a soup swap? what a smashing idea! i found the soup swap blog through not martha, and it sounds like something interesting to try. this would be an especially wonderful winter time party if anyone is looking for a fun party idea. for folks in seattle, you should see if you can join in on the fun. there's a link to join the group in seattle or you can always start your own!

*sigh* my plan for today was to go on a humongus grocery run (because we are OUT of food), which quickly ended when my car would not start. why you ask? because there's this stupid arctic air that's come in and brought not only plent of snow but PLENTY of cold, cold air. in fact it's so cold that today, with the wind chill cleveland feels like it's 1 degree outside. no wonder the dumb car won't start. of course, there is no other car in sight nearby, because pretty much everyone is at work. needless to say, i will be resorting to boxed mac n' cheese for dinner (which i think i might kindly pass for myself)...that is, if we have enough milk. if not, then i will have to think of something else. days like these, i wish cleveland offered a home delivery service for your groceries. i really miss the convenience of pioneer organics, a service we used to have in seattle. they were awesome! i tried to find something similar here but no dice. there are some online grocery services that deliver, but the companies i found were not based locally...so what's the point? we really need food though, so maybe i'll try one out for this week or something. here's a few pictures of what it's like over here right now. one is the snow in our backyard and the other are the huge icicles hanging from our neighbor's house (you can kill someone with those!)


okay, so i meant to take the camera with me tonight for the winter carnival at tyler's school, but we were go, go, go the minute he came home from school that i spaced it. so just pretend there's a picture of tyler in this post wearing his balloon sword sheath and holding two balloon swords (one red one green) in each hand. he had a good time, and emma managed to be in good spirits despite staying out an hour past her usual bed time. he won a prize for emma that she enjoyed chewing on, then pretty much ran around with some of his buddies the rest of the night. thank you to Kaine's mom for taking tyler home so i could put emma to bed. if it wasn't for her, tyler wouldn't have been able to stay for the whole thing. i don't know how single moms do it with multiple kids. it's hard work to juggle all the schedules (including your own) all by yourself all the time...i can't imagine!

p.s. happy birthday gram and john porter!


jump rope to save lives

tyler is participating in the American Heart Association's jump rope for heart on 11 feb. he is trying to raise at least $85 for the org. and is looking for folks to sponsor him for the big day. some of you may have already gotten an e-mail from him, and if you can help out it would be awesome. according to ty, the American Heart Association is apparently losing money and in need of more funding (i guess most non-profits are unfortunately always in this predicament). anyway, he has set up a website via the AHA: http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=201515&supId=162126751. you can go there and make an online donation (minimum $25) or if you'd like to donate less then just send a check to us (payable to the American Heart Association)....we promise we won't pocket the money *wink*. please help if you can!

finally switched to the new blogger, and decided to change the background while i was at it. something different...for the eyes.

time to work on taxes. this time we are doing it ourselves...no more H&R Block-i think they knew as much as we did. needless to say, it was a waste of money, though it was nice to have someone do all that work.


don't you hate it when you're really tired, and really want to sleep but you can't? it's as if i'm so tired to the point where i can't fall asleep...does that even make sense? anyway, it's 10:30 p.m. and i was planning to head for bed 45 minutes ago after a little ice cream treat. but did i feel sleepy? well, yes and no. as i write, i feel my eyelids getting heavy, but i'm still all wound up inside. maybe if i just lay down, getting consumed by the bed and swallowed by the down covers will make me drowsy (actually writing that just made me feel drowsy...it's working!). cheers and good night!


busy bag

i found a really cool idea from an article in the cleveland family mag. on how to keep kids entertained when you're on the go. the article recommended a product called the "keep me busy bag," which is a bag full of items and learning activities young kids (recommended age is 16 mos. - 3 years) can do while away from home...whether it be out on errands, waiting for food at the restaurant, whatever. the trick is to keep this bag in the car so that it's always readily available when the kiddies need to kill time on the road. the cost for this product is $24.95, but i think you can make your own for less. all the items listed in the bag are things you can get yourself, and you can pretty much use any durable bag you have on hand. if you have kids with a large age difference (like our kids), i'm sure you can pack a different bag tailored for that child's age. heck, you could even pack a bag per kid. anyway, it's a pretty nifty idea. entertaining (and educational) activities for your children without using gameboys, portable dvd players, and the like.


