Wednesday, January 31, 2007


So, people have been saying I have to update, or they'll hurt me. Or something like that. So here's how we're doing:

Rosemarie: Pulled up to a very "leany" stand the other day. Isn't crawling on hands and knees, but sure gets around anywhere she wants by scooting. Says "mama," "dada," and maybe a couple other words which I cannot attest to as I haven't heard them myself. Has finally decided she likes eating solids and eats pretty well now.

Roger: Always someone other than himself. Sometimes Superman, sometimes Larry Boy, sometimes Luke Skywalker. Lately has been going around singing "Mango, mango, mango" and songs from the Wiggles Space Dancing movie.

Pauly: Is becoming more and more grown up. He likes to spend time reading his Rocket Readers (which mommy found at the Dollar Tree!) or having them read to him. He won't read to me, but I can tell he's reading to himself. We're also working through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to build his confidence. He's a very sweet, helpful little boy.

Me: I'm officially still under consideration for the Program Coordinator position for the Office of Family Life and NFP. I'm not sure if I'd take the job if offered it, it depends on how flexible the hours would be, if I could find affordable childcare, etc.

Bob: "Graduated" one week ago with the Air Craft Sheet Metal Certification. Has applied at various places and is waiting to hear back. He's staying in contact with his instructor and some classmates so they can encourage each other on their job search. It looks like there's quite a bit available -- it will just be waiting and going through the process of the search.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Worst Leap Pad

The boys were given My First Leap Pad books for Christmas, but Nama didn't realize that the My First Leap Pad and Leap Pad were two different things. My First Leap Pad didn't seem to be in stores anywhere, but I was able to order it through the Leap Frog online store, so Nama took the regular LeapPad back. The kids were very anxious to play with the Wiggles and the Thomas the Tank Engine books. When it finally came, the kids loved it! Roger especially loved the Wiggle book. However, after only about a week and half, the pen stopped working. We had some issues actually getting in contact with customer service, and their computers were down for a couple days, but we finally got the new (free) pen ordered. Without the pen, the Leappad won't work, so it ended up back on the shelf.

Last Thursday or so we got the new pen. Roger was excited that it was a different color (red, instead of yellow), and I was happy that they could play with the LeapPad again and stop fighting over Pauly's Leapster. Roger told me that when this pen stopped working, we should get a blue one. I didn't think we'd need to worry about that. I was a bit worried because sometimes it seemed to not read the pen touch the first time, but I figured I was just paranoid. A couple of hours ago, it stopped working completely. Again. I went through the routine -- plug and unplug the pen, change out the batteries, etc. Nope, same problem as before. The unit will turn on, but won't read the pen.

I called back, and luckily for my sanity, was able to talk to someone right away (I've figured out the "secret code" for actually speaking to a real person). After talking to a customer service rep, who was very nice, we've ordered another new pen, on the off chance that it was just a fluke that both pens were damaged. When, oops I mean "if," the new pen doesn't work or stops working, we'll exchangethe whole Leap Pad. The rep and I talked about going ahead and exchanging it now, but that would have required us to pay postage to send it back. The rep said we have up to a year after purchase to exchange the pad for a new one if there is a technical problem. Maybe the new pen will fix it, but I won't count on it. So now we're back to fighting over the Leapster. : (

I told Roger that he would have to wait to play with it until they sent us the pen, and he said, "Oh Good! I'll get a blue pen!!" I didn't request a specific color pen, so I hope he isn't too disappointed if it is not blue. ; )

By the way Nama, the kids love it and it is perfect for their skill levels, if only the thing would keep working!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Date of Easter

I am looking forward to Easter this year, not only for the usual reasons (You just can't get better liturgy anywhere!) but also because this year, Christians throughout the world will celebrate Easter on the same day. The Catholic (and also any other Western Christian) Easter and Orthodox Easter will both be on April 8. This certainly does not occur every year. Next year the two Easter celebrations will be over a month apart, with the Catholic Easter on March 23 and the Orthodox Easter on April 27. This is due, primarily, to the differing calendars used by the Eastern and Western Churches.

"Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox." (Intrestingly, when I googled for the official definition, the first site I found was The Astronomical Applications Department of the US Naval Observatory.) Things get a bit tricky here, because this isn't the actual equinox, nor the actual full moon, but a legal fiction. The equinox is always defined as March 21st. That's fine we can go along with that, right? And the full moon is defined as the 14th day after the new moon (which I suppose is also mostly a legal fiction). Anywho, there's the date.

I had understood previously that the Eastern Church actually used different rules to calculate Easter, based on the Jewish calendar, but that does not actually seem to be the case. I must have been mixing up the earlier Easter controversy with the current one. In fact, the algorithm is the same: the first sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. However, the Orthodox Church still uses the Julian Calendar for its liturgical celebrations. As the centuries have gone by, since 1582 when the Gregorian calendar was first officially adopted (although not worldwide), the dates between the calendar have gotten more and more off. Moreover, the Orthodox Churches use different algorithms to designate the official vernal equinox, the official full moon, etc. There have been some efforts in the Orthodox Church to revise their calendar to coincide with the Gregorian calendar, but these have been resisted by many, as they are seen as "giving in to Rome."

Anyway, that's what I've been learning about today!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sam is the Yellow Wiggle now

You all know that, and moreover you're unlikely to care. Pauly, apparantly, does care. Today he was coloring a picture we had printed out for the Wiggles Fan Club "Colouring-in Contest." This picture happened to be the same as one I had downloaded previously as a Desktop, except in black-and-white of course, and with one other big difference: Sam was the Yellow Wiggle.

Original Pic

New Pic

Pauly told me that he wanted them to take Sam out and put Greg back in. He told me that he wished that Greg was still in the shows. He seemed quite sad. : (

Most of the graphics on the site have been "fixed," so that the cartoon Greg has been replaced with the cartoon Sam. This commercial for their US tour mentions Sam as the Yellow Wiggle, and doesn't even mention that there has been a change in membership. Greg's bio has been replaced with Sam's. There are only a few things, like the online video and music, that still have Greg.

On another Wiggly note, I thought it was kind of amusing that in their online Alphabet Game, the last letter is "Zed, or if you're in America, Zee"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pauly said today . . .

while looking at the Philadelphia Chickens book:
"How can this say 'Philadelphia' when it starts with a 'P'?" So I explained that P and H together sound like /f/.

So then he said, "This says /ch/ickens and not /k/ickens because C and H together are /ch/."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Me: Pauly, what do you think you'd like to learn about?
Pauly: Well, I know but I'm not going to tell you.

Cream of Lentil Soup

Here's the Cream of Lentil Soup recipe. I'll type what the actual recipe says, then describe what I actually do.

16 oz dried lentils
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced I use about six times as much
1-3 carrots, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped I usually use one third or half of a bunch
3 cups water you will really need more than this
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Soak the lentils overnight in six cups of water. In the morning, drain the lentils and put them in the crockpot with the onion, garlic and celery. Add the 3 cups of water to the crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours; the lentils will be soft and mushy. Turn off the crockpot and stir in the cream. Stir in salt and pepper.

I don't think you really have to soak the lentils, and I'm not sure why it calls to. I've done it both ways (soaked and unsoaked) and it turns out fine. Regardless of whether you soak or not three cups of water is not enough. I think this has to be a misprint in the cookbook, you really need closer to five cups of water. Six is a bit too much, IMO. If I don't have eight hours, I usually cook it on high in the crockpot until it is done then turn it down to low. If you cook it on the stovetop, it should take about an hour or so. You can leave out the cream, and it is still good (but not as good). I always add the salt and pepper before the end of cooking.