeted by a big banner with "Closing Sale" written on it.  What?!?  They're leaving us too?  We went in anyway and shopped around (they are selling all their movies for pretty cheap). 

So let's do the math. 

      3 movie rental stores here
-    3 movie rental stores gone
     0 movie rental stores left

Apparently I didn't realize how "old-fashioned" it was to go to a movie rental store like Blockbuster!  I read online and found out that there are still some Blockbuster's open but they are seriously downsizing and considering putting in kiosks at different stores (i.e. Redbox).  Well, I guess that could work. 

What else could work is going to the theater, for cheap, which is what we are doing next Friday night for the Cars 2 premiere!  Groupon had a Fandango coupon for $4 movie tickets.  I snatched two of them up quick as I could.  Then, believe it or not, Brad called in to a radio station to identify an audio clip from a movie, and won 2 free tickets to the movies!  So now all 4 of us can go to the movies for $8 bucks!  If only I could find a cheap way to buy popcorn.......

But what will we do when we don't "win" tickets to a movie?  I know, I know, there's Netflix, Redbox, Comcast, Hulu, etc.,etc., blah, blah.  But aren't you gonna miss walking the aisles of your local movie store covering your children's eyes so they can't see the explicit/graphic/gruesome covers on the shelves?  Okay, maybe I won't miss that part.     

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Song For Your Weekend

I haven't shared any music with y'all in a while, and this one definitely struck a chord with me. Just this past Tuesday night while having dinner at a couple's home, we made plans to bring the kids back out there to fish in their pond. And then by chance, I saw this video, sniff, sniff, where's the Kleenex...?

BTW, an interesting but sad note is that the house featured in this video is Trace Adkins' home, the one that burned just this week. You can read about the house fire here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ahhh, Now I Feel Better

At Hannah's graduation party, we watched some home movies of her when she was younger.  We enjoyed watching them, so much so it got me thinking. 

Did I even know where all my home movies were located, especially after the move? 

I knew I had plenty of video of Gogurt - he's the first born - they always have more pictures and videos, right?  (and I know this because I am a second born, first picture of me is my high school graduation photo.  Nah, just kidding!)

I also knew that Gogurt's home videos were on VHS.  And yes, we still have and use our VCR.  So I felt confident that at any time the mood struck me I could pop in a tape and watch my son being born (not the actual birth, of course, just the before and after). 

It was Poptart  - my second born - that I was concerned about.  In fact, I became somewhat obsessed with the notion that my daughter would grow up without any video she could just "pop" in and watch.  What would that do to her emotional wellbeing?  It would scar her forever and ever I just know it. 

The story is somewhat complicated, but I know you are interested so I will tell you. 

We had a nice-for-the time video camera when Poptart was born.  Sometime after her 1st birthday party, the camera decided to hold our tape hostage.  It wouldn't pop the tape out.  Panic.  My child's entire 1st year was on that tape.  (A year on one tape, I didn't video my second-born much).  Brad finally got the tape out of the video camera but in the process had to practically destroy the camera. 

Whew.  At least I had the tape safe and sound. 

When we bought our new video camera, it would not play back the tape.  Which meant we had a tape of Poptart's first year, but we could not watch it in any form or fashion.  So we just kept the tape. 

So when my obsession began about getting all my home videos in a "watchable" format, my mind immediately went to that specific tape and how we just had to get it transferred somehow. 

Brad went to Best Buy and bought software to transfer VHS tapes to DVD.  It was a little expensive but when compared to how much we would pay for a professional to transfer all our tapes, it was considerably cheaper to do it ourselves. 

He spent several nights transferring our old home movies to his laptop then from his laptop to a DVD.  It was a very satisfying feeling to know these memories would be preserved. 

But there was still that one tape. 

I looked up and found a "video man" in our town.  I called him, took him the tape, and within 2 hours he had a DVD for me. Yay!

I made the 15 minute drive to his office and when he popped it in, I immediately noticed he had left off the 'h' at the end of my daughter's name.  He felt horrible, volunteered to do it all over again for me, but I was desperate to watch it so I told him it would be okay, no big deal.  He knocked off over $5 dollars of the cost he had originally quoted me.  (If you are in the Brandon area and need any videos transferred, Ted at Video Images will be glad to help you....)

We came home and after I finished my typing and fed the clan dinner, we sat down to watch it.  I had not seen that footage in at least 5 years, and to say it was sweet wouldn't even come close to describing it.   Seeing Poptart and the rest of our family in the hospital when she was born, those images of her crawling, learning to walk, and belly-laughing at her silly brother, well, those images are priceless to me. 

Now that this little project is over and all of our home videos are on organized, labeled DVDs, I can sleep better at night.  Seriously. 

Speaking of sleep, I dreamed I had a baby last night.  Yikes!