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Faster, higher, stronger - Dingo athletes keep calm and carry on through August! - Page 9

post #161 of 191

Morning mamas!

I'm on the verge of waking up my little one for her first day of kindergarten!  bawling.gif How the time flies!

 

Jo - I think the library sounds like a good choice anyway, I'd be distracted just hearing people still being on vacation if I were trying to work!  I'm not even going to imagine your dh missing your wedding.  I mean, come on!  This company has to allow employees to schedule some life of their own!

 

Gaye - Enjoy your peach fest!

 

Mel38- My mom is just a cake junkie.  She admitted that she'd already eaten (alone) two other identical large cakes and two small ones.  She has this ideal of the perfect cake in her mind and so she's constantly trying new cake to see if it's 'the one'.  I guess this cake came pretty close to perfection although by the time we had some the frosting was freeezer-burnt.

 

Bec - Wow!  Good for you on the up and at 'em schedule!  Good luck to Katie today and don't forget yahoo for yourself if you need it. hug2.gif

post #162 of 191

Geo, so glad you found a sitter. I hope that the school can get working in helpful ways for your kids. After all the work you put in last year it's disappointing to not see solid, working plans in place.

 

jo, NOOOOOOO!!! I'm praying that your husband makes it to your wedding. I would also be tempted to set a daily routine that involved library or similar study space for work times until the routine for school is well underway. Good luck with everything on your plate!

 

Gaye, I had a big box of peaches last week. They were divided between freezer, dehydrator, peach/blackberry/fig jam combos and my ongoing quest for a delicious blackberry-peach margarita. The margarita is a work in progress with the frozen peaches (was a bit more smoothie than intended yummy.gif)

 

Plady, I hope the first day of kindergarten went well!

 

RR- None. Still in cold recovery mode.

 

NRR- I may be ridiculous in my expectations here, but do you have any tips on reining in 3 year old table manners? I'm just so tired of mess everywhere and know that my oldest was getting more civilized at this age. She was in a booster with tray combo until about a year ago, then gave it up because asked to. I tried to keep her on the booster minus the tray at the table, but she constantly tried to climb out and fought the idea. Now she eats kneeling/sitting on a regular chair, but constantly stands up on the chair, stands on the floor, wipes her hands on the table cloth/shirt/chair/anything but the napkin and is generally disgusting. I've developed a bad habit of finishing my dinner with the kids then wandering over to the kitchen to start clean up so that I don't have to sit across from her and watch.

 

If I "work" on table manners it's pretty constant reminding/nagging: please stay sitting, use your napkin, please sit, napkin not sleeve, ad nauseum. Intuitively I feel like if I can break it down into smaller tasks we can improve things, but I'm not sure that *just* sitting or using a napkin or whatever would deal with the enormity of her mess. And the mess is really what's troubling me. The lack of staying in one place and the touching of everything means that after every meal there's a swath of food smeared on the table/chair/floor/kid in a couple of foot radius.

 

Suggestions? Ativan?

post #163 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelW View Post

 

Suggestions? Ativan?

nod.gif

 

I have not had to civilize a 3yo in a while, but (depending on their ability to communicate--as opposed to their level of defiance) I tend to completely ignore any requests from the current 3yo in my life until she delivers with some suggestion of manners. And I have encouraged the kids to do the same. We model pretty darn reliably, and dd has definitely learned about modeling behavior during her stint as a "big sister," but after a couple of months of direction, redirection, etc., I'm good with the no-manners-no-food approach. I take the stuff away when it becomes a plaything. No one is starving and I don't have time for that kind of bs.

 

Poor dh is still waiting for his Dulles-DXB flight. And that is what one gets for flying overseas with United. eyesroll.gif

 

See this?  sleepytime.gifThis is Jo going to bed before 930 to make it out for a workout, any workout, however short, before school tomorrow. Kids did really, really great today, against all odds, and I am already seeing advances as they settle into workstyles and habits. This will get easier.

post #164 of 191

Ativan and a dog.

 

 

Sparkletruck is here! orngtongue.gif
 

post #165 of 191
Trying to catch up....

Plady--WTG on staying with the no sugar no grains plan. That's so impressive. Hope you and Sparkle have a great visit!

