Friday, December 18, 2009

Does this game look familiar?

Turns out it's just as entertaining to 3rd graders as it is to adults!

And no, the prize was not a camel lamp.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jay got an email from Santa!

I'm sometimes very easily amused at simple technologies that have been created.

Jay received this video message from Santa today.

Click: Jay's video message from Santa

Too bad this wasn't available when we were kids!

I know Santa isn't the reason for the season, and I know there are people out there that don't believe there is any place for Santa in the Christmas season. I don't think there is anything wrong with adding a little make-believe and imagination to our lives. If we had kids, I would definitely enjoy seeing their reactions to this video. In fact, I can't wait to see Jay's. : )

Monday, December 14, 2009

10 week celebration!

(In case you haven't seen us in the past 10 weeks...)

Jay and I made the decision 10 weeks ago to do something about our ever-growing bellies and laziness, so we enrolled in Farrell's Extreme Body Sculpting in hopes to make some changes.

We thought you might be unsure of what this involves, so we made a little home video montage of our training.

Click here to see: Kelsey and Jay training home video

Alright, so not exactly : ), but we have been working hard. 3 days a week we've spent fitness kickboxing (with punching bags, gloves, etc), and 3 days a week have been resistance training.

Today was the end of our 10 weeks and we had some testing to see if we've made any improvements, or if this has been a colossal waste of time. So here are our results. Since we did this as a team, I thought I would combine our numbers and report our results as a team.

Okay, here we go:

Total pounds lost: 29.4
Total body fat percentage lost: 7.7%
Total inches lost: 33 3/4 inches
Total pants sizes dropped: 4

Here are some other improvements in our testings.
Push-ups in a minutes: 102 more than week 1 testing
Sit-ups in a minute: 39 more than week 1 testing
Sit and reach: 14 1/2 inches more than week 1 testing
Mile run: 3 min 33 seconds faster on our miles

I'm happy to report that team Schmeebs has decided to continue this fitness thing for another year. Jay says that the best way I could wrap up this post about fitness would be to end with a picture of him dancing naked. Seeing as I don't have a picture of that, nor do I ever hope I will, I'm going to leave you instead with that wonderful mental image.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gender Roles

As you may know, Jay and I aren't much into traditional gender roles.

I do a lot of handy work around the house. When we first moved into our new house, it was more important to me that the garage feels organized, so I did it.

I have atrocious and inconsistent habits when it comes to doing laundry, and it drove Jay crazy - so he does all of our laundry.

We share many other duties that might traditionally go to one gender, and it works out well for us.

But as I sit in my warm house tonight, I am thankful that I was able to take advantage of one traditional gender role this evening.

"Ohh crap, we still have to shovel the driveway," we say almost in unison as we pull up to our house.

"Oh honey, haven't you always said a woman's place is in the kitchen? I will go cook you up something warm, and you go get the driveway done," Kelsey says insincerely.

"Bullsh**. You know I say that sarcastically," Jay retorts.

"I shouldn't always take your words for face value?" Kelsey replies innocently.

"Um no, I'll go shovel now." Jay says dejectedly.

Will this last? No. Will I have to shovel the driveway many times this season? Absolutely, and I'm sure you'll hear more about it.

But for today, this woman is in the kitchen, and I'm lovin' it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blue Pop

The following scene took place in my classroom today. Some students had finished their work early and were working on some writing. This is what I stumbled upon and listened in on from a distance....

Drew has been working on a list of "good pops" during his free writing time. A list of "good pops" is just what it sounds like - a list of pops (sodas) he likes to drink. Today Drew was typing his list on the computer to publish and Connor looks over his shoulder.

"You're brainstorming good pops? You have Mt. Dew - my favorite, and Diet Pepsi, my mom's favorite, but you don't have my dad's favorite - Miller Lite," says Connor.

"Miller Lite? That's not a pop, that's beer, Connor," says Drew.

"Really? My dad says his favorite pop is blue pop, and that's Miller Lite," says Connor.

"Miller Lite is beer - which is alcohol you idiot. You didn't know that?" says Drew.

"Guess not," says Connor as he walks away.

Gotta love that blue pop. : )

P.S. - I would have reprimanded Drew for calling Connor and idiot if it weren't for the fact that I had to turn and walk away because I was laughing so hard.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just call him Clark Griswold...

