Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Book Lust


"Smell my book," Robert invited as he place a yellowed copy of Augustine's Faith under my nose.
"Um . . . no," I responded.
"Don't you love the smell of old books???" he said drawing a whiff of the copy in his hands.

My husband is so odd, but I love his oddness sometimes. I share his affinity for books. When I was younger, I couldn't wait to get my allowance. On Friday afternoons I would make a bee line for The Book Shelf bookstore. I liked that the owners never batted an eye at the fact that I would take up residence on the floor in front of a section, pulling books off the shelf until I decided on what I would buy. It was a ritual for me and my mother always indulged my love of books.

Books have always worked to my advantage. My parents had a rule when it came to grades. If I got a D on a report card then I was grounded for one week. If I got an F, I was grounded for the entire semester. Grounding entailed no phone, no television, no communication with the outside world. I could go to school, come home, sit in my room staring at the walls, come out for dinner, and go to bed. And my dad was the ultimate disciplinarian, nothing made him deviate from the prescribed punishment. When I was in sixth grade, I made an F in French. I maintain to this day that its still Marc Dominique's fault, but my parents weren't hearing it and I was banished to my room for 9 weeks. In my attempt to not go crazy, I found a loop hole in the system: I was allowed to read. I was already a voracious reader, but with no other distractions I began to read as if it were a sport. I went through the entire shelf of Nancy Drew mysteries in the library at a rate that made the librarian raise an eyebrow to my frequent visits. I put more stamps in those library books than Angelina Jolie's passport!

As I have grown older, I struggle to preserve precious reading time. Robert goes on and on about how media has stunted our ability to pay attention. He regales me with stories about how rural farmers could sit and listen to five hour theological debates. He is constantly putting a book into the kids hands and assuring them that they'll "love it". Perhaps we have lost something in exchange for entertainment.

The only thing better than a bookstore is a used books bookstore! Recently, Robert and I made our way to BrightLight Books and wandered the aisles of books with weathered edges looking for the next must have for our nightstands. And there in the midst of all those choices, he found his smelly book. Lately, I've been building my book collection in preparation for our trip to Ukraine. There will be lots of down time where we will be sitting outside of offices, in the car, at the apartment, on the train, and in the airport waiting. The waiting is one thing adopting families warn each other about. I'm looking forward to it! I've ordered seven books from Half.com this week alone. Let the waiting begin!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Blog Bully


I love that we don't have to get up until 7 am this year. The boys don't wake until 8:15! You better believe they're enjoying that! So this morning, I was surprised to see a soft glow coming from the living room well before 7. Robert was up and typing away on the computer. I've been fighting a cold, so it was nice to get a few extra minutes to sleep. When I finally rose, Robert presented me with the laptop and declared, "I wrote my post for today, your turn!" "What?" I asked. "I'm getting tired of looking at that last post. Time to write something new," he informed me. I explained that I've been more focused on the adoption blog and working through events there, but he was unimpressed.

Last night he brought me an outline on a sheet of paper. It was a chapter breakdown of the adoption book he thinks I'm going to write. I laughed out loud at him. "You've got to write something everyday. If you write a page a day, you'll have a book a year from now." Oddly enough, he's right.

My hesitancy to consider writing something beyond the blog comes from a number of places. What could I say that hasn't already been written? I'm not the first to adopt and my story and perspective isn't particularly unique. Mix that with a little writer's insecurity and there you have it.

Samuel woke a little earlier than usual this morning and is now laying in the hammock out back. He is half concentrating on the cat resting on the damp ground beneath him and half reading Charles Haddon Spurgeon's Faith. The early morning light and coolness make it a perfect reading spot. Hmmm, I have a book I've been working on. Maybe I should make my way out there before the light changes too much. After all, I've made my obligatory post . . .

Friday, August 31, 2007

YOU'RE AS OLD AS I AM IF....


I read this on Tami's Blog and had to copy it. Unbelievable!

YOU'RE AS OLD AS I AM IF....