MelW--my 7yo does a lot of what your 3yo does, though she has mastered the napkin. OTOH, she picks at her food. Rather than eating the tortilla by picking it up and putting it in her mouth and taking a bite, she'll peel centimeter-sized pieces off the top layer of tortilla, put them in her mouth, and then stick her finger in the baked beans and lick off a tiny amount....ewwwwwwww! So I nag, pretty much constantly. Sit properly in your chair. Stop picking at your foot and take a bite. Use your fork. Eat over your plate. Sit properly in your chair. Good times! Ativan sounds like a fabulous solution, not least because I've been doing this for years. As per usual, it doesn't help that DH could care less if she eats like a freak or if she leaves crumbs in a large radius because more often than not, he doesn't see it and doesn't clean it up. It may also be one of those areas where eventually, peer pressure to act like everyone else will when over R's sensory stuff.

JayGee--congrats on swim team for your two older ones.

Mel38--hope you rock that half in September and your knee stays strong.

1jooj--sorry DH headed back so soon, and that you're struggling with people who haven't started school yet.

tjsmama--hope you're able to get some rest time in after those two crazy weeks.

bec--your early schedule sounds great!

Geo--glad you found a babysitter, and I hope all the academic stuff resolves quickly.

RR: ok 4M yesterday, miserable hot joyless exhausted 3M today.

NRR: class seems to be going well. Supporting the school ballot issue also seems to be going well, although it's hard to see the forest for the trees some days. And last, that university in Fort Collins that had a faculty position open up last year? Well, the position is open again--and even better, it's actually two positions for musicology profs, both tenure-track. I'll probably apply again, but I have a question for the faculty types:

if they're doing preliminary interviews at our national association's conference in November, does it matter that I won't be making it to the conference? The interviews are 15 minutes each and there's only 36 slots, 33 of which are already booked. I'm estimating it will cost at least $900 if I went to the conference, and frankly, that's basically two months of paychecks for me. Not. happening. So, maybe it's a waste of time to apply at all?
post #166 of 191

Plady and sparkle ~ have fun!!!!

 

MelW ~ I feel your pain at the table.  My kids are okay with their actual table manners, but seem to think it's really amusing to bring up things like snot, poop and farting as mealtime conversation EVERY SINGLE MEAL! 

 

jooj ~ I'm so sorry your DH has to head back already and I've got all my fingers crossed that he'll be back in time for the big party.

 

Geo ~ I hope you get the issues ironed out with school.  So frustrating for you, especially since you went through this already last year.

 

Real ~ how far away is the conference?  Can you go just for the interview? And not register?

 

NRR ~ this was the first full week of library at the school and I'm still trying to fill in holes in the schedule with parent volunteers.  I've got NO kindergarten parents at all.  Teachers have put out the word that we need parents to help (and we REALLY do since there are 28 kids in each kindy class with one teacher), but all the parents either work full time or have younger children at home.  I worked a total of 20 hours on library stuff this week and really wish I was getting paid.  It's a job.  Seriously.  The district is abusing the parents who volunteer there, especially those who are putting in 8-10 hours a week helping out in classes they don't even have kids in.  I won't even get started on how awful the class size issue is this year ( see above comment on 28 kindergarteners per class).

 

RR ~ PT yesterday was good, but I am hurting today.  I think my muscles need to relearn how they are supposed to be working after having everything out of whack for so long.  Race season is ramping up here and I really wish I could run.  Maybe in the spring....

post #167 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post

 

Geo ~ I hope you get the issues ironed out with school.  So frustrating for you, especially since you went through this already last year.

 

 

NRR ~ this was the first full week of library at the school and I'm still trying to fill in holes in the schedule with parent volunteers.  I've got NO kindergarten parents at all.  Teachers have put out the word that we need parents to help (and we REALLY do since there are 28 kids in each kindy class with one teacher), but all the parents either work full time or have younger children at home.  I worked a total of 20 hours on library stuff this week and really wish I was getting paid.  It's a job.  Seriously.  The district is abusing the parents who volunteer there, especially those who are putting in 8-10 hours a week helping out in classes they don't even have kids in.  I won't even get started on how awful the class size issue is this year ( see above comment on 28 kindergarteners per class).

