Thursday, May 31, 2012

Putting It To A Vote

After watching two recent soccer games, one featuring the US Women's National Team and the other featuring the men, I have to decided to put something very crucial to a vote by the readers of Sweeneyville.  (Both of you need to give me your opinion.)  I feel that the new uniforms for the teams are hideous.  Absolutely hideous.  It hurts my eyes to even watch them.  Here is what they look like:

And just to be fair, here is what everyone who likes them thinks they look like:

Furthermore, I talked with my brother Brian today and he told me how much he loves them.  What planet am I on?  It's like he's not even my brother sometimes.  I have taken the pleasure of adding a poll over there on the sidebar and would love to know if you like them or if you are a thinking human being with any fashion sense at all.  Horizontal stripes?!  It's killing me.  Jacob and I are actually going in person to watch the men take on the international soccer powerhouse of Antigua/Barbuda next Friday in Tampa, so you have until then to draw your line in the sand.  I personally think the tickets should be discounted $10 just because we have to watch them play in those shirts.

By the way, if you want to know what I think a good uniform looks like, take a hint from the Dutch....

Now THAT's a jersey!

Knee-deep In The Water Somewhere

What, you thought I was done with my posts about the beach?  Oh no, my little friend! I have not yet begun to blog!!  Okay, actually this is the last I will post about it.                                                                                                                                               On Saturday on Sanibel we decided to hit Bowman's Beach.  It was highly recommended by TripAdvisor and had tons of parking, two things that sealed the deal for me.  It is a toss-up between which beach I liked better.  Bowman's made me feel like I was swimming in a lake because of how calm it was and the shoreline lasted forever.  But Lighthouse had that view of Ft. Myers and the Bay that was so cool.  But I can't argue with a win-win situation- either one was fantastic.                                                               I also want to give a shout out to my parents who were so great and patient and who, of course, drove us there, packed excellent snacks and tolerated everything my children wanted to do.  You guys are the best! 

I think my dad and I decided that Sanibel Island is like the charter school of beaches.  They have their own rules, they do their own thing, they don't care what you think and they know they are thought of to be a little superior (whether or not they actually are).  Plus, no one ends up on these beaches by accident.  With a $6 fee to get on the island every time and then paid parking at $2/hr, most people probably choose the free beaches when push comes to shove. You really have to be intentional to go there.  Consequently, I think all the costs cut down on the riff-raff.  Neither day did we see anyone obnoxious on the beaches.  No crazy teenagers or college co-eds, no chicken fighting, no copious amounts of alcohol, no stereos- not even anyone really being loud at all.  I'm telling you, it was a very relaxing place!

And now, more pictures for your viewing pleasure....

Let it be known that I have done a handstand in the ocean.  And let it also be known that Cindy fell over in the ocean.

Grandpa found this little sand crab for the kids.  They affectionately named him Mr. Krabs.                                                                  You were expecting Charles Von Wilhelm III?

Luke and the mighty barnacled Pen Shell!  Pretty sure it was one like this that was responsible for stabbing me in the foot and making me bleed at one point.  I suggested Aqua Sox for the next time and mom called me a sissy.  Wha?

Cindy desperately wanted to catch the little fish that we saw.

Her persistence paid off!  We ate good that night!

The stop we made at CVS for the inner tube was a great decision.

I also want to mention that while we were enjoying our day, a dolphin watching boat came speeding by out on the water and we actually got to see dolphins jump up at the back of the boat!  It was pretty darn cool.  Cindy thought it was absolutely magical :)

Mom was so diligent in building her sandcastle.  I took the picture too early to show the seashell "driveway" she put in. It was impressive.

Are we cool, or what?  (Don't answer that...)  Yes, I love being a Florida girl.  Thanks for moving here, Mom and Dad!  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are you seeing what I'm seeing?

Behold, the Top Ten List!  And it's not even 8pm!  That's like some sort of miracle.  And speaking of miracles....


10.  Elijah calms a jittery squirrel
9.  Moses parts his hair
8.  Paul causes a lame man to roll over
7.  Aaron strikes his staff on a rock and gets free cable
6.  Peter heals a man with a scaly patch on the back of his hand
5.  The children of Israel put lamb's blood above their door and the Jehovah's Witnesses pass them by
4.  Lot's cousin is turned into a pillar of Spam
3.  Peter walks on very slick wet pavement
2. Joshua and the children of Israel blow their trumpets and the Jericho Starbucks falls down
1. Peter gives sight to a Democrat

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

But Was There Really A Lighthouse? Yes, There Was!