1. You’ve ever ended a sentence with the word “PSYCHE.”
2. You can sing the rap to the “Fresh Prince of Belair.”
3. You wore biker shorts under your skirts and felt stylish.
4. You ever watched “Fraggle Rock.”
5. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars.
6. You wore a pony tail on the side of your head.
7. You played the game “M.A.S.H.” (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House) with friends at school.
8. You know the profound meaning of “WAX ON, WAX OFF.”
9. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.
10. You thought Thriller was the most awesome song (and video!) ever.
11. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
12. You remember the CRAZE - then the BANNING - of slap bracelets.
13. You still get the urge to say “NOT” after every sentence.
14. You believed the “By the power of Greyskull,” you had the power.
15. After you saw “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” you kept saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
16. You wore, like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high-top Reeboks.
17. You owned a bicyle with a banana seat and a basket.
18. Your roller skates had metal wheels.
19. You begged Santa for the electronic game Simon.
20. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.
21. You wore the Little House on the Prairie inspired high neck, ruffled, plaid shirt in at least one school picture.
22. You can sing at least one song from “Annie” by heart.
23. You would tape songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
24. You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes.
25. You had the shoelaces with the rainbow or heart designs.
26. You wore a banana clip at some point in your youth.
27. You know who Max Headroom is.
28. You ever wore fluorescent or neon clothing.
29. You could breakdance or wished you could.
30. When somone mentions two consecutive days of the week, the Happy Days theme is stuck in your head for hours on end.
31. Partying “like it was 1999″ seemed sooo far away.
32. You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
33. You wanted to be on Star Search.
34. Your first Walkman weighed about as much as a brick.
35. You HAD to have your MTV.
36. You know where to go if you “wanna go where everybody knows your name.”
37. You actually thought “Dirty Dancing” was a REALLY good movie.
38. You got a Little Professor calculator for Christmas.
39. You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game.
40. You own any cassettes or records.
41. You thought by the year 2000 we’d all be living on the moon.
42. You ever had a Swatch Watch, and a Swatch Guard for it.
43. You had to stay after class to scrub your desk because your silver Outliner pen leaked through.
44. You ever rang someone’s doorbell and said, “Landshark.”
45. You thought eating Reeses Pieces would attract your own alien.
46. You have ever called 867-5309.
47. You held the top score on PacMan.
48. You owned a T-shirt that said, “I shot J. R. ” or know someone who did.
49. You ever said “I pity the fool”.
50. Your dream car was either: the A-team van, KITT or The General Lee.
51. You were sad when the “Where’s the Beef” lady died.
52. You remember when Ricky Martin was a member of Menudo.
53. You remember when cellular phones weighed 15 lbs. and had to be carried over your shoulder.
54. You still know the Big Mac song. “Two all beef patties, special sauce…”
55. You owned a real Rubik’s Cube
56. You used to own a Snoopy Sno Cone Machine.
57. You have a tendency to turn the collar up on your Polo shirts.
58. You remember exactly where you were when you heard the space shuttle Challenger had exploded.
59. You know all of the words to at least one of the Schoolhouse Rock songs.
60. Your first computer was a Commodore 64 or an Atari 800.
61. You thought being a latch key kid was completely normal.
62. There were days that the homework just had to wait until the ABC Afterschool Special was over.
63. You know what movie the phrase, “Number 5 is alive!” is from.
64. You remember when Molly Ringwald was on Facts of Life.
65. You wore the little bootie socks with the colored balls on the back.
66. You just had to have a Trapper Keeper to stay organized at school.
67. You remember when McDonald’s served their burgers in styrofoam boxes.
68. You were afraid of the Sleestacks on Land of The Lost.
69. You never thought they’d be able to top the special effects in TRON.
70. You played with Lego’s when they were just blocks of various sizes, not any of the special little parts.
71. You made shrinky dinks in your oven.
72. Pierce Brosnon will always be Remington Steele, not James Bond.
73. You owned at least one Choose Your Own Adventure book.
74. You watched Mary Lou Retton win the gold.
75. The Dark Crystal is still one of your favorite movies.
76. In many of your childhood photos you are wearing something plaid.
77. You still love to play Pong!
78. Two words: The Clapper.
79. Six words: “This is your brain on drugs.”
80. You can sing all the words to “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head, and now you understand that it is about chess.
81. You had an entire wardrobe of Esprit clothing (or coveted one.)
82. Your bangs were teased perfectly to 7 inches above the rest of your hair.
83. You had multi-colored earrings that touch your shoulders.
84. You’re still bitter that WHAM broke up
85. You can feel St. Elmo’s fire burnin’ in you.
86. You still can’t believe that Milli Vanilli was deceiving you all that time
87. Every now and then, you blurt out: “Ooh noo, Mr. Bill!!!”
88. You used to watch things on Beta tapes
89. You know who Martha Quinn is.
90. You carried your boom box on your shoulder
91. You remember Bruce Willis from Moonlighting, not Die Hard
92. You had ringside seats for Luke and Laura’s wedding
93. War Games had you wondering if you could really start Armageddon using your crummy TRS-80.
94. You can name at least three members of the Brat Pack
95. You wore a “Members Only” jacket.
96. You ever used Lee Press-On Nails
97. You believed drinking soda and eating Pop Rocks would make your stomach explode
98. You still argue over who was better: Tiffany or Debbie Gibson
99. Every time you hear the “OH YEAH…” song you think of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
100. You know how to use a rotary phone.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Try Not to Smile

