Super Why

Super Why, a new show on PBS, is the ONLY thing that Jonah wanted to be for Halloween this year! Super Why has the power to read and with his friends, the Super Readers, they are able to look into books and solve problems. No one had a clue who he was, but he loved his homemade costume (and he REALLY wants to learn how to read now!). And he insisted that I be Princess Presto (with the power to spell, I love to spell, S-P-E-L-L) for Trunk or Treating!

Indecisive Gene

Last week I had a "blast from the past" which I loved and disliked all at once. We were standing in front of church discussing with friends where we were going to go out to lunch. We had the friend who said where he didn't want to go and Jake who was scraping every one's suggestions. We had the family in the mini van who just wanted to be told where we going so they could put their van in drive and go.

It reminded me so much of our New Springs days (our old church). We went out for lunch every Sunday following an episode like the one mentioned above (except for the stint where a restaurant was drawn out of a cup each week, announced and that is where we would go- why did that end?). Although I'm happy to have friends again that occasionally like to go out on Sunday, they're really not working out- we need decisive friends (please still be our friends, friends, just kidding)!

The problem is that Jake and I are a very indecisive couple. Many nights we spend laying on opposite ends of the couch wondering what we're going to do that night. And when it comes to going out to eat- Jake only knows where he DOESN'T want to go and nothing ever "sounds good to me."

So the question of the day: is there a gene for indecisiveness that you can pass on to your offspring? If so, our poor child has received it. I noticed this when one day this week I told him he needed to take a bath. He got into the bath tub and said "which one should I take, a bath or a shower?" I assured him that it didn't matter to me, it was his choice. "Which one do you think I should take?" he asked me. I suggested a bath. He looked sceptical. I then said "how about a shower?" He then told me he would "ask these guys" meaning his washcloths and cups. He sat down and had a conversation with them. Apparently, they like baths. Maybe I should ask them the next time we're standing in the parking lot deciding between Chinese or breakfast foods.

Fearless First Day

Pre-school resumed this week after four summer months off. Even after a long break, there were no tears or fears (for either of us) when it came time for drop off.

Although I'm pleased with the easy transition I'm not happy with the lack of reports I've been getting from him. He has a great memory and is perfectly capable of telling me about his day, at least he would last year. But this year he is "all boy" in his reports, which are "I can't tell you, its a secret." I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when next year his answer to "what did you do at school today?" is a very informative "nothing"! (On a similar note he expects a 12 step answer to all of his questions. Here is a replay of a conversation he had with my friend, Brooke: J-"why is your hair yellow, I thought it was brown?", B-"I colored it." J-"How did you color it?" B- "A lady did it" J- "How did she do it?" B-"She put chemicals on my hair and it changed colors" J-"What after she put chemicals on your hair?, "Why did you want it to be yellow?" "Where does she live", "Will it turn back to brown?"....)

Pictures above: His first day of school with his family banner, a play date to the zoo following school, and a photo session that Jonah arranged prior to church this past Sunday.

T is for TV Dinner

This summer Jonah and I started Alphabet Dinners. It began with him selecting a letter out of a bag. We would then go to the store and purchase foods that begin with that letter and make them for one fun and random dinner.

The first week we had a W Dinner consisting of waffles and watermelon (no one was interested in the water chesnuts). Since then Jonah has started requesting which letter our dinner should be based upon. For instance, we recently had a R dinner because his favorite drink, root beer, begins with R. He is starting to recognize letter sounds, which was the point of this activity, so I guess I shouldn't complain about what is motivating him.

But I will say that I was suprised when he asked for a T dinner and we weren't having tacos but instead his favorite lunch time treat- TV dinners.

Surprisingly our most well balanced Alphabet Dinner was the XYZ Dinner that we had last week. We had Yams and Zuchinni but X? I cheated on that one- we saw Xtra Special Cake in our Alphabet Bakery Cookbook . I thought couldn't anything be Xtra Special? So we had Xtra Special Chicken Pockets (which I'd be thinking about for quite some time but hadn't actually made).

Any ideas for a Q Dinner Menu?

Will you smell my chicken?

I had the stomach flu yesterday and just didn't trust my stomach or my nose today. But I just KNEW that the package of chicken that I opened did not smell right when I opened it today. It was had an overwhelming funky smell, not just a slightly bad smell. I took it down the street to my neighbor and asked her if she would please smell my chicken. She was happy to (like I ask her to smell poultry all of the time) and confirmed that I was correct in my chicken assessment- it was BAD. She asked me a few home ec type questions like "when did you buy it?" "when is the sell by date?" and "where did you store it?". Upon answering "2 days ago", "4 days from now" and "fridge" She told me to take it back! I was happy to hear that Kroger did NOT want my rotten chicken back but were happy upon seeing my receipt to give me a good smelling bird. Supper is saved!

