Pre-School MMA Academy - NOW ENROLLING!

This was a pretty lazy weekend. The van is still on gimp squad because no one in the world is carrying the rear brake calipers for a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. So, I just chilled at home brushing up on my DVR'd shows and working a few hours of OT.



You would think that the highlight of the weekend would be that my baby baby girl took a couple steps by herself. But I have to disagree. The big thing this weekend was that I realized that my children have the potential to be Ultimate Fighters.



Let me explain.



Ladybug Lightning

One night I was working in the kitchen. I heard that there was a commotion. It was coming mainly from the wife wanting me to come see what was going on.



Here's the scene: My three (almost four) year old daughter and my 22 month old son are in their sister's playpen. Apparently they were having a wrestling match where Disco was doing the JOB (losing). I'm not sure how much ring psychology happened up until this point or what move she hit to get him on his stomach, but Ladybug was applying the Camel Clutch/Steiner Recliner on her little brother in an attempt to make him tap out. But Disco was resilient, it did not even look like he was even sweating and was not going to tap out any time soon.



I enjoyed the picture for a few more moments and then broke it up as the fans in the arena started booing me. I then had to do my parental duty and tell her that she only Nacho Libre can wrestle.And the bible says, "Not to wrestle your brother.." I then followed it up with.. "Go on!!! Read some books!!!"



The Tazmanian Beauty

Our 9 month old has been quite for the past 9.5 months of her existence. She would sit and just watch everyone, she would play with herself and her toys and the wife and I priased her for being a "good kid." But what Beautiful had been doing her entire life was taking notes. She had been watching and learning our weaknesses.



She has learned how to shove her older sister out of the way for a toy. She has gotten tazmanian devil as well when something is taken away from her. She has also realized that she can physically cause pain by scratching Daddy's face and by putting her finger up my nose. Now I'm no Kimbo Slice. I can usually hold my own against Infants and Toddlers. But the research she has done to pinpoint our weaknesses is amazing.



The Disco Ninja

Last night I was again, working in the kitchen. My youngest son was out with his Nana and missed dinner with the family. Nana had cut him up some of the food she picked up and set him down at the Dora table.



A little while later I hear this coming from his direction..



"Shaaaw… Shaaaw.. Wishaww… Shaaw Shaw Wishawww!!"



I look over and he is holding his spoon in one hand and a plastic butter knife in the other. And alternating forward thrusts are accompanying the "shaws".



Forward thrust spoon.. "SHAAAW!!!"



Forward thrust butter knife.. "WISHAWW!!"



Again, I had to hold back my excitement as he was practicing his ninja skills without being told too. I asked the rhetorical question about who let him have the butter knife. But secretly thinking of my plan for starting my own Pre-School MMA Academy with my children's faces on the banner.



Now, I know that inevitably that all of this rough housing is going to all be blamed on me. I let them watch Nacho Libre. I let them watch TMNT. But you know what?!? I'm cool that my kids recognize GiJoe and Transformers when a commercial comes on.



But you know what?!?!?



If they watched her movies (Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins), they would get their butts handed to them in Pre-School MMA Academy with moves like the Bend and Snap and The Chimney Sweep Dance.









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Playing Da Fantasy Foosball...

I can't watch a lot of football. Basically because I have a wife and kids. The kids would rather watch SpongeBob and the wife would rather watch the latest Justine Bateman movie about child custody cases during car wrecks and date rapes on Lifetime. Although, I think my little boy is slowly gaining an interest in sports. He likes baseball and loves football commercials.




The time I eventually get for sports is usually the 5AM SportsCenter.




This season I wanted to play Fantasy Football again. The few times I've played, I've never had a losing season. I've never had a winning season either. I've always broke even in my records. I tried to join a couple leagues on Yahoo! Sports but no one would accept my request. So, I started my own league.


So, I'm putting it out there to my handful of readers if they want to join up. If you would like to waste time with me, please email me at ericdbolton97@yahoo.com. I'll send you a password needed to join.


I'll post the results on the blog as well. This is just something to do in the meantime and between time. Maybe talk a little smack and see how good of general managers we are.


Plus, Mafia Wars is getting a bit boring.