Change is Good

I know we've been MIA recently. The children started school this week and I wanted to give them my undivided attention as they made the transition. When I left my job in May, I committed to meeting the needs of my kids on a different level than I could when I was working. All four of them started new schools and I was a little anxious over how they would adjust. God knew I needed affirmation over our school decision. A few days before school started, we attended orientation so the kids could meet their teachers and classmates. As we were looking over the schedules, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked what school the children had formerly attended. When I told her, she broke into a wide smile and shared that her daughter had been in class with my boys at one point. She went on to share the wonderful experience school has been in the last few years for all of their children and how God had blessed them with Christian teachers. Its amazing how God meets our smallest needs. With a week under our belts, everyone is very happy and doing very well. I can't begin to tell you the difference this change has made in our household. Its as if we're all connected again, like we should have been all along.

We've also been attending a great new church. Robert and the boys went boating on the St John's River with the youth group Saturday.
After several hours of super soaker wars, manatee spotting, and swimming in the springs, they returned sunburned and full of stories.

What else has been happening? Oh! We added one more to our dinner party last week. A welcomed newcomer who I immediately felt at ease with, so much so that perhaps our new friend blended in a little too much. The friendship that Kim, Cindy, and I share is second nature. We don't have to think too hard about what the others need. We've made three road trips together and lived to tell about it. Our conversations are continuous and no amount of time apart causes us to miss a step. Its as if we've always been friends. So I wondered how adding one more would change our dynamic.

An hour past another amazing meal, swirling the trace amounts of wine left in our glasses, and regretting that Kim hadn't made more Creme Brulee, I realized that our chameleon friend sat in the midst of our laughter observing it all. And I felt very selfish for not making more of an effort to change the dynamic myself. This is my public apology for not stepping out of my comfort zone.

So change is not so bad. In fact, I think I'm starting to welcome it. It has brought such blessings upon our family in the last three months.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Boys 2 Men




When the children were young (like four of them still in diapers young) and I would feel overwhelmed, Robert would remind me that they wouldn't always be in this phase of life. He looked forward wistfully to the time that they could "be worth their salt" around the house. Well, that time has come. Its been a summer of many changes for my two oldest. They have been going to work with their father and making him very proud. In addition, they have become adept at lawn care and car maintenance. Anybody out there has a flat tire, you call Three Brothers Car Care and they'll take care of you. As quickly as the younger years went by, these years seem to be going even faster. Bought new shoes for Sam and Nathanael and they wear a men's size 10! I have to shop in the men's section for clothing. Somebody make it stop!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Reason I Ride



It seems much of my friendship gathering time this summer has been spent over a meal. Whether its dinner with K & C (Kim cooked an amazing dinner for Cindy and I once again. I forgot my camera, but my cell phone camera caught the above pics of Kim igniting the bourbon as she flambe pineapples to put over freshly made crepes with ice cream. I'm going to have to up my mileage just to attend dinner each week!), pizza and a movie with the girls, or a reunion lunch with old friends, food seems to be at the center of everything.

Recently, I had the opportunity to lunch with three of the greatest English teachers around. Kathy, Amy, Noell and I all taught together several years ago. Since then, God has carried our paths in different directions. It was a blessing to sit around and laugh about old times and reflect on where we are now. As different as the four of us are, there is a common thread that binds us together. I appreciate the strength of each of these women and regret that we're not able to get together more often. Amy made an incredible Orzo Salad (thanks for the recipe!) that made me rethink my usual palette.

