Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mission Control, this is Apollo

Many years ago, thanks to the wisdom of my Mother, my Father applied and worked for NASA in Florida. Because of their foresight my brother's, sister's and I had a fantastic opportunity as young children to experience several of the Apollo explorations while living in Satellite Beach, a town or two from Titusville. The home of the Kennedy Space Center. 

Back in February of this year our younger boys and I visited my Mother while she spent a month in Florida. On the way back from our wonderful trip I decided to take a detour by my childhood home and therefore take the boys to NASA..

Growing up close to a world of space innovation, or perhaps to the excitement of our parents, each of my brothers and sisters learned to appreciate the history of space exploration.

Be as it may, I was extremely pleased when both of my younger boys found the same love and fascination. Especially,  my sweet Alexander. Even before our trip, Alexander had built quite a collection of different aircraft's with Lego's and has since hoped for this everyday since we have gotten back from our trip.

In my haste to run out and buy these and many other things my son wants, we headed to the library instead. Thankfully he found just the book he has been "looking for all of his life!". 

He's 10.

Mission Control, This is Apollo
The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon

This 100+ page colorfully illustrated book was written by Andrew Chaikin. A man who has been writing about space exploration for 25 years and as chance would have it, actually met Alan Bean when he was 12 years old, back in 1969 and is pictured on the back insert cover. Indeed, an amusing recount of fate.

This book is recommended for ages between 9 - 12 with the idea of introducing them into space exploration at an early age. It is quite rich in text with a lot of information and has a great deal of interesting facts. I too found this book to be fascinating. It is definably a book that should be shared with your child when they have your full attention. It is well worth the time spent to refresh your history of what it took to have "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

Each mission from Apollo 1 to 17 is explained in great detail about space exploration's successes and failures. The book details each part of the rocket, who designed it, why it was designed and how. In it the author covers the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States and proves informative on even more pressing issues like what happens "when you gotta go".

This book certainly depicts a wonderful collection paintings detailing special moments of each mission. It  is  beautifully illustrated. As I stated earlier Alan Bean, astronaut, turned artist, began his artistic career after he returned from a Skylab mission in 1973.

All in all, we feel we found another hit during our library trip and give this book a thumbs up!  This book is definitely is a must for your budding astronaut.

In my opinion, the best part of this book is the dedication page where the author and illustrator both smartly thanked their Mother's. Another very important teaching tool. Need I say anymore?

Alexander feels that the artist pictures and his work is the number one reason of why we should buy the Apollo book. In fact, he suggested it would make a fine addition to our coffee table. I would suggest that if  you purchase this book, keep it open to page 2, simply as a constant reminder for your children to often Appreciate and Acknowledge their Mother.

(Right, Mom?)

Monday, June 27, 2011

All The Dirt

Recently my cousin left a comment in reference to giving more dirt.  
"be sure to include a little dirt here and there!" She said.

 Regina,  her daughter Mary Kate and my husbands knee.   

Well! As luck would have it. It stormed here last night.  

MAN o Man what a storm it was! Gray gloomy clouds gave way to black. In the distance we heard thunder roar as the clouds suddenly turned to an ominous green. Then POW!

Flashes of lightening danced in the night, as golf ball size hail plummeted from the sky. Ends up loads of trees uprooted leaving even more Dirt!! .

My Mother's pool was covered.

The DIRT was every where!  Clean up was exhausting! 

My brother George

Mud holes so deep you could swim in them.


Thankfully the storm has passed and I sincerely hope I satisfied your need for dirt my dear Regina.

 BUT It's to bad you didn't ask for a bit of gossip. I've got plenty of really good stuff for that!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Diamond in the Ruff

What kind of Mother goes to her childrens piano recital and forgets to check ti see whether or not the batteries in her camera are working properly?

A heart broken One, who lost a very sentimental diamond out of her engagement ring. That's who. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Birthday Wish

Happy Birthday to my ONE and ONLY Follower! :)

Today is my sister's birthday!!

My sister, Lisa was born a few years ago on June 21st. Believe it or not I remember the day that we, Karen, Bill, George and my Dad picked her and my Mother up from the hospital. I remember the type of car we drove, what was said, and where each person sat for the ride home and we've been friends ever since.

She is quite a woman. She takes care of her family, her husband, she home-schools her children, one of which has received scholarships to several colleges. She enjoys kick boxing, so if you don't pay your bill after her husband gets done with the work you've hired him to do, watch it! This girls got a quick right jab. Or is it the left? She loves chocolate and makes killer fudge!! Which I haven't gotten in quite a while, come to think of it.  She's been a wonderful caring and loving daughter to both of our parents and is an especially good friend to our Mother.

Over the twenty plus years that she and Mark have been married, she's been busy raising a few wonderful little big  people. She's a great Mother and as my kids can attest a really neat Aunt. In addition to all her countless amazing qualities she has become quite the budding photographer.  In appreciation of her new hobby, I really wished that I could have gotten her one of the these for her brthday. But it was a little above my budget. 