Urban Triumph

I can plan a month's worth of meals, do six loads of laundry, and read a very long book about vegetable gardens twice to my four year without much effort. I can go to three grocery stores in one morning and get all of the best deals on food, tolietries and paper products.

But the real question was could I get myself and my four year old from near O'Hare Airport to various sites in Chicago, in one afternoon, on different public transporation systems.

Well, the answer to that question is a little tricky. If we concentrated on the "various" part of that question, the answer would be "no". We really only made it one. Well, two really but the second one was an after thought and right across the street from the first. Is the question "did we get lost?" Then the answer is no (but Jonah will tell you that we did). If the question is-did we take all of the right trains and buses? Then the answer is "no" (but the lady that works at the train station told us incorrectly). Is the question- did we have to walk a LONG time from where we got off the bus to the Lincoln Park Zoo? Then the answer is YES! But again, we were only following directions. Did we ask LOTS of people throughout our trip on how to find the zoo AND how to take the CORRECT bus/trains home? YES! But, if you're asking if we made it to our tourist spot of choice and had lots of fun, then the answer is "yes"!!!

My urban experience began with us tagging along with Jake while he had a trade show up north. We swam while he set up and then we went out to dinner with some of his co-workers. Yesterday he went to the show and Jonah and I took a shuttle to the train station.

I will say that I was a little unprepared for this trip. I had looked up the train lines ahead of time and had an idea of where we might go. But I thought I would finalize plans while we were relaxing at the hotel. But then we didn't have wifi and I couldn't find a good map. Although I was ready to scrap the whole idea I asked Jonah if he would like to go to either the zoo or the children's museum. He very much wanted to go to the zoo so we decided to give it a try. I thought that surely we make it to ONE spot and back. So with lots of help from kind Chicago citizens (one even called Chicago transit for me to find out the correct bus numbers incase I did want to go to Navy Pier after the zoo-no way, but it was nice of her anyway)we made it to the Lincoln Park Zoo and had a wonderful time. We saw two polar bears, a pygmie hippo and lots of other animals.

We then walked across the street to the Nature Museum because that is where the RIGHT bus stop was located, instead of a mile down the street(three nice park district employees directed me there). It was very much like a Children's Museum and much easier than trying to get to the one at Navy Pier. We saw lots of butterflies, traced a bear skull, and climbed around a pretend tree house. We then made it back to the train station to meet Jake without any trouble, although there was almost trouble because Jonah REALLY had to go potty...

Advanced Development

Today Jonah made his weekly call to our family pumpkin expert, Grandma. He called to report our pumpkin status and unfortunately, my fears were confirmed. Three of our pumpkins, that are basketball size in diameter although oval in shape, are already turning orange and therefore will probably be ready for picking long before October. Jonah is ready to carve a jack-o-lantern now but personally I'll be a little annoyed if we have 10 pumpkins in August but I still have to purchase some come October (especially after they have taken over both my garden and my yard- there is a vine threaded through a tomato cage and Jake has to move another vine when he mows!)! "You might have planted them a little too soon" she said, "and your conditions were probably about perfect." Oh well, if anyone wants a Labor Day jack-o-lantern, we have you hook-up!

Update without a Plot

Recently I am recieved a few e-mails from friends saying that they have "updated" or created a new blog and that everyone should check it out for new information. Well, I don't really have lots of new info or a new blog, but here is a little update anyway since I have been slow to blog lately (mostly for lack of a good story).

Here is some of our summer "highlights" so far:

Jake turned 30 over the weekend. The milestone didn't bother him much and he enjoyed his "bash". I did collect ALMOST 30 poems for his book of birthday poems. Thanks to all of those who wrote one (I asked 30 plus people to write a poem about Jake turning 30 and e-mail it to me so I could put them together for a fun surprise. (If you weren't asked to write a poem it wasn't because I didn't think you could write one it was probably because I didn't have your e-mail address, but I am 3 short so you CAN still write one if you want to!!!).

Our garden is huge and spilling over into the yard. I'm in the process of making relish and will tackle pickles next week. I'm expecting am explosion of cherry tomatoes any day.

