Sunday, December 30, 2007

the Cost of Dark Green

We have been hanging around the house all week and a lot of the time the kids have been playing a bunch of games they got as Christmas presents.  My mom and I were drinking coffee in the dining room, when over in the Den a fight broke out.  I tried to figure out what was going on.

Anna told me that PJ and Sam were fighting over which color piece they got to play in the game.

"... and then I told Sam he could have the green piece, but PJ wanted the green piece also.  And then I thought we were okay because there was a dark green piece and a light green piece, but they both wanted the dark green piece."

"So PJ and Sam are fighting about who gets the dark green piece?  PJ why don't you just take the light green piece?"

"No!  I want the dark green piece."  PJ said.

"I want the dark green piece!"  Sam said.  They started fighting again.  I just wanted to leave the room, but they were all looking at me, expecting some kind of solution.

"Okay, PJ, how about I give you a quarter, and then you take the light green piece.  Is that okay with everyone?"

"That's good."  PJ said.

"No!  I want the quarter and the light green piece."  Sam said.  Sam started to do his little tantrum dance, bouncing around on his toes like a nervous horse.

I thought for a second.  Had a heavy sigh.  I sigh a lot in situations like this. "OK. PJ you get the light green piece and a quarter, and Sam you get the dark green piece and fifteen cents.  Is that fair?  Sam?"

"Okay"  Sam said.

"That's okay with me."  PJ said.

And that was it, I was able to resume my coffee.  But I had the last laugh.  I never paid them and they forgot about it.  Ha!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dad day - Dec 24, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
This year, for the third year running, I took my kids out on Christmas Eve day for shopping, a movie, and lots of good old fashioned Christmas yelling.

Anna was nice enough to craft an agenda. Dad was the last one to be ready. First off we went to IHOP, to order, complain about and not eat the food. Well I ate mine. Five minutes after leaving, PJ said "Dad, I'm hungry, can we get something to eat?"

"Why didn't you eat your pancake?"

"I don't like pancakes."

"Why did you order them?"

"I don't know."

Next was shopping for a clock. Do you ever see those angry parents at the mall? I was one of them. Also, as a note to myself, going into a store full of very expensive clocks with your three rambunctious children is a terrible, horribly bad idea. Trust me on this. We ended up getting the clock, though, and proceeded to ye ol' CEC (Chuck E Cheese).

CEC is dead on Christmas eve day, and is possibly one of the least Christmas-ey places around. After that was a movie, and then home. The children had a great time, and dad was a little harried but it worked out for the best and no one got the stomach flue, so I'm pretty happy with the way things worked out.

Dad day - Dec 24, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw

Dad day - Dec 24, 2007


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Dad day - Dec 24, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Great Wolf Lodge 11/21/07


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw

Great Wolf Lodge 11/21/07


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Great Wolf Lodge 11/21/07


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Williamsburg,Va - we went here over Thanksgiving week.

Great Wolf Lodge 11/21/07


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Anna, Sam in Ice Storm 12-15-2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
This weekend we went down to the cow-house, and there was an ice storm Saturday night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BREAKING - Loretta breaks her leg (again)!

I got a call from my brother tonight, telling me that his wife had slipped on the ice and broke her leg. I don't know anything more other than she is at the hospital now, and has been operated on and is in recovery.

Loretta - we down in Virginia all wish you well and our praying for you! Hang in there and be strong!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wasn't I that guy in a thing last year?

Sam kept looking at the nativity scene we had set up in out foyer. After a day or two of staring at it in puzzlement, he told Kathleen, "Hey, didn't I play that 'Jesus dad guy' in that 'thing' last year?"

It was true. He played Joseph in the nativity play put on by his preschool class last year, as a three year old. And a year later, as a four year old, he remembered well enough to relate the image of the nativity, Jesus. Mary, and Joseph and the angels, in a little desktop statue to a play done a year earlier. It is amazing how those little minds work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

That boy is a nut!

After bed, PJ is calling down from the stairs, "Dad!  Dad!"

"What is it!"  I yell back, annoyed.

PJ has his hands stuck down into his pajama bottoms.  "I found a middle nut!"  he tells me.