I really have to update my pictures. These kids are a bit taller now.

                                                                                                                     The one in the middle is mine. The other two have grown a bit since.

SO! You know what I got her instead? I am so excited!! In fact, I don't think I've felt this excited over a gift in quite a long time! I really enjoy giving gifts but sometimes you just don't know what to buy for that special someone. Ya know what I mean?

WELL! This year. I got it!!  AND I am p-r-o-u-d of myself.  This time I hit the mark!

So. Ready??? Ta-da!!

I got her a ...... MARATHON!   Isn't that fantastic?! Well. Not the whole 26.2 miles BUT a half!! Yep. 13.1 miles. A half marathon!  See! She's the second person on participants list. It's O-fficial. 

Isn't that exciting?? I am really excited. In fact, I felt so giddy and giggly when I signed her up that I signed myself up too. Anyone else wanna join us? It'll be so much fun. Think about it.

Well, Lisa, Thanks for being my one and only follower. :) I hope you have a wonderful birthday and hope you really enjoy your gift(s)!

Yipee!! I know you'll love it! Training begins in a month! Love, Me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!! 

I would love to share the wonder of my own Father with you, although, it's been awhile since he left us for a full time postilion in heaven as a prayerful saint, I still tend to get the ugly cry syndrome when I talk about him so I thought I'd tell you about another great guy, my husband.


That's him - the one on the right. In the blue shirt. Isn't he wonderful?

Reiner, is one of the most amazing men I've had the pleasure to know. German born, hence the name of this blog Cabbage and Weinerschnitzel, the cabbage of course is Irish and Wein - okay, well, you get the point..

Anyway, my husband and his family moved to the great US of A quite a long time ago. He actually learned how to speak fluent English in South Carolina as a child. Even though I get very aggravated at times with his constant use of poor prepositional phrases, (well? doesn't that aggravate everyone?) I have to tell you His Mother (and Father) did a really great job in raising this awesome guy.

As a father to our sons he has taught them how to be attentive and compassionate young men. Always, thinking of each other and others around them unless of course they have chocolate or something else sweet to. Well. For the most part He's taught them how be admiral and loving individuals. Best of all he taught them how to love and respect my Mother and me.

He quite often makes every effort to set aside quality time to be with each of our sons. My sister can attest to seeing my husband hard at work on the roof of our garage only to take a moment or 30 away and climb down a  ladder just to help our younger boys create a wooden hatchet so they could play Davey Crockett. (Hey, were homeschoolers, in our world, he still exist.)

So how could I resist when our oldest suggested this great father's day gift!!  Oh! Sorry. I can't show you because unfortunately, IT didn't come in on time........ very frustrating!   We decided to keep it for plan B. Perhaps the children will give it to him at Christmas and then I can let you all in on the great gift that I bought. Perhaps it'll get here by then.

But then again, I guess he's already gotten his gift. Our children. I know he is and has been a great gift for them. and me

Yep. He's quite special.

Here's hoping your gifts came in on time. Happy Father's Day everyone!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Goodbye Mr. Blue Fire

Some days are really tough. 

And sometimes it helps when you have a special best-friend like your brother to see you through the loss of your beloved fish. Good-bye Mr. Blue Fire.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The art of Photography

I'm not sure if you've noticed but I am new to the blogging world. I know a few people with blogs; my sister for one and my cousin being the another. In trying to find my way around other blogs I've noticed and i feel encourage by the many blogger's great ability to take great photos and have wonderful captions for specific post.

In looking over my sisters blog  Advent and other Fine(nell) Adventures I appreciate the fact that she has become quite the talented photographer. She has come up with a creative way to place her photo's in an impressive collage formation. Recently, I asked her if she would teach me some of her ideas. Here is her answer from a recent post in reply to a comment sent from another blogger on her site:

You asked how I made the balloon collages? I simply put pictures into a collage setting on my picasa up load  ((this is the first step to the picasa up load on my computer not the one you send pictures to...understand?...I hope so :) ))

I used a white back ground and ta-da done :) Once I figured it out it was easy.

Margaret ~ NO! :)

That's me. Margaret, aka Maggie, aka M. I'm sure you get the drift. We won't go with the any of the other aka's. Don't worry. She'll teach me. (I think. I hope.) You have to admit, it is a funny reply. She's clever although her daughter may disagree,

she is funny.                                 (Definitely need an updated photo of my niece!)

I just love the description under her blog title "Where the Irish, Polish and German Laugh, Weep, and Love their way through life". So charming. Don't you think?

In addition to my sisters elite photographic experience, I noticed that others really know how to take good pictures and capture the moment in an awesome post to get their point across.  