Jonah has chosen this summer to not take a nap. I've been still making him "rest", which has not been restful for ME since he gets up constantly to see if its 4:00 o'clock (or whatever time I said that he could get up).

We have only been swimming ONCE this whole summer! But we did sign up for swim lessons yesterday, they start Monday and last for two weeks (maybe 8 days of the pool in a row will make up for the fact we haven't been all summer...).

Jonah is in the reading program at the library. Even though he cannot read and I am the one doing the reading, it still seems unreal that he is old enough to be in a reading program.

We have spent a lot of time at the park across the street. We have a park leader for the summer during the afternoons and Jonah loves to go and say "hi" to her. We sometimes even go for lunch or snack which is provided by the park district. Not too many kids frequent our park but Jonah enjoys when there are a few to play with.

So that's my uneventful-not blog worthy summer update (THOUGH it has been relaxing so I'm not really complaining!).

All with a Pringles Can

I'm really not surprised that my husband can entertain himself with one pringles can for over an hour. My surprise came when he somehow entertained little J, who has a short attention span when it comes to most outdoor activities, for almost that long with just a pringles can and the promise of blowing something up. Or off as the case may be. After finishing off the can of pringles tonight on our front porch they proceeded to see how many different ways they could "blow" the lid off the can. Stepping on it, hitting it really hard from both sides and kicking it when it was propped up against the step all succeeded in blowing the lid off. Throwing it at Jonah's head didn't make it happen although a head bunt to the can from Jake seemed to work out pretty well.

First Fruit

Hidden among the pumpkin vines I found our first ready-to-be-picked garden fresh vegetable! Although it wasn't as delicious as we hoped (raw), we are still looking forward to more fruits of our efforts. And a little worried as well- our tomato plants are bursting with green fruits (why did I decide on 8 plants?), several zuchinni and hot peppers are almost ready to be picked, there are tons of baby cucumbers and the pumpkins are taking over the place. We have high hopes of making salsa and learning how to can but I having a feeling will be begging neighbors to take "our efforts" off of our hands!

Meter Mayhum

In the house that we previously owned ants built a nest in our gas meter. They broke the dial. The gas company showed that we were using very little gas. They came out, discovered the nest, and back charged us for the gas that we used that did not register on our broken meter.

Needless to say, when we saw a bird visiting our electric meter last week we were concerned. It appeared that she was just in the box that held our meter, not in the actual meter. We were a lot more anxious this time around about wet nest materials shorting out our meter and thus setting our house on fire than we were about back charges.

After a call to the electric company I was sad to find out that I was going to be the one to have to clean out the nest. They would come and open the box and shut off the meter and then return after I had cleaned it out (during business hours, of course, while Big J was at work). I was in tears the night before because I invisoned tiny little baby birds whose home I was going to have to disrupt. I made a plan involving work gloves, a shovel and the park across the street (where I was going to move the nest to). I had the number handy of the college kid from my church who lives nearby just in case it was too much for me to handle(emotionally).

Mr. Electric company never did shut off my power nor did he leave. He simply opened the box and scraped the nest to the ground. Unfortunalty there were two little eggs inside (and I'm not sure what happened to them). But, just for future reference, if there were baby birds inside the box could be left open to see if the mommy bird would come and rescue them. I will keep that in mind since creatures seem to have a thing for our meters!

Vegetable Irony

We've tried our best to shelter little J from violence on TV and movies. There are a lot of things that we don't allow him to watch, but there are also several things that he does watch. We watch Blues Clues, Bob the Builder and The Wiggles on video. We catch Dragon Tales and Clifford on PBS Kids occasionally. Finding Nemo and CARS are our movie favorites. Lately we've been watching quite a bit of Veggie Tales. I have several VHS tapes from college days when the "Sunday morning fun, Saturday morning values" cartoons were becoming popular. We've been made aware that kids will pick up things where you least expect it. Believe it or not, Jonah has picked up a desire to fight from a Veggie video that was released over 10 years ago. From "Dave and the Giant Pickle", which is the story of David and Goliath, Jonah has begun "putting up his dukes" and and saying "who will I fight?". Although I'm a little concerned that he wants to be Goliath all of the time he has done well at asking people if he can "fight" them before proceeding. I did gain some concern today when he said that he wanted to shoot a particular man. This man was a father of a friend who did put the wagon away before Jonah was done riding in it but it still made me a little nervous when he told me later that he wanted to shoot him. I had to ask what he was going to shoot him with. He said "with my bubble sword." Like Goliath! Ha! Even though Jonah is now walking around pretending to be the famous Philistine Giant, I'm still a fan of Veggie Tales. Here are some facts I found:
Veggie Tales was the first completly computer animated video to be distrubuted on VHS in the US.
Over 50 million videos have been sold since 1993.
Mr. Lunt (from I love my cheeseburger) has no eyes.
Phil Visher, VT creator, sees Bob the Tomato as his alter ego.
(facts were found on wikipedia)

The Land of Corn and Soybeans

We struggled for the 4 years that we owned a house in Arkansas to get grass to grow. I lost track of the times that we seeded with no positive outcome.