I enjoy the opportunity to share a meal with friends, no matter how informal the occasion. I don't want to think about calories or sodium intake. I want to find a balance between healthy living and joyful eating. With that in mind, we've broken our distance record. Robert decided it was a "waste" to drive to the trail head before starting our journey up the Seminole Wekiva Trail. Instead, we biked from the house to the trail head, adding a little more than five miles for a total of just over 20 miles round trip! The kids were such troopers for the journey. Hannah has a new bike and that has made a world of difference. We actually had to keep up with her. She was smokin' us!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Here Comes the Bride




Last August I had dinner with "the girls" in celebration of Kristen's birthday. One of my former students, Sarah Jones, joined us and went on and on about this fabulous guy she had been dating. Apart from his being a gorgeous Navy officer, she was enamoured with the depth of his relationship with God. It was the one trait that she continually focused on; she sounded as if she had won the lottery. Over the weekend she married this wonderful man and I was honored to be invited to the festivities. It was a beautiful ceremony and their joy was impossible to hide. I love to see how God grows former students into incredible men and women of faith!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Its all in the details


Kim cooked dinner for Cindy and me last night. I was intrigued by the invitation because it meant a couple hours out of the house; time to forget my primary role of wife and mom. Just spending time with other intelligent, witty women who love and appreciate me. Who cares what she put on the table; I was there for the company. So when Kim served a five course meal, I was floored. She effortlessly glided from oven, to table, to fridge, chopping this, tossing that, and pouring wine while holding a conversation with the two of us. She truly has the gift of hospitality.
Sitting down over the meal, I wish I had brought my camera to chronicle each course like Kathy does when she is whipping up a culinary delight.
*Baked tomatoes with melted goat's cheese drizzled with Italian balsamic vinegar and garnished with basil.
*Spinach salad with sliced almonds, fresh blueberries, mandarin oranges and strawberries.
*Plump shrimp with delicately blanched asparagus spears and risotto sprinkled with shaved aged cheese.
*Sauteed chicken with roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts along side of roasted potatoes.
*Vanilla Bean ice cream on flour free oatmeal lace cookies in a blueberry puree topped with homemade whipped cream.

I assured her I would be back the following Wednesday, same time. We talked late into the night discussing the details of our next trip and the latest goings on in our lives, so much so that I couldn't get up to ride this morning. Oh, well. It was worth every minute.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Puzzling



Alright, alright! Enough about my lack of posts! Here's the most current on our boring lives. Game night has taken on a life of its own. Apart from the girls coming over several times in the last week to play, Robert, the kids, and I have caught the game bug ourselves. We made a trip to Wal-Mart yesterday to pick up some dice to play Whitney's (and now everyone else's) favorite game Farkel, and ended up coming home with a few more gaming options. We bought In a Pickle, which has turned out to be a difficult and fun word game. Robert had the bright idea that a puzzle would be an entertaining exercise for the family to do together and chose two for us to assemble. Perhaps a 1000 pieces wasn't the best beginners choice, because this puzzle has kicked our butts! After a few hours last night, we had the border assembled and a few random pieces in between. Even Whitney pitched in and tried her hand at it for a little while before throwing in the towel. Its night two and we seem to be working in shifts as this thing dominates our dining room table. Periodically someone will wander past and linger to try and find part of the skyline or a flower patch. Robert and Hannah are laboring over it right now. According to the box top, the final product should recreate a detailed scene from the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. But we're finding the whole experience a little less than spiritual.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Game Night: Summer Reunion 2007

What a weekend! We saw SpiderMan 3 at the dollar movie (glad I waited) on Saturday and then went down to I-Drive on Sunday to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 3D on the IMAX big screen. Three words: A Maz Ing. We're big fans of the dollar movie and AM Cinema, but this was well worth the high price. Although this was Robert and the kids' first time viewing an IMAX film, I saw the last movie Harry Potter movie on the IMAX big screen as well. It was a 1 AM showing on opening night and it took everything in me to stay awake. I went with a huge group of my students who are big Potter fans and got to see the fanatics come out of the woodwork. People were dressed in Hogwart's attire with wands in hand. Interesting.