The "lighthouse" of Lighthouse Beach.
Okay, here are a few pictures from Friday from our trip to Sanibel.  We decided to spend the afternoon at Lighthouse Beach. Sanibel has about 5 or 6 public beach access points, but since this was the closest from when you get on the island, we started there.  And that was a great decision because it was heavenly :)  Close parking, soft sand, a great view of the Gulf and skyline of Ft. Myers and it was perfect for my children.  The waves were very small, there wasn't a lot of anything swimming in the water to freak them out, it was very shallow and of course, there were great shells in abundance everywhere.  It was so tranquil and quiet out there too!  No screaming weirdos or anything.  Plus, by about 6pm we were some of the only ones left on the entire beach!  Amazing.

First sight of the water

Me and Cindy soaking up the rays.  I look so white compared to her!  But then again, so does EVERYONE

Nothing funnier than watching Luke walk in his flippers :)

You can just barely see the awesome skyline behind Luke.

Blue sky, blue water.  And my mom in her straw hat if you look really hard.


It wouldn't be a Bingham beach trip without digging a giant hole in the sand :)

Only thing missing was Jacob!

Proof that my children can be brave if they want to be.

Even used dead sea flowers for boot thrusters!

I knew if I made them a mermaid tail and Iron Man Legs once, I would have to do it the rest of my life.....and I was not wrong.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tenacious C and The Sand Dollar of Destiny

I just accidentally deleted a great write-up about our trip to Sanibel.  While I do some deep breathing to find inner peace and NOT punch my computer monitor in the face, enjoy this story that did not get deleted....

Before we told her the bad news....
One thing I knew prior to our trip is that Sanibel has a reputation for sand dollars.  I had mentioned this to Cindy and within about 1 second of being on the beach on Friday she was already complaining that we had not found one yet.  Oy!   Anyway, as we began shelling I realized that the odds of finding one that was whole and white and pretty like the ones you see in the gift shop are about the same odds as me voting for Obama; Hell would freeze over first AND a comet would fly in front of the sun during a lunar eclipse.  On Venus.  During Ramadan.  So, of course, my parents and I began to hatch a plan for the following day where we would buy one of the pretty sand dollars in the gift shop and then very sneakily place it on the beach for Cindy to magically find and then all would be right with the world.  However, about 2 minutes after we hatched this devious plan my dad actually found a sand dollar!  I could not believe it!  (Side note: If there is one thing that is great about my dad it is his talent for not being afraid to reach down and blindly pick up anything he feels on the bottom of the ocean with his foot.  I am a giant pansy and freak out when anything touches me in the water, because obviously it is a nine-tentacled slime monster waiting to rip my leg off.  But my dad loves to dig and pull up anything that he finds.  Sometimes it can be a little scary- horseshoe crab, anyone?  But most of the time it is a cool shell or other harmless ocean debris.  We all benefit from his courage, though :)  So of course, he made Cindy's lifetime by finding a sand dollar.  The good news: Cindy would stop asking when we were going to find one.  The bad news: the sand dollar was "alive" and therefore, it was forbidden for us to take it home.  Cindy did not take this news very well.  But we did take this picture for her to remember the good times spent with the sand dollar and we promised we would get her a pretty white one from the gift shop.

Which we did.  After she reminded us about every 3 seconds from the time she woke up on Saturday morning.

I would kill for a tan like this!!  Why does everyone else in my family get all the good Choctaw blood? No fair.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Your Room Awaits

I told you that coming up with the top ten list topic is always the hardest part and now it is already Thursday, which completely proves my point! Talk about writer's block! Okay, writers block is when you are trying to write something and can't come up with any good ideas.  Oftentimes writer's block occurs on Tuesdays, especially in Sweeneyville.  Also, it can take the form of- oh wait- that was probably more of a rhetorical command.... never mind.   Anyway, since I will be heading off to the beach with my folks this weekend, and maybe you are too, hopefully when someone asks you where you're staying, you won't answer with one of these....


10.  Red Tide Inn
9.  Pirate's Rash Resort & Spa
8.  The Oily Gull
7.  Davy Jones' Futon
6.  Legless Flamingo Lodge
5.  Heatstroke Hideaway
4.  The Villas at Sun Poison Pines
3.  Bloated Barnacle Bed and Breakfast
2.  The Salty Bedbug
1.  Algae Hut

Monday, May 21, 2012

Four More Days...