we'll take as much as you give us

poor tyler. he tries so hard sometimes to pout and play the martyr act for us (and boy can he lay it on thick), but of course he never wins. the funny part about is that when we call him out on it, he denies that he's even doing it. you can't win with the reigning king and queen of pouting (yes...aaron and i were BIG pouters as little kids). we know his plan...we know how his mind works..."how do we know?" we say to him. "because we used to do that when we were kids!" aargh! we sound like grown ups. i'm sure he'll scheme and try more things as he gets older, but between aaron & i, i don't think he can get away with much if any at all. tee-hee.


this is all i have to do to get my dad wrapped around my little finger.


congratulations to jeff, maia, and sophia on their new addition...stella marie! hooray!


Wishing the LeDoux family a healthy and save delivery today as they prepare for the arrival of baby 2. We will be praying for a smooth surgery and quick recovery. Can't wait to see pictures!


root beer maker and some other stuff

here are a few pics from family get together from the 30th of dec. the kids got more christmas presents from their great aunts and uncles...thank you guys! first couple of pics are of tyler making homemade root beer with gram and pap. after they're bottled it has to ferment for 10 days so i think it's ready now...i bet it will turn out good. 3rd one is emma and aaron. 4th is tyler and aaron. last two are of cousin becky with emma and tyler, uncle jon and aylah building legos (aylah really likes to help).


fussy baby....

poor emma, she had a bad case of sore gums today because she's teething. i tried giving her cold teething rings, her spoon (which she likes to gnaw on), and her chew toy, but nothing worked. she wouldn't take anything in her mouth...it must have been really sore. all she did was fuss and cry for about half an hour. wasn't much i could do but carry her, though she still continued to cry. then as suddenly as it came, it went away. tyler was a good sport about it. at first he tried to console her. when he realized that didn't work, he just read a book (i think he actually read it twice in a row).

speaking of tyler and books, we've been reading this book written by henry winkler (yes the fonze) before bedtime. actually, he's written a series of books, about a boy named hank zipzer, and we're on book 2. funny books, but poor editing. in the first book, i think we found 5 errors....typos or missing words in sentences. in the one we're reading we've found 3 so far. one we found tonight is using the wrong spelling of tail in the sentence (they used the spelling tale). i couldn't believe it! and these books have been published for public sale! i can understand maybe one or two in a book, but we're on the second book and there are still errors. pretty weird. we're talking about writing the publisher to let them know, but can they really do something now? anyway, i have never experienced something like that with books before...maybe the editor doesn't like henry winkle and is trying to make him look bad. or maybe these errors are done on purpose because it's written from the boy's perspective. i don't know, i just think it's kinda weird.


white bread and rice

this is a picture of emma in her new shirt from aunty michelle. it is a visual expression of emma's racial background. coming from a mixed racial background herself, michelle is very happy to have someone else in the family to share that experience with. we love the shirt (it is not your common ordinary baby apparel), and you can find more creative designs here.


new year's eve day, we all bummed around downtown after church. it was a very rainy and dreary day so we hung out at tower city and went window shopping. they had some really cool moving character thingies (holiday themed) hanging from the ceiling in the fountain area of tower city. we discovered that there is free wi-fi in tower city, which was a surprise given that cleveland and northeastern ohio in general is not too technology oriented.

some cleveland trivia: the city was founded by moses cleveland who actually never lived there (he lived in connecticut). the first people to actually live in cleveland was a dude, lorenzo carter, and his family, who built their log cabin home on the banks of the cuyahoga (means crooked) river.
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