We had some time to kill before the movie started so we ended up at Festival Bay. Robert and the boys made their way to the Bass Pro Shop again. Hannah and I wandered the rest of mall and found ourselves at the Steve and Barry store. Sarah Jessica Parker sells her clothing line Bitten exclusively through Steve and Barry and it is a GREAT line of clothing. Nothing in the collection is over $19.98; jewelry, dresses, shoes, jean jackets, blazers, everything is under $20! The pieces are so cute and interchangeable. Hannah picked out an adorable shirt in the line for $6.98.

Sunday evening we resurrected Game Night at our house. The girls are all home from college and we have a tradition of playing loud endless games at the Landrum and Torrez house into the wee hours of the morning. Apple to Apples, Egyptian Rat Slap, Pictionary, UNO, Cranium, Disney Scene-It, Scattegories . . . we needed a new game. The girls called and we agreed to meet at Target to choose something. Somehow our paths didn't cross and I ended up getting paged to the Customer Service desk. Humiliating, but the girls thought it was hilarious. We settled on the original Scene-It. Whitney won (read:cheated) and we kept poor Robert awake with screaming and laughing until Jane announced that she had to be at work the next morning. Poor kid is the only one of us working this summer. Party Pooper.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A City Set on a Hill . . .


. . . is not easily reached by bike. When we reached "the hill" today, I reminded Sam that coming back would be much easier than going up. He stared straight ahead as he labored to pedal and replied, "I see you're assuming we're going to make it to the top." Where does he get that dry sense of humor???

I read somewhere that it takes 30 days of repeating an activity before it becomes a "habit". I don't know if that's true or not, but today is the one month mark since I started riding consistently. In that month, I've covered 195.9 miles on my bike. I wish I could say it has changed my life, but the fact is I've lived a non-exercising lifestyle for years. It will take a lot more than 30 days to impact my long term health. For now, I take things one day at a time and enjoy the little victories that come from accomplishing something new each day. (Read: Lycra biking shorts are not in my future.)

Country Boy at Heart


We slipped away for an unplanned visit home a week ago. It was such a reprieve! Nowhere to go and nothing to be done. We visited the town that Robert grew up in. Poplarville, Mississippi isn't exactly a metropolitan mecca; there isn't a single traffic signal in the entire town.

Robert has fond memories of life in the Blueberry Capital of Mississippi. Riding through town, he pointed out places that brought back memories. As we passed Pearl River Drug, he told me about tagging along with anyone who was going there to pick up prescriptions. There was an ice cream counter in the back of the store that made the best shakes. As a little boy, he would climb up on one of the barstool and place his order. Curiosity got the best of him and he pulled into a parking space across the street. I followed him through the door as a bell announced our entrance. He headed straight to the back of the store and there it was. It was as if time had stood still. A mahogany bar stretched across the back of the store with antique tables and bar stools. He ordered two shakes and I watched as they were made with a 1960's blender.

An elderly man shuffled slowly up to the bar and sat down next to me. I greeted him and asked how he was. He paused thoughtfully and replied, "I've got 10 toes above ground, so I guess I'm doing good!" He ordered what appeared to be his daily cup of coffee. I wondered how long he had been following this routine.

There's something to be said for life at a slower pace. I grew up in bustling cities, but Robert has always been accustomed to this rhythm of life. I have watched him adjust to the hustle and bustle of all the places we have lived, always knowing that he was most at ease in the quiet spacious setting of his hometown.

Why Women Should Not Take Men Shopping Against Their Will

After Mr. And Mrs. Fenton retired, Mrs.Fenton insisted her husband accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, Mr. Fenton was like most men--he found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunately, Mrs. Fenton was like most women--she loved to browse. One day Mrs. Fenton received the following letter from her local Wal-Mart.

Dear Mrs. Fenton,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may be forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.


1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.


2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.


3. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an
official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away."


4. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a
bag of M&M's on layaway.


5. September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a
carpeted area.


6. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department
and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department ...


7. September 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"


8. October 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.


9. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.


10. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the " Mission Impossible" theme.


11. December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.


12. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people
browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"


13. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud
speaker,he assumed a fetal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"


And last, but not least.


14. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"


Regards,
Wal-Mart

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wet Wednesday




Well, slurpee stop one was our only successful attempt at free slurpees yesterday. We stopped at 3 more 7-11's between here and Tampa. None of them were participating in the celebration. Whitney declared that she will never marry anyone in Haines City due to this debacle (a great loss to Haines City).



After Tuesday's steamy fishing trip, we decided to cool off at Adventure Island water park. We were exhasted after a day of waterslides, wave pools, cliff diving, and tubing!



Free Slurpee Stop #1


Leslie

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gone Fishin'


I knew it was coming. We've made one too many stops in the sporting goods department, visited the Bass Pro Shop on I-Drive as of late, and watched too many fishing shows on the Outdoor Channel while visiting mom and dad last week. Robert took the day off to go fishing with the kids. Don't get me wrong; I love to fish. But Fishing in Florida in July? One word. Anyone? Anyone?

HOT!!!

We spent time casting off one of the floating piers at Turkey Lake and went through two containers of worms with no real success. Everything biting was too small and needed to be thrown back, but we had a good time just being together. Tomorrow is the eleventh though, and if history repeats itself 7-11 stores will be giving away free slurpees. Yippee!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

Kim, can you read that signature? I'm sitting at lunch with Robert and
notice there's writing on the wall above his head (no jokes please). Our
dear Harry Connick, Jr. sat at this same table and had lunch when he
came here during the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Talents, looks,
and a heart! Maybe its just the name . . . Harry.
Leslie

Monday, July 02, 2007

Goes on Runs?


The short answer to that is "no". Kathy, how do you do it??? In an attempt to stay motivated and mix things up a bit. Sam and I decided that we would try our hand (or feet) at running this morning. Actually, running would be the wrong word to describe what we did. It was more of a shuffle, shuffle, wheeze, gasp, shuffle, shuffle. We followed that pattern for 2 miles. We were just trying to keep things interesting, but running is a whole different form of torture. Goes on Rides. That's more our speed.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Addicted

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?



I think the only thing to say is, "Hi, my name is Leslie and I'm addicted to blogging."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Speechless

There's absolutely nothing to talk about here; however over here is a totally different story!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pillow Talk

Conversation with myself this morning:

Ugh! Its early. I can do ten more minutes. (hit snooze)

(alarm goes off again) I'm really not feeling too well. I didn't sleep well last night. Six days a week is a lot. Maybe I'll do five days a week: Monday, Tuesday, rest Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday long ride, rest Sunday. That sounds like a good schedule. I might hurt myself otherwise. Don't want to overdo it. Its supposed to rain today. That means it will be cooler this afternoon. Maybe I'll mix things up and do a late afternoon ride. Yeah, that would work. Leslie, are your rationalizing? Leslie, are you talking to yourself?

Then I got up and rode my bike.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Queen of the Grill



I hate to cook. I've always been too busy to have the time for the basics, which is a shame since my mother and my grandmother are such incredible cooks. I've always carried a bit of guilt over the fact that I don't enjoy the process, but this summer has been different. In an attempt to cook healthier and more wholesome foods, I have gotten quite attached to our grill. Its the saddest little hibachi grill, but it does the job. We're getting quite adept at the whole marinating in the morning and grilling in the afternoon, sometimes even in the rain.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

And on the seventh day . . . she rested

Mon - 5.6 miles
Tues - 5.6 miles
Wed - 5.6 miles
Thurs - 5.6 miles
Fri - 6.5 miles
Sat - 15.4 miles
Sun - No bike for me :(

Samuel's observation on yesterday's long ride:
Me: Uh-oh, Sam. Here comes the hill from hell. (1/2 mile of steady incline)
Sam: Well, think of it this way, Mom. On the way back, it'll be the hill from heaven.

Good thing one of us is positive on the hard stretches of road!

We went to see Evan Almighty this weekend. You really can't see it as a follow up to Bruce Almighty. It targets a different audience; this one was much more kid friendly. Not a bad movie, some great quotable lines from "God", kids loved it. Its hard to go wrong with Steve Carell.

Then on the advice of my friend Sandy, I rented The Italian. Amazing. The film is in Russian so be prepared for subtitles. Much of it looked and sounded painfully familiar. Worth a rent.

