Simon Says

You might think, after having been gone for 3 weeks, I’d be unpacking and working all day at getting the house (and our WA lives) back in order.

lots of snacks

The long flight coupled with possible lack of airline seats and hours of wait ahead of us in the Cincinatti airport, threw me into an utter panic. I reacted by buying candy and snacks and toys with abandon. This is what is LEFTOVER from our long day of travel. And trust me, those children did their best to eat everything before the final plane landed.

Nope. Instead I’ve been hiding and ducking my head in shame over the terrible lack of pictures in yesterday’s blog. To have my identity called into question, caused my dear husband to suffer deep heart distress, and forced my sister-in-law to actually read the post rather than just skim along looking at the pictures. We’re talking serious infractions here. And that’s only what I know from the few who deigned to comment.

The word is out that my faithful mother has mailed my camera cord and it is already on its speedy way here. If something happens to it in transit I have word from Debbie in NY that I can easily buy a little USB card reader for my camera. Whew! Life can progress along smoothly. Well, as smoothly as can be imagined with five children.

We went to a wonderful Fourth of July party yesterday. Most of the pictures are, of course, buried in my camera (so not going to go there) but I do have some that Tim took. The party opened with games at the nearby park.

simon says

Time for a little “Simon Says.”

Okay, “Simon Says” is not a new game. I mean, is there anyone who hasn’t played or watched their kids play this game? This question got me thinking about international versions (I think I’m easily distracted).

Jacques a dit — French
Santos dice — Spanish
Wilhelm sagt — German

This would actually be a fantastic game to use as a part of language study. Of course, homeschoolers might be more interested in a Latin or Greek version. Filing this little winner of an idea away to market later.

more simon says

The crowd is thinning but Sarah and I are still in the game!

I was warned that Mr. L ran an intense game of ‘Simon Says” but I have NEVER played it quite like this. Our game leader was ruthless! He was easy on the kids (at the beginning) but then began whipping through the commands, disqualifying people left and right.

Sarah and I made through round after round. We even survived the tricky, “Simon Says it’s no longer Simon but Mr. L Says so Simon Says put your arms down.” I mean, we were unfazed by the subtle or even the obvious orders to shake, rattle and roll. In a moment of tragic distraction, however, I blew the whole game. Argh!! I bent over to speak to Sarah (who wouldn’t leave my side and was completely overwhelmed by the all the games no matter how friendly Mr. L was). In those few precious seconds, my brain failed to track the order of “Mr. L. now says that it’s back to Simon Says; Simon Says bend down and touch your knees.” The next thing I knew the other two gals had their hands on their knees and Sarah and I were thrown out of the game.

You can see it hit me very hard.


Sarah tries to comfort me but the loss is just too devestating. :)

Rachel and I tried to make a come back at the next game – Inner Circle/Outer Circle. I can’t remember the actual name but it was something similar. Basically each grown-up paired with a child. The grown ups (and I use that term loosely) stood in circle (inner) facing their partner (outer circle). At the count of 3 the grown ups walked in a clock wise direction while the kids walked in a counter-clock wise direction.

here we go, merrily

This would work perfectly with music (sort of a moving musical chair thing). When our fearless leader shouted, the adults dropped to one knee and their partner had to run (frantically, knocking down small children and any grown ups not paying attention) to sit on the offered knee.

sitting ducks

Again, I made it close to the final round of the game. I’m telling you, I was ON yesterday. Since I am not a game person, at least not this type of game, I was doing pretty well to participate at all. Give me a deck of cards or a Settler of Catan game board and I’m good for hours. Relay races involving balloons, eggs, and spoons in any combination?


Thankfully Tim did not get a shot of Rachel and I losing. It wasn’t pretty.

Let’s just say I went home and took an hour and a half nap after our time at the park. A very strong cup of coffee and a change of clothes and I was ready to re-join the party for dinner. Enough said.

Project 365 – Day 185

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No pictures

Violating all rules about blogging and photos, attracting and keeping readers, I’m posting a quick blog without any pictures. Gasp. Yes, this is a picture-less blog. Rats, I just lost half the crowd right there. Anyone left?

