Friday, May 30, 2008

Because I'm really not THAT sarcastic

Remember this post?

Today, my Aunt emailed this to me.

The Zen of Sarcasm~

01. Do not walk behind me, for I may
not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not
follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty
much leave me the heck alone.

02. The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a broken fan belt, and a leaky tire.

03. Its always darkest before dawn.
So if you're going to steal your neighbor's
newspaper, that's the time to do it.

04. Don't be irreplaceable. If you
can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

05. Always remember that you're
unique. Just like everyone else.

06. Never test the depth of the
water with both feet.

07. If you think nobody cares if
you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

08. Before you criticize someone,
you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way,
when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you
have their shoes.

09. If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will
eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will
sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and
never see that person again, it was probably a wise

12. If you tell the truth, you don't
have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some
days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you
get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your
money is to fold it in half and put it back in your

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'.
It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds
the universe together.

18. There are two theories to
arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't
learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you
don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut

22. Never, under any circumstances,
take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Not a sarcastic bone in my body

My husband sent this to me.

Do you think he's trying to tell me something?

(you may want to click on the image to get a larger view)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Attempting to cook (and other disasters)

Today was our fourth day off track from school. The weather outside was very cold and rainy, and I decided that since the fighting was beginning to escalate, we needed an activity to build family unity.
I had this idea that we should make some bread. I had planned on making chili for dinner, and I thought that fresh bread be great with chili.
Now, just to preface this, I have never made bread before.



I remembered buying some yeast and wheat flour not too long ago, and so I got online and googled recipes for wheat bread.
Every recipe I found required honey.
We don't have any honey.
I suppose that I could have (in theory) gone to the store and bought some honey, but that would have required me to actually change into something other than my old comfy sweats and possibly comb my hair and put on some make up. Quite frankly, I just didn't have it in me to do those things.


Did you just call me lazy?

Hey! I'm about to make bread! Isn't that enough for you people?!?!

Anyway, I continue looking for a recipe, and find one that says that it's easy. It didn't require kneading.
I knew this was the one!
I took it into the kitchen, and asked the kids if they would like to make some bread today.

They cheered!

(well, okay, not really, but they did express some interest in the activity.)

CJ got out my mixer, Brielle, got out the brown sugar, and Aaron got out the flour. Isn't it so nice how my kids are always so eager to help?

The recipe called for both white and wheat flour, but alas, when I looked in the cannister of white flour, there was only about 1/2 cup left.
"No problem" I thought "I know there is a brand new bag of flour in the kitchen closet."

I went to the kitchen closet, and became very frustrated. It was a mess. Apparently, when I gave the children things to put away in the closet, instead of hearing me say "Please put this AWAY in the closet, and PLEASE be sure to put it on the shelf." They heard "Toss it in the closet." and later, "Toss it on the pile of stuff on the bottom of the closet." and "Oh, and if something tips over and slides off the pile, don't pick it up, just leave it there on the floor to be crushed beneath the next bag of canned food to be dumped on top of this pile!"
Which is really strange, because I'm pretty sure that I didn't say any of those things.

We had a (another) quick family meeting about the closet, and I might have yelled a bit very calmly expressed my desire that they re-organize the closet.


They quickly got the closet cleaned up, because they are just helpful that way after mom blows a gasket kindly requests their assistance, and we were able to find the new bag of white flour, which had been on the bottom shelf.

I opened the bag, and there were other things inside that were not flour.
Unfortunately, the flour had to go.

Now, I know at this point, somebody, somewhere is dying to tell me "Just sift it, those little critters will come right out, and they won't hurt you anyway."

I'm so sorry people. I. Just. Can't. Do. It.

The bag was brand new too!
The children suddenly made themselves scarce. I'm not sure if they were just tired of helping, or if they were sensing my growing frustration with the whole project. Not that I express my frustration by taking it out on innocent bystanders, because I don't. Really.

I decided that I would just use the wheat flour to make up for the missing white flour.

I got the rest of the ingredients together.

At this time I do need to mention something about yeast.

It scares me.

