Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Tiffany Aching Adventures (A Disc World series)

I started reading Terry Pratchett because he wrote a book with one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.  Together they wrote "Good Omens" which was just hysterical, witty, clever, smart.  Everything you'd expect from Gaiman.  About a week after finishing, I read a review over on Epbot for Pratchett's "The Wee Free Men" and thought I'd check it out.

wee free men photo: Wee FreeMen WEEFREEMEN-1.jpg

What a fun book it was!  I didn't know the series was set in an already-established universe called Discworld.  Pratchett's been writing Discworld books since 1983, but you don't need to read those to get into the Tiffany Aching stories, about a young girl who is a witch-in training and her protectors, the Nac Mac Feegles or the Wee Free Men, little blue fairy folk with a love of fighting, cursing, fighting, stealing and fighting.  They also like to fight.

Full of funny Scottish-sounding talk, sheep, ointments, and thieving Queens, this book was an incredibly fun Young Adult read.

Hat full of sky photo: a hat full of sky ahatfullofsky.jpg

"A Hat Full of Sky" was the second book and I was charmed by it. It's not often I can say that I found a second book actually better than the first.  Tiffany's growing up a bit and learning that witchcraft really isn't about magik with a "k" (the hocus pocus, boiling cauldron, bells & whistles type) but about how you deal with others less fortunate.  How you attend to their needs and their wants, even if they never thank you.  How you respect them even if they're poor and ignorant.  It was wonderful fun, with a moving message.

wintersmith photo: wintersmith wintersmith.jpg

In "Wintersmith," an almost 13-year old Tiffany accidentally garners the affections of "Winter" himself, and has to deal with inept witches, cranky witches and clumsy wooing attempts by two different suitors.  Oh, and the Nac Mac Feegle are around, helping take care of Tiffany and adopting her Lancre Blue cheese named Horace.  (I pretty much busted out laughing at the living cheese wearing tartan.)

I shall wear midnight photo: I Shall Wear Midnight IShallWearMidnight.jpg

Now the fourth book, "I Shall Wear Midnight" I have not read yet, and Jen over at Epbot was not happy with it.  At all.  I have about 15 books in a pile I still need to read, but when I get around to it, I'll get the 4th book and hope it's every bit as good as Pratchett's first 3.  *crossing fingers*

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back at Universal Studios

I am extremely happy to say that after two years without our passes, almost to the day (April 2011), we are official annual pass holders once again and I could not be more excited.

David tries to go as fast as humanly possible.
Notice that I am not on the ride.

We've only had them for 2 weekends right now, and with Jacob working weekends, we have to get there early to have fun before having to leave by 2:30 - 3:00 p.m. to get home in time for him to go to work, exhausted beyond belief.

We've only done bits and pieces of both parks on those 2 days, but once summer break is here for both kids, Jacob can go whenever he wants during the week when he does not work, and I am planning to take a day off here and there to take Isabel. Plus, She and I can go on weekends without Jake too.  Summers are horrendous at the parks, but I don't mind.  David hates the summers there so he'll probably pass most of our visits until the fall, when it's gorgeous and less crowded.

We're just happy to be back, and happier that Isabel is officially tall enough to ride every single ride.

In the Single-Rider line for her second Hulk ride.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Words on Walls

I've been painting and/or adding vinyl words to our movie/tv/pop culture loft upstairs, following the steps of a friend who does this at her house too.

It's great fun. You should try it.  Don't like it? Paint over it! Brilliant.

We chose a favorite Doctor Who quote and then chose quite possibly the world's hardest font.  I printed the quote on paper, landscape, and then used a charcoal pencil on the back to trace the words on.  I then proceeded to tape the papers back on the wall and with my hands, tried to rub the charcoal on the wall.  Did not work, no matter how I rubbed.

Being a learned letterboxer/stamp carver, I knew a trick.  Acetone aka nail polish remover.  A bit of that on a cotton ball, and boom!  The pencil transferred to the wall where I painstakingly painted the words while on a stepladder.  Talk about painful knees.

When I was done, this is what I had.

I have issues with straight lines.  Deal with it. :)

This is to go along with the Harry Potter quote we already have on the walls.

As well as the I.T. Crowd quote I purchased as a vinyl!

LOVE IT!  Don't recognize it?

(Yes, we can sing the song.  All 4 of us.  GREAT SHOW!  Available on Netflix.)

So those are the 3 quotes on our walls so far.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm Just Sayin'

I get really perturbed by the saying "I'm Just Saying" and also "I'm sorry, but..."

To me, these are just cop-outs to say mean things to people and make sure you feel ok in saying them.  "I'm sorry, but that outfit is ugly," or "I'm sorry, but you're just fat and need to lose weight." etc. etc.