 


On the school for my kids, I can only imagine where we'd be without the changes put in place last year.  DS is complaining about boredom post grade skip.  I'd been hoping to put it off 6 months or more, but that isn't the case.  I'm thankful that the gap from where we are to where he needs to be has been narrowed.  I understand the school's reluctance to put E into the correct math level.  He'd be 2-3 years younger than the kids, plus adjusting to a full day, plus adjusting to a whole new peer group.  Besides, that placement would only be right for a matter of months. 

 

For DD, things are tough (she has 9 teachers, an aide, a bus driver, and 2 schools), so getting her where she needs to be involves me and the vice principal (and a homeroom teacher who walks on water) being on the ball and coordinating everything.  We'll get there.

 

For the library, I wonder if you could find grants to help fund?  How about reaching out to the senior center for volunteers?  Don't let yourself be abused, even though I suspect you're letting it happen because you really want to see the library function.

post #168 of 191
JayGee--that's pretty much what we have here. There's a huge need for volunteers. Here, at least, it's not abuse--it's the reality of having taken $78 million in budget cuts over the last four years. If parent volunteers don't do it, it doesn't get done because the paid job was eliminated. That $78 million? That's more than 10 percent of the district's budget. Even better: we're looking at another $45 million for next year without the mill and bond. (utters another fervent prayer that the mill and bond pass) With a successful vote in November, we'll only be looking at $6 million in cuts if the state funding remains the same, for a total of $84 million in cuts. 'Cause hey, they're only kids, and 29 kids in kindergarten isn't a problem, right (that is in fact what the district has in kindergarten; and then the goal 1st-3rd is 24), and hey, aren't "good" moms supposed to stay home, forfeit an income, and do the work that used to be paid so some other person can keep their $36 a year?

Did I mention that we have a funded opposition to an increase of $36 a year?

For the life of me, I don't understand why people in my county do not seem to get that larger class sizes and less jobs is what happens when there's no more money in the budget. It's like they think we can just fire all the administration (who needs a principal anyhow? Or those pesky school secretaries? Or people who report the results of all those state and federal mandates?) and voila, the school will run magically on less money than it did five or ten years ago.

So yeah, class size stinks and oh, accompanying for free for the choir rather than actually getting paid kind of stinks, and never mind the free labor and hundreds of hours I've poured into work for a very small mill and bond vs the reality that my actual paid employment will net me about $12k all year (great to see that PhD at work in a state that does not fund education at any level!), but the real reality is that greedy people who don't fund schools adequately and tell lies that have to be refuted at every turn really, really stink.

/end rant

Hope you're able to find more volunteers and more state and local funding.

On the conference: I'm in Denver, it's in New Orleans. So, no.
Edited by Realrellim - 8/31/12 at 12:51pm
post #169 of 191

Real ~ yes, yes and YES!  Wish we had state funding, but Illinois hasn't paid our school district in 3 years.  Nope, not a dime.  For next year's budget, they are proposing getting rid of PE, music, computers (already no art or librarian) and reducing the school day to 5 hours.  I'd pay an extra $36 a year to keep that stuff, for sure.  Even with currently paying $9,200/year in property taxes already.  Have I mentioned how much I loathe Illinois recently....

 

Geo ~ I really like your idea about looking to seniors to help in the library.  I'll bounce that one off the vice principal on Tuesday!

 

Remians of Hurrican Isaac are headed this way with tornado watches all weekend.  So much for the soccer games we had scheduled.

post #170 of 191
Can you do a county mill levy override?

We had one in 2004, and that's helped some. Mostly though, the district has spent the last four years spending down their reserves, but that's no longer an option to offset cuts either.

But Colorado has its priorities straight, see, 'cause this spring when the legislature was debating whether to reinstate a property tax exemption for seniors vs using that money for education, they chose the seniors. That seems reasonable, except that it's only for seniors who've lived in their current home for at least 10 years and there's no income limit. Make $200k a year in retirement? No problem, the state will pay half of your property tax. And property taxes are already quite low.

And yet, one of the loudest opponents? A senior who no doubt qualifies for the exemption. Assuming he lives in an average home for the county, his increase is $18.35 a year. *this is where my head explodes*

Going to run and pick up R at school, with J in her support shirt and stickers for the campaign all over my double jogger.
post #171 of 191

so.beyond.words. at my job right now.

short version:

 

situation #1

on a committee with a guy who has been verbally inappropriate before with me.

required to be on committee.

told today.

meets every week.

