Sunday, July 29, 2007

Week (or two!) off

The children have been visiting my parents for the last week. Mom and Dad graciously offered to keep James, Faith & Christopher while Deborah was at her first ever sleep-away camp at Campraise. While they were away, hubby and I took a little trip to Morgantown (yes, 20 minutes away in Morgantown!) to celebrate (7 months late) our 10th anniversary.

The trip was really something else. We went on a wine tour package that included the lodging, a trip to the Forks of Cheat Winery, a lovely gift basket from the winery, and breakfast and dinner at the resort. It was a little more than we wanted to spend, but honestly, it was close and it was our anniversary so a little splurge was worth it.

No, it wasn't.

The winery was great. I don't know much about wine at all, so having some inexpensive local wine is fine with me. If my budget ever allowed me to develop a more sophisticated palate, perhaps this would have also been a bust, but right now, $10/bottle is right in my price range, so this was perfect! They gave us a really nice little gift basket and the tour was very nice. Got to sample a few things before we purchased and that was fine with us.

The rest was a total bust. The room was nice, but was way, way overpriced. The wifi signal was weak (we couldn't stream in our nightly "The Office" from Netflix), there wasn't a minifridge for the wine (it chilled on ice just fine, but still!), and we couldn't even get Comedy Central so we could watch a REAL episode of The Daily Show rather than watching it a day late on our computer. Terrible! The beds were nice (we had to change rooms between days), and that was good (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), but at the price we paid, they should have been much nicer!

But the worst were the meals. I would have been profoundly upset if we had gone there of our own accord, instead of as a part of the package. They had a breakfast buffet that we went to. We slept in, but it was served til 11am and we were there well before 11, knowing that they'd want to get ready for the lunch shift. Well, apparently they wanted to get ready for the lunch shift at around 10, because they were tearing stuff down while we were sitting down for breakfast. Our server didn't warm up our coffee until we asked, there was food all over the floor, most of the pans were cold, it was just very poor, especially at nearly $15 a pop! We had much better service, more delicious food and certainly a more affordable visit to IHOP on our way home.

Dinner was even worse, if that's possible. A way under-cooked steak (I like my steak pretty rare, but that was more rare than even I like!), incredibly slow service (there were 3 tables of 2 people each and our server claimed that he forgot our bread because he was "swamped"), still more food on the floor, and an outrageous price. I don't mind paying for a dinner out if it has all of the amenities. But I wouldn't call listening to "Hey Mickey" while I'm eating an undercooked steak to be a fine dining experience (I'm serious -- it was 80's night on whatever radio station they were broadcasting over our meal and they played Mickey. Gads.). It certainly makes it hard to be very excited about a vacation 20 minutes from your house if you can't even get a good meal!

That said, we got to enjoy a couple of movies (saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and 1408 while we were out), spend some time just talking and catching up on some serious snuggle time while the children were gone. Overall, I can't complain too much.

The kids had fun while they were away as well. Last week, James did a science class up in Sarver with my old 3rd & 4th grade teacher. Then this week, the young kids played with Hoppy's exercise equipment, an old Holiday Inn play set, a gigantic tube under the street where they could travel to "a whole other world", their bikes, and lots of other stuff. Deborah did her first week at Campraise and seemed to enjoy that quite a bit, from what I can gather. She had (as a first year camper!) the lead role in the little musical they did, so I was a beaming mom this afternoon when we saw the show. I have many, many fond memories of my time at Campraise, and it's exciting to me to see my daughter diving right in to her own camp experience.

I'm sure there's a lot more to write about from the past 2 weeks since I last blogged (if you can really call posting a couple of videos blogging!), but I'm just very tired, so I'm outta' here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


As one of the "moochers" from the system, this article irritated me beyond belief. I'm sure I've ranted about this before, but in what universe is it more important to limit the taxes on something that is unquestionably unhealthy and unnecessary to subsidize something that will give CHILDREN health insurance?!?!?

I get so tired of hearing the "think of the children" line being thrown around by those in the Religious Right, but when something comes up that can offer practical help to those same children, the response is that it's just too much money.

“It’s clear that it will have the effect of encouraging many to drop private
coverage — purchased either through their employer or with their own resources —
to go on the government-subsidized program,” Fratto said. “Tax increases are
neither necessary nor advisable to appropriately fund SCHIP.”

People who make $36000/year don't have "their own resources" to afford private health care. That's the whole point!

I know I've said it before, but I do not understand how an administration that claims to be pro-life can have such a blatant disregard for the already born children who don't have access to basic health care. Why is a frozen embryo destined for the incinerator more deserving of protection than a child of a low-income family (and I'm not saying it's not deserving of protection -- I just can't understand why that is a "key" issue among Christian leaders while they are silent about this)? Where is the outcry?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Who Am I Casting Crowns

Saw this at another blog spot and thought it was definitely worth linking to here. Enjoy!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Yesterday I drove up to PA to attend a good high school friend's baby shower. She and another friend from Freeport are both expecting in the next 4 weeks, so it was wonderful to have a chance to visit with them and see two lovely pregnant women. I'm always excited to see friends expecting and to have a chance to talk about pregnancy and birth with people I care about. Beth (far left) is expecting her third son and Amy (second from the right, next to me) is expecting her first, also a son (it was her shower). I'm just so excited for both of them and it was wonderful to have a minute to share in their joy.

After the shower, Tina (second from the left) and I went out for coffee at Barnes & Noble, as the thimbleful of coffee served at the shower just didn't cut it. I love hanging out with Tina, because everything is just so much funnier. We both order our drinks at Starbucks. I got a Raspberry Mocha Frappucino and she got an iced coffee. The guy who made our drinks was able to rattle off my "Grande Raspberry Mocha Frapp" and got completely tongue-tied when putting up a "Coffee." LOL!

And hanging out with Tina is awesome because we'll go from talking about something entertaining that we saw on YouTube (see my previous post) to discussing the finer points of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It really takes a special kind of friend to be able to switch between topics like that. It definitely reminded me again that I need to take better care of friendships that mean so much to me.

In wholly other news, my Harry Potter ticker is off for me -- I get to see a midnight showing of the new movie Tuesday night. w00t! I picked up my pre-screening tickets last night. There's a kid from work who wants to see it too, so he and I have plans to hit the movies after work tomorrow night. I can't decide if that'll make the night at work drag or move right along. I'm hoping for the latter, but not expecting it. I expect to be seeing this a few times. Jason and I are hoping that the IMAX in Pittsburgh will be showing it when we drop Deborah off at camp in a couple of weeks and Deborah is trying to decide if she wants to see it or not.

I think that's it. I need to get to picking up the kidlets from VBS this morning. Deborah is at my parents' for the week, so it's just the younger 3 for few days. I totally wasted this morning, but it was nice to enjoy a little relaxation, since I spent most of yesterday in a car!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Teenage Mutant Golden Girls

I got to see some friends today at a baby shower (more about that tomorrow morning) and Tina mentioned seeing this at YouTube. I searched it when I got home, and this has me giggling big time! Have a great evening!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday America!

I don't have much time to write right now, but here's a link to's series on how fireworks work.

Have a lovely holiday!
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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