Jay got our outdoor lights finished last week - don't they look great? We attempted to tag-team effort this project, but after having my hand stepped on while steadying his ladder, I lost my patience and decided this project was not for me. I love this time of year and looking at all of the lights. It puts me in a much better mood when it's dark by 5:00 PM when I get to pull into the driveway after work and see this.

Here is a close-up of our front porch. I thought the light-up snowman was too cute to resist! : )

I tackled most of the indoor decorations, the most exciting of which was our new Christmas tree. Jay promised that if we moved into a house that had room for a bigger tree, we'd get one. There is something about a full-sized tree that makes it really feel like home.

(This was our tree last year - cute, but not quite the same effect.)
How are you getting into the holiday spirit?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We're taking ITBS this week, and here is my favorite quote from the testing thus far.

Student: "Mrs. Schmitz I don't get this problem....

(Reading Aloud) At what stage is a person most likely to become a parent?

The options are:

A) Birth
B) Growth
C) Maturity
D) Decline
E) Death

Teacher: They want to know which one of those stages would you be likely to become a parent?"

With all the confidence in the world he answers, "DECLINE!"

Lol. Yes, friends, we're in our declining years.

Have a great Thursday to all of you declining people out there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Laugh until I cry...

You know how something hits you just the right way and you get to laughing so hard that you cry?

Cake Wrecks has that effect on me. I discovered this website via some random Yahoo article when I was sick a month or so ago. (Admit it - that's how you get your news, too.) I was feeling so crummy, but Cake Wrecks had me laughing hysterically. It's been a favorite of mine to check sporadically ever since.

The whole premise behind the blog is professional cakes gone terribly bad. Check it out if you need a laugh.

Who knew cakes could be so funny?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - BOO!

Disclaimer: the following blog post amazingly proves my old-person-ness, my immaturity, and my dorkiness all in one post! Bonus!!

I've been looking forward to Halloween for weeks. Jay and I decided this year we weren't going to dress up. Not because I don't LOVE to come up with a costume and make it - because I absolutely do. But because we have a neighborhood full of hundreds of kids (literally) and I thought it would be just as fun to pass out candy and stay at home. Yes, I realize this makes me sound old, but I'm okay with that.

We carved our pumpkins in anticipation - and this became an all-afternoon event. I don't consider myself to have a lot of artistic abilities, so it took a lot of concentration.

Didn't Jay's Iowa State pumpkin turn out awesome? The one on the far left is supposed to be a dog with it's tongue out...but you can't really tell.

6:00 came and I awaited anxiously at my door complete with TONS of candy, glow in the dark "BOO" shirt, and witch hat headband. I'm SUCH a loser. : )

Rather than recap the complete disappointment that happened in the next 2 hours, I will be brief. We had about 30 trick-or-treaters. 30. I was prepared for like 300. I was so bummed.

I asked our nearby neighbors and they all had similar experiences - prepared for a ton of kids, got hardly any.

So trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, I say BOO to you tonight. I go to all this trouble to buy you good candy (not just the cheapest I could find) and this is the thanks I get?

I know I'm supposed to the adult here, but too bad! BOO to you Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Yes, you've seen them before. But I still giggle every time I see another one of these cards. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smiley Faces

You know how in elementary school it was really exciting to get a sticker on your paper? And how it was equally as devastating to not get a sticker, or to get red marks all over the place?

Well...If you get perfect attendance for the week at our gym, you get a smiley face sticker at the end of your workout log.

I am really ridiculously motivated to get a smiley face sticker. I didn't get one last week because I had strep, and it bothers me that there is just a blank space there. I look at other peoples' workout logs in the attendance basket and get pissed when I see they have 3 weeks perfect attendance and I only have two.

Sure, I'm motivated by a lot of other things to be there - but I'm a 25 year old adult. Why does a sparkly smile face motivate me to workout? Is it really that simple? This is silly.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I don't like it when I hear hype about a movie. I build these expectations up in my head, and then when I see it, I find myself disappointed. How can I not LOOOVE a movie sooo much like I heard 15 other people say they loved it? What's wrong with me?

I also don't like it when someone takes one of my favorite books and turns it into a movie. What will they forget to include? How differently will the main character look on the screen than they did in my head.

So it had me worried. Where the Wild Things Are. It had a lot of hype, and it's just a darn good childrens' book as far as I'm concerned.