"WHAT!"  This can't be good.  I am envisioning a trip to the emergency room, or at least a long, awkward talk.

"I found a middle nut!" 

"Come down here and show me what you have."

It is only by the time he has come down the stairs that I determine that he is very excited about the METAL nut he found under his mattress, and is now holding in his hands.  I take it from him and put it with my tools, shaking my head as I walk down the stairs to the basement.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not Age Appropriate

This weekend we addressed a couple of movie issues with the little kids. While I know what the movie ratings are and what they mean, there are a couple of tricky issues that you run into while considering them.

"Trasformers", the recent big budget action movie based on the inexplicably popular robotic toys, is one good example. Its a spectacle of a movie, and the special effects are astonishing. But there are a lot of locker room jokes that give the movie a PG-13 rating. Mostly I think this was a marketing tool to get all the kids who are not quite old enough to get into PG-13 movies more interested. PJ, of course, had already seen the movie at a friends house, ignored all the pottie humor, and spent the two hours explaining to me who all of the autobots and decepticons were. I don't think he even noticed the human actors. He just wanted to see these cool robots change shape. I needn't have worried about Sam either. He just got on the couch, made himself comfortable, and promptly fell asleep.

Later, after the kids got a bath, Kathleen and I were sitting in our bed when one of Kathleen's all time favorite movies of all time came on. Yes, "Pretty Woman." Anna is sitting on the floor doing something, Sam is now asleep in his room, and PJ is flopping around in the bathroom like an oversize carp. I say to Kathleen in a whisper, "Are you sure this is age appropriate?"

Kathleen waves her arm at me. "Its just Pretty Woman, besides, its been edited for TV."

A few minutes later, we get to a scene where there was nothing graphic, but there was very strong implication of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere doing, well, certain things together. "Uhhh, Kathleen, I'm not sure if this is..." I started to say. Kathleen grabbed for the remote control.

"This isn't age appropriate, is it?" Anna said, being helpful. Kathleen switched the channel. "Oh, I had put a towel on my head, but that works, too."

Just then Sam woke up and came down the hall towards us, screaming like a buzz saw. We invited him up into bed with us. He crawled in next to his mom and screamed at her. Anna was next and she got into bed with us, in between Kathleen and I. I went to check on PJ, and found him in the bathroom, with his underwear stuck around his ankles, sitting on the floor and shivering. He had gotten stuck. I helped him put his pajamas on, and then he followed me back into bed.

We sat there for just a few minutes, and I couldn't help but think what a special moment this was. I tried not to dwell on the fact that we were watching a movie about a businessman who falls in love with a hooker. But the kids are getting older, and soon we won't have moments like this anymore.

"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm just not into it - Nov 7, 2007

My mom came down to visit on Friday, which is always a fun time. She showed up Friday afternoon, and my wife immediately left town. Ha! Just kidding. Not quite immediately, but the following morning, Kathleen and Anna took off to go to some Girl Scout camping trip. I could never get her to go camping, but when the Girl Scouts calls, suddenly she becomes Davy Crocket, and starts putting on my clothing and cheerfully heading out the door with my Flannel Shirt, my fleece jacket, my backpack, sleeping bags and all the other gear. Go figure.

So Saturday morning Mom and I took PJ and Sam to his soccer practice. Its a beautiful day, although the fall weather is finally starting to hit us. We get to the soccer field and Sam runs off to join his team, the "the mini strikers." PJ disappears under a tree with his gameboy, huddled up against the glowing screen for warmth. Suddenly the coach is asking for volunteers. I stand up, and he say s to me, "OK, we're just going to do the same as every week, ok? Just take these six kids over to this field and they'll do the rest."

"Like last week?" I am thinking to myself, "you mean when Kathleen took Sam?" So I go over to the field and wing it. Basically, you throw a soccer ball at a bunch of four year olds and they swarm over it, like goldfish after a cheerio. Then they kick the ball around the field until it eventually kick it out of bounds, at which point you tell them, "new ball!" and throw another ball in the field. Then you go chase down the old ball, which by now has rolled down into some gulley somewhere, and repeat the process.