Mostly because, from what I hear, it is rather temperamental. Has to be mixed with warm water, not too hot or you'll kill it, not too cold, or it won't activate.................can't let it sit too long, or not long enough. Oh come on!
This might have been one of the reasons that I've never made bread before.

I finally get the first 5 ingredients mixed, just like the recipe said, then it got to raise.
In a warm place it said.

The house is kind of chilly, and it is taking forever to raise. Thinking that I was being clever, I turned on the oven to a very low temperature, and when it heated, I turned it off then sat the pans on top of the stove, where it was now warm.
I wait.
And wait.
And wait some more.
The dough has raised slightly.
I wait some more.
I look at the package of yeast to see if it says how long this will take.
I notice that the "best if used by" date is over a year ago.


It finally raised a bit, so I stirred in the other two ingredients, greased my pans, and poured the mixture into the pans.
Just as I was finished filling the pans, I realized that I hadn't put the rest of the flour in.

(insert G-rated cuss word of you choice)

It did look like the dough was a bit thin. But then again how was I to know, because seriously, I'VE NEVER MADE BREAD BEFORE!

Dump the stuff back in the mixing bowl, add the flour, wash, dry and re-grease the pans.

Now the dough is VERY stiff. The recipe said not to knead the dough, so I carefully scooped spoonfuls into the pans. I probably should have formed the bread into nicely shaped loaves, but at this point, I was SO finished with this project.
I then sat my pans filled with lumpy clumps of dough on top of the counter to raise.

The dough almost doubled in size, so I baked it.
I do need to say, that the house smelled divine!

When the timer dinged, I took the pans out of the oven.

Three loaves of the UGLIEST bread anyone has ever seen.
Seriously.............Butt ugly.
I thought about taking pictures, just so I could prove how ugly this bread really was, but I decided not to. I would have been way too embarrassed to post them anyway.
Yes, they really were that ugly!

But it smelled good! Just really scary looking.

As I have said before, the faint sound of the timer dinging will bring my children from anywhere in the house, and they descended upon the ugly loaves.

They loved it! They ate every bit of it! They acknowledged that it was rather funny looking, but went ahead and ate it!
This tells me one of two things;

If you put enough butter on something, it becomes edible.
If you don't feed your children for a while, they will eat anything.

It did taste pretty good, it was just quite heavy. And ugly.

The ironic part of the day was that I ended up having to change out of my comfy sweats and go to the store anyway, because (remember that chili I was making for dinner?)
We were out of meat.
And beans.

While I was there, I bought more flour and yeast, because the kids said that "we" should try it again tomorrow.

"We'll" see.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Three weeks out of school........again

Remember back in March, when my kids were out of school for three weeks? (due to us being on year round school)

Well guess what folks??

It's that time again!!

As of today, the kids are officially "Off Track" for three whole weeks!

Do you remember how bored the poor little darlings were the last time?

And how I so kindly arranged for all sorts of fun activities to keep them busy?

(Do you think I could come up with any more links?)

Well, I have, yet again, planned some very fun and educational activities that I will force my children will be incredibly anxious to participate in!

#1 on my list................Plant and care for a garden.
This is something we have never done before. When I told the kids about this plan, the were ever so excited!

Well, maybe excited might be too strong of a word to describe their feelings on the subject.

Then CJ made a very good observation.
" we don't really know anything about planting a garden."
to which I reply "The internet is such a wonderful thing! Go google how to grow a garden!"

Does anyone know where we could find the book "Gardening for dummies?"
Does such a book even exist?

#2 on my list..................

Are you ready?

It's a good one!

I'm feeling rather clever right now!

Here it is!!!

#2. I will have my three oldest kids potty train Max!

I thought it was a fabulous idea, but when I told the kids that they would be doing this, they gave me strange looks and made these weird whiny noises.
CJ even had the audacity to ask "Why. Would we. Want. To do. That?"
To which I replied "Because it will be such an incredible bonding experience between you two as brothers!"
CJ wasn't buying it. He said, "I feel bonded enough to him already."

I thought I was being really clever. If they all worked together as a team, they could have Max out of diapers in no time at all!
I just think that, as kids themselves, they might have some good ideas on how to motivate little Max to use the potty.