As I walked into the theater tonight, I saw a mix of viewers. Couples on dates, high school students, nostalgic groups of late twenty-somethings, and families with kids. Ahhh kids.

I sat in front of a little girl with one of the most contagious giggles. You know the kind I'm talking about. The giggle you hear that makes you smile from ear to ear. She would react to the movie in the most perfect and childlike way.

Have you seen the movie Finding Neverland? (**spoiler alert**) You know how at the end of the movie they fill the empty spots in the theater with the little orphan children who make the whole show more enjoyable for the adults? This movie experience was kind of like that for me. (On a much smaller scale of course)

If you go...and if you can...find a giggler and sit near them. Not a seat-kicker or a loud snack eater or the one that has to pee three times.

This movie is so full of innocence and imagination that you truly must view it through the eyes of a child.

Trust me on this one.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Birthday Boy!

A limerick for my husband on his birthday:

There once was a boy named Jay,
His birthday is actually today.
He turns twenty-eight
And I think he's great.
But this poem is just okay.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries

Day 3 and I feel we've made a really great decision.

I feel great. I've noticed a higher level of energy throughout my day. No more yawns after lunch for me. No more 4:00 wall.

I'm looking forward to my workouts. I leave them completely exhausted - I feel like I could put no more effort into those 45 minutes than I already am. My muscles hurt and are reminding me that they actually exist again. But I love it.

We get home from working out every night about 5:30. Then Jay and I make a healthy meal together, sit down to eat and talk about our days. My meals satisfy me, but I don't feel stuffed. I never quite feel starving either. I'm eating foods that came from the ground - not a can, not processed and in a package. And I'm loving it.

My most favorite recent discovery and thing that I love, love, love!: sweet potato fries.

-Peel (or don't peel) sweet potato
-slice into fry-like shapes
-toss in a tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-spread on cookie sheet - lightly salt
-bake on 450 for 20-30 minutes
- Enjoy! No ketchup needed with this yummy treat!

DELICIOUS! These things are so good I was worried they were bad for me. But the sweet potato ranked #1 in nutrition for vegetables on some food reference website. YAY! It's simple things like this that will keep me going!

Do you have any healthy recipes you really enjoy?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The mile

Do you remember the feeling you had the night before you had to run the mile in P.E.? For some, it was excitement - the opportunity to beat last year's record. It was a thrill, it was a race. For others, dread, nervousness, fear. Will this be the year that I am the slowest kid in my class? Will I have to stop and...(gasp)...walk?

I was always a kid in the second category. I never ended up the slowest kid in my class - not even close. But it was always my fear that I would be. I never had to stop and walk, I think I was too afraid to. I felt like if I walked, I was giving up.

So why is this relevant? Why am I writing about this now?

Tomorrow I have to run the mile. Tomorrow someone will ask me to do as many push-ups and sit-ups as I can. They'll ask me to sit and reach. They'll measure every inch of me. They'll weigh me. They'll tell me what percentage of my body is fat. They'll take my picture in a 2 piece swimsuit. Tomorrow I have to own up to the consequences of some bad habits. Because pictures, measurements, scales - they don't lie.

And after all of this is done, the real fun begins. It's something I need to do, and Jay has decided we'd make a good team. So we're going to try this together. We've committed to 10 weeks. 45 minutes a day. 6 days a week. Oh, and to change our eating habits, too.

My hope is that we learn some lessons, and we form some healthy habits. I hope that I get my butt kicked by some workouts and remember that the wonderful feeling of exhausted muscles and a buzz of endorphins far outweighs a great meal and a sitcom on the couch.

But tonight, I'm a little anxious. I'm a little excited. Just like the mile - I dread the hard work it will take. I'm nervous to try something new. And I fear that I will fail.

But my bigger fear is not trying at all. So for tomorrow, I'll run the mile. It's a start. : )

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Would you like a cup of tea?

I have this horrible cold that started about a week ago. It's been one of those colds you can't ignore - constantly blowing my nose, losing my voice, and coughing. I'm sure this is the first of many that will come during the cold and flu season at school. It comes with the job.

During lunch today, someone suggested I try a NetiPot. She said she swears by it.

"It's a little teapot like thing, and you mix a solution and it clears up your sinuses".

