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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spam....It's Not Just a Breakfast Meat Anymore...

I really like Spam

I am from Minnesota, you know.  Although Hawaiians love it even more.  (It is even on the menu at some restaurants there.)

My favorite way to eat it is fried.

But, as much as I love Hormel's Spam.

I am talking about Spam comments on my blog.

Even though I started having trouble with the Disqus comments a while back and my friends and family couldn't leave me comments, the spammers, apparently didn't have the same issue.

My most frequently spammed post is Math 911.

I don't know why.  I wonder what wording I used that attracted them.

Most of my spam comments I find funny.

Like this one:

"Attractive section of content.  I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.  Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly."

That comment was on my post about Texas! 

Or, how about this one on my Comments post?

"I blog often and genuinely thank you for your content.  The article has really peaked my interest.  I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week."

I am positive that my whining and complaining about my mom not being able to comment on my blog really peaked her interest and good thing she checked back once a week, because there was a lot of new information available on that subject!

Or, how about this one on The One With the Cockroach?

"Youre so cool!  I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before.  So nice to find somebody with original thoughts on this subject.  realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web.  someone with a little originality.  useful job for bringing something new to the internet!"

I really am cool, but I am not sure if I really have "original" thoughts on finding a dead cockroach in my coffee pot in the morning.

I suppose I could ignore those little things and just go check out their website for Uggs or knock off Louis Vitton handbags though, couldn't I?

As long as they aren't creepy, icky Spam comments, I think I am okay with getting them.  They provide good examples of bad grammar for my little students.  It is always good to use real life examples when you teach, right?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Merry Christmas

We had a quiet and subdued Christmas this year.  We didn't travel to any out of state family celebrations this year.  Sad, in  one way.  But, really less stressful in another.

Rainman was actually off work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Almost unheard of in our 17 years together.  The kids and I sort of didn't know what to do with him around all the time.  We have kind of developed our own traditions and flow to our holidays....without him around.  That sounds bad, I know.  We just had to figure out what we could all do together and still be happy.

We went to Christmas Eve services, where 5 of my 6 children were in the live Nativity.  I would show you a picture, but apparently a less stressful Christmas makes me lose my mind a little and forget things like bringing my camera to church with me!  It was cute.  There was even a live Baby Jesus who cried almost the whole time the congregation sang "Silent Night".  The baby could see her mother in the front row....and stared her down with every cry. 

You could almost read her little baby thoughts....

"Why aren't you coming to get me, mom?" 

"Why are you letting these strangely costumed teenagers hold me?"

"Why are all these little kids dressed up like animals just sitting around me....staring?"

"Get up here, woman!"

Here they are before the service in their Christmas finery.

And, I even put on my contacts and extra make-up for the occasion and took a picture with Rainman.
(Honestly, I felt so good about how I looked that I forgot I was still fat.   I sort of felt like the old me again.  Although....see my gangster pinky ring?  That is actually my wedding ring....that I haven't been able to fit into for 3 years now....since the move.  I did have it briefly on my ring finger, but it really, I moved it to my pinky for the night.  Also my shirt was so tight and low cut, I was really happy that my hair has gotten so long that I was able to mask my cleavage for most of the night.)

We came home and had frozen pizza for dinner and watched some Christmas movies.  One of the most interesting ones was The Nativity.  Yes, all the Bible characters had British accents.  Yes, Joseph was portrayed as a blue-eyed blond.  Yes, Mary was a giggly teenage girl who didn't really believe the Angel Gabriel.  Yes, some of the dialogue was given to different people than the Bible said.

But, it was really a good movie.  It really humanized Mary and Joseph and made them out to be....sort of....just like us....with a tremendous calling from God.

To contrast that one, on Christmas morning, we watched The Nativity Story.  This one looked much more realistic in terms of the casting (no blue-eyed blonds) and portrayed Mary and Joseph as poor people, not middle class people like the blue-eyed Nativity from the night before.  This Mary hardly spoke a word.  She just sort of looked off into space with a furrowed brow through much of the film.