No. You're not sorry.  Putting those 3 words in front of your statement does not excuse you from your own rudeness.  People really believe that it is ok to just say things like this.

"Well, I'm sorry, but it's the truth.  I'm just saying."

What a total cop-out.  What a way to devalue and belittle someone while trying to make yourself look innocent.  Remember mom's old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?"  It's a good rule.  Even if something is TRUE, if it does not help lift someone up, don't say it.  You don't have the right to start a mean comment with "I'm sorry, but" or end a mean comment with "I'm just saying."  If you're really all about the honesty, start your comment out with  "I'm a mean person and I want to make you feel bad, so..." because at least that is more honest.

No, I'm not mad at anyone.  My daughter and I were doing her Bible studies tonight and were reading Ephesians 4:29:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

I want her to know that the behavior I see online and in person is absolutely not acceptable.  I want her to learn it from a young age, so she's not the mean person who hurts others with her words.  Words do have power.  Don't use them to hurt.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Isabel's Animations

Isabel's gotten pretty good with drawing on MS Paint.  She's currently interested in drawing everything to look like Power Puff Girls, and does lots of PPG mash-ups, like PPG-Style My Little Ponies, or PPG-Style Adventure Time.  Or gender-swapped PPG, MLP, etc. etc.

Now, she's found a program that lets her take 4 or 5 separate drawings and make an animated .gif file out of them.  She will draw the same picture several times, but with slight movement changes, combine them and get a moving picture.

If they are not moving, click on them.

This is Bubbles from the Power Puff Girls.  It took 4 pictures to make this blinking action.

Isabel says this is her, winking.

This one's one of my favorites.

This one's pretty awesome too.

Her cousin Emily on the left, Isabel on the right.

This is Brick. He is a Rowdy Ruff Boy, from the PPG series. He has
long red hair and is a bad guy.

And finally, Isabel wants to end this post by licking the computer screen.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Then, there was Thursday.


Thursday was a day off from fun Spring-Breaky things, because Friday Jacob had no school and we were going to do fun things. Cool fun, funny-fun things.

Thursday early evening, Isabel was cutting up a slew of veggies for home-made minestrone soup from her new cookbook.

SO GOOD!! No lie!

She complained about her stomach hurting and declined eating her yummy creation because she felt bad.  About an hour after we finished making, but not eating, the soup, she RACES to my side and says she's going to be sick.  I herd her to the bathroom and hold back her hair as she proceeds to get sick into the toilet.

After getting her into warm jammies and going to buy ginger ale, the rest of the night consisted of us laying in the family room with a garbage can by her head.  She got sick about 5 more times before I slowly escorted her to the guest room for sleep (the bed's closer to the floor there, so she can reach the garbage can easier.  All our beds are REALLY high.)

Jacob's Friday off was spent at home because I could not leave little miss sickly, who was now feverish and had an upset stomach.  We watched tv, fed her soup and toast and spent the entire day in our jammies.

Maybe Saturday can be saved!

Saturday, 6:00 a.m.

"Moooooom!" says Jake,  and then I hear him throw up.  He'd been about to take a shower.  He was sitting on the toilet because he had an upset stomach and all of a sudden had to throw up.  In the tub.  He hurked about 3 times, while I covered his naked self up with a towel did the mandatory mommy-back-rubbing.

The tub was a wreck.  EVERYTHING he ate was in it, clogged up.  Off I went to buy Drano, Pepto and TP.  Wow, what the cashier must have thought!

After settling him in the guestroom for a nap, I spent 2 hours completely disinfecting their bathroom.  Shower curtains came down and were bleached.  The rug and towels were washed in hot water, the NASTY tub was cleared and cleaned, the floors were bleached, everything sprayed with Lysol, etc. etc.  Isabel was starting to feel more herself.  She showered and actually got dressed, still fighting an upset stomach, but no vomiting since Thursday.

Saturday evening David comes down from our bedroom to announce that he'd joined the barf club.  Hurrah!  I was the only one still holding on.  David wondered if I would throw up next.

Let me give you a side note. I don't throw up.  I have not thrown up since middle school.  I just don't.  David  and Isabel are throw-up champs.  Jake and I not so much.

Easter Sunday, Jacob, Isabel and I went to church leaving David at home.  He was feverish and had to use the bathroom a lot.  We 3 made it through the service and got home.  The extent of my troubles for Sunday  was an upset stomach that had me in the bathroom a lot.  No vomit, no fever.

I told David "The sickness went from youngest to oldest." (I am 3 months older than he).  He nods.  "Or," I continue, "it went from weakest to strongest."  He makes a rude gesture my way.  :)

Thus ended our Spring Break.  :(