Seemed simple enough. After school, I ran to HyVee and I found the little blue teapot, picked it up, and checked out. No further glances taken.

I didn't closely examine the package until I got home.

I thought: teapot - tea like solution - drink - feel better?

In reality: teapot - saltlike solution - stick the spout up your nose - blow. GROSS!!!

The person on the cover enjoying a nice drink of tea...wasn't drinking tea at all. He was pouring through his nose! ICK!!!

Since youtube has videos of EVERYTHING out there - I found a demonstration of my experience.

Some radio guys try a Neti Pot

I swear I'll try anything to get rid of this cold, and so, yes, I did try the NetiPot. Although the NetiPot did clear my sinuses temporarily, they have clogged again.

The temporary relief may have been worth it though. I might have to try it again later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm attached.

No, it's attached, actually. Our garage, that is.

I went to leave the house on this rainy morning. I open the door, I walk into the dry space, I get into my car. I'm still warm and dry and have a smile on my face!

No more running down the skinny sidewalk to the garage on the alley. No more stepping in that puddle of water that has always gathered right at the end. No more getting soaked while trying to unlock the garage door. No more wondering why I bothered to even dry my hair to begin with.

I can step conveniently out the door and into my car.

It seems like a very simple thing - but I'm spoiled now, I'll never go back!

I'm attached! To our garage! : )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another reason I love my job...

Mrs. Shmits
My techer

You mak my day i have never seen eny body as nice as you. Your smile is like the sun it so grate to have you here today. This is like a book but it is about you and how nice you are. I hope I have ben good for you and i make me sad wen you leave me and the class.

Mrs. Shmits
My techer

- - - - - - - -

Can you tell we've been working on our colorful language? We've been trying really hard to use descriptive words in our writing. So maybe we have a little work yet to do this year on our spelling. : ) But you just don't get this everyday in other jobs. : )

Sunday, September 20, 2009


(Disclaimer: If you're not a pet person - you'll definitely find this blog post boring and possibly ridiculous! And for the record, I'm totally okay with that.)
This is Pinkie.

I know I've mentioned her in blogs before, but Pinkie holds a special place in our family. Dottie received Pinkie as a gift from my mom about a week after we got her. She went to stay at my parent's house while I supervised a Jr. High trip to the boundary waters. Dottie and Pinkie have been pretty inseparable ever since.

Pinkie started as a comfort object for Dottie to lure her into her kennel. She HATED her kennel (and probably still would if she ever had to go in it). So we used Pinkie and a treat to get her to go inside. They were almost the same size back then.
Over the years, Pinkie has become Dottie's little partner in crime. She carries her everywhere. She treats her like another dog to cuddle with, but when it comes time to play, Pinkie is often what she wants to play "go get em" with.

I've come home on many occasions and found Pinkie in some of Dottie's "lookout" spots. I often wonder if she walks around with her during the day while we're gone.

Lastly, Pinkie sleeps with us each night. If I go to bed early, Dottie will find Pinkie and drop her off in bed with me, and then wait up with Jay. If she is tired, then she'll drop Pinkie off with Jay and she'll come to bed.

Probably my favorite nightly ritual with Pinkie happens when we go to bed together. Dottie will stay for a few minutes - almost as if to check we're going to stay there - then she'll find Pinkie in the house and bring her to bed. It never gets old!

Pets are so funny! I wish I could know what's going on in that little head of hers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


We don't have any adult only bathrooms at my school.

So...when I walked into the girls' room today, this is what I heard:

"I just took a big dookie."

"Oh really? What's a dookie?"

"It's a poop."

"Oh, then I just took a dookie, too."

It's at that point that I turned around and left.

Thank You.

A friend and former coworker of mine emailed me today to ask me my opinion on an email she received.

For anonymity's sake, we're going to call my friend Samantha. And on the off chance the person that emailed her would ever stumble upon my blog, we're going to call the person she received the email from Wilma.

Wilma emails Samantha.

Hey Samantha, I have a question about one of the students Kelsey had last year. Can you send me her email address?

Samantha emails Wilma.

Yah, no problem - her email address is Have a great day!

Wilma emails Samantha.


TY? We concluded that TY must mean "thank you" in text talk. But we're not texting, we're emailing. Does it really take that much more effort to type up the words:

Thank You ?

And use some punctuation for cryin' out loud!