In the flurry of packing and organizing and corralling things and children for the trip home, I somehow left the cable for my camera in my parents’ kitchen. I can’t understand how I would leave something so precious and significant just sitting on the kitchen table. I packed everything else, I mean really, 11 suitcases??!! That’s a lot of packing.

I guess I did leave a few Matchbox cars, but I look at those as little treats for Mom and Dad to stumble over as they try to put the house back together. Sort of a reminder of our presence to comfort them in the quiet and still house.

Yes, I packed my laptop, portable dvd player, MP3 player, cell phone, camera plus all the various and sundry cables for charging and using and listening to all these electronic devices. Some of which that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

My goodness, it does beg the question of how we traveled when I was a child? No IPODs or dvd players or digital cameras or game boys. I think we read books and sang songs. Boy, times change. Although between our crew we did travel with close to 15 books, so times don’t change all that much. You still really need a good book (or 3) for a long trip. And don’t even get my kids started on a rousing version of, “Oh, You Can’t Get to Heaven!” That song alone can last for a LONG time. Probably the inventor of the personal headset had children who learned all the additional verses to that catchy tune.

Mom promises me she will mail the cable as soon as possible. Hurry, Mom! We’ll be sitting by the curb waiting for the package to arrive. :) Just kidding. Sort of.

My computer is old (I think we bought it in 2005 – I know, ancient) so it doesn’t have a digital camera card reader. I guess if I get desperate I can run over to Julee’s house and try hers or even go to Costco and access the pictures. But really, we don’t ever print our pictures, we just put them on the computer, blog them and enjoy the never-ending screensaver of all of our photos, so I wouldn’t even know what to do at Costco.

Thankfully Tim has stepped up the plate on this one. He pulled out his old digital camera (like really old, probably 4 years) and is using it to take pictures. He doesn’t want the Project 365 to suffer. Way to take up the cause, dear!

You caught me, I really could be posting pictures on this blog. We took tons of pictures today (on both cameras). Mainly I’m just too lazy (I mean tired) to get up and get them off Tim’s camera. Maybe tomorrow. We did go to a fun party with games and food and fireworks (basic 4th of July stuff), all of which totally deserve their time in the blogging picture world.

Perhaps you can see it as a compliment. I know you are mature enough to handle this blog without a single picture.

Hello? (echo, echo, echo).

It sure is quiet in here. Well, live and learn and grab the camera, I always say.


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Victims of Anti-Crime

Some people go away on vacation and come home to find their home has been vandalized, robbed, or even destroyed. Those people have it easy.

We returned home from the airport and piled the suitcases by the front door, children staggering sleepily up the stairs or sitting dazed on the bottom step, until a passing Daddy can carry them off to bed. We started the standard triage process on the accumulated mail, and then discovered we were the victims of a heinous anti-crime. Bail bonding is likely the most misunderstood profession in our legal system. Lawyers, clerks, even magistrates within the criminal justice system who are exposed to bail bonds on a daily basis can often on give the most basic explanation of the process. Compound this with the fact that most citizens who find themselves in the position of needing a bail bondsman (or at least thinking they do) will often be in a confused state due to the stress of having a loved on incarcerated. Needless to say bail bondsman tend to enjoy more than a competitive edge when it comes to negotiating the terms of their service, if any negotiating is done at all.

So how does an individual without any knowledge about what is really involved with this mysterious profession make sure they are not paying more than what is reasonable? Let me start by clearly stating that the intent of this article is to explain only enough about bail bonding itself to give the reader enough knowledge to get the best price. I do not intend to outline the entire bail bonding process because, in reality, it is not necessary to understand the details to get the best price. In addition we are talking about LARGE bail bonds. No bail bondsman is going to be interested in getting into a heated negotiation over a $1,000 bail bond. You either pay the fee or your bailee will likely just stay incarcerated. There is one mandatory subject that must be covered so that you limit your negotiations to bail bonding companies that are in a position to actually help you and that is the difference in Surety and Property bail bondsman. That will be covered shortly, first lets look at the typical bail bond. You can find more info here about the Connecticut Bail Bonds Group.

A criminal defense attorney can provide clients with much-needed assistance with a potential case and advice on what occurs in the courtroom. They can guide defendants through the pros and cons of handling a criminal case and it can protect them from drastic consequences entailing a criminal offense.

