Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fire On The Train!

Well, not my train. It must have been 1 or 2 trains ahead of mine.

When I got to the RTA station this morning, there were 3 ladder trucks, a rescue truck, and several other emergency vehicles. Apparently one of the previous trains had caught fire!

I didn't wait long at all for a train but it was running eastbound on the westbound track. The ride was slow and choppy as every few minutes we had to either switch tracks or wait while an oncoming (westbound) train switched tracks.

The Plain Dealer has a short article on this up on their site.

This has nothing to do with raising 7 kids but I had to put it somewhere.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Busy Weekend

I just thought I would post our busy weekend schedule.

Friday night my 3 kids arrived at 6 PM. I was on my way home from my day job, picking up Jason for my every-other-week carpool to indoor soccer practice (6:30-7:30). After practice Luke and I picked up pizza to bring home for dinner.

Then we watched the first half of Nanny McPhee (from Blockbuster Total Access).

Saturday morning we split 4 ways. Mom and Jacob watched Luke & Nathan play in a Dodgeball tournament. Dad coached Brooke in her basketball game. Rachel and George were babysat by Auntie Dawn. And Emma went shopping with a friend.

In the afternoon the kids played outside and then we finished the movie from the night before. Then Dad took Luke to his indoor soccer game. He scored 2 goals but the team lost 6-3. Meanwhile Nathan's friend Cameron came for a sleepover.

Saturday night we stayed up late watching Gerald Green win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. My favorite dunk was the Dwight Howard dunk where he put a sticker high on the backboard with his left hand while dunking with his right. Wow!

Sunday morning we went to church and Sunday school. Mom volunteered in the Nursery. Cameron came along and went to Sunday School with Nathan & Luke. After we dropped Cameron off at home, we had lunch at Ponderosa on our way out to our niece Grace's 3rd birthday party. After that party Dad had to go deliver pizza while the rest of the family went to our niece Diana's 7th birthday party.

Monday we all went sledding in the morning. In the afternoon Victoria went shopping. In the evening Luke, Brooke, and Rachel went back to their mom's and Dad went to deliver pizza again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Dilema - Treating All Kids Evenly

In a recent post to my Weekends With Dad blog, I describe how Luke and I won free Cavs tickets. This has created a minor dilemma in our household.

Victoria is concerned, and rightly so, that Nathan (who is Luke's age and plays on the same basketball team as Luke) will be jealous that I am taking Luke to the game and not Nathan. Nathan has a father but he is currently in Oregon. The speak about once a week on the phone. He recently sent Nathan and Jacob a Nintendo DS game. But he really is not involved in their lives in any significant way at this time.

Is me taking Luke to the game being unfair to Nathan? What is the right way to handle things like this? I'm not really sure.

I will post more later when I have (hopefully) gained more insight into this issue. I just wanted to get it down in writing for now.

Friday, February 2, 2007


Transportation is definitely an issue with a family this size. We have 2 adults and 7 kids, and the oldest just turned 14, so they all need rides everywhere.

But the issue I'm writing about today is what happens when we all go the same place together at the same time. Very few cars in this day and age are made to hold a large family. When we got married, we each had a car, and for the first year or so, whenver we all went the same place (church, family gatherings, etc), we had to split up and drive 2 cars.

Not only was this inefficient on gas, but it created more separation and less bonding between the 2 previously separate families.

Then a friend from church offerred to give us their old van. It is a 1987 GMC Vandura with over 170,000 miles. It gets about 14 miles per gallon. It has a 2nd row of captains chairs, a bench seat, and another fold-up bench-seat in the way-back, facing backwards. It could easily hold 10 adults. And the kids can fit 4 or even 5 in the benches so it is plenty big enough for us. Some of the kids have nicknamed it Brown Sugar, but it has also been referred to as the Mystery Machine, a reference to the van driven by Fred and the gang in the Scooby Doo cartoon.

It was a great vehicle for us. We didn't drive it as our everyday car, but we used it when we travelled as a group, mostly to church, soccer games, and family events. We did take a short vacation in it to Niagara Falls.

Recently (since the end of December), the van has been parked due to leaks in the brake and fuel lines. Hopefully we will be able to get this repaired soon, but other car issues have taken priority lately.