Okay, so do you want to know the real reason I want them to do the potty training?

One word.........................


I potty trained all three of them. Three stubborn, diaper lovin' little tots. Do you know how much poop that is?

What do you think? Isn't this a fantabulous idea?

P.S. To my sister in law. If this works, I will let you borrow my kids for a few days (or longer) to help you with potty training that cute little niece of mine!

Am I nice or what?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just do it

Dear children,

When I ask you to do something, I really do not care if you "want" to do it or not. Sure, it would be great if you "want" to do what I ask, even better if you "like" to do what I ask, but believe me, "wanting" to do something is actually not necessary to being able to complete a task.

Seriously, as long as you do what I ask, I don't care whether or not you "wanted" to do it.

Thank you,
The management.

p.s. Mashed potatoes are not finger food. We have forks, please use them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Angry Tot .......Part Two

Ever since he was born, Max has been the sweetest, most laid back, easy going child. He even made it through the "terrible twos" with the minimum number of tantrums.
He is a sweetheart. Very loving, very tender hearted.
Max loves to help with anything he can. At age three, he can set the table for dinner all by himself.
He will get his toys out, play with them and then put them away.

Without being asked.

In the last few weeks, since he turned three, I have noticed things starting to change a bit.
I will ask him to set the table, he will say "No" so one of his siblings will set it. This will make him mad, and he will take all the dishes off of the table and put them back on himself.
I will ask him to put his coat away. He will say "No" so I will put it in the closet. This will upset him, and he will get it out of the closet walk across the room, drop it back on the floor (where it was originally) and then pick it up and take it back to the closet and put it away.

Max usually has a very pleasant disposition until late afternoon, when he will sometimes turn into "Mr. Crabbypants" (as we ever so affectionately call him)

The kid really needs an afternoon nap, and on the rare days where this is accomplished, we enjoy Max and his sweet disposition until bedtime.

Today, there was no nap.

Set the scene:

Dad has grilled some hamburgers for dinner. Max will always ask for a hamburger, but will only eat the top bun, and occasionally peel the cheese off of the hamburger patty.

He NEVER eats the hamburger.

Max: "I want some cheese."

I unwrap a slice of cheese, and he inhales it.

Me "Max, do you think you can ask for that nicer?"
Max: (Lowering his voice) "Please I some have cheese?)

I unwrap another slice and hand it to him.

Me: "Hey Max, do you want to try that again?"
Max (lowering his voice) Please I some have milk?"

CJ pours him some milk, and he freaks out.

Max: "NO! Make it be dempty! Make it be dempty! ("dempty" means empty)

I pick up his glass of milk and drink it.
He hands me the glass and says "Mom get me milk"
(He is currently going through a phase where I am the only person that can do anything for him)
I poured him the milk.

ME: "Try that again little dude."
Max: "Please I some have more cheese?"

At this point, Brielle asks "What, is he on some kind of dairy only diet or something?"

We decide that since he has had so much cheese, that he won't be wanting a hamburger, so someone else eats Max's hamburger patty. Just as the last bite of it is being eaten...........


Thinking that I'm being clever, I say "How about a bun? We could put some cheese on it.
Max looked like he was going to go for this idea, and just as we were putting the top bun on the cheese sandwich , Aaron (bless his unobservant little heart) says "Hey Max, why aren't you having a hamburger on that?"

Thanks Aaron.

Now Max wants hamburger on his bun. Hamburger that has already been eaten. Hamburger that Max would only nibble on at the most.
(brown part meaning the hamburger patty)

Me: "Sorry Max, but all the brown parts are gone see."
I hold up the empty plate foolishly thinking that this will satisfy him.

Max: (sobbing) "I want a brown part! I want a brown part!"

I go searching through the freezer, hoping to find something that will pass for a "brown part."
I found an old frozen microwaveable breakfast sandwich with a sausage patty.


I chip the sandwich apart, flake the cheese off of the sausage patty, and nuke it in the microwave. as soon as I pulled it out of the microwave, I KNEW that we would have a problem.

It wasn't brown.

The darn patty was a dark tan at best. Not even close to the delicious flame grilled burgers that the rest of us had devoured just moments before.
"Maybe he won't notice" I thought.