Again let me know and I'll send you a password.


Have a great weekend.










I've played a couple times the pas






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The Throwback - Gerald Ford Died Today

The Throwback is where I find an old video, picture, event or anything from my past. I post it and hopefully you enjoy.

With the passing of Ted Kennedy yesterday and the subsequent news specials that same evening. It reminded me of this video that was originally aired on SNL. This version is from The Dana Carvey Show. It shows the secret behind the quick news stories. This is a classic.






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Midnight Bunny Meeting - Ladybug's Portfolio

Ladybug's Portfolio is when my daughter takes my cell phone and starts taking pictures (usually without me knowing). These are what I find when going through my phone.


Midnight Bunny Meeting




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KC's Diamonds

One of the things I struggle most with is trying to take care of my family when they are sick. Seeing as how I am the only way we make money to pay for our way of life, I'm pulled between having to go to work or calling in to take care of a sick wife or child. KC suffers from migraines that can knock her out all day. We've been married for almost five years, this is her fourth time being pregnant and she's been on bed rest every single time prior to this one. It's very rare that there is a weekend at our house that someone isn't sick or not feeling well. It hurts me because I'm the one who is always well. The stress of taking care of ill family members and having to work 40 plus hours outside the home has worn on me the past few years. Desires, ambitions and projects that need to be done around the house have been downgraded so routine maintenance can be performed on the minor things. It's made me question my contribution to my family as a husband and father. I see what I am not able to do rather than what I have been doing that has actually kept the family together. I pray often that I be the recipient of what ails my family so they will have no worries. It's gotten to the point where I just do not know what to do anymore.

I heard this song on the radio today. I probably heard it a few times before (because it's been out for a few months now), but never paid attention because I was lost in thought or waiting for Boom Boom Pow to start. But the song is called Her Diamonds, by Rob Thomas. He talked about the meaning and emotion behind the song. I believe he said that his wife has an immune disorder (my daughter has one as well) and there were times where he just didn't know what to do. He couldn't make her better and he can't take away the pain she feels. When I hear songs that remind me of my amazing wife, I can't help but get emotional. It's harder when I hear it while plugged into the headphones at work. I make sure that no one makes eye contact with me because they'll think that something is the matter or that I just finished a doobie.

Here is a video of the song and below that are the lyrics.


While it's not the version I head this morning, it still managed to illicit the same effect.

Do any of you dads or husbands, or just parents in general go through things similar to this?? Do you feel inadequate on how you can help or how helpless situations like this with your spouse or children can be?

Thanks for listening.


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Juggling Eric on Alltop

Somehow I got on Alltop. A website that displays and catagories top blogs. Go check them out.


Alltop, all the top stories



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Give Me a Brake This Busy Weekend..

The rear passenger brake pads on our 08 Dodge Grand Caravan were grinding pretty good. It sounded like we were landing a KC-130 each time we came to a stop sign or light. So I got off work BEFORE NOON on Friday in hopes to just changing out the brake pads. Brakes are pretty much the easiest things to change on a car. If you're a guy and you've done it once on your first car, you can do it on your minivan. So I go to take them off and I realize that the caliper is locked and pressing the inside pad against the rotor. I could not get the brakes off the rotor. I don't have the proper tools a guy should have, just basic ones. I was able get all the nuts and bolts and screws off, but not the rotor. My game plan was to knock the pad out with a hammer and chisel. But a little nub got stuck and no matter how hard I pounded, it only moved so far. I'm not sure what happened, but I resorted to pull it off with the teeth end of the hammer. The next step was to push the caliper piston back in. But I couldn't because my "c" clamp was too small. I had to wait until my in-laws came over and I went to the Home Depot to get a bigger one. When I got back home the dang piston would not go in. My fears had come true. It was locked. So I called around and apparently I am the first person EVER to have problems with this car part. I think they planned on this part to never break, because no one had this part in stock. I have to order it today and they will get it tomorrow. So right now we're car-less and using my dad's car. The whole brake fiasco lasted longer than I expected. Here's what I looked like.

