There is SO MUCH to tell you, so lets talk!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Of Tags and Marriage

Okay, someone sent me this amusing internatonal symbol for marriage that I wanted to share:
Of course, I don't hink there's any truth to that, but it "is" funny. (smile)

Okay, now for the "Tag" part of this post. Actually, I was "tagged" twice; once by a very sweet and kind lady from the Philippines called Louann and she has the cutest kids! Her tag is to name 10 things about your mom, I think. But here's the thing, Louann. I am TERRIBLE at tags! I never know what to say or how to expand my list, so I'll just tell you about my mom.

I think very highly about my mom. To me, she's fearless; she'll hop on an airplane and fly all the way to see me, even though I know she doesn't really like flying and her English skills are limited, just to see me and the grandkids. She's also kind. She often puts her self last so that she can be as helpful as she can manage. Brave is another word I can add to her character; she left Cuba in her twenties with me and my brother and we were just babies, spent five years there until she was able to obtain visas for us to enter the US. Personally, I think that's awesome. I remember being scared out of my wits when I first went to college in Chicago. It took a lot for me not to jump back on the airplane and head back to Miami.

How's that, Louann? I can go on for a long time about her, I suppose, but I think this is enough. I love her and am glad that I have her in my life.

I like Louann's blog, btw, for a few reason: the name of her blog is "3 Boys and a Lady" and she's talking about her hubby and her two sons. She's also very "real" and by that I mean she lays it all out for you and tells you how she's feeling. Go visit her, especially if you're a mom and can relate.

That's it for now. Tomorrow I write about the other tag I received from a very neat person called Susan from "A Slice of Life." If you go visit her, you won't regret it because she's a great blogger and very amusing, especially when recounting the History of Spam.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You're not going to believe this!

I went to the Musical Cats today where I finally got to see my kids in full outfits, makeup and hair included.

I was amazed at the transformation!

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That's it for now. I have the kids this weekend and it's late so I had to make this a quick post. Aren't they REALLY cute? Unfortunately I had to take the pics AFTER the show and it shows in their makeup and, besides, this was the second show of the day (a matinee and an evening show) so they look a bit tired.

(ps: Some very cool folks have tagged me and I'm not ignoring it. I love taking part in those but I won't be able to until Monday, so see you then!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wanna see my new pet?

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That's my girlie girl getting ready for her Tech Rehearsal for Cats. She came out of the changing room and said, "quick Daddy! Take a picture of me!" She grabbed her fluffy tail and smiled.

Wait until you see her with her Cat makeup and hair!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Girl, this is thriller, thriller night!

If you want to read a great summertime vignette about the restlessness and excitement of youth, go here. Blogger buddy G has a classy writing style and is sophisticated and funny so if you have time, be sure to visit her and read this gem.

Me, on the other hand, I'm too practical to be a good storyteller. I'm too quick getting to the point to take a reader by the hand and slowly introduce characters and plots where the reader can savor each passing moment and possibility.

G's post did remind me of this hilarious video I saw yesterday. If you were a prision warden over in the Philippines, what would you do with several 100 convicted felons to combat loneliness or boredom, or perhaps to inflict more punishment for their crimes? You make them re-enact Michael Jackson's "Thriller," complete with a a guy in a pony tail and a pink halter top playing Jackon's date. You HAVE TO watch this! It's amazing:

Actually, I thought they were pretty good!

This actually is done occasionally with different songs. Check this one out where they dance to "I will follow him" from the movie, "Sister Act."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mom has left the building...

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As a matter of fact, she has left Tennessee. (sniff sniff) She wants to stay but she has some "things" to tidy up. See, she's the nanny for her sister's triplet boys and has basically raised them since they were born. Without getting into too much detail, she hasn't been treated well or compensated adequately for a while. Hopefully things will change because they'll have learned to appreciate her while she was away for two weeks, visiting me. We'll see.

You'd like my mom. She's very cool, funny, and will bend over backwards to be helpful. She just spent two weeks with me and we got along just fine, watching movies together and watching her have fun with my kids. Of course, she's still a mom and so she does "mom" things like remind me to dress the kids this way or that so that the kids will be safe. I have three kids and I haven't manage to put them in danger yet. (smile) Then she's mother's me on occasion. "You drink too much coffee," she says. "Yes mom, as a matter of fact, Juan Valdez recently named his donkey after me." At least she doesn't like vegetables either so she doesn't hound me to eat them (smile.)

We had SO MUCH FUN while she was here, though. We went and played mini golf over in Pigeon Forge, TN with friends and I took a picture of her with the boys:

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My girlie girl had such a good time playing with her friend. I LOVE to see her smile and laugh out loud. AS a matter of fact, if you tickle her long enough, her laugh will get higher and higher pitch until you can no longer hear it. It's really quite funny to see her mouth open in a "laughing" formation, but nothing come out.
Of course, I have noticed that the neighborhood dogs start howling:

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Then we went to Dollywood's Splash Country. They had this really pretty waterfall and beautifully painted horse and my daughter said she wanted to get a picture taken with Grandma and the horse:

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Of course, the water was frozen and my girlie turned blue!