Honestly, as unrealistic as it was in so many ways, I enjoyed the Nativity better.

I tried a new crockpot recipe from Pinterest.  I tweaked it a bit and I forgot to put in the dry mustard. But it was really good and it was ready when we got up!  This will definitely become a new tradition.

We opened gifts.  Rainman went to mass.  I made a turkey dinner.  We watched movies and played with new toys and games.


It was a good day.  A very good day. 

I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Pre-Christmas

Here are some of the things we did in preparation for Christmas.

Church Christmas program:  (Caution....bad pictures ahead...I don't know why, but I get the worst, grainy, dark pictures at church....even when I am sitting in the 2nd row)

S-girl as the sheep (2nd from the left) and A-man as the shepherd.  Yes, I realize the irony of their having the evil looking eyes in the celebration of Christ's birth.

L-girl was one of the speaking angels (2nd from the left).

V-girl was a non-speaking angel...

I know many of you moms will understand this next part. 

I had visions of getting really cute pictures of my kids in their costumes after the program.    Because, they looked really cute.  I mean really cute!  I comforted myself with this news after every grainy dark, possessed looking picture that I took during the program.

But, I forgot one little, teeny, tiny, detail.  There is a Christmas cookie extravaganza directly following the program.  My little shepherd, sheep and angels whipped those costumes off and hightailed it to the front of the line.  The little buggers!

I did plop V-girls halo back on her head briefly to get this one:

And I did slow L-girl down enough to get a picture of her....without her costume....

And here is one of S-girl hanging Chrismons ornaments on the tree....oh, well.....

Moving along:

Our town has a Christmas parade.  We have never, ever gone in the 3 years that we have lived here.  It was nothing compared to the Holidazzle we were used to from Minneapolis.  But, let me tell you, there is a lot to be said for a nighttime Christmas parade where it doesn't hurt to breathe and you actually have feeling in your fingers and toes by the end.  Honestly, we wore sweatshirts....not jackets.

The highlight of the parade wasn't this guy, as you would expect.

But, this guy....

Who, if you can see through my dark, grainy shot could do this....

Pop a wheelie on his mower.  There was a whole team of racing lawnmowers racing up and down the streets.

We did go see a sort of grumpy one of these.....

But, above all, we tried to remember that "Jesus is the reason for the season." 

We have spent a lot of time cuddling, baking cookies and watching feel-good Christmas movies (although that hasn't been the same since we lost the Hallmark Channel in our line-up). 

We even went Christmas caroling....which, based on the reaction we kept getting....people don't do anymore....which only leaves me bound and determined to hit more houses next year.  Because, people not Christmas caroling anymore makes me sad.  And, really, when you can carol wearing a t-shirt and jeans....there is no excuse not to do it!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pictures....again....I think....?

Okay....wait a minute....I think this might work.....

("Hair bows" created by A-girl.)

Yup.  We have lift off! 


Alright!  It worked.  I still don't completely understand this whole thing. But, through various blogger friends, I tried multiple things to be able to use pictures in my posts again.  The one that finally worked and I am still not done with is going to and clicking on every single, solitary picture that has magically ended up at that site and reducing the size to 800x600.  I have managed to resize about 100 pictures so far and have about 800 to go. 

I know. 


How do I have that many pictures on there???

So, here is a quick glimpse into our December, so far....then I have to go give the kids their final exams before Christmas break and resize 800 pictures....oh, and wrap gifts and find a time to squeeze in a celebration for D-mans 15th birthday, and clean the house from when I was gone for a week visiting my mom, and catch up on laundry, and watch some of the 23 Christmas movies my babies recorded for me while I was gone with my mom.  You know, the usual.

L-girl got to go ice skating for the first time. 

I know.   In Georgia.  Sad, isn't it?