Back in January of this year, Arthur Frommer (renowned world travel critic and list-maker extraordinaire) compiled his list of best tourist destinations on the entire planet.  Here is what he came up with:

Sanibel? Seriously? For the entire world?!  I would not have guessed that.  But then again, it does look like this:

So the kids and I, along with my parents are headed there for the weekend :)  And all I can say is:

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Great news, I found my camera and didn't even have to give up my kingdom!  Yesssssssss.

And now the moment you have all been waiting for; the picture I desperately needed that was on my camera:

I got my cake made out of Oreo Cakesters for Mother's Day.  Thank You, Jacob and Cindy :) I showed ridiculous restraint and only ate about 6 of these and I will give you 1 guess as to where all the extras are at this very moment.  Here's a hint, it rhymes with "boutside greezer."  I am full of riddles.  It's just one more service I proudly offer.

My Kingdom For My Camera!

No, really, where is my camera?  It STILL has not turned up and there is a picture I desperately need for this blog! The worst part of tearing the house apart looking for stuff is what you find instead of what you are looking for.  Thus, I didn't find my camera, but DID find the advent calendar from Christmas, a set of silverware I forgot I had, another 3-ring binder full of soccer drills, 5 shark teeth in a baggie, and even pictures of my brother Chris from his Junior Prom in 1994.  All of which is interesting for about a second, but pretty much useless.  Kind of like a Kardashian.  Or Congress.  So the search goes on....

A Luke Quickie

On Wednesday I had to go up to the church for Activity Days.  When I told Luke to stay with Dad because I would be gone for about an hour he was about to cry.  (It was so sweet :)   Later when I came home and was putting Luke to bed he told me,  "You said you were going to be gone for an hour and I was really sad to stay with Dad, but actually it wasn't so bad."   Oh, Luke.  You sure know how to win over your father!  I did ask Luke why it wasn't so bad and he said, "Because I got to do the new maps on Cawla Dooty with Dad."   (Cawla Dooty = Call of Duty on Xbox).  We start our sniper training young in Sweeneyville.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog Post Coming Your Way!

As soon as I find my missing camera...  Add this to the ever growing list of why I need an iPhone.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Will Avenge You!

Has it really been three days since I blogged?  Being sick is even more horrible than I thought!  Anyway, it's been touch and go for me since Monday.  Yesterday was terrible, but today was not so bad, so here's to hoping I am totally on the upside of this awful sickness.  Monday was great, though.  Jacob took the day off and we got to go on a day date to go see The Avengers. I had heard and read a lot about it in the last week, but somehow I managed to still be surprised by certain things in the movie.  Were you?


10.  The Hulk and Yoda share the same great-grandfather
9.  In order to appeal to a wider audience Captain America is renamed "Captain Du Monde"
8.  President Obama meets with Loki and agrees to give the aliens New Jersey in return for all the space dogs he can eat.
7.  Black Widow repeating as SHIELD Slam Dunk Champion
6.  Stan Lee makes a cameo!!  I mean, what are the odds!?
5.   Instead of Captain America having a square, masculine jawline, piercingly gorgeous blue eyes that take you to places you've only dreamed about, a smile that turns your bones to jell-o and a physique rivaling only that of a Greek--- wait, what was this list about?
4.  The part where Voldemort kills Hawkeye's parents was a little contrived  
3.  Iron Man's suit is still flexible enough for the kick line finale 
2.  Thor's version of American Pie was surprisingly tender
1.  Goodbye Special Agent Coulson,  Hello Hertz Rent-a-Car Agent Simmons

Thanks to Dave for all his help.  Just to be clear, I  definitely wrote number 5 :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Luke Quickie.....Mother's Day Style

Today the Primary-aged children were to sing a song to all their mothers during Sacrament meeting.  At the appointed time all the children were called up to the front, and Cindy and Luke began to make their way forward.  As the song began, my parents, who were seated behind me, leaned forward and said, "Where's Luke?"  I scanned all the singing children and did not see him anywhere.  Maybe he was in the back?  As the kids finished and filed back to their seats, we still did not see Luke.  When Cindy came to sit down I asked her where Luke was and she had no idea.  I was starting to panic a little at this point. I mean, unless he got translated, my son was completely missing.  As I looked around the chapel, I leaned forward and in the south side foyer, there was Luke with a very embarrassed, tear-stained face.  He came walking over to me very sadly and when I asked him what happened he very quietly said, "I thought it was time for Primary."  He had walked out of the chapel and down the hall to the Primary room by himself and had missed the entire song.  It was so. sad.  If you have met Luke  you know that he has very big, very blue eyes.  But imagine those giant eyes filled with huge pooling tears and his little mouth beginning to pull down at the corners.  It is absolutely the most gut-wrenching, sympathy-inducing, pathetic sight your eyes have ever beheld in your life. EVER!!!  I think he is related to this guy....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vermin Virus