Tuesday from 230-330. which is. after school.

my afterschool childcare?  M/W .

 

situation #2

I learn my department chair has been telling the provost that our department actually does not need two geologists. You may recall there are two of us, untenured.

 

related:

I also learn my colleague, who goes up for tenure this year will face a HUGE battle.

(his not getting tenure will ease up the former, but make it tricky socially as we aren't really friends but have lots of mutual friends locally).

post #172 of 191

I can't make my response go below the quote. but our kindergarten teachers last year decided it was in their best interest to get parents in the door, with younger kids in tow. It doesn't work for all kids, obviously but if you had two parents tag teaming, one with kids, it could work. And its good for the younger kiddos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View PostTeachers have put out the word that we need parents to help (and we REALLY do since there are 28 kids in each kindy class with one teacher), but all the parents either work full time or have younger children at home. 
post #173 of 191

Oy, Kerc. hug2.gif

 

Jo, I hope dh gets back in time.

 

I am sorry mamas. I can't remember any of my other personals. 

 

My week:

 

Started work. First two days were (for me) faculty inservice. Classes started Wednesday.

 

Pick up kids from school Wednesday after teaching 1 day. Ds gets in the car and says, "mommy I don't feel good." Has high fever.

 

Rush around like a lunatic Wednesday evening to Staples making copies to fax into school to provide emergency sub plans for FIVE classes. (I intended to get those done next week like a normal person but alas I do not have normal kids).

 

Thursday: take day off, get ds to doctor. He has strep. Get him on abx immediately, do a million errands that needed to get done so not all is lost (car inspection, etc.).

 

Friday: kids all go to school. I am in the middle of teaching my 4th class of the day and start to get woozy with headache and sore throat. Drive home 34 mins and straight to urgent care. Diagnosis: Strep. Pick up abx at the store, pick up kids at school.

 

Awesome. Just waiting for the others now and they'd better get it before monday so I can get them on meds. I can't miss more school.

 

ARRGGHHHH

 

RR: HAHA!

post #174 of 191
Ugh. So much crap in dingoland right now. grouphug.gif

Our budget cuts haven't been as bad as real's district (one perk to living in the city, rather than the 'burbs, I guess), but we still lost library as a special for the kids this year, which makes me really sad. We're extremely fortunate that our school has a super high parent-involvement rate. The PTO fundraises enough every year to pay for a full-time gifted teacher, as well as full-time art and music teachers.

We survived the first week of school, although DS is absolutely exhausted. And we didn't even have homework this week! My work week was super busy, too, so I'm pretty wiped out. And they even called me to see if I could come in tonight, they're that busy. I'm not on call, they're just desperate. Our charge nurse is apparently going to have to be the admit nurse tonight by herself, when normally we have two admit nurses and the charge nurse does not carry a patient load at all. Sheesh. I don't know if people called in sick or what, but I know the unit is completely full...bursting at the seams, in fact. I felt bad that I said no. I absolutely could use the OT money, but I need to get my long run done in the morning, and I just want to have a night at home, snuggling with DS. bag.gif

rr~4.5 yesterday morning. Not as much of a struggle as the other day, but still not great. I need a mental reboot, because my issues are totally mental, not physical! 13 tomorrow, hooray for dropback weeks!
post #175 of 191
Wishing everyone to get well (or sick then better) soon in your family Nic.

Kerc,, I want to make a bad joke about a rock and a hard place. Bad, but true. And bad behavior on the part of your department chair.

NRR- I am off call after 5 1/2 weeks of preceptorships!! This morning I got my pickling cukes (they were overpicked last week) and got my pickles done this evening.

RR- Did a hike with the kids and friends this afternoon up the ski hill. My youngest was so excited that she was "walking on a mountain" that she (mostly) forgot to whine about the distance.
post #176 of 191
MelW - we waved at you yesterday from a little beach here lol.gif Yay for being done

Kerc - Really! eyesroll.gif I'm so sorry, what a pita

Nic - Oh No!shake.gif You are doing great.