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After a while, everybody got hungry so I got them all some chili dogs.

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So have you ever seen a seven year old eat a chili dog WITHOUT getting messy? I know, neither have I, so even he decides he's too messy after eating the hot dog, so what does he do?


Anyways, I gotta run out and take care of stuff. Later on I'll swing by and see what you've all been up to!

I'll be back in a few hours!

I missed you guys over the weekend (I was too busy to get my daily fix of blog reading and finding out what cool things you've done over the weekend) but I had my kids and my mom with me and so I have a lot to tell and some good pics to boot.

I'm driving mom to the airport now but I'll be back in a few. Gotta go to Knoxville!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Just kidding! Sorry about not posting in a few days. You all know mom's in town and I feel kinda rude sitting in front of a computer while she's there. So see! I haven't been procrastinating! I really just wanted a reason to put that "Motivational" picture up. (smile) I only have a few minutes for a quick post, though, so here I go...

I saw this somewhere on the Internet and it reminded me of my kids! Wouldn't it be nice if you could just say, "no drowning" or "don't break anything" and they'd actually do it, just because you told them to?

So, about my kids! No they're not in any sort of trouble other than the medical kind. My little guy was at a dance competition/workshop and on Monday he fell and cut his chin open and now has five stitches. Do your kids constantly try to kill themselves or is it just mine?

Oh, one more thing! One very important and awesome thing. A very very very cool blogger named Chrissy awarded me a Blogger reflection award. I have never won any awards for my blogging before so I'm very excited! I also get the warm and fuzzies knowing that such a kind and considerate and wonderful blogger like her takes the time to read my blog. Really, going to her blog is like going to a place where you feel welcome. You've ever met someone who's so genuine and so nice that when you leave that person you start thinking of ways to be as kind or nice as that person? That's how Chrissy is so her awarding me this makes it that much more special. I'm honored!

Thanks Chrissy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

You have GOT to try this thing!

Does your Mall have one of those Bungee things where they tie you up and you jump on a trampoline and you get to do all kinds of neat things in the air? If it does, you really ought to shell out the money,

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and go on it, or at least put your kids on it because it's a hoot!

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Exactly how much fun is it? Well, take a look for yourself:

I do hope you all had a fun weekend. I'm still hanging out with mom and we're having a pretty decent time. My mom is having a wonderful time with the kids. She's one of them good grandmother types that the grandchildren actually like.

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We went to a local production of "High School Musical" and it was actually pretty darn fun and exciting and the actors did a phenomenal job.

Well, that's it for now. Oh no, wait! I almost forgot. I recently went to a friend's house and he made me the WORLD'S BIGGEST HAMBURGER! Seriously, this thing could have fed a small African village for a week!

See? Oh, just in case you get confused, I'm the one on the right:

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Friday, July 13, 2007


No, really! See?

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I took my mom to see Cherokee Dam yesterday after work and she was amazed. I don't think she has ever seen a dam up close. Actually, it's pretty impressive (6,760 feet long, 175 feet high) but the scenery from the top is even more impressive.

You decide:

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Afterwards, we were both pretty hungry (the walk from the parking lot to the dam is about 1/2 mile each way) so we went to eat at this Italian restaurant that just opened up called Gino's. Is that a surprise or what? An Italian restaurant named Ginos!

I ate the most delicious and the biggest Calzone in the planet!

People, if you come around here, remind me to take you to Gino's. You won't regret, especially if you like a Calzone stuffed with pepperoni and cheeze. This thing was the size of Jay Leno's head. Actually, it may have been bigger than Jay Leno's head, I'm not sure. I'll have to research it.

Well, I gotta go to work, but I'm going to post one more pic of the kids that I meant to post on yesterday's post, but I forgot. It has to do with the Dollywood trip we took. We walked over to see this Roller Coaster called "The Thunderhead" a massive wooden roller coaster. The kids decided not to go on it when they saw it because it's massive, fast, and it didn't help when they heard the people on the coaster screaming like little girls. So instead, they posed near the roller coaster, claiming that this is what would happen if they got on the ride!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mom's in the House!

My mom flew in from Miami yesterday! Woohoo! You have no idea how delicious her Cuban cooking is so I'm probably going to gain 30 pounds in the next two weeks, which is how long she's staying. I especially love her black beans and rice and those fried bananas!

Yes, while she's here we'll HAVE to take her to Dollywood and even Dollywood's Splash Country. Maybe I'll make her go down a big water slide or something and try some of the local food like country fried chicken and biscuits and gravy. Good stuff, I tell ya...

Last time I went to Dollywood, I think it was back in May, the kids had a blast, and not just because of the rides. They were having their annual International Festival and there was food and entertainment from all over the world. So what did the kids eventually eat? Hot dogs, fries, and a soda! Let's not try anything new, shall we?

The rides were a lot of fun too, though. They have this "Memory Lane" 50's cars type ride where the kids drive around. Here's good advice, don't let a six year old drive!