I notice that Sam is over by my mom, standing next to her. He looks upset. I run over there. I am getting a lot of running in today. "Sam, they need you out on the field." I say to him, thinking to myself, "If you are gonna just sit here why am I out there chasing around soccer balls?".

"I don't want to."

"Why don't you want to play, Sam?"

"I'm just not into it?"

What? He's just not into it? "What do you mean, Sam."

"I'm just not into it."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Anna was a scary vampire for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!


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PJ wanted to be the Cheese!

Happy Halloween!


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For Halloween, Sam wanted to be a mouse...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I am sorry for my lack of postings. I know I have just been terrible about posting new stories up here. It is not for a lack of funny moments. The things that happen, they happen have sort of a half life, and the longer you wait before you commit them to pen and paper (or bytes and electrons in this case) the harder it is to vividly recall them. So many funny things, so many cute moments, always happening around me.


PJ missed the tooth faerie last Monday night. We explained to him the next day, "Sometimes, when a boy or girl stays up too late, the tooth faerie won't come in. PJ was very worried, but he happened to ask Anna if this had ever happened to her. "Oh, yeah," Anna said, "the tooth faerie missed me a bunch of times."

"What happened?"

"I just left it under my pillow, the tooth faerie usually comes the next day."

"Okay." PJ was very relieved. I also was able to substantiate the fact that we have a very unreliable tooth faerie in this household.

Anna and I go to "High School Musical... on Ice!" tonight. It is somewhat bizarre how modern youngsters have become so enamored with the HSM mythology. I don't get it. Maybe its just that they had never seen or heard of a musical before, and HSM was just jumping up to fill the void. A friend of mine was complaining that his daughter wanted to be Gabriella for

I watched Sam play soccer on Saturday. The kids ran around kicking the soccer ball. It hardly ever went in the goal. Instead, the crowd of 5 year olds jsut swarmed around the ball until someone kicked it off in some random directions, and then the coach would just produce another and throw it into the swarm and tell them to keep playing. The kids had a ball! I don't even think they noticed the score, if there was one.

I have been yelling up a lot lately. Mostly things like. "Put on your shoes, we have to leave." Then, "Please put on your shoes." Then, later still, "PUT ON YOUR SHOES NOW!"

"All right, all right, if you would just ask me nicely I would do it. Why do you have to yell all the time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dana and the Cholocolate Chips

Question: How many chocolate chip cookies can a mixed breed 70 pound Lab/Golden Retriever safely eat?

Answer: At least eighteen.

Kathleen made the mistake of leaving the tempting treats out on the counter top while she ran some errands this evening. Luckily the chocolate in the cookies wasn't enough to make our voracious moocher of a dog sick.

Monday, October 15, 2007

PJ is a cub scout!


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Last Thursday we went to our first Den meeting! Very exciting stuff.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

ADDED A WIDGET

I have removed the Simpsons movie widget from the right hand side of the blog and replaced it with a widget promoting Wes Anderson's (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) new movie The Darjeeling Limited. Have not seen this movie, but I love the older ones, and I am really like his inclusion of The Kink's "Lola vs. Powerman" tracks. All good stuff.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

ACTIVITIES

Now that school has been back in session for a month now we have all gotten back to our hobbies.  Each of our children has there own special activity.  PJ has Tae Kwon Do, and the awesome Master Jay who can actually engage PJ in something that doesn't involve pixels.  Anna has nominated herself to be soulmate and kindred spirit for our new dog Dana.  Dana sleeps under Anna's bed.  When you stick your head in her room you just sees a nose sticking out and here the "THUMP THUMP THUMP" of her tail banging on the underside of the bed.  And Dana likes Anna way more than either Kath or I, who in her eyes are just "big scary people who take me to the vet."  And Sam has started Soccer.  He is so cute in his shin guards and cleats.  When Sam gets back from Soccer, I always ask him how it was.  "Awesome!" he says.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sampson State Park - Labor Day 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Here are the kids again, huddled around the gameboy. (Do you seem a common theme?)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sampson State Park - Labor Day 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
PJ, Sam, and cousin Andrew share in on gameboy fun on the deck of Wagner's vineyard, while the parents are off getting soused in the background somewhere.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dana! Welcome to the family!