Church on Sunday was great. We started attending Oak Hills Church earlier this summer after getting a little disappointed and disservice with our previous church. I had been going there 6 years and my wife for over 15. The services were held at the AT&T Center. It was a long walk from our car because we got there right when it started. Michael W. Smith lead the worship services. David Robinson welcomed the crowd and Max Lucedo gave great message about "Bigger Than You." With my busy life and juggling everything, one of the things that gets dropped a lot if my relationship with God and making time for him. It's usually given while I'm driving alone to or from work. The mere moments that I'm awake when I lay down at night before I crash, or if I'm not running too late to work. Something was sparked yesterday, something I never thought about. I hope that I can keep the spark going.


I got a text message last night (that I didn't read until this morning) that my little sister is engaged. She's in college, has a little girl, and we haven't had a good relationship since my parents were divorced almost 10 years ago. Her mom was my step-mom and I was my dad's kid. There's a lot going on, that we're both responsible for. Mine is that I'm focused on my family. I have a sick pregnant wife and four kids that tend to be sick all the time too. I haven't been the big brother to my younger siblings since I met my wife. But I told her I was very happy for her and I can't wait to hear more about this guy.

Saturday, KC hosted a jewelry party. She invited all her friends and some family members to come to our house, spend their money and buy jewelry. Which meant that all the non-essential personnel had to am-scray. MaddSkillz was at his dad's this weekend, so I had the job of taking the three kids (3yrs, 22mos, 9 mos) somewhere. The first choice of hanging with Uncle Evan was knocked down. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take them to the movies. I've taken my oldest daughter to the movies before on a Daddy/Daughter Date, but never Disco or Beautiful. My wife thought I was crazy for doing it, but I didn't have the patience to look for something else to do for three hours. Luckily, Grandpa Robert was kind enough to join us since my mother-in-law was also spending money on jewelry. We went to the dollar movies to see Monsters vs. Aliens. The babies lasted about 30 minutes before they started fussing. I put them in the tandem stroller where I pushed them in the back of the theatre for the remainder of the movie. The movie wasn't long enough, so we went to McDonald's to play in the play area. Disco went through those obstacles like he was a Navy SEAL. We got the message that it was an all clear to go home, packed up the kids and headed back. Here's a picture of me afterwards.


Have a great week my friends.
Eric.









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The Ocho - Yogi Bear, Chick with Gun and Werewolves!!!





"The Ocho!" is where I find eight (ocho) stories that have happened through the week and present them to you. Mainly because you might not have heard about them. They're more obscure. Enjoy.







1) Protesters Want Yogi's Arms - A group of protesters outside a convention center in Arizona were carrying around rifles with one person carrying a semi-automatic. They were demonstrating that they have the right to own weapons. Even though I'm not a big fan of Oback Barama, I do respect and appreciate the office. But I'm kind of weirded out by this. I'm sure that the protesters didn't mean any harm to our president, but we've seen protesters who talk too much get taken down with tazers. Either the Dems are loosening up some, or they were plants. Story Link Here





2) You Want Kidneys? Post Ads In Israel Newspapers - Four years ago, this New Yorker was dying from renal failure. So, he put an ad in a newspaper. A pot smoker from Israel showed up with a kidney and he walked out with an envelope with 20K. Apparently, the operation was a success. I just wonder what the doctor thought when the recipient showed up with a kidney. "Is your wife lying in a tub of ice right now??" Story Link Here










3) Project Runway Is Back - This show is a guilty pleasure of mine. I don't know how I got hooked on it, but I watch it with my wife. It moved to Lifetime which means there are new challenges that deal with car wrecks, date rape, child custody cases and Justine Bateman.











4) Mom "Allegedly" Beats up Bus Driver - This headline reminds me of a joke. It deals with Randall, a mentally challenged kid. It's his first day to ride the bus. The door opens and he gets all excited and goes, "Hey Misthu Buth Dwiver.. You takin me to school today?" The busdriver jumps off the bus and beats the kid up. The next day, Randall tries again, "Hey Misthu Buth Dwiver.. You takin me to school today?" Again, the bus driver leaps from the bus and attacks the kid. Next day, "Hey Misthu Buth Dwiver.. You takin me to school today?" Bus driver leaps from the bus and starts beating the crap out of the kid. But the cops are waiting. They restrain him and ask him why he was attacking the kid. "He wuth makin' fun uf meeeee." Link to Story