I thought maybe it was my fault. I am not known for having a "green thumb." I will confess that for years my mom would send me off to college (and off to Arkansas newly married) with a couple of green, healthy houseplants. I would then bring them home on breaks so she could nurse their now sad, wilting bodies back to health. I would then take the poor things back to school and begin the cycle all over again. All that is left from the plant massacre is one stubborn aloe. Which, by the way, is at my mom's house...

Friends and neighbors would say otherwise- that maybe our lack of grass had something to do with the previous owner. Maybe the fact that he never mowed or raked hurt our soil. Maybe the lack of grass was caused by the giant African Tortoise that grazed in the backyard. Maybe the soil is full of clay in that part of the country. Maybe part of that was true, but then they would go home to water their beautiful green lawns and I would cry over my ball diamond wannabe yard.

So now we are in the part of the country where you see field of corn and soybeans being plowed and planted. In fact, a new Rural King (yes, I said RURAL KING) just opened nearby to service these farmers. So we decided to give it a try. Part of the yard is dug up and seeds and plants (bought at Rural King, of course) are safely in the ground. We have sprinkled red pepper on the leaves and soil to hopefully ward off the neighborhood rabbits. While we wait for our vegetables, which Jonah thinks should be ready to pick NOW, we are enjoying the flowers and bushes popping up all over our property (instead of poison ivy like in AR). Heres hoping for a bountiful harvest, or at a least a tomato or two!

The Lunch Bully Wouldn't Say Cheese

Today Jonah and I decided to enjoy the 
warm weather and eat our lunch
outdoors. While he was finishing his 
peanut butter sandwich I got out 
the bulbs that arrived in the mail yesterday 
and began to plant them 
around the porch.  We got on a roll and 
began scattering seeds in various parts of our yard.  

When we decided to do some 
work in the back yard Jonah remembered his lunch.  
Upon going to retrieve it from 
the front we found that we were too late.  
A squirrel had discovered it and was sitting 
in the middle of the yard enjoying his prize.  
He took to a nearby tree when he saw us
and I ran for the camera (but didn't get a close
 of enough shot of the thief).  

Jonah was 
not only frustrated that the squirrel stole his 
lunch but he was also unhappy about the
fact that the bully wouldn't smile and "say cheese"!  
This squirrel, whom I'm just SURE 
is the same annoying squirrel that hangs upside
 down to eat all of the seed out of our bird 
feeder, was also not afraid to return to get 
the rest of the sandwich(which I figured had 
already been touched by him anyway...).   

Jonah not only ate the sandwich that I made
 to replace the one stolen by the squirrel-bully
faster than I have ever seen him eat anything
(so "that squirrel" wouldn't get it) but he also
slept with all of his McD Teen Age Mutant Ninga
Turtles to protect him from "that squirrel" as well!

Easter Long Underwear

This was the year to buy Easter outfits that came with matching long sleeve T-shirts!  When I bought Jonah's I thought how we would just save the t-shirt for next fall, but we needed it on Sunday!  We were also thankful to find an INDOOR egg hunt where we got to have fun without the wind and extra cold temps!

Jonah informed us before posing for this picture that he was not going to "hold that baby on his lap".  But I think this is the closest that he has ever been to his little cousin and he even smiled and TOUCHED her, so I didn't complain!

The Easter Bunny Says Woof

So my carrot cake looks a little more like its from the canine family than it does a rabbit!  I rooted through all of little J's Egg Hunt candy to find the facial features only to find that the little packages were misleading.  The giant piece of pink gum I was going to use for the nose was really yellow and the gummy lifesavers I was planning on making eyes were in fact gummy rabbits.  But we made due and Jonah only stole the nose twice before it was finally time to eat it.


Today Jonah is four, which I cannot believe!  Tonight for the first time he picked out his very own birthday dinner.  I forgot to warn Big J that we are having hot dogs and mac and cheese for supper tonight...  

