Thursday, November 30, 2006

St. Bonaventure

Spent yesterday chaperoning my son's enrichment trip to see A Christmas Carol at St. Bonventure University in NY. It's about 1 1/2 hours or so north of us.

We were there earlier this year to see Willy Wonka and were happy to go back. They have an art gallery to go through before the performance and give the kids exposure to something different. Coming from a very small town, it is something they probably won't see any other way. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and weekends 12-4 p.m. For more information, you can call (716) 375-2494.

My only problem with the entire experience is they don't allow photos at all. They had one little girl on the verge of tears because she couldn't take a photo of the nativity display. Really stupid. I have photos I took of The Mona Lisa at the Louvre and I can't take one of the kitty baby Jesus? Spare me! Before the play, they said it was because it was dangerous to take photos? Never did explain why.....

Anyway, the play was very good. They used only six actors for the entire thing with minmal scenery and quick costume changes. We've all seen the story done many different ways and the kids loved this version. (Scrooged is my favorite - something about the toaster)

We're scheduled to go back two more times in March. One is another musical and one is for a dance troupe from Philadelphia. I'm looking forward to that one. I was hoping we'd get to see an opera or ballet this year, but the teacher wasn't able to get the tickets. Maybe next year.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, America

Once again, it's that time of year when we Americans stuff ourselves silly with turkey and pumpkin pie, then watch football all day. Yes, it's Thanksgiving. :)

I hope everyone is having a good one. We had a wonderful meal at my parents' house. The entire extended family was there. The empty place at the table was very obvious though and he'll never be forgotten.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend in Pittsburgh

We spent another weekend in Pittsburgh, this one for T's 12th birthday. Went to the Carnegi Science Center and UPMC Sportsworks and spent most of Saturday there. There are so many different things to see and do there. We got to explore a retired US Navy sub. That was fun. I would have liked to spend more time on it, but the kids thought it was too boring!

We stayed at the Radisson in Monroeville. Thought it would be great with that name, but we weren't impressed. The sleep number beds just didn't make the night that great. We ordered from Buffalo Wild Wings and ate in the room. The food was excellent! Randy and T had wings while A and I had shrimp and fish.

Sunday, we were up and off to the mall. Hot Topic was our first stop. Found a new Halo 3 hoodie and teeshirt for T. He's the first kid in the area with them, so it gave him a few more points at school. I got a new fairy shirt, but guess who has it on this morning? (Here's a hint, it sure isn't me!)

Our cell phones needed replaced, so we were looking at Verizon and ended up just getting them. Even T. got one since he's 12 now. They all got regular camera phones and I got the new Verizon Q. It's really neat and I'm having a blast playing with it. It's like a Blackberry and I can search the internet and check email anywhere now!!! Most of you know I'm addicted to my email. :)

Aeropostale was our next stop and A. cleaned up. She got a huge bag of clothes. Luckily, they were all on sale.

After walking around a bit more, we decided to head home. We ate at Outback Steakhouse and got home around 8:30 p.m. At Outback, they sang happy birthday and gave T. a chocholate sundae. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yesterday was rough

The kids get home from school and want to go for a walk with two other friends. No biggie, they're always together. I tell them no more than 15 minutes because we have parent/teacher conferences at 4 p.m. They leave and I start running the sweeper. Not two minutes later, they're home screaming. I look up and T's face is a scarlet mess. Blood everywhere. His hands are red, his shirt collar is all red. "WHAT HAPPENED?" I'm screaming as I run to find something to clean off the mess.

One of the little girls threw a rock at him and split his little head. :( I clean it up as best I can, but I can see he needs at least a stitch or two to close the wound. He screaming, his sister is hysterical. I call Randy's cell, but he's in a dead zone, so I just left a message to meet us at the hospital.

We get to the truck and head off to the ER. Randy meets us there just as they take him back and start cleaning it. The doc decides to use that liquid stitch stuff and glues his finger to T's head! ARRGGGHHHH!!!

Poor kid turns 12 tomorrow. We're going to Pittsburgh to spend the weekend. He's not allowed to go swimming because it could wash the liquid stitch stuff off and we'd have to start all over again.

What next?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

National Aviary

We were in Pittsburgh yesterday for an early morning doctor's appointment and after it was over, went to the National Aviary. It is filled with birds from all parts of the globe. It's a private, non-profit avian zoo, according to their brochure. There are over 800 birds of 200 species, many threatened or endangered in the wild. The aviary is a resource for the enjoyment, breading, study and conservation of birds.

The kids liked the Victorian Pigeon from the rainforest section the best. Very funny looking creature and the pair of birds were like the mayor and his wife, showing off their "town."

The bald eagles always draw my attention. With election day just over, I guess it was a gut reaction.

I took a couple hundred photos there and some of them turned out better than expected. I'd love to go back there and get a chance to get closer to all the birds and photograph them. Many of them are already flying around, but too many are behind glass or cages.

It's a great place to visit if you have an hour or so. The price of admission is $8 for adults and $6.50 for kids, so it's an affordable trip.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's election day

Whether you vote blue or red, lean left or right, it's our chance to have our voices heard. Everyone, please remember to vote!

My choices are pretty clear to everyone who reads here, so I won't go into them. Just vote your conscience. Many of the times, it will come down to the lesser of two evils.

Don't let this right be ripped away from us.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Russian American Kids Circus

Just got back from this performance. Those kids sure are talented! They are between the ages of 4 and 16, plus three adults to keep the show going and act as spotters for the bigger stunts.

I was covering it for the paper and took my son along. He's my junior reporter and writes for the school paper, so he enjoys it. He even goes to meetings with me. Those are a bit boring. The last one, he fell asleep and snored the last hour of it.

Anyway, back to the circus. The kids juggled, rode unicycles, did acrobatics and more. If you have a chance to see them, I would recommend it. It's good for everyone in the family.