5) World's Largest Water Pump - The Army Corps of Engineers started working on a gigantic water pump to help prevent New Orleans from flooding from any future hurricanes. This is kind of cool, but I'm concerned that Kanye West won't have anything else to complain about . Link to Story









6) Old Man Foils Robbery with Beer Can - Two punks with bandannas and shotguns attempt to rob a store, but an old man throws a beer can at them and they run off. The two would -be robbers got away. My theory was that they were werewolves and they were scared of him throwing a Coors can at them. Link to Story











7) Midland, Texas Deputies are Idiots - Some Sheriff's Deputies allowed some scantily clad waitress to sit on their cruiser and take pictures while holding a rifle. They got in trouble. She'll be on Extra next week. Link to Story











THE OCHO!!!! Bruce Willis Joins The Ultimate Action Movie of ALL TIME - Bruce joins the cast of The Expendables. It stars Stallone, Arnold, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and Randy Coutour. I think this movie is about blowing everything up in the world. All they need now is Jean Claude Van Damm, Clint Eastwood and to dig up the corpse of Charles Bronsen and it will commit all kinds of crimes for bad-assery. Story Link Here















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The Throwback - Super Hero Attack Strategies


I'm a comic book geek. Well, I was until I had to stop collecting about 11 years ago. It was either the current newest chromium cover one shot or rent. I've tried to sneak a peek every now and then at the new issues, but I have no clue what's going on. There's no way for me to catch up now. So I have to get my comic fix through the movies and my old books. Two years ago, I got a a Marvel Super Heroes Wall Calendar from my Secret Santa at work. Every month I waited in anticipation for the next month to bask in the splash page that will shine down on me from my desk every day.

It was about in March when I realized that these group photos of all the heroes make no sense.

Sure you have to escape belief when it comes to people with super powers, aliens living among us that are not named Tom Cruise, and no reports of collateral damage from any of the battles.

But most of the pictures have a handful or ALL the heroes running, flying, skipping, swinging, hopping or bouncing forwards in the picture. Ok let me show some examples I found.



Apparently all of our heroes are attacking someone that is down the hallway. Maybe they trapped Magneto in his study and they felt breaking into his house and cramming down the hallway was the best defense. Lookit poor Gambit, he was pissed because he had three and a half minutes of screen time in Wolverine, now he's rank and file between Spider-Man's butt and Iron Man's alcoholism. WTH is Elektra doing here? I think that they just wanted the gratuitous T&A upfront. But then they forgot that this isn't 1996 and they aren't drawn by Rob Liefeld. And apparently The Thing wants first dibs at Magneto and smoking jacket.



Ahh.. The panoramic of EVERY character in the Marvel Universe. Can you imagine how much crime is being committed right now since all the heroes are here at the photo op. On the other end, imagine how much crime is NOT being committed because all the villains are in the same place. It's good to know that the world is being protected by Jarvis and Aunt May. But it's a great opportunity for the 16th tier villains such as Kite King and Humbug.

I wonder if the photographer is getting paid big bucks for this. I bet Peter Parker is PISSED!! Does Mr. Fantastic need to have some body part stretching at all times? Do we really need to know that you can stretch? Wolverine is either in front because he's in every Marvel comic book or because he is the shortest. I also question if Nightcrawler BAMF'D his way to the front. Does Domino really need to have a weapon drawn? I wonder if she's thinking of Cable. Meanwhile in the back, Speedball wishes for his own series again from 1986.






Ok.. Here's an attack formation I was talking about. All the heroes are doing a frontal attack. Now, I failed out of Superhero Strategery School, but the time there I knew that you wouldn't have all your guys attack from the front. Who was the teacher in this school? George Washington?!?! Are the heroes like the Revolutionary Army and they're attacking the Redcoats??


Then I thought, Spider-Man usually works solo. Why is he always leading these charges??

Spider-Man: Ok guys.. My movies have made the most money.. I'll go in front…

Captain America: But you have no leadership experience..
Spider-Man: Yeah, but at least I'm not rumored to be played by Will Smith.