Jonah can now also chew gum,  at least he is allowed to but there doesn't seem 
to be much "chewing".  

Another milestone that is marked today is that we are DONE with "sippy cups."  We have been singing a made-up song for months entitled "Bye-Bye Sippy Cups."  He is not very excited but taking it like a "big boy."  This weekend we hope to go to a "big store" (IKEA) and and pick out some new big boy cups.  

We also have blue hands today after making the final handprint for the front of our pre school scrapbook!  

Of course we had a CARS party this weekend with our families complete with racing, a race track cake, and many, many CARS presents!   He also learned the official way to open presents (see above picture) where all wrapping and tissue paper are thrown into the air and over your shoulder.  A special thanks to my brother for teaching him that skill.  Now if you could just teach him how to pedal a bike or zip our coat, that would be much more useful.

Anyway, Fabulous Four, here we come!

Singles Club for Socks

All of the single socks in our house congregate here, in the moose basket in my laundry room.  

When we moved I weeded the pairless socks out of our drawers and turned them into rags or discarded them.    We've been in our new house for barely 4 months and the basket is full.  
I was happy to find a sock that had been missing in little J's dress-up box (my fault, its a little close to his dirty clothes basket, I can understand the confusion). 
I searched through  the box in hopes of find more socks but was sadly unsuccessful.  

I'm really led to believe that it is this house, and not just that "our dryer is eating our socks".  My mom says that we have a black hole and I often hear myself saying, "there will be a prize if you find daddy's hat (or your shoe, or the camera cable, or the laptop battery)."  Some of these things have been found but some are like the missing socks, lost in our mysterious black hole.

Under the Kitchen Sink

Here it is, my new garbage disposal.  I take back most of the things that I've said about my husband not being very handy (many of you may remember an earlier post, entitled
The Washing Machine Saga).  It only took him 3 trips to the store and I was without a sink for just half a day!  I am not complaining because I missed this modern convience since we've moved into our new house that was without one.   He even rushed home on his lunch hour to add the missing pipe so I would have a sink to use when I cooked dinner that night!  My hero!  

Now our trash smells much fresher and clean-up is much easier.

Ode to Hummus

I've had a request for our hummus recipe.  This is the ONE thing that Jake makes in our house, so here is his recipe.  I will say that his version is a little too strong for me, I would use have the garlic and not so much of the spicy spices.  But then again, its his recipe that gets all the rave!

Jake's Hummus recipe (adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (reserve liquid)
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, cut in half
spices to taste (Jake likes to add a few of the following: cumin, crushed red pepper, tabasco sauce, olives and olive oil; some people enjoy celery salt or worchesire sauce)

Blend seeds, garlic and reserved liquid in blender.
Add everything else and blend again.
Add beans and blend until smooth.

My guys perfer saltines or tortilla chips for dipping!

Also, sesame seeds are expensive unless you buy them in bulk at a health food store.  You can also replace the seeds with tahini (sesame seed butter) but we're not cool enough for that.

Imagination Cracker

My husband and my little boy both love hummus.  If you aren't familiar with it, hummus is a spread made from chickpeas blended with other things like sesame seeds and garlic.  They love it.  Little J will also just eat the chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) straight from the can.  Today he was doing just that for lunch when he decided that he would rather have hummus.  So I made a little batch for him and he said it wasn't very good (I don't make it as well as daddy, but in my defense, we were out of sesame seeds).  He ate some other things and then requested some pudding that we had mixed up to eat tonight.  I put the hummus in the fridge and gave him a little bowl of pudding.  He later asked for the hummus again, which by the way, looked JUST like vanilla pudding.   I thought I would remind him that in this particular bowl, it was hummus, NOT pudding.  

Then he picked up a saltine and said, "with this imagination cracker I'll turn it into imagination pudding!  Mmmm!"

Big Snow

 I want to play in the big snow- Jonah
 Jake shoveling our stairs.  We lost track of how many times he had to 
dig himself in and out of the driveway!
 We don't need sand to use our sand toys!

