That's how my brain feels...I told Laura that I both love and hate this time of year. I love the excitement, the kids and their excitement, the hunt for the perfect gift (okay, and getting gifts too), the weather, the lights - both Hanukkah and Christmas, and so on. But I hate the total chaos of our house that is wrapping paper, bags, stocking stuffers, boxes, and tons of things on our list of "Things to Do and See Only During This Time of Year" and it's making me nervous!

The kids are also over-the-moon excited about the holidays and that just sometimes makes them a bit...ummm...over-excited!

Anyway, it's late and this is rambling...I just take one look at my desk, my "To Do" list and I just panic...because from now until at least mid-Jan., we have so much planned...time to take a deep breath and enjoy the day to day stuff...

Wish me luck...


Bad, bad blogger...

One word...

That's all.

Obviously I'm not giving up my blog...I'll still post here (got some good ones in the works) but Facebook is fun...if you know me, and want to keep up with me...come find me there!


Foster wins first place...

Running club at school...Foster ran over 75 miles since school started. Cool kid.


Happy Halloween 2009

Just some pictures to tide you all over...and just for the record...yes, Foster was there, he was just so fast and so into "getting all the candy you can" that I never snapped a picture of him....but he was a zombie, just like last year.

We went Trick or Treating in our friend's neighborhood...these people go all out.


So much to post, so little time...

There have been LOTS of stuff going on here...so much that I haven't wrapped my brain around it all...sorry to be so cryptic but if you need to know right away, e-mail me. Otherwise, eventually when I have some free time (ha!) I'll post!


Too true not to post...

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by socialist electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the socialist clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the socialist radio to one of the FCC regulated channels to hear what the socialist National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using socialist satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of socialist US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the socialist drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as kept accurate by the socialist National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my socialist National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the socialist roads build by the socialist local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the socialist Environmental Protection Agency, using socialist legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the socialist US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the socialist public school. If I get lost, I can use my socialist GPS navigation technology developed by the United States Department of Defense and made available to the public in 1996 by President Bill Clinton who issued a policy directive declaring socialist GPS to be a dual-use military/civilian system to be managed as a national socialist asset.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the socialist workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the socialist USDA, I drive my socialist NHTSA car back home on the socialist DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the socialist state and local building codes and socialist fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the socialist local police department.

I then get on my computer and use the socialist Internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and browse the socialist World Wide Web using my graphical web browser, both made possible by Al Gore's socialist High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. I then post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.


Last Day of the cruise - Seattle

This last day we arrived in Seattle early morning. We were in no rush to leave as our flight to San Diego didn't leave until late afternoon. So we took our time, had breakfast, walked around and when we left the ship we decided to rent a car and use it to drive around Seattle and see the sights for the day. We went to Pike Place Market and then to the Space Needle. We didn't go up in the needle as we were all kind of "toured out" but they were having a fair near the grounds so we walked around there a bit and got the kids some ice cream. Soon it was time to head to the airport for our flight home. We were both sad and happy...sad to leave beautiful Alaska behind (and the freedom of the ship - no dishes to clean or beds to make...) but happy to be going home to our new house.

Pulling into Seattle
Space Needle

On the grounds of the Space Needle...boys found a climbing structure



Finishing up Alaska - Day 7

This last full day on the cruise was a "Sea Day" - heading down thru the inside passage, the weather was cool and windy. But that didn't stop the boys from begging to go to the pool. Honestly, we hadn't yet gone so this was our last chance. Laura and I opted to not go into the pool because it really was "that" cold. The hot tubs were a logical choice but they were all full to capacity. So we just sat and enjoyed watching the boys have a great time...and the ENTIRE pool to themselves.
Logan and Seth waiting to go swimming
Foster has his shoes off...
Up the winding staircase...

And down the slide (Logan)!
Foster running to the slide
Seth on the slide
We saw pods of whales from our balcony...very cool
Whale fin


First Day of School - 2009

All 3 ready for their big day
Walking into the school

Front of the school

Logan's classroom - he's at "10:00" with the mohawk (the only way to get him to NOT wear a ballcap is to put his hair in a mohawk)

Seth's class, he's sitting with his arm over the back of the bench

School library - cool!

Foster's classroom is the one with the birdhouses hanging from the roof

Foster's class' backpacks

Taken through the window of Foster's class, got it!


Now Day 6

Day 6 was fun! The actress Sharon Gless was on-board to promote her new movie "Hannah Free", feel free to check it out. She had a packed audience to view the movie which was by the way, excellent!!! Laura and I came across Sharon in the casino right before her movie-showing nervously smoking and pacing. She was very, very nice in person!

Laura and I took some time to walk around the ship while the kids were in camp. We enjoyed a coffee and some time alone. The thing about cruises is that there is ALWAYS something to do, so if you don't actually force yourself to take a break and relax you can easily get over-stimulated. Anyway, that was fun...I also enjoyed "people-watching".

This day was actually really a low-key day. Our port stop was Prince Rupert, British Columbia. We decided against taking any tours in this quaint, sleepy town and instead the boys remained on the ship with Bubbe and Laura and I walked into town. Not too much to see, some shops, some fishing boats, people. We walked around for a couple of hours and then it started raining so we went back on board where we prepared for the final evening of entertainment. The entertainment was excellent...it was a traveling troupe from China - acrobats, dancers, etc. The kids loved it and sat glued to their seats.

It was a fun, relaxing day.

Kelli O'donnell introducing Sharon Gless

Sharon Gless during the "Q & A" following the movie

Main area of the ship

Main area of the ship

R Family Vacations Welcomes YOU

Ivy enjoying some quiet time

Twins having fun in the cabin with balloons

Exiting at Prince Rupert Island

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Evening entertainment

Docked at Prince Rupert