RR: zip

NRR: saw a bunch of Orcas yesterday at a little beach on Plady's island! Also several jellyfish that my son beat down with a "sword" shake.gif Did you all know she has a pond on her land? I think I missed that post. It is covered with a fine layer of mist every morning that looks almost rainbow colored. Its so cool. Right outside her big living-room window. It's been great. We are headed back to Seattle today for a few days at my other friends'. Trying to squeeze in studying biglaugh.gif
post #177 of 191

I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago for November 4!  And, I'm thinking about the Little Rock marathon this spring.  Any Dingos in Arkansas?

post #178 of 191
bec, I am no where near there. How did you find the race? What attracts you?

sparkle and plady, post pics somewhere! It sounds like a lovely visit.

melw, "walking on a mountain" is so much better than hiking. lol.gif

tjsmama, I hope you enjoyed your downtime with ds.

geo, I hope the younger sitter means that you will have plans in place for a couple of years.

kerc, it sounds messy. fingersx.gif that you are able to stay clean. (rock and a hard place lol.gif)

real, do people know it is $36 a year? Are there other taxes that are also being added? What is the deal?

It sounds like so many are frustrated with school situations. I am acting like a big dumb bird and putting my head in the sand which is to say I am just going to do it myself. We are going to kick off our homeschooling year Tuesday when the local public schools go back with a not-back-to-school beach party. My big kids are in the school groove though they have retreats this week which will discombobulate them and me.

Table manners? My 5yo (tomorrow) and 7yo are the worst. I repeat the half dozen big things they need to correct. I don't think there is much hope for my 7yo, she is just a mess. It seems the others did finally improve when they had to clean up the table after a meal. The size of their mess compared to others shocked even them. eyesroll.gif

RR 4.5 hilly miles. Dh wasn't doing well (his leg hurt, probably a muscle pull from a sprint earlier in the week) so they were very interrupted. My overall time was fine but I left him behind and ran off with the car keys. redface.gif Somehow we have fallen into a routine where our weekend run is on hills. This won't work when it also becomes a long run when the training ramps up. If he isn't running I will be back to alone at o'dark thirty which no longer works well for me. Then with retreat travel I won't have built in babysitters. It looks like I need some new plans. I already got new shoes. wink1.gif
post #179 of 191
Oh, so jealous of the sparkle/plady meet-up on SJI!

melw~Congrats on being done and having pickles! yummy.gif


I did NOT get my planned peach jam-making done today. Sigh. My whole day was mostly a bust after my long run. Oh well. Will try to get them done tomorrow, or Monday at the latest. I think by the time I get jam done, there actually won't be all that many peaches left. I've been doing a pretty good job of just devouring them out of hand. They are SO ridiculously good!

rr~It was the best of runs, it was the worst of runs. rolleyes.gif I went and ran with a group from the local running store, and, shockingly, they actually had people my speed (and slower!) there today. The last several times I went, it seemed like there were just a ton of fast people there, so I ended up having company for about half a block. Today, I had company for 5 miles, and it was awesome! I felt good, we were doing a decent pace (10-10:30 pace!), there was good conversation. And then she turned back at the 5 mile mark and it all went to $h!t. I did ok-ish for about 4 miles, and then the last 4 were a total death march. It was ugly. 13 minute miles. Was it the lack of distraction, did I go out too fast, lack of water from miles 3.5-9.5, am I head case? Probably yes to all of the above. It's kind of depressing, though, when your drop-back/easy week long run turns out to be so horrible. Makes me wonder how the heck I'm supposed to pull off 17 this week...not to mention the fact that my legs are ridiculous sore and tired. Which I don't understand. I did ice bath, albeit several hours later (had to go watch a FB game first!), but they've just been achy and sore all day. After 13! rolleyes.gif
post #180 of 191

Morning mamas!

 

Whew it's been a big exciting week around here!  First day of kindy, 5th birthday, Dingo meetup and last night Ali G also had her first sleepover at a friend's dizzy.gif!