Okay Jill, get a clue. You really thought he wouldn't notice?

I hurried and slipped the sausage patty on the bun and tried to cover it with a slice of cheese.
Max lifted the top bun, peeled off the cheese and said..........



At this point, I was SO finished. I hauled him off to his room and got him ready for bed.

I'm too exhausted to describe the process of getting his pajamas on him. Let's just say it was similar to dinner.

I just went into his room to check on him. He's so sweet, snuggling under his blanket, hugging his stuffed frog, dreaming about all the wonderful things in his life...........

Oh, who am I kidding. He's not sleeping, he's "recharging."

I've got to figure out a way to get this kid to nap.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Angry tot

Yesterday, the weather was very nice, so even though I had a bunch of work that I needed to do, I decided that we would work in the yard.
I forced invited the children to join me in the front yard flowerbeds.

"What are we going to do?" CJ asked.
I answered "We are going to pull weeds, and plant some flowers."
CJ shook his head, took a step backwards and said "I don't pull weeds."

I then explained to him that he DID indeed pull weeds.

We pulled weeds for quite a while.
And just so you know.............. I. Hate. Weeds.

Weeds are evil!

Evil. Evil weeds.

While we were working , Max decided that he would like to try out his new tricycle. Brielle put a helmet on him and sat him on it. For a while, he had a ton of fun just pushing it around with his feet, but then Brielle showed him how to pedal, and when he finally figured that out, he was speeding all over the driveway, incessantly ringing the bell.
His helmet kept sliding down over his eyes and he couldn't see where he was going.
At first we thought this was the reason that he kept on driving onto the lawn, but after a while, we figured out that he had no clue how to steer. He would just start pedaling as hard as he could, ride straight onto the grass, then cry until someone came and picked up his trike and put it back on the driveway.
Brielle finally took pity on him and taught him how to steer, then he spent the better part of the afternoon riding in a big circle on the driveway.

We worked on those darn flowerbeds forever. Our neighbors across the street have immaculate flowerbeds. So do the neighbors on either side of us. Beautiful, meticulously manicured lawns and flowerbeds.
Oh, did I mention that none of those neighbors have children?

We make sure that our lawn is mowed once a week. And watered.
Really, I think we should get some sort of a prize for that.

We got most of the area weeded, and even planted some hollyhocks. By then, I was tired, and I could tell that I had pulled some muscles that would be getting even with me for the next few days.
The kids were still full of energy so they played on the trampoline until dinnertime.

Soon, it was time for the kids to go to bed. Max didn't have a nap, so he was extra tired.

And he was MAD!

Do you want to hear why he was so mad?

He was mad because I went into the bathroom and didn't let him come in.
Then he was mad because he wanted me to go to the bathroom again so he could flush for me,
and I wouldn't.
I know what you're thinking. I'm such a mean mom because I won't go to the bathroom again to make my kid stop crying, but I was done, empty. (Plus, I wasn't going to give in to his crying)

He threw the biggest tantrum of his life. He wouldn't stop crying. "Mom go potty! Mom go potty."

His siblings offered to go instead, but, no, it had to be Mom.

I took my screaming, thrashing tot into his room to get him ready for bed. I looked at his droopy, teary eyes and said "Oh Max, it looks like you have sleepy eyes."
Max says "NO! I NOT HAVE SLEEPY EYES!!.......................I HAVE WAKE UP EYES!"

I stand corrected.

We also had a big issue with me taking off his shoes and socks. I was finally able to hold him down long enough to get some dry socks on him, but he insisted on wearing his shoes to bed.
He finally calmed down, cuddled with me in the rocking chair and let me rock him for a while. I sang to him, he played with my hair, and then he finally stopped crying. I thought everything was okay until I tucked him in his bed, and........................

He wouldn't give me a hug.

I guess he showed me.

So I showed him. After he fell asleep..................I snuck into his room......................


took off his shoes!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let's take a ride on the potty train

Dear Max,
The time has come for us to rethink this whole diaper thing. I mean really, diapers are SO 2007!
Isn't it about time for you to start keeping up with the current fashion trends. Do you know what all the cool preschool kids are going to be wearing this fall?