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Dana is a 60 pound golden retriever-labrador and she is just as sweet as a bag of sugar. She likes to sleep in the little nook under PJ's bed.

Welcome Dana!


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
We signed the papers on Dana last night, and now we are dog.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chores, School, Morninngs

Now that school is in full swing, Kathleen has the wonderful job of getting two children ready for school every day. But once they get on the bus they are gone daddy gone gone away for the whole day and life is beaufitul. As is my custom, I tried to lend a hand by creating a spreadsheet.

Now, every morning, every child is responsible for the following:

Getting out of bed.
Getting dressed for school.
Getting breakfast.
Getting on the Bus.

and at bed time each child is responsible for the following:

Getting into pajamas.
Brushing your teeth.
Getting into bed.
Staying in bed.

Each item has a row, and each day has a column, with a new spreadsheet for each child. Sam gets a spreadsheet even though he doesn't go to real school yet, and he is usually the first one awake, trotting into our room at 6AM and saying "GOOD MORNING" as he jumps into bed and starts bugging us. Our own real live action alarm clock.

Every day that a child gets all for morning boxes checked, he gets a quarter in allowance at the end of the week. Likewise, for every four evening boxes you get a quarter. No partial credit. Anna wanted to get 6 cents a box, but I insisted on paying off only a 100% successful morning or evening.

I have noticed a pattern, though, over the past few days. There is a line of X's in the "Get out of Bed" row on Anna's spreadsheet. She doesn't do mornings well. Usually when you try to wake her up she just hisses at you like a cat. Eventually she might say something like "GO AWAY" usually punctuated with a loud, nasal, 'WAHH, before, after, or instead of actual words.

PJ, in a surprise, has been doing morninngs really well. It was a surprise because he is the one who would normally sleep in until 11AM if you let him. But PJ gets a row of X's in the "Stay in bed." PJ seems to be confronted with a great many of difficult questions that only strike him five minutes after bedtime. Questions like, "uh, dad, can I get a drink of water?" (Yes, PJ,. the cup is in the bathroom, same as yesterday.) "uh, dad, can I have a piece of buttered bread?" (no) "could you fluff my pillow" (mostly I do) or he just plays with Sam some impossibly noisy game.

So Anna is addicted to bed and PJ is allergic to it. And Sam is neither.what about Sam? He just causes trouble to make up for it. He twisted PJ's sneakers and thought he broke them this morning. I fixed them and said to Sam, "Yeah! I fixed PJ's shoes! You didn't break them after all."

"Boo daddy!" Sam said, he was mad at me.

"Boo daddy?"

"Boo daddy"

"Why boo daddy"

"Because I wanted to break them." Sam said.

"But Sam, you don't want to break things, thats not nice."

"Daddy, the golden rule says that you do unto others as they do to you. PJ was mean to me and so I broke his sneakers." He looks at me like I am being slow, someone too dumb to understand his bullet proof logic.

Kathleen later pointed out to me later that this is actually more of "an eye for an eye" than the golden rule, but at the time I didn't know what to say to him, so instead I just fled the scene and left for work.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dutch Wonderland - August 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
You can see PJ and Sam in the two rightmost seats. If you are a six year old kid, believe me, this place is the shiznits.

Dutch Wonderland - August 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sam has a plan....

Overheard in the minivan a few days ago.

"Sam, what are you doing?"

"Nothing."

"Sam, please put that down." He was holding something, I can't
remember what it was exactly.

"But my plan was brilliant!" Sam said.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Notes from the Dog Days

Not much going on here today. Kathleen is sleeping in, we are taking
it easy for a change. A week ago I was in Vegas for training, and
then I caught the red-eye flight to Dulles, hopped in my car at 7AM,
and drove out to Bethany beach, going for 36 hours without sleep in
the process.

Mike and Loretta and kids were at the beach house, and we all hung out
and went crabbing and went to the beach. Ed and Rita were nice enough
to put up with the lot of us. It was a blast, but after so much
traveling it was nice to get back home.