Some may feel that heading to a law firm to get hold of any lawyer can be an easy solution to their problem, but that may not be enough to help prospective clients in these cases. A defense attorney is one who will be able to help defend someone in times of prosecution and specializes in criminal cases. The most important reason for it being the criminal defense attorney will be better acquainted with the different aspects related to criminal laws. Having dealt with cases in this field, the attorney should have some solid experience, which will help them handle the case as well. In some cases, there happen to be certain rules and regulations which need to be abided by. An attorney who particularly practices criminal law will know these rules and regulations better than any general lawyer. If you want to know more about the criminal defense attorney, see it here.

When going to employ a criminal defense attorney, there are certain things to keep in mind. The first and foremost thing for clients is to look into the work history of the attorney. A good criminal attorney ought to have a good reputation and an overall successful career, provided that he practices with sincerity and dedication. Work history plays an important role in furnishing an idea about the experience of the attorney, whether they are capable enough of handling the case. It is best if a client choose a lawyer who handles cases of their kind specifically, thus making the lawyer aware of the positive and negative sides of a case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows exactly how to proceed with a particular variety of criminal case and hence, they will be able to provide the client with a clear idea of their role in helping the attorney. It is critical that the views of the lawyer and the client are identical about a particular case. This enables them to communicate with ease and helps the attorney to present it before the judge.

Aptly speaking, a criminal defense attorney can be a useful asset for clients when the case is involving criminal law. A client needs to be precise in what they want their lawyer to act upon, and keep track of the lawyer’s progress and needs. As a responsible client, it is their duty to look over what their attorney has to do to secure their freedom.

Luggage for seven
Thirteen checked pieces plus eight carry-on bags makes quite a pile for tomorrow!

Anti-crime has never really caught on. I first read about it in a Terry Pratchett book, or perhaps it was Douglas Adams — whoever it was, he gave a few examples:

  • Breaking and decorating — the victim’s home is violated with new furniture, wallpaper, artwork, or whatever.
  • Whitemailing — the victim (usually a mob boss or other unsavory character) is extorted under threat that his good deeds will be revealed to his fellow criminals

Finding the right attorney should not be undertaken by drawing a name out of a hat. The attorney should be one who specializes in criminal law rather than other types of legal practice. Only an attorney who has experience in trying criminal cases will be up to date on all the laws and nuances that may help to prepare and present your legal defense. Obviously, the first requirement of an attorney is that they are licensed to practice law in the state where they are needed. Attorneys must sit for and pass a comprehensive bar exam in order to be accepted as an accredited and practicing attorney in the state. Most attorneys must have some experience in criminal law before they are ready to defend clients in criminal cases. A quality criminal defense lawyer should be skilled at gathering and assimilating information regarding the case. They should be familiar with all witnesses, law enforcement, case reports and autopsy reports (if applicable). They should be familiar with the style and history of the prosecuting team in order to formulate a plan of how to best defend against the charges. You will be get more about the Great Neck criminal defense lawyer.

Apparently the point of anti-crime is not just that a good deed be done, but rather that it be done in a way to produce maximum outrage or humiliation in the heart of the victim. When you are accused of a crime, getting arrested and spending time in jail can be an unfamiliar and frightening experience. Fortunately, since you are legally innocent until proven guilty, in many cases a judge may allow you to be released until your hearing or trial. However, the judge may order that you provide some form of guarantee that you will return to face the charges against you before you can be released from custody. This security is called a Bail Bond, and it must usually be turned over to the court in the form of cash, property, a signature bond, a secured bond through a surety company, or a combination of forms. Walking down the street in a normal town, one won’t find very many people with any knowledge whatsoever of the bail bonds industry. As a Ventura Bail Agency, we’ve been in this business for over 40 years and know the industry inside and out. So we thought we would put together a short list of four common questions and answer them for you. All answers are with regards to the laws of the state of California.Most Nevada residents can go through their entire lifetime and never have the need of a Las Vegas criminal attorney. However, incidents can happen where you should be consulting an attorney in order to make certain that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible representation. Even if you are guilty of a criminal act, the laws of the United States and the State of Nevada provide for the assumption of innocence unless you are proven guilty.