Then I think, why the heck is Dr Strange involved in this battle? And what powerful enemy are they attacking that require the level of power we see here? Onslaught? The Skrulls?? Galactus?? Health Care Reform?





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This Post Has Been Edited Since It's Original Posting in 2008.


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Ladybug's Portfolio - The Blue Period

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures taken by my three year old daughter when she swipes my cell phone. A lot of them are what you expect, just a bunch of blurs, fingers and closeups. Her portfolio consist of her better ones.

The Blue Period

IH-10 Between Houston and San Antonio


Somehow she learned to change the colors. These are taken from her carseat during the drive. My favorite is the top left and bottom right.


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Drive to Work (A Frapaccino Morning)

This morning, I had to be at work at 6:00am and KC needed the van for appointments. So she woke up prior to 5:30 to take me there. Nana stayed the night and it was a rare occassion that none of the kids were up for the variety of reasons they wake up at 5:30 in the morning.



We cleared our minds and quietly left the house because barefeet on carpet wakes up the baby and my oldest daughter can sense when we are even thinking about leaving.



She made a request to stop at StarBucks. We ordered two Grande Mocha Frapaccinos (which I never see on the menu). While waiting we commented on how people at Starbucks always have cool names like; Jasmine, Vann, and Ashlynn. You never see a Bob, Eloise, or Reginald for some reason.



Anyways, I don't know if it was the fact that there were no kids in the back or the Grande Mocha Frapaccinos, but it was a fun drive to work. Usually that early one or both of us are still tired and not much talking is going on. But today was not that day.



We talked about everything that was going on in the different aspects of our lives that happen when one of us is not available. We joked, we laughed and had a good time together. Then a few minutes from work, I realized I forgot my laptop.



So we had to turn around, go back home, and pick it up. Now I was going to be late. But there were no worries. More talking, joking and laughing.



Thankfully everyone was still asleep when I snuck inside. I was 30 minutes late for work, but I didn't care. I'll make it up this afternoon.



It was one of those things that we sorely needed. With four kids and one on the way, the times we get to spend together that are not limited to laying in bed are very rare. I really enjoyed this morning with her.



Guess I'm getting Starbucks tomorrow morning too. I love you, sweetie.

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Happy Birthday MaddSkills


Happy Birthday MaddSkills

Even though you will probably read my blog, I wanted to tell all 15 readers that I love you and I am very proud that I can call you my son.

I hope that you have a fantastic day.

You are a blessed and highly favored young man. I miss you when you are away and look forward in anticipation when I can see you.

Please do not get mad for me using this picture. I know that you did not know I was taking it and your reaction was that of.. "What the heck are you doing?!?" But it's now one of my favorites and will be on the internets FOREVER!

Much love MaddSkillz, save room for chickenwings later!!





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The Ultrasound and Princess of Darkness (All in one day)

KC is now eighteen weeks pregnant. Which means that it is time for her sonogram. When she was pregnant with Ladybug, I made it an effort to go to every OB visit. When she was pregnant with Disco, I made it to a little less. With Beautiful, I think I showed up to give her a ride home after delivery. But I always enjoy the Sonograms. This being my fourth sonogram, I consider myself a specialist in the ultrasound technology field. Even though we decided that we were not going to find out the sex of this baby. I knew that with my experience that I could tell just by the fuzzy sounds bouncing around my wife's uterus.



Upon close inspection of the test, I concluded that I saw Franks and Beans and not the Hamburger Buns This based off a brief glimps of what I believed (in my professional opinion) was the groin area of my womb housed child. The test continued with the tech pointing out the kidneys and the liver and his spleen and his adamantium claws. Well that last part isn't true, how could they be laced with adamantium?? I'll have to wait until he's older to apply his bone claws with the indestructible metal.


And when it was over, she said, "You're baby is healthy"




I had to hold back the emotion that was going to overwhelm me. After four kids, it never gets old. So she gave us our DVD of the sono and we went to the patient benefits department.




We walked in on the high that we have a little X-Man in my wife's belly. The lady that we've seen the past three kids do our benefits that doesn't remember us started clicking away on her computer and caluculator. My wife and I are still smiling like a couple of new parents should. The benefits lady with all her personality and charm drops the hammer and goes..