Summer is almost over! We are anxiously awaiting having two children
in full day school, and to kicking back a little bit. Next up:
Sampson State park for Labor day weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Congratulations Ryan James Novak 7/28/07

Hello everyone! Jeesh-- it has been like a month since my last post! Too much (or maybe too little) going on this summer.

I wanted to give a quick shout out to my cousin Rachael and husband Matt who decided to have a baby boy back on July 28th. Rather than mess around with all those teeny little baby clothes, Rachael decided to have a three month old!

Ryan was 6:52 on 7/28/07. The buckaroo weighed 9 lbs. 9 oz and is 22 inches long. Here's a photo of Ryan with his parents and the grandparents Ron and Nancy. Its about time you two - now welcome to parenthood!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Beaver House -- North Creek, NY


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Mike's truck, with Gore Mountain off in the distance.

Beaver House -- North Creek, NY


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Our new cabin in the woods!

Beaver Pond -- North Creek, NY


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
This is our new Beaver Pond, on the 18 acre family parcel we picked up near North Creek.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Maggie Connor: September 18, 2006 - July 11, 2007

Our very good friends Neil and Karen lost their nine month old daughter Wednesday night to a combination of illnesses. Our prayers go out to Maggie's parents now, as Maggie is at home in heaven and no longer suffering.

I wish that I should be able to muster up a fraction of the faith and resolve my friends have shown these past months, should I ever be faced with such difficult circumstances.

Maggie's story can be found on her blog.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Back from Vacation!


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
We just got back from a long long drive from Schroon lake to Virginia, and boy are we all tired! What a great vacation. I will post more tomorrow, but for now, who's head is that buried in the sand?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Anna, playing with Dustin (in the dirt of course).

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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PJ and our neighbors iguana.

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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dinner time

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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PJ runs across the atlantic

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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Arrgh!

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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Helmeted and ready for battle, the Shaw boys invaded Fort Jamestown.

camping in jamestown June 23rd, 2007


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Oh my, the boys did get all dirty at the campground.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bedtime for Sam


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Bed time for the Peej


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Pancakes

I am cooking breakfast for Sam this morning, (yeah, I know it's father's day, go figure) or brunch, as he specifically asked for.  Kathleen is out doing her weekly grocery shop.  Sam tells me that he wants Pancakes and a Grilled Cheese sandwich.  I guess he figures that Brunch is just Breakfast + Lunch, which sort of makes sense.  But this provokes a fight.  I actually call I don't want to give Sam his cheese sandwhich until he finishes the pancakes.  Sam wants them both at once.  Eventually, he concedes the pancakes first, and I serve them up.  But he wants them cut up.  Which I do.

"No, I want them cut up into squares!"  Sam says.  Clearly, I am doing this all wrong.

"But I cut them into pieces."  I say.

"I want them cut into squares."

"Sam, I tell you what.  I will write Mom a letter and tell her that I apologize for cutting up Sam's pancakes wrong.  Will that be ok?"

"What will it say?"

"What will what say?"

"The letter."

"You want me to tell you what the letter to mom will say?"

"Yes."

"It will say Dear Mom,  I am truly sorry for cutting up the pancakes of our beloved youngest child in a way that was not to his liking.  Love Dad"

Big pause.  "Ok."  Sam starts eating his pancakes, finally.

Anna is very stoked up about her Webkins, which is a stuffed animal linked to a virtual Pet that you can nourish and play with and buy things for.  Of course this takes points.  You can make the points by playing little games.  I here her telling a friend, "I just get PJ to play those games for me, he's a lot better at it than I am.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kathleen and Anna go to New York

The other side to the manly weekend back home in virginia we just had was a womanly time up in New York.  My cousin Rachael was having a baby shower, and Kathleen and Anna got to fly up for a treat, and take the train back down.  They had a ball, although the train ride back was, in my wife's words, "long".