In any case, the ‘criminals’ used a variant of ‘breaking and decorating’ on us, and replaced our old, unattractive and barely-operable sinks with new, shiny sinks and faucets, leaving their jeering placards behind as evidence. As soon as we find out who it was, we’ll retaliate in kind, perhaps whitemailing them mercilessly … :)

New sink and cool faucet
Kathy has long wanted a better faucet, especially since our old one had been making ominous screeching noises when we turned it on and off.

In any case, it is good to be home.

They even hit the bathroom!
Even the little red bathroom was not deemed sacrosanct. You can imagine our outrage!

Tim (Kathy was too tired to write, and is, even now, nearly asleep in Cream Puff)

Project 365, Day 184

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Just One More Day

Tomorrow is the last day of the epic Michigan Vacation of ’07, which is very sad. Kathy showed me a few photos of today’s excursion to the pool … as you can see, they are holding up well in the midst of their sorrow.

Grandad the Sea Monster
David loses a game of ‘Sharks and Minnows’

It will be good to have everyone safely home, assuming that the snafu with seating assignments on the flight home is resolved. If not, some members of the family may become more intimate with the Cincinnati airport than they prefer.

Sarah and Grace
Sarah finds a kindred spirit

It is always nice to be reminded of the many friends we have left scattered around the country as we have moved from place to place. Over the course of this vacation, Kathy and the kids had the opportunity to visit with four families: Russ and Nancy (three boys, two girls), Amy and Bill (two boys, two girls), Bruce and Laura (three girls) and Dave and Jen (two boys and a girl). It has been fun to stay in touch with each of them, off and on, over the years.

Daniel plays Settlers of Catan with a worthy opponent
Daniel plays Settlers of Catan with a worthy opponent

What a delightful treat to fellowship with old friends and their growing families! Even so, several old friends were out of town or otherwise busy; it is often hard to make time for friends without neglecting family.

Dave and Jen
Dave and Jen haven’t aged a bit in the seven years since we saw them last!

David the Marshmallow
David was a little too wiggly for precision roasting, anyway.

David apparently convinced the older boys that he was a marshmallow in urgent need of roasting, but this innocent misunderstanding was eventually cleared up. It reminds me of the two main schools of marshmallow-roasting thought, which are as follows:

  • The ‘golden-brown’ school:

    This philosophical position requires the patience of Job, as the marshmallow is gently toasted, evenly on all sides, rotated high above the coals. Some maintain that this is the only proper way to eat a marshmallow, and that it results in a uniformly warm interior, melting the chocolate in a s’more with great efficiency. Golden-brown roasters view disciples of the opposing school of thought as barbarians, and will snootily discard a marshmallow with even the slightest evidence of charring.

  • David really loves marshmallows

  • The ‘flaming blob of goo’ school:

    A system of thought firmly held by many young boys, this roasting method involves plunging the marshmallow into the hottest part of the fire as quickly as possible, and then waving it about wildly to extinguish the flames. Adherents of this school hold that a marshmallow without a thick carbonized shell is no marshmallow at all, and that golden-brown toasting is for sissies.

Grandad steals a hug
Sarah enjoys her Grandad

A little-known advantage of being a pastor’s kid is found in some rather surprising perquisites. One hot day after they returned from upstate Michigan, Kathy’s Dad made a phone call:

Kathy’s Dad: “Hello, Del? How are you doing? Good, glad to hear it. Say, I was thinking of making a pastoral call on your pool today, and I wondered if that would be convenient?”

Rachel and Sarah recover from the water-park

As the son of an Army Chaplain, I thought I’d heard all the ecclesiastic angles, but this was a new one for me. Apparently Kathy’s Dad felt that calling it ‘baptism research’ was a little too deceptive, but it worked like a charm, and the whole family was invited over for a pool party. I guess being a pastor isn’t all late night hospital visits and last-resort marital counseling.

David takes the plunge

Tomorrow my family will say their goodbyes and head for home, glad to have enjoyed such a fun vacation and sorry to leave. Hopefully we can persuade Mamie and Grandad to come and visit us soon.

Thank you, Mamie and Grandad, for your kindness to our family!

Project 365, Day 183

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