Pros:  It was really warm. 

Cons:  It was Georgia.  The ice rink was miniscule (like the size of my living room).  It cost $9.00.  There were a lot of unsupervised teens/preteens.  I am fairly certain I saw a 12 year old boy ask a 12 year old girl if she wanted to go smoke a joint while the ice was getting refreshed.  Where are your parents people?!?!?

Since the ice skating cost $9.00 a person.  The rest of us just watched L-girl go round and round on the living room rink.  We found ways to entertain ourselves though.  Right behind the rink is a cute little town that was having its Christmas festival or something, so we wandered the shops while L-girl and her softball team skated.  This railing is, by the way, 2 stories up over a brick pathway, and is the same railing that A-man almost tumbled over because he bet a friend that he could reach out and touch the branches.  I pulled him down by the belt loops (since the top 3/4 of his body was dangling over the railing) and he had to watch the girls skate glued to my side the rest of the night.

This is how our van gets cleaned out.  D-man got the short straw this time around.  He didn't even waste his time getting grocery bags, or even household garbage bags....he just went for the big guns and started tossing!

We had a facial fiasco, a Christmas parade, a trip to Santa and a few other things that I will share after I reduce a few more photos...and take a nap.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Am Trying, But, I Guess....I Am Old.

Do you remember when VCRs first came out. They were so exciting and confused your parents so much?

Do you remember when renting VCRs and movies from the movie store?

It was so exciting when you finally got to buy your own VCR and leave it hooked up all the time.

But, your poor parents, they were confused.  They just handed you the movie and the remote (if you had one) and told you to get it all set up for movie night. 

They couldn't even program the little "12:00" to stop flashing.

You would roll your eyes, and in your snotty, teen way, sort of splutter out how to do it, which channel to turn the T.V. to, and then, which buttons to push on the shiny new remote?

Yeah, me too.

Well, the tables have turned and, I have officially become my parents. 

I am confused by technology.

I thought I had been doing pretty well.  Waaaaay better than Rainman.  So, even though we don't have a lot of recent technology devices around here, I still thought I was keeping up pretty well with things....or that I could dig around and figure stuff out.

I was wrong.

I don't get it.

It is my picture issue.

Remember?  I told you that miraculously thousands of bloggers had used up all their picture memory via Picasa during Thanksgiving week.  Then, I told you I had researched and found a way that I could still add photos through either Photobucket or Flickr?

So, I got up early this morning with the intent of learning both of those programs and uploading my pictures and being back to normal around here.

But, here is the problem that is stumping me.... (and, yes, I am asking for help....I will take a middle aged eye roll and snotty tone if necessary, but my psyche is sort of feeling bruised and fragile right now)....The only pictures that will show up in my Pictures file folder on my computer are the ones I uploaded from my camera, on or before 11/15/12.

I have uploaded since that date and they show up in the Windows Photo Gallery....but not in my Pictures files.  So, I can't seem to figure out how to upload them to any program.

Am I making sense?

My pictures are there on my computer....I can see them....sometimes....but, according to any program that wants me to browse and find photos to upload....nothing exists after 11/15/12.

Help me stop the flashing 12:00....please!  I am about to put a piece of electrical tape over it and call it quits! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still No Pictures...

Okay, I give up.  My pictures don't even show up as an option when I try to attach a picture through Blogger.  The last pictures it shows are ones that I uploaded on November 15th.  All the other pictures I have taken and uploaded show up in my Windows Photo Gallery....but, that it it.

I will have to figure out a new way to load pictures into my blog.  I guess I will have to find time in the Christmas rush to figure out how to use Flickr or Photobucket for my pictures.

Let me go teach some little minds some educational treasures and then I will be back with some pictures of those kids and our Christmas decorations....if I can figure it out.  My friend, Ellie has figured it out.  Go take a look at her cute happy orange picture.

So, hopefully I will be able to. 

Here is hoping you see me back again, soon.