A Beano Trio

I have an Elem. Education degree and have the certificate and the teaching aids to prove it. And the truth is that I made many of those teaching aids as assingments in one of my classes. Yes, I had to prove I could laminate! Anyway, one such class where I made lots of materials was a math class where the supply list in the syllabus was something like: food coloring, one can spray paint, 1 lb lima beans, 2 bags of pasta- each a different shape... One project that we made with these supplies consisted of spray painting one side of our beans. I think we were in groups of three and one person painted their beans black, one painted theirs red and the other brown. Then we divided these beans up between the three of us so we all had some of each color. Then we took our pound of beans back to our dorm rooms and popped open a new pack of sharpies. We then added details to our one pound of beans- the red became lady bugs, the black penguins, and the brown children. Once these were finished you could use them to teach counting, sorting, graphing, patterns- we were told the world of mathematics could be taught with a ziplock baggie full of lima beans. So today I dug out my beans for my little boy who wanted me to make up a game. I wrote a number on the inside of each cup of an egg carton and asked him to put the right amount of lady bugs in each cup. He didn't get very far but thought maybe we should try the children (the penguins are still MIA). As I was helping him sort I noticed the above trio. Now why would I, an innocent 20 year old future teacher draw a pirate, a beatnik, and a Doobie Brother as teaching aids for elementary school children? And then it came back to me. My future husband, against protest of doing any such crafty education major thing, helped me with these pound-o-beans. I've seen that look of boredom and reluctance often since then (like when I ask him to write copy for my scrapbook pages) but somehow he manages to grit his teeth and make me happy. Is it because of his love for me or is it the chance to sneak in some creative "help" when I'm busy drawing 100 spots on lima bean lady bugs?

The Rewards of Rebates

I remember my mom mailing in rebates often when we were growing up. $1.50 from the back of the pickle jar, another $2 for several soup can labels...I thought, "is it really worth all of that work to fill out the form and save all of the UPC's?" I found out now that I am a penny pincher myself that yes, it is worth it! My favorite rebates are available at Walgreen's drugstores where they have 2-7 items totally FREE each month. They make it easy, you don't have to cut a single UPC! AND you only have to fill out one form and use one stamp per month but can receive tons of rebates! You can even get another free 10% by putting your rebate money on a Walgreens gift card. The money is put directly on your card and you can check it online to see if it was added (they also send you a postcard in the mail). I'm not saying that this isn't a sale gemic because I'm sure they make money by luring us all in the stores and by those who don't bother to send in their rebate forms each month. But I haven't bought things like mouthwash, shampoo, and toothbrushes since I started my Walgreens rebate addiction a couple of year ago. So check out, just don't forget to send in your form each month!

(I'm trying to post the link here, but I seem to be unsuccessful, here is the URL if it still doesn't work:

Schoolhouse Germs

Little J has cold #2 since starting pre-school 3 weeks ago. He has only made it for one full week (which is really just three days). One week we missed two days because of our incredibly out of control runny nose. Now its our eyes that are runny and out of control! I was sure that we had the dreaded pinkeye but the nurse said that its just a cold since his eyes aren't blood shot nor did they get "glued" together during the night (I'm thankful not to have to deal with that this time around!). He also has a little cough and just appears to feel icky, all of which has to run its course. So home we stayed today. Here's hoping that we will build up some immunity against pre-school germies before the school year is over!


The picture post was not only what happens when a 3 year old gets ahold of your camera but also what happens when somone who took her most recent computer class on a computer that took 5 1/2 inch floppys tries to post more than one picture on her blog!

I don't know how to fix it, so I'm not going to try!

A photographer in the making

What happens when a three year gets a hold of your camera (I found these when I was taking a picture of the steps). I picked out the best (there were many more):

The Money Pit

Here is a picture of the reason why our home owners insurance will cancel our policy in March if we don't add a railing. Look at the dangerously steep steps! Actually, we don't think its unreasonable that rails should be added to the steps, but we do think its unreasonable that WE are the ones to have to do it! Our house is 30 years old! No one else was told to slap some rails on the front steps anytime in the last 30 years?

We did think it was a little odd that ALL of the houses on our street, most of which are bi-levels, had rails and ours didn't...

What do I do???

Today was Jonah's first day of pre-school and I think he fared far better than I did. School was a last minute thing for us. It was something we were going to look into for NEXT year. But since we are new in town and know no one we thought it might be a good idea. We thought Jonah could use some friends and some structure. Suprisingly, he got out of the van when it was his turn (his teachers come to the curb and help unload). When I picked him up he was fine, they said he was a little sad at times but he can't wait to go back tomorrow so I'm not too worried. The part that I didn't anticipate was what to do with my time (I think I need structure and friends too). I found myself driving around looking for things to do. I ended up at the children's section of the library picking out books for Jonah! I had to force myself to go down the stairs and find something for myself. It was an odd feeling reading a magazine from cover to cover in one sitting, but I think I liked it. Maybe I'll do it again!