On another note, I'll be in Baltimore Maryland the 23rd through the 25th of August for a work related thing! I'm really excited because I've never been anywhere Northeast. I've done all most all of the Midwest thing and even went North all the way to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, but Nary a Northeastern state. So what is there to do in Baltimore, or even Washington DC which seems to be a short ride away? (Okay people, before you start thinking just how dumb I am for asking what there is to in Washington DC, I mean I only have two evenings to spend visiting stuff since I actually HAVE to go to the conference and attend workshops.)

Any suggestions? Any regular blogger live around those parts? Maybe we could have some coffee or something. Actually, forget coffee! It's too hot for that... Any cool restaurants or historical things in Baltimore that I should cover in my short time there?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It was so hot that...

...I had to put the children on ice!

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Well, that's not exactly what happened, but it was hot today so we went to Dollywood's Splash Country and had the greatest time you could imagine! Here we were, going from the Lazy River where the little guy was showing me how well he could swim under the water while my girl wanted to squirt me with this squirty thing I was dumb enough to buy her, to one of their new attractions called The Cascades where all three of them kept pushing me in the waterfalls. It's amazing how three of them can muster up a good amount of strength!

I personally like their Bear Mountain Fire Tower because it features this HUMONGOUS bucket that fills up completely every 3 or 4 minutes, then drops the entire contents down on you! That's where I got my revenge, setting them up under the bucket and making them wait their doom! (Okay, they knew it was coming and they gladly welcomed it.) The brochure says it's 1,000 gallons of water so the little guy was almost knocked down!

Somewhere near the end of the day, it hit me: Here I am, just me and my three kids, having a rockin' time together in a water theme park, going down slides, eating chili dogs when we got hungry, and watching the little guy take the ketchup out of his hair (how it got there is beyond me) by standing underneath the huge bucket and waiting for the water to drench him clean, etc... I haven't seen this coming, I haven't been this happy and remembered the feeling of family like I did today.

It reminded me of the first song of the Musical Rent:

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.

Jonathan Larson

Measure in Love indeed...

Of course, my version would include ketchup in hair, children singing in three part harmony in the back of my car, and driving back to town in a hurry so they could get back in time to go back with mom, not exactly as melodic as Jonathan Larson's version, but hey, this is my story and I like it. I like it a lot.

So what's the deal with the picture above? I had emptied my cooler and he decided to stand on the ice to show me how tough he is. Then I went to the front yard and found my VERY BEAUTIFUL GIRL listening to Cd's, looking as pretty as can be, singing a song from the musical Cats, which she's in and in rehearsals right now. I wished I could have recorded her voice...

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No, it's not always fun and games and stuff. They're pretty good kids, but they ARE kids. There was the occasional, "put your sister down" and "don't make me turn this car around!" or my favorite, "STOP SCREAMING!!!!" There was even the "for heaven's sake, your brother can only hold his breath for so long! Pull him up before the lifeguard comes!" (just kidding) But even that is part of the family experience.

We're together, going through it all and it's good...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Did you have fun?

Happy Belated Fourth of July!!!

Did you really have fun? We did. First the kids and I went back to the Apartment and had some fun playing outside. This included bike races where my daughter beat me every time. I didn't think those little thin legs could move so fast!

I pedaled behind her on my bike while using the camera on my cell phone, which, in retrospect, was a dumb idea! I almost ran over her and I could have dropped the phone, but hey, it was fun!

Then we went to the movies and saw Ratatouille, which I have to say was a very cool movie.

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I asked my kids if they liked it as soon as we walked out of the theater because it wasn't exactly full of action like Toy Story or something, and it was also rather long, but they said they loved it and wanted to see it again soon. I loved it, probably because the idea of rats cooking gourmet french food was too funny to pass up.

So finally we went to the local park and saw the fireworks!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Of Birthdays and Crack Cakes!

Today is my birthday! Yep, I'm 38 now and I feel good (I knew that I would.)

As luck would have it, today is Sunday which means it's the weekend, which also means my kids were with me and I "got woken" up at 6:30 am and was sung "Happy Birthday" to me And many more on channel 4; and scooby doo on channel 2; Frankenstein on channel 9; Stairway to Heaven on channel 11; big fat lady on channel 80 and all sorts of additions to the birthday song that I had never heard.

It was delightful, though I gotta admit, it would have been more delightful at, say 9:30 am.

Birthday cakes? Well yes, as a matter of fact! I got two of them. The first one was from my friends at work who got this lady at the office that makes THE WORLD'S BEST CAKE! I kid you not. We folks at work call it Crack Cake because as soon as you eat a piece, you just KNOW it's got crack in it. You're like, "hey buddy, can I have some more?" I'm not sure what it has in it, besides crack, though there are chopped up nuts, chopped up hersey bars, cream cheese, etc...

It's looks like this:

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Just pretend there was a lot more of it... Trust me, it was good!

Then my kids saved up money and bought me the cutest little two cupcake cake.


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I count myself lucky for a number of things: from my children to the Lord himself, from having a profession that I LOVE to having a few very good people I call friends. Now I can add something else. Some very nice bloggers remembered my birthday and added some Happy Birthday entries in my previous post. I wish I knew of an easy way to move their birthday wishes over to this post, but no matter! You have no idea how much it meant to me to have these people from all these different places wish me a happy birthday!

May I always be this blessed!