We scored free tickets to the sneak preview of Disney's new movie Ratatouille before it comes out in theatres. The kid movie venue wears on me, so I hope this one's good. Still haven't been impressed with this summer's movie offerings. While Pirates 3 is in its own category, I couldn't help but be disappointed with the storyline. The boys are looking forward to the Transformer movie and we're all anxious to see the new Harry Potter movie next month. We'll see that one on the BIG screen on I-Drive. If anyone sees anything else worth seeing, let us know.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Got Spin?

Those are my slightly fatigued feet at the Heathrow Panera where Sam and
I have stopped to refill our water bottles before heading back down the
trail. I am shocked at how easy the ride here seemed. Tip of the day:
adolescent boys do not appreciate their moms singing Justin Timberlake's
Bringing Sexy Back. Just a thought . . .

Friday, June 22, 2007

Passionate


Kim, Cindy, and I decided to hang out at Starbucks for a change of pace last night. I stood there staring at the menu of lattes and fraps with whipped cream and drizzled chocolate options. For the first time, I tried to find something that I wouldn't regret the next morning as my legs burned while climbing a hill. Don't get me wrong, I still love caramel frappaccinos. But I am realizing how certain foods make me feel, particularly when I need energy and don't want to feel weighed down. The girl behind the counter drummed her fingers impatiently as I scanned the menu one more time before settling on a bottled water. Then I saw the new iced tea line, and particularly, the Orange Passion Ice Tea. I ordered it, a little skeptical, but willing to give it a try. It definitely hit the spot! I'm sure the bottled water would have been better for me, but its all about options!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brothers' Keeper



We've been back and forth to the doctor's office over the last few weeks to get everyone in for their school physicals and updated immunizations. Today was Samuel and Nathanael's turn. Normal procedure: blood pressure, weight, pulse, height. It was the height thing that got me. Samuel measured in at 5' 5 1/2"; Nathanael was a full 5' 6". When did that happen?? I'm a very statuesque 5'5". When did they pass up mom?



I'm really enjoying this phase of life with my 12 year old twins. They've grown into funny, humble, handsome young men. I love that we are able to talk about things of depth and laugh at silly things still. We went to the movie the other day and Robert actually shushed Sam and I because we were whispering throughout the film. I love the character and uniqueness that God has gifted each of them with. I do miss having a little one around the house. I adored the younger years, but I would never trade this incredible time of watching God shape two young men in His image.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of . . .


. . . pain, not music! Hills are not my friend; at least they haven't been this week. A vicious summer cold has been making its way through our family, so Sam and I were the only ones feeling well enough to venture out this morning. We headed back to the Seminole Wekiva Trail to see how we would fare. I've managed to bike every day except yesterday since last weekend. I was hoping it would make a difference in my stamina on the trail. That and the addition of a biking buddy that challenges me made a huge difference. Even with the heat, we made it 15.4 miles round trip before we threw in the towel. Since last weekend, that makes 58.8 miles for me. I know! Who'd have thunk??? I may never get on that bike again, but this week was quite a ride!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

As the Wheel Turns

So for some unexplainable reason, Hannah and I rode Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. And there's a good chance we will go out again tomorrow. We're covering roughly 4.7 miles each day. That's not a lot in the world of cycling, but its a lot to us! So since Saturday, that brings us to just over 33.1 miles. From what I understand, that's what most cyclists cover in one ride! Its been good bonding time and hopefully it helps our fitness level.

Oddly enough, June 9th was significant in the world of cycling. Apparently it was World Naked Bike Day. What is that you ask? People rode bikes naked to celebrate cycling and the human body. The ride demonstrates the "vulnerability of cyclists on the road and is a protest against car culture". Ironically, if you ride naked, wouldn't that increase your vulnerability on the road??? I hope they wore helmets. Something should be protected . . .

Gotta Love Free Stuff


The site is Picaboo.com You can make a 20 page photo album. It is $39.99 but with the coupon it is free!! The coupon expires on June 30, 2007 so hurry! Coupon Code: 1pflgb-bbc

Thanks, Tami!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Piece of Cake


Today we added another five miles to our total miles cycled this weekend. That brings us to a round 19 miles. I would feel really good about that except Robert and Hannah decided to bake a cake this evening. Sigh.