It's a good thing that I don't get sick very often, because when I do, I am not fun.  I have some sort of mild flu that is causing my entire body to ache, given me a sore throat, swollen tongue and provided me with a solid 48 hours of the most demonic tension headache I think I've ever had.  On the other hand, it has once again reminded me how lucky I am to have the Mom I do.  She took the kids to sleepover last night, cleaned my kitchen and brought me flowers this morning.  And in return for all this, I will give her some lame wind chimes for Mother's Day. Yeah, that seems fair.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Top Ten Reasons Why I Didn't Write a Top Ten This Week

10.  Too busy procrastinating killing the giant black widow spider in my garage
9.    Too tired from swimming laps for the first time in over a year
8.    Too annoyed from learning my outside freezer was left open all night
7.    Too sweaty from waiting in car line to get Cindy  (The bus is on my shun list for saying bad words)
6.  Too exhausted from helping out with the 18 Activity Days girls (and that's with 4 assistants!)
5.  Too excited from winning money the radio - Woo-hoo! 
4.  Too drained from watching Jacob do multiplication flashcards with Cindy. For the love of Pete, 6 X 5 is THIRTY!!!! What a world, what a world......
3.  Too stressed from trying to decide our official summer plans
2.  Too happy getting caught up on THREE whole episodes of Psych :)
1.   I was abducted by aliens

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two Things...

Excellent find by my friend Davina....

And a Cindy Quickie

The other day in the back seat of the car the kids were having a conversation about outer space.  After talking for a few minutes Cindy tells me "Here's the thing; I really, really want to go to outer space, it's just that I'm nervous."  She then tells me she's nervous because "it's so high in the air."  And then very matter-of-factly Luke says, "Plus also there are bad ships and aliens attacking."   Frankly, going to outer space sounds like a lose-lose situation.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Doth My Ears Deceive Me?

I have noticed recently that my children need to have hearing exams.  I think there is too much ear wax in there because they never seem to correctly hear what I am saying.  For example....

When I say "Go get dressed"  my children hear, "Put on the oldest shirt you can find so your teacher thinks I haven't been shopping since 1987."

When I say "Go brush your teeth"  my children hear, "Can you please go smear toothpaste on every square inch of the bathroom?  And don't forget the inside of my hair dryer like last time.  Thanks."  

When I say "Please go clean up your room real quick so you can play" my children hear,  "Good news, slavery is being reinstated in America and you two are the lucky first victims!  Clinically sterilize your bedroom and if you could you also sing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot while you work, that would be great."

When I say "I have a meeting up at the church so you will be staying home with Dad for a few hours"  my children hear,   "I'm leaving for a pony-riding party and a meet-and-greet with Iron Man.  See ya later, suckers!!!"

When I say "Go take your shower so we can read scriptures" they hear "Go see how long it takes for us to completely run out of hot water and also find out if the wood floor in the hallway is really watertight."

And my personal favorite, when I say "Time to get out of the pool"  they hear  "Woof, woof, rrrrufff! Ruff, woof, arf."  That one's for you, Dad.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Big Dance

This past weekend I finally did something else I have been meaning to do for about 5 years, and that is attend a dance concert at Harrison School of the Performing Arts here in Lakeland.  Every year I ALWAYS say I should take Cindy and I never do.  But Saturday night, I FINALLY did!  And it was fun.  Cindy was not so impressed with the modern dance numbers, but when it came time for a routine that looked something like this:

Cindy leaned over to me and very seriously whispered, "I need some shoes like that."

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Star Wars weekend in Sweeneyville was fun.  I am going to miss it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Star Wars Food for Thought

We can't repel flavor of that magnitude!
That's no melon...

These were the droids I was cooking for.

Eat it up, Fuzzballs!

He was alive and in perfect hibernation.

I used to pan fry womp rats in my T-16 back home.

Only blue food coloring could be so bold.

I found our lack of cake disturbing...

Impressive, most impressive.
Delicious beverages.  They are your destiny.

Good thing my microwave was fully operational.

Aren't you a little cute to be a stormtrooper?

I don't know, watch casual.

May The Fur Be With You

I couldn't let my Star Wars revelry pass without a little mash-up action.  This time it adds up - cats: great.  Star Wars: awesome.  Cats and Star Wars:  epic win.

This is one is definitely the best.  The kids laughed for 20 minutes....