Saturday, June 09, 2007

MEN MEN MEN MEN

Kathleen and Anna flew up to New York for my cousin's baby shower, leaving PJ and Sam home here with dad for a manly weekend.  Manly meaning mostly junk food and video games.  That's my plan anyway, I'm not sure what the kids are going to do.  :^)

Also, a quick shout out to another cousin Sarah, who has a blog now, at Suarez News
While I am at it, another cousin Ron who has a bunch of cool photos up at Rons Room

And, now I must return to my junk food and video games.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anna's Room June 5th, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Anna's room, in its usual state of disarray

Monday, June 04, 2007

a Weekend at home

Friday night Anna had her 'bridging' ceremony, where she and the troop made the jump from Brownies to Juniors.  Queenie, aka Kathleen puts a lot of work into her Girl Scouting, so this was yer another occasion for to showcase her organizational talent.  The brothers were not in attendance; they were staying with a neighbor.

When I went to pick them up, Sam was gone.  He showed up minutes later.  I asked him, "Sam! where did you go?"

"I went to our house because I missed mom.  But she wasn't there so I came back."  This is about 2 blocks away.

"You went home?"  I asked.  Nothing Sam does should surprise me anymore, but he still manages.

"Uh-huh."  He shrugged his shoulders.  I talked to him about it for a while.

PJ was enjoying the fact that I was around all weekend.  He would frequently come up to me and mumble.  "Uh, dad?"

"Yes PJ?"

"What are you doing?"

"I am working on our finances for the apartment building.  Why?"

"Uh, well, I was wondering if when you were done with working on the finances for the compartment building you could" his voice dropped into low voice that sounded like Eyore "something something."

"You want me to what?"

"I was wondering if you would, " I was listening closely now, "play Oblivion with me."  Oblivion is one of my Dungeons and Dragons type games that I usually only let him play when I am there.

"Ok, PJ."

"Great!"  His eyes light up with a smile.  I go back to work.   He is just standing there, looking at me, expectantly.

"PJ"

"Yeah?"

"As soon as I am finished here, OK?"

His voice shifts back into a mumble.  "Yeah."  PJ shuffles downstairs, but later on we do get to play Oblivion, and it was Awesome!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Mike and Kristy brought the bouncey tent. Miraculously, it didn't blow away, no one was hurt, and the children didn't destroy it. These things are tough!

Memorial Day 2007


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Mike standing next to the grill and his wife; the two great loves of his life!

Memorial Day 2007


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Here Rich demonstrates the finer arts of making a Baccardi cocktail.

Memorial Day 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Front: Richard and Tommy play on the floor while the strange, headless grownups get something to eat.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Little Orphan Sammie

Sam said to me this morning, "You are my second family!"

"You're second family, what happened to the first one?"

"They were killed by skeletons." He said, and looked sad for a second. Then he ran off.

Monday, May 07, 2007

weekend fun

Worked on the trailer on Saturday, putting some epoxy on the rotten boards in the back of the trailer.  Of course it started to rain.  Otherwise a pretty relaxed weekend.
 
Another non-free shout out to Mark MacGregor, another old friend signing my guestbook.  Lets keep those checks coming!
 

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

not much happening here...

sam decided to take a sharpie and 'decorate' my truck, god bless him. 
 
Anna is planning a garage sale.  She has also formed a band and wants to charge the neighbors to see her in concert.
 
PJ has been steadily growing better at Tai Kwon Do.
 
I have been playing poker, reading about poker, and thinking about poker.
 
Kathleen has been knitting, reading about knitting, and thinking about knitting.
 
Our coonversations frequently go something like this.
 
"I have been thinking a lot about how to improve my heads-up hold'em play."  I say.
 
"Yeah?  Do you think this hat I am knitting needs a brim?"  Kathleen responds.
 
"Maybe, but I wonder if I'd be better off reading about heads-up or practicing."
 
"I think it doesn't need a brim, let me see if it fits you."
 
"Wow the hat feels good.  I just don't think I am aggressive enough when it gets down to the final two."
 
"The hat will shrink a little when I am done.  It will fit better then."
 
"You think I am aggressive enough"
 
"Yeah, do you like the hat?"
 
"Yeah."
 
"OK."
 