Underwear! Big kid underwear! Underwear with pictures of Lightning McQueen and Spongebob!
Just think of it, YOU can be a part of the "in" crowd!
All you need to do is learn the proper way to use that potty chair that we bought you a while back. True, it is very useful as a stepstool, a great storage area for your toy cars, and it's also a fun place to sit while watching television, but seriously, it can be so much more!

Let's do this Max, let's say goodbye to these tired old diapers. Out with the old and in with the new, I say!
What do you think buddy? Should we give it a try? Is it time to catch a ride on the "Potty train?"
Love, Mom

Dear Mom,
No underwear. Diapers. Just diapers.
You change my diapers.
Love, Max

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Morning rush hour

This morning when my alarm rang, I heard someone in the kitchen. For a moment, I had a hopeful thought that one of my older children were actually awake and ready for the day.

No such luck.

It was Max, playing with his cars.

So I picked up Max and took him downstairs with me to wake the other kids.
Max is my favorite alarm clock, and if he is available, I will always use him to wake up his siblings. They just seem to be nicer to him in the morning than they are to me. I took him into each of their rooms, sat him next to their heads, and had him poke them awake.

Ahhh, Success!

It's just so strange how I can go into their rooms in the morning, and cheerfully try to wake them up and they growl at me, but when Max goes in and starts poking them in the face with his pointy little fingers, they wake up with a cheerful disposition.

Remembering that the kids were having their end of the year testing today, I decided that I would be a really cool mom, and make them something good for breakfast.
Besides, yesterday, Brielle came home and told me that her teacher said that they should have a "warm, hearty breakfast."

I assumed that did not mean tossing them a frozen waffle in the back of the car to eat on the way to school.

Not that I've ever done that.

I looked through the kitchen closet and found a muffin mix.
I made the little darlings fresh muffins, and they immediately inhaled them.

I then said "Okay guys, time to get in the car." So they just sat at the table and poured themselves glasses of milk.

"Seriously people, it's time to go to school!"

They s l o w l y drank their milk.

If we don't leave now, we'll be late!"

They look at me as if I'm from another planet, and then they begin wandering around looking for their shoes.
When we finally get everyone in the car, Brielle looks at the clock and shrieks "Mom, we're going to be late!"


Oh well. Only one more week until they are off track from school, and I can sleep in.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Antibiotics anyone?

Have you ever felt like your head was going to explode?

The pressure behind your eyes is so great, and you feel that at any moment, your eyeballs might just pop right out of your head and shoot across the room?

And you thought that you might actually feel better if they did?

Two words........... "Sinus infection."

I felt pretty crummy all weekend, and still managed to get the kids to their various activities. I even managed to make it to my nephew's birthday party (so I could eat some chocolate cake shower them with gifts and eat some ice cream sing "Happy Birthday") and we also attended the wedding reception for my hubby's cousin.

Yesterday, however, I was so sick that I was unable to go to church and teach my sweet little Sunbeams.
I stayed home from church and tried to rest, and about 10 minutes after I finally fell asleep, the phone rang. I ignored it and went back to sleep, then my cell phone rang. About the time I got back to sleep again, my family came home. Max hadn't been able to play with my hair for three whole hours, and so he climbed in bed next to me and began twisting my hair around his hand.

Yep, that's just what I need when my head is pounding.
Every time I moved, it was a new experience in pain. And dizziness. And nausea.

This morning, however, I felt SO much better :0)

The sun was shining, the birds were singing, I got the kids to school on time (well, most of them) and my head felt almost normal. I even managed to get some of my regular work done!

Yay me!

In between my work, I managed to read a few blogs however, I may have spent too much time leaving comments for Sue. She wasn't feeling well today either, and I think I may have caught what she has. My ear hurts now, a symptom that I didn't have until I read that she had it.
Thanks Sue. And after all the nice comments I left.............

So, just be warned, I might be contagious also. You may want to wear a mask and laytex gloves while blogging, you know, just to be on the safe side.

Is hypochondria contagious?

(Is hypochondria a word?)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's Birthday time!!!!

