Friday, May 23, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

1998. Has it really been 10 years? Unfathomable.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


For the first time ever, Newsweek magazine has ranked six Montgomery County public high schools in the top 100 high schools in the nation -- more than any other school district in the United States. In the previous four years, five high schools have appeared in the top 100. All of the county's eligible schools are counted among the top 3 percent in the country, according to Newsweek.
The six top high schools and their rankings are:
Richard Montgomery, 32
Thomas S. Wootton, 59
Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 63 (This is the one we're zoned for)
Walt Whitman, 68
Walter Johnson, 75
Winston Churchill, 96
The Newsweek rankings highlight the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) reform efforts over the last eight years to encourage more high school students from every background to take challenging Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Participation in these rigorous programs provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in college and the world of work. Newsweek uses the "Challenge Index," which has been featured for the past several years in The Washington Post, as a way to measure the rigor of a high school academic program. The index, developed by Jay Mathews, is derived from the number of AP or IB tests taken by all students at a school divided by the number of graduating seniors. Since 2000, MCPS has undertaken significant reforms to increase academic success for all students and close the achievement gap. Fundamentally, the reforms are predicated upon hiring and training high-quality teachers, reducing class sizes and offering students a rigorous and challenging curriculum.
Newsweek's Rankings of Montgomery County Schools Among the Top U.S. High Schools
32 Richard Montgomery
59 Thomas Wootton
63 Bethesda-Chevy Chase
68 Walt Whitman
75 Walter Johnson
96 Winston Churchill
199 Montgomery Blair
296 Springbrook
312 Poolesville
313 Rockville
328 Albert Einstein
338 James Hubert Blake
418 Paint Branch
438 Watkins Mill
474 Northwest
505 Sherwood
552 Col. Zadok Magruder
651 Gaithersburg
696 Quince Orchard
816 Wheaton
837 John F. Kennedy
860 Damascus
906 Seneca Valley
* This list excludes Northwood High School and Clarksburg High School because they did not have graduating seniors in 2007.
Read the package in its entirety at>

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Do you need words?

The blonde is Isaac's BFF Justin and we were at the zoo. I don't even remember what they were singing but it's one of my favorite pictures ever.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Perfect Day for......

You know those days. The ones that are incandescent after a week of dreary, cold rain. Where the sun is shining bright and the air is warm and the breeze is sharp and cool. You know what those days are good for?
Learning to ride a bike, of course!

This is the school parking lot.
Both are doing quite well, though neither is a "rider" quite yet. They can make a decent show of riding a few yards before having to drop their feet for balance. No skinned knees or elbows and I believe both are game for more practice.
I have learned that I am a terrible teacher when it comes to riding bikes. I'm far too "helpful". Todd does a lot of fussing, but the boys got much, much further with him behind them than with me. I'm cool with that. That's why there are two of us. Besides, it's hard work running behind a boy on a bike!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Do you see him?

A strong rain soon after this was taken destroyed the nest so he has since moved into other quarters, but this is "our" robin. He eats, sings and woos in our yard and the church's yard. Since we've installed the bird feeder we've seen less of him, presumably because sparrows annoy him. I don't blame him. Let's face it, sparrows en masse are annoying.
Here's an "action shot":

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Hunt

They were looking for ants for Isaac's ant farm. I think they saw some very interesting specimens, however in the end no one was brave enough to actually capture anything.
Thank goodness.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Picasa
For the mothers at church this year, Todd purchased a bee hive for a needy village through Heifer International in our honor. It was a really cool idea and we commemorated it by giving each mom a flower with a honey stick attached to it with a bee-shaped clip. (go Erin on creativity!)
Very cool.
I, personally, got a hair clip (a very nice one), some yummy bath goodies and some sweet hugs. We had lunch with a wonderful lady from church who is widowed and whose only child lives in New England. Lou is always fun to spend time with and it was a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. When we came home I sat down to watch Mansfield Park and about half-way through Isaac came over, curled up in my lap, wrapped his hand up in my hair and fell asleep. It's been a long, long time since I got to hold one of my own sleeping babies while he napped. It was a special Mother's Day treat.
It's been a good day. Hope yours was too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


As suspected, that ewe in the picture a few posts down is not a Blue Faced Leicester. I'm not sure yet what she is, but here is a pic of a BFL:
Not quite as fun looking as the other, but perfectly acceptable. I've been using that fleece and it is truly yummy to the touch.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Who's to argue with such findings?