"See ya."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

sitting around a campfire


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
a couple fo weks ago (4/14/2007) we went camping up near Harrisburg, PA. From left to right: Dustin, Abigail, Anna, Sam, Alec, and PJ. The wee little elves devoured marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers for many hours before finally, reluctantly, going to bed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Children playing in large earthen pile


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
Well, what could be more fun than playing in a big mound of dirt. Actually in this case, it was a pile of allergen ridden cement and sand, so get those inhalers ready!

Kids playing in a pipe


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
Well, if there's one thing kids like better than playing in a big old pile of dirt, its gathering together in a large industrial cement pipe.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hi Kevin!

Kevin Heck, and old friend of mine from High School, recently signed my guestbook. Always good to hear from an old friend. Now, I don't know how this works, but seeing as he was asking for a 'Shout Out', which I am now providing, I think he is indebted to me in some way. I came up with the following estimate: Since I buy most of stuff on ebay now, I estimated shipping at roughly three times the purchase price.
1 Shout Out.......... $2.56
S&H..................... $7.78
Total....................$10.24
PS-Hey Kevin! Just mail me a check would ya?
PPS-Anybody else want a shout out? The store is now open!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Girl Scout dance 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
This past year. in March, I took Anna to the Father Daughter girl scout dance. The theme was Mardi-Gra. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

you little devil


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.

Sam has been busy lately. He keeps taking things. For one thing, he keeps grabbing the trrackball out of the computer in the front office. This is really annoying. He then hides it somewhere, and forgets where it is. So I can either go looking throughout the entire house for a 1" red ball, or go buy a mouse.

He likes to push buttons. Anytime he wanders into into the computer room, he turns all of the computers off, and starts pushing buttons on the fax/copy/print/scanner until something *interesting* happens, whatever that may be.

He and PJ snuck down to the basement the other day to dneak some ice cream. Sam decided that the dial was too inviting. So he gave it a good twist. All the way from COLD to OFF. Hours later, I walk by the freezer and think to myself, "that's odd, I don't remember that large puddle of melted ice cream being there." That kid can really test your patience.

UPDATE: My wife has reminded me of something I left off. Sam has, twice, over the past few weeks, called 911, including once when the police actually showed up! He likes talking to people on the phone, and its an easy number to remember. Question: does anyone know of some way to have your phone BLOCK calling 911? (just kidding of course).

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Weekend Approaches, and the Circus is in town.

The kids all went to the Circus Wednesday night.  They are lucky enough to have a grandmother who feels she was deprived of Circus fun as a child, and is not determined that her grandchildren will not want when it comes to all things Circus-ey.
 
This includes overpriced spinning flashing toys, junk food, the works.  My kids are lucky.  And, to a lesser degree, I am lucky.  Lucky that I got to hang out in the Eight Ball Cafe and play in a poker tournament while my children were watching the elephants, clowns, and acrobats.
 
PJ paid the price though, as did we, when he woke us up in the middle of night, throwing up cotton candy and popcorn in his bed. 
 
I asked Kathleen how the Circus was.  "Ehh," she said and made and indifferent gesture, "it was okay."
 
A few minutes later though, Anna came running down the stairs and ran up to me and said, "Dad!  The circus was really, really awesome!"  Kids just love the circus.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sam tells it like it is

(Sorry for the long delay in posting.  No real reason, just lazyness.  -ed)
 
Sam was eating dinner the other night.  He was slurping down a big bowl of spaghetti.
 
"Sam, are those good noodles you are eating?."  I asked, having fun with him.
 
"Yes" he said, and continued eating.
 
"But," I said, teasing him, "are you full of noodles, or are you full of beans?"
 
"I'm full of noodles."  He said, barely looking up frmo his bowl.
 
"No, I think you are full of beans." I said and smiled at him, laughing at my own joke. 
 
"NO! I AM FULL OF NOODLES,"  Sam barked at me, then added, "YOU IDIOT!"
 
Kathleened chimed in and berated Sam in a stern voice for the use of 'idiot', a word we don't let our children use, even when their parents are being particularly obtuse.  I sat there and kept my hand over my face and tried to keep from laughing.
 