Last week was birthday week for us!
Brielle turned ten, and Max turned three.

For the last several months, Brielle had been planning an elaborate birthday party for herself. The short list of girls to be invited to her party had 17 girls on it.
So last week, we gave her a choice. She could either have the party, or a nice gift from us.
After several days of deep thought and contemplation, she really surprised us, and decided on the gift instead of the party. (thus saving me a great deal of work, stress, and expense :0)

We took her to the sporting goods store, and she chose a pair of these!

Since her Birthday, she has been rolling all over the house.

Max, being three, did not get to choose between a party or a gift, because let's face it, there's no way I'm going to have a party for a bunch of three year olds. I did that one time, and learned my lesson. In fact, I'm still having nightmares about the experience.

We asked Max what he wanted for his birthday, and he says "I want a zamboni cake."
Okay........... What?
A zamboni cake?

ME: "Max honey, is there anything else you might want?"
Max: "Yes, I want Spongebob to be driving the zamboni cake!"

A zamboni cake with Spongebob driving it.

Well, I DID ask.

Seriously, where do they come up with these things? It's kind of like when Aaron was three and wanted to be a car wash for Halloween.

So I asked Max "What kind of a present do you want for your birthday?"
Max: "A red present!"
Me: "What do you want INSIDE the red present?"
Max: "A yayo (yellow) present!"
Me: "What do you want INSIDE the yellow present?"
Max: "A blue present!"
Me: "What do you want INSIDE the blue present?"
Max: "A purple present!"...................

Apparently, he just wanted to open a bunch of presents. So we did what any parents would do, and the day before his birthday, we took him to Toys R us to let him choose what he wanted. We called it "The present store."
Max has recently discovered all of the "Blues clue's" videos that I bought when Aaron was born. (I got them to keep CJ and Brielle from fighting just long enough for me to feed Aaron)
Max LOVES Blues clues. We thought we might be able to find him a stuffed Blue, or some other Blues clues type toy.
We looked all around Toys R us, and couldn't find anything, (Except for the fort building set that caught Max's eye, which I almost considered buying for him until I saw how many pieces were inside, and since I didn't want to have all those pieces all over the floor, so I could step on them barefoot in the middle of the night, I told Max that it was only for kids over 4)

We finally hunted down an employee, and asked where they kept all the Blues clues stuff.
Apparently, they don't make Blues clues toys anymore, but they did still have a few "handy dandy notebooks" and a video.
We bought the two things and got out of there fast.

When we got home, I realized that I had forgotten something really important. It's called:

"Don't take your three year old to the store to pick out his own presents the day before his birthday unless you plan on giving him the gifts as soon as you get home."

Because apparently on the ride home from the store, he won't forget that you bought him some nifty items and he wants to play with them NOW.
So we, being the mean parents that we are, wouldn't let him play with his new toys, and Max was VERY sad.

For hours.

He was refusing to take a much needed nap, and I almost gave in thinking that I would let him play with them and then go ahead and wrap them up the next day for his birthday, but then DH pointed out that if we did that, we would be teaching him that if he cries long enough that he would eventually get what he wants.

Good point.

So I took Brielle, and we went to the store to buy stuff for the birthday cakes, leaving sad little Max home with Daddy ;0)

Before I started to make the cakes, I went to google images to get a picture of a zamboni to copy for Max's cake. The second photo that came up in the search was (and I'm not kidding, it really was) a picture of a zamboni with Spongebob driving it!

It was a sign.
(I tried to find the photo again to post it here, but it was gone)

So after several hours of hard work, and an upset stomach from tasting too much fondant, I finally came up with this.

Brielle, who loves and collects pigs, wanted a pig cake.

They were quite tasty, and didn't last nearly long enough, considering the amount of time that I put into them. Oh well, I guess I'm just glad that we got photos.

Change of subject

I don't post any photos of our family on my blog (you know, so we can avoid all of those crazy internet stalkers who would find us, and show up at our house wanting a slice of pig cake) however, we recently had an artist draw a very nice portrait of our family. I must say that the likeness of everyone is very good, especially me, because I really am that thin :0)

Really, I am.

Here it is!