"You have high deductible and out of pocket, your responsibility is going to be…"




It was weird because she stopped at this point. We thought that maybe she was going to cushion the blow. But instead flames erupted behind her, she stood up with fists clenched in the air. With a Beezelbub voice she spat out her conclusion…






"NINETEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!! MEATSOCKS!!!"


"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"



Bye be Smile.. Bye Bye Euphoria.





"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"




We asked the Princess of Darkness if she was serious. KC's deductible is met, her out of pocket is almost met. We shouldn’t have to pay anything, very little at the least.




"THREE PAYMENTS OF 635 STARTING NEXT MONTH!!!!!"




But..


"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"



"THE DUE DATE IS JANUARY 10TH! THE DEDUCTIBLE WILL HAVE STARTED OVER BY THEN"



But she..





"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"


WHY DID I HAVE TO SLEEP WITH MY WIFE ON APRIL TENTH?!?!? It wasn't even a special occasion. The other kids have a convenient birthday about nine months after Valentines' Day…



So, we started to petition the spending of the 1900 bucks..



"She's been a patient of the doctor for over 14 years, does longevity have any consideration in paying this??"



"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"



"Does the fact that she delivers 3 weeks early on all the kids make a difference??? She'll deliver at Christmas time.. We won't need to meet the deductible.."



"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"



I thought about going to an Obama town hall meeting and asking about Universal Health Care. But they told me we had to be on a ten month waiting list before we can schedule a delivery…



"MWU-HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"



So, we left the benefits room thinking about what we need to sell like the Suburban and KC's old violin. I considered charging MaddSkills rent now since he's turning 14 this month, he's been freeloading a long time now..



Now, what have we learned from all of this? We've had an emergency fund, my Health Savings Account is in place to cover the out of pocket, but the problem with that is that it's not all available on day one. So, we're not doing everything wrong. But I'm putting that woman on the elliptical I bought her last year once she hits 37 weeks. We're not going past Christmas dangit...









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The Weekend Wrap-Up - August 17th, 2009


Madd Skills Birthday Party
Madd Skills 14th birthday is this Tuesday. He asked if he could meet some friends and go to the movies and do something afterwards. He saw GiJoe, which I am jealous. He also saw Transformers 2 and I have not. I'm the one who grew up with these cartoons and comics, not him. The after-party was at the house for pizza and cake. Three friends came along to the house. One of them was the infamous, Girlfriend. She didn't speak a word to us. Maybe because she knows we do not approve of Madd Skills having a girlfriend until he's sixteen. But the party was not complete with THREE of Madd Skills grandparents hanging out at the house as well. I wanted to kill the party by starting a conversation that went something like this... "If there was an unknown gas leak and the house blew up when we light the candles and we all died. Where would your soul go?? Let me talk to you about the Rapture..."

Lazy Saturday
First time in a long time when nothing needed to be done on a Saturday. Even though there was stuff I needed to do, I opted to just relax after a busy week.

Busy Sunday
Even though the Lord rested on Sunday, it always seems it can be our busiest day. When church was over, Ladybug came out of her class wearing an arts and craft version of the entire Armor of God. Not just the Breastplate of Righteousness. This included The Shield of Faith and Sword of the Spirit. I was most excited about the sword. I think they made the swords flimsy on purpose because there was no swashbuckling in the hallways between the three year olds.

We were on our way downtown after lunch to see the Disney Holiday Train that is promoting the new Christmas Carol movie with Jim Carrey. We pulled up near the AmTrak station and saw a throng of people waiting in line. We kept driving. I had no idea that it was going to be that crowded. I would have stayed if we had changed out of our church clothes.

We came home and I had a sword fight with Ladybug that was almost four years in the waiting. We choreographed the fight after the fight scene between Leonardo and Raphael from TMNT (one of Ladybugs favorite movies). If you want to see what it was like, just view the video below. It was just like this. Complete with the, "I'm better than YOU!!" She said it with such emotion.



We closed the weekend watching Nacho Libre on Cartoon Network and eating left over pizza.

Hope all of you had a great weekend too. I'll try to have the posts on time this week.

God Bless you all.

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