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Sam-isms March 15th, 2007

While we were on vacation, Sam was found hiding in Anna's room by himself, sitting in her pink butterfly chair. "What are you doing, Sam?" he was aske.

"I am king Sam" he declared.

Today, at dinner, Sam was complaining about the potatoes and how he didn't want to eat them. I look at him, half seriously. "Talk to the hand, Sammy" and I held out my hand in front of him, defiantly.

Sam looked at my hand and smiled. "Hello hand" he said, and then he started laughing.

This morning, Sam was mad and said to Kathleen, "Mommy, if you make me mad at you one more time," he paused and took his forefinger and drew it sideways across his neck, making a "phhhhhht" noise.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A quick shout out!

... to my mom and my wife's mom, Ellie and Rita.  They came, they staid with our children and watched them, and now they are gone.  Without this wonderful help we couldn't really vacation-- we would have to bring the little darlings with us, and well, it would be nice, but it wouldn't be an adult kind of lets-get-drink-pena-colladas-on-the-beach type vacation, and that is what we needed most.  A chance to have conversation, to sleep in, and to not spend every waking moment in the care and feeding of those small and needy creatures. Anyway, thanks a bunch!

we're back! Mar 11th, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
We just got back late Saturday night, after a horrible flight home. Of course, the children were so glad to see us they rewarded us with one full week of pent up whining and fit throwing. Back home! Yeah!

This is a photo I took from the sunset bar, which is on a beach in St. Martin directly under the airport landing path. Sometimes people hold the chain link fence and they can feel the last of the jet engine against them. For some reason, I felt no earthly desire to attempt this.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Last full day at St. Martin

Tomorrow we fly home.  Aww, shucks, and we were just getting the hang of things.  Today I go with Rob and check out the Lottery Farm, which is this cool place in the interior of the island where you can ride zip lines and climb trees.  Kathleen remains faithfully at the Pirate bar worshipping the sun and relaxing. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cheesburger in Paradise March 7th, 2007

If you ever travel to the Carribean, i highly reccomend that you check out St. Martin. If you do check out St. Martin, I highly reccomend you check out Orient Beach. And finally, if you do check out Orient Beach, I most highly reccomend that you check out the Pirate bar. The beers are cheap, the food simple and good, and the people working there are exceedingly friendly. Kathleen has made it her business to become a fixture there this week. I am more restless, today I am wandering around the crowded town of Phillipsburg. There are five large cruise ships in town today, and the town is flooded with people. They are like Anchovies. They travel in swarms, and they both arrive and leave suddenly. Still, it is a cute old town. The week is half way over, sigh. Today we meet our friends Rob and Tina, who are arriving and leaving a little bit later than us, leaving us with a three day overlap to hang out.

Monday, March 05, 2007

St Martin Day two

I broke down and rented a car today. It is a vice of mine. I love bombing around the twisty, hilly , island roads in some tiny clunker of a rental car. Kathleen had a massage and spent the day resting under the sun.

St. Martin is a beautiful island, but it is frequently marred by overdevelopment. Vars are everywhere, and traffic is horrendous. Also, they seem to be building new hotels rather than fixing up the older ones. These complaints mostly apply to the dutch side of the island, and thankfully we are staying on the french side, so we avoid most of the commotion. Ahhh, vacations are blissful. Peace. :^)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Greetings from St. Martin

Hello! I am typing this from the lobby of the La Plantation hotel kin beautiful St. Martin in the caribbean. The grandmothers have our children in Leesburg, and Kathleen and I are enjuoying some sun and recreation. Bliss! The weather is wonderful here, and the coffee is good and the beer is relatively inexpensive. I will write more later, I am currently pressed for time, I am trying to squeeze in ten or twelve more hours of sitting on butt here, and there are only so many hours in the day. Current book I am reading: Cell, by Stephen King,.

Friday, February 23, 2007

From the SammyCam: February 23rd, 2007


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Originally uploaded by peteshaw.
Grandparents gave sam a wonderful fisher price camera for Christmas, which Sam has taken hundreds of photos with. Unfortunately, he deletes most of them as soon as he takes them. I managed to scavenge a few up and I'll be occasionally posting them as "Photos from the SammyCam".