For example, in my cousin's blog The Amazing Trips , Jen wrote a smart post titled "Out on a limp". I was actually there for the picture taking experience in which I witnessed her literally lay on the ground, while her youngest,
William, one of the triplets, climbed on her as she was capturing this great photo!

and this one.
and this one

Although my children told me, my dear cousin warned against publishing pictures of her on a blog that she basically created for me...I couldn't resist.    Could you? 

In any event, I found it impressive that she was holding papers under her arm, undeterred by her busy surroundings as she photographed children climbing a tree, just after taking snap shots for a special get well wish for her niece for yet another post. Pretty impressive, huh?

Besides the fact of getting in a great ab workout, perhaps it's just one of many ways every great Mother, contortionist, blogging, photographer should be.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cabbage & Wienerschnitzel: Student becomes Teacher

Cabbage & Wienerschnitzel: Student becomes Teacher: "This is Brian. Brian loves to read. He reads just about everything. Anywhere. Everywhere. His interest sparks from dinosaurs to modern d..."

Student becomes Teacher

Brian loves to read. He reads just about everything. Anywhere. Everywhere. His interest sparks from dinosaurs to modern day tanks. Over the years of our homeschooling experience his mind has become so rich with information that at times it completely baffles me. I just can't imagine where he gets his thirst for knowledge. Nah, couldn't be from my nephew - I'm told he, my nephew, gets his thirst from his father.

Brian has been reading fluently for quite sometime now. This is a picture of him when he was about 4 or 5 wearing my husbands glasses.

 This morning he was up early and as usual decided to share information from his latest library find. A book called Reign of the Sea Dragons by Sneed B. Collard III

Whether or not you actually believe that these creatures existed, this book talks about while dinosaurs ruled the earth, sea monsters ruled the seas, during the Mesozoic period, around parts of Europe and North America. This book brings an adventure full of scientific discoveries made by various paleontologist around the world to life.

Personally, I was fascinated to learn that a young sea shell seller named Mary Anning  whom the tongue twister "She sells seashells by the seashore" is actually about,  was a 19th century paleontologist.  Her career began as a child around 1810 when she, along with her brother, discovered the first Plesiosaur fossil, which so happens to be a part of the Ichthyosaurs (fish-lizard) family. 

As Brian showed me this morning, if you look at the inside cover, it shows the relationship in size between ancient sea animals and modern mammals of today. Each chapter introduces a new marine reptile giving "just the facts" as to when the specific creature first and last appeared as well as it's specific diet. "Always good to think about just in case one of these creatures could possibly still be in existence when you go for your next swim in the ocean. But, I seriously doubt it; since scientist feel it was oh! millions of years ago since they first appeared. In other words a really long time ago."

He also made a point to credit the fine illustrations by Andrew Plant, a trained zoologist.  Suggesting that with Andrew's amazing detailed sketch, he might just make it big someday.

 All in all, Brian gives this book a thumbs up, or a wink, as the case may be.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Learning in Transit

Recently,  I visited my dearest friend and family member in Virgina. I have always been amazed by my cousin's impeccable organizational skills and her abilities to get things done in a timely and efficient manner. In fact when I visited her in San Diego, I learned alot about  Jen's  organizational skills and tried to apply them as soon as I got home.

Unfortunately, my 'turnaround' lasted about 2 maybe 3 days. It is my hope that someday she will become extremely sympathetic (or tired of hearing me complain) and take pity by staying at my home for a week/month/year or two (YES. It may take that long) and organize! all my stuff.

In case you haven't heard Jen and I ran a marathon with in nearly 5 hours, 57 minutes and 15 seconds! So Of course I pride myself on my amazing new found athletic abilities and awesome health kick.
However,  I often feel like I am shortening my great Olympic talent.  At times I feel that it may be due to the type of foods I chose to eat. Never really giving myself that... winning edge. Fuel is the key to a quality marathoner. 

So if a plate doesn't have something brown on it, aka chocolate; than it's not complete and everyone knows that Peanut Butter and Chocolate is a good combination. Isn't that how every household in America does things?

Forget that I'm naturally slow and struggle with each breath, there is something missing. Right? Ah! Alas ignorance is my happy bliss.

NO! No. They don't. I was stumped to find out that Jen, the cousin I admire, adore and used to devour relish chocolate peanut butter cups during late night conversations --  serves a special fruit and/or vegetable with every meal.

Guess what? The fruits or vegetables actually added color to the plates! My mouth and mind couldn't comprehend what was happening!  Ingenious! The kids, MY KIDS, tried new things - not brown things. Naturally colored red, pink, blue and green things. "Hey! Mikey! (s)He "likes" it.

When I came home, I went to the store and shopped in the produce department. I saw things there that I never noticed before. I felt like Arial from The Little Mermaid only with shorter hair and a bit heavier singing ""A Whole New World".

I bought fresh. FRESH. Fruit and vegetables. Today. I am a changed woman. I've made a conscious effort to serve fruits and vegetables with every meal. Even the brown ones. You never know where this could lead.

Yep. All in the world is good again.  So Jen... When are you coming down again? I need another lesson.