 

Sparkletruck's visit was really neat.  Her kids are great and they hit it off immediately with our girls so mostly what we heard from them was giggling all around the house. love.gif  Her poor ds had a rough start here, first Alison threw a toy at him that split his lip and then he stumbled into a yellow jacket nest while they were out picking blackberries and he got 16 stings!  The poor kid! He is amazingly resilient though and after benedryl and a baking soda bath he was fine.  Sparkle's dh is a really nice guy, easy to chat with, good sense of humor.  And having Jess right here hanging out in my house just felt totally normal in that weird Dingo way.  Of course, seeing her in person is a little distracting because she's this GORGEOUS tall blonde with blue eyes and it's a little like having a super model hanging at your kitchen counter.  lol.gif  It was funny too that after all my big talk about sugar free that and grain free this she witnessed me making the infamous cool-whip-oreo-pudding confection that is Dirt cake and also cupcakes in the vague shape of microphones and a huge batch of mac and cheese.  Oh, and an ice cream cake.  So, yeah, Friday and Saturday were seriously off the wagon around here while we celebrated Alison's 5th birthday.  However, I am relieved to report that after Ali's b'day party (which was super simple and fun) I gave away the remainder of the pizza and cupcakes and let the chickens have their way with the dirt cake.  It's hard to make a small enough batch of anything for 5 5 year olds and I was a litttle worried I'd find myself helping 'clean up' a bit too much.

 

 Now I'm happily back to cleaning up the menu again and trying to figure how to fit everything into our schedules.  DH had volunteered to coach C's soccer team since he thought she would most appreciate his presence on the field but the organization assigned him to Ali G's instead which is fine except that C's team travels off-island for most of their games and since dh will be coaching the little ones I'll be the parent to go off every weekend (I'm not the parent here who likes to 'get off the rock').  But I'll also have my hands full with the kids play so I'm sort of still digesting what it will look like this fall.  I think I'll schedule in a nervous break-down for Thanksgiving.  redface.gif  But then, as Sparkle and I discussed, more of you are SO FREAKING BUSY than not so I'm going to channel y'all's finesse and just get on with it!

 

Real - Speaking of incredibly busy.  I just can't believe the resistance to the $36!  It's got to be some knee-jerk no new taxes response without giving a second's thought to what they are paying for.  I hate that too, it's so depressing to feel like there is a significant population that just wants to roll up the infrastructure for a decent life once they've made it to the other side themselves.  What kind of a society are we?  Hard to see the greatness through the greed these days.

 

Re: children's table manners.  I've had lots of the tortilla-picker, the potty-talker, the non-stop talker and yup, the massive debris field (which is normally masked by the presence of our dogs under the table).  I don't have any magic bullets either.  A few nights ago dh was lecturing the girls that the next time someone burped at the dinner table they would lose weekend tv privileges so Ali G says, "I'll just burp in my mind."  That's right girl, they can't control your thoughts!

 

Bec - Mmmm! Beer runs!  Hot chocolate runs! What's in LR?  How about a PNW adventure?

 

Mommajb - I was thinking of you as I was visiting my dh's aunt in PB last week.  Just thinking that I was sooo close and yet sooo far from a meetup.  But, I still have quite a lot of family in SD so one of these days we'll make something happen.

 

Gaye - Sorry your run sucked but I bet your 17er will be a lot better.  Don't you tend to have really great runs following the really sucky ones?  I'm always in awe of how much you accomplish on a weekly basis, even long sucky runs.

 

Nic - I hope you are feeling better and that your kids are back to normal too.  When things like that happen and the kids need a pick-up, is there any way for your dh to do it?  Does he also have a big commute?  I know that him sharing the load isn't exactly his m.o. but at least while you're settling into a new job?  In any case, goodvibes.gif coming to you for health, strength, patience, and flexibility all around you.

 

Speaking of which, Shanti, how are holding up?

 

Kerc - Ugh.  I just hope you come through this whole scene unscathed.  Yuck.

 

JayGee - How's your hip?  Have you done any new exercises that have helped?  Mine has been flaring up recently and with boxing starting up again in two weeks I'm a little anxious and open for any possible leads on how to deal with it.  I'm sorry about the volunteer position being ridiculous.  And probably trying to find other parents to delegate to is another full time job.

 

Jo - Any word on dh's return date? 

 

Geo - I'm glad you found a sitter, I hope she's working out already and that it will be a long and happy relationship for your family.  As for school angst, I hope that things smooth out but who would ever guess how difficult it is to have gifted kids?  It will be amazing to see how to develop as the years continue though and as the school come to grips with the talents they have.

 

MelW - Enjoy the downtime! 

 

ETA: Sorry guys!  No pix from the meet-up greensad.gif.  Our camera was stolen in CA last week and I never saw the Sparkletruck family with one so totally spaced the whole thing. 

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