Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Well, I see it's been a while since I wrote anything here. Pretty pathetic given the amount of time I spend writing.  I've no good excuse, save for the inability to post (edit... print...) photos for the last ten months.  But, new computer in hand (or lap, as the case may be) I am starting fresh this New Year.

I'd edit this photo, but it perfectly shows our Christmas morning - a small girl, jumping up and down, shouting "Presents!  We got Christmas presents!!"  And yes, there was daylight at 8:00, but we live very far north and it was raining.  Just for the record - whose kids get up at 8:00 on Christmas morning?!!  I was watching the clock for over an hour before anyone appeared.

Now it is New Year's Day 2013.  The Badgers are losing the Rose Bowl, but the children are playing nicely together (my Christmas wish fulfilled?) and there is a pot of wonderful smelling lentil soup simmering away in my kitchen.  After dinner, we'll curl up before the fire - very welcome on this sunny but frigid day - with our favorite pursuits; a book for me, a truck for Reg and the other three obsessing over some zombie vegetable game on the Kindle (don't know - don't want to.)

Here's hoping this lonely little blog will get some love this year.  A happy new year to you all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And So It Begins...

We finished breakfast early this morning and were left with thirty or so minutes to fill before departing for school.  The children were their usual obnoxious energetic selves so I knew intervention would be necessary or chaos would ensue.  Rather than turning on the TV, I went to the book case and selected a book with thousands of words and only a dozen or so pictures.  I then sat on the sofa beside Ted and opened it to page one...

"The Boy Who Lived."

Within minutes the other two had crowded around us, listening intently (or as intently as possible when you're three.)  When I came to the end of the chapter I asked Ted what he thought.

"I like it.  When we finish reading it can we watch the movie together?"

Yes, my son.  Yes we can.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mid-Week Musings III

Outside my window: Sunshine!!!

What I'm thinking about: How whenever one part of life starts improving another goes to pieces. (One kid enjoying school, another starts acting out; all kids healthy, I get a cold; etc.)

On my nightstand: The Forsyte Saga (Galsworthy), Jane Eyre (Bronte)

Music of my day: Theme to X-Men First Class.

Around the house: Decorating for Valentine's Day.

I'm wishing: That removing the batteries from the kid's toys wouldn't create a bigger problem than it solves.

I'm grateful for: Netflix.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mid-Week Musings II

Outside my window: A fine, misty rain, slowly petering out from this morning's downpour.

What I'm thinking about:  How much I'm enjoying watching Monarch of the Glen.

On my nightstand: The Lies That Bind (Carlisle), The Graveyard Book (Gaiman)

Music of my day:  The infernal chatter of our new Thomas the Train.

Around the house:  Laundry, mending jeans, clearing ash from the fireplace (glamorous life, I know.)

I'm wishing: I could decide how to cook the boneless leg of lamb waiting in my refrigerator.  Greek, with lemon and garlic?  English, with mint sauce?  Moroccan, with tangerines and warm spices?

I'm grateful for: The single serving of spinach lasagna I found in my freezer which saved me from (yet another) bowl of cereal for lunch.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ten Things I Learned Last Week

10.  We have the most awesome, adorable families in the Midwest. Possibly the world.

9.  We earned approximately 57 free drinks for shopping (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at Starbucks because it's the one place our kids are guaranteed to eat something.

8.  Our children take the phrase "Make yourselves at home" quite literally. Thank you Beth & Amy, providers of toys. And wine.

7.  Each and every birthday should be celebrated as the joyous event it is, be it with a catered event for friends and family or a bunch of strangers on a plane shouting "Happy Birthday, Guy in Seat 40D!!"

6.  A child who wakes puking at 3AM will not make a good travelling companion at 3PM.

5.  Always bring a grandparent when taking three kids to an unfamiliar museum.  Or a familiar one for that matter. Thank you, Skip & Renee.  We couldn't - and wouldn't - have done it without you.

4.  As I've been saying for months (years?), airport travel with three small children at the holidays is indeed the Fifth Circle of Hell.  (See Dante's Inferno, Personal Appendices.)  Portable Entertainment Devices - Don't travel without them.

3.  Five glasses of wine is no substitute for one Ambien.  Just sayin'.

2.  Living in Oregon for the last decade, there have been three things we missed about the Midwest: family, friends and food. We are now satisfied. Thank you, "Christmas Eve Dinner", Portillo's, Uno's, Vienna Beef Hot Dogs and Michael's Custard.


It was a wonderful, exhausting, sentimental trip of a lifetime half-decade.  One we'll never forget, filled with people and places we may never see again.  One that fulfilled all our expectations.  One we're not repeating any time soon...

Thank you all for supporting the Griswold Benson Family Vacation: Gloria, Renee, Kent, Neal, Mindy, Aubrey, Melissa, Joan, Roy, Kris, Merna, Kim, Beth, Grace, Hayden, Logan, Lyla, Amy, Justin, Ana, Taylor, Angie, Cole, Hudson, Bill, Barb, Christie, Tim, Maia, Jake, and Skip.

Also thanks to OMSI - you saved us approximately $160 in museum entry fees, Starbucks - for feeding Cassie, "Sue" - for finally allowing Ted to see a real T-Rex, and Mother Nature for allowing us to visit snow without having to drive in snow.

Photos to follow just as soon as I have the energy to upload the 6 bazillion pictures from my camera.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with this parting morsel of travel knowledge:

Children do not understand time zones.

Reggie was up at four this morning.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mid-Week Musings I

Outside My Window: Chickadees are searching the undergrowth for food.

I'm Thinking About: How much my children still love Curious George.

What's Cooking: French Toast for lunch and Turkey a la King for dinner.

On My Nightstand:  All the Pretty Hearses (Daheim) and The Barker Street Regulars (Conant).

Music of My Day:  Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Albums.

Around the House: Re-trimming tiny Christmas trees and hanging fresh garland outside.

I'm Wishing:  I could knit when my children are around (they have a cat-like attraction to yarn & needles.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pickin'

Snaggletooth is too afraid to go down the hill.
Strike a pose!
I love haybales.
And posing for the camera.
Yes, I do need a haircut. Why do you ask?
How much for the little brown pumpkin butt?