I'm a Mercedes SLK!

You appreciate the finer things in life. You have a split personality - wild or conservative, depending on your mood. Wherever you go, you like to travel first class. Luxury, style, and fun - who could ask for more?

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sometimes they're good.

Hunter often sends me forwards. Usually they are....shall we say...lame? This one, however, was quite funny.
Number 26 is my favorite.

Things I learned living in Texas~
1. A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in Texas.
3. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in Texas, plus a couple no one's seen before.
4. If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.
5. 'Onced' and 'Twiced' are words.
6. It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy.
7. 'Jaw-P?' means 'Did ya'll go to the bathroom?'
8. People actually grow and eat okra.
9. 'fixinto' is one word.
10. There is no such thing as 'lunch'. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
11. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar.
12. Backwards and forwards means 'I know everything about you.'
13. The word 'jeet' is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'.
14. You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is, you work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
15. You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH EM.
16. 'No. Jew?' is a common response to the question 'Did you bring any beer?'.
17. You measure distance in minutes.
18. You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
19. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.
20. You know what a 'DAWG' is.
21. You carry jumper cables in your car --- for your OWN car.
22. You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Texas Pete, Tabasco and Ketchup.
23. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and motorsports.
24. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
25. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit 'a bit warm'.
26. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
27. Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite past time know as 'goin' Wal-Martin' or 'off to Wally World'.
28. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chicken stew weather.
29. Fried catfish is the other white meat.
30. We don't need no dang driver's ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive, dag-nabbit.
31. You understand these jokes and forward them to your Texas friends and those who just wish they were from Texas.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Last Tuesday was "Free Scoop" day at Ben & Jerry's. Having never been in a Ben & Jerry's in my life, I wasn't sure what to expect. The line was up the block but we did manage to beat the High Schoolers. They had started to line up as we were getting our ice cream. :-o
Todd's hooked! He had Chocolate Therapy and it has haunted him ever since. Last night he snuck out on his scooter after the kids were in bed and brought home some Mint Chocolate Chunk for me and a small carton full of Chocolate Therapy for himself. Poor sap. He had no idea how powerful the draw of good chocolate could be.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 05, 2008


I actually de-saturated this picture a bit so you could see the flowers. The color is pretty intense in real life.

This was a few weeks ago. The bushes did bloom out quite a bit more into a veritable carpet of pink but it was cloudy the whole time they were at their peak. They're starting to fade a bit now, but they are still a lovely sight to open the blinds on every morning.

Todd has done some landscaping since this picture was taken. I'll try to get you a photo soon.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Do I know ewe?

It's probably not this lady's, but I did purchase a BFL fleece today that looked remarkably like the wool coat she is wearing in this picture. It is yummy and I'm excited about trying it out on my wheel. I also procured 8oz of red merino roving. After buying a lamb sandwich and glass of lemonade, I had spent all the money I had. :-(
I'm starting my fund for next year's trip tomorrow. And in case you were wondering...
Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival ROCKS!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Second Place

Not too bad.

I'll try not to be offended by the fact that they hung it with the "junior" entries. They judged it with the "grown up" works....and it is painted with crayons after all.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 02, 2008

Recently seen....

These were blooming outside our gate recently. They're gone now. Replaced by the azaleas. I'll post pics of them later.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Presidential Race

Here at the Nationals Ball Park, this is what the Presidents Race looks like:

I much prefer it to the other. You?

Posted by Picasa