(What do you think about this?)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9 Years Ago...

9 years ago today...

A freshman in college came back to his hometown he vowed he wouldn't visit until Christmas. He did it to surprise a girl. At the time, that girl was just a friend, but he was pretty sure that this surprise could convince her he should be more. They went to a dance together. They hung out in her basement afterward. They awkwardly wrote notes back and forth before he finally got the courage to ask her out.

9 years later that guy is my husband. We no longer need to awkwardly pass notes to tell each other how we feel. But sometimes we write them just for fun :) . We're no longer "just friends" - he's my best friend. We've danced at proms (too many for Jay), friends' weddings, and our own.
We've had our rollercoaster moments, but sitting where I am today, they were definitely worth the ride.

Love you, Jay. Thanks for choosing me. : )

Friday, September 11, 2009

A School Divided

(click on the photo for a zoomed image)

We ceased our scholarly minds and disciplined studies for five minutes on a Friday afternoon.

Why? To shoot a picture honoring the great rivalry going on in our state this weekend.

I assure you there were at least 200 other students in red that "accidentally" got cropped out of this photo.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to School Speech

I know we're not technically "the students of the nation" anymore, so this speech is not directed towards us. But neither is the children's message at our church. So why does the simplified version of God's love for me sometimes make more sense? I think it's okay to not lose our inner child - the simplified and purer versions of ourselves. It's refreshing.

I also know I have some blog readers who are not Obama supporters, and that's okay with me. Picture your favorite inspirational figure reading it aloud to you, or your favorite teacher, or James Earl Jones - he has a cool voice.

Read the speech here

So intended for us or not, take 5 minutes. Read the speech. Tune in your TV tomorrow and watch it. I really think it's a message we can't stand to miss. Because sometimes it's the simple things like never giving up, washing our hands, and reminding us all that we are special that matter the most.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sensoring the President??

I consider my blog to cover pretty "safe" subjects. I've never really gotten into anything too controversial, as I've never felt this specific blog was the correct venue to express my views on those subjects.

Until now. (You knew it was coming, didn't you?)

Next Tuesday, President Obama plans to address the children of the nation in a speech. He has encouraged all children and schools to watch. Parents, however, have a different view. While some very much support their children watching a speech from the president, others don't want their kids to watch the president because they are afraid of what his message might contain.

As a teacher, my email was bogged down today with the correct "protocol" in handling this situation. The White House will release the text to the speech 24 hours before it is given. If we wish to view it in our classroom, we need to make the justification that it has valid curricular ties. Even then, if parents would not like their children to view the speech, they may opt out.

I did a little googling and confirmed my notion that this isn't the first time a president has addressed the children of the nation. Did those past presidents receive the same response? I don't care what your political views are - isn't part of getting an education exposing you to history and, gosh, maybe even a little politics? Isn't that reality?

Has our helicoptering style of overprotective parenting really come to this? We can't trust our children to watch the PRESIDENT? We sit in fear of what our nation's leader could taint our child's minds with? Seems very much against everything we stand for here in the USA.

For me, the scariest reality of this all is the message parents are sending to their children. Some send this message very vocally, while others send it through their actions:

Intolerance. We don't want our kids to listen to the opinion of a person whose views might differ from ours.

Disrespect. We don't honor our nation's leader, we turn our head the other way, and cease to acknowledge his opinion exists. We teach them that even though we elected a man through a fair system, that because "our choice" didn't win, we don't need to support him.

So how do you teach a class full of kids tolerance and respect if it's not something they see practiced at home to our nation's leader? Beats me.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox. But something about this struck a chord with me today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We practiced my name...

Today was my sixth day as a 3rd grade teacher. The first six days have been an absolute blast. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed teaching 5th grade. But 3rd graders are different.

3rd graders walk into your door full of enthusiasm, curiosity, and a need to please. Yet they take pride in gaining independence. 3rd graders find absolute joy in learning a letter of the alphabet in cursive. 3rd graders love read aloud time and sitting on the carpet.

A couple of days ago we practiced how to pronounce my name. SHHHH-MITS. Easy enough. Wrong. Add a "Mrs." to the front of that and you've got a tongue twister.

I have been called Mrs. Smiths, Mrs. Schmit, and my all time favorite - Mrs. Smich.

"Um....Mrs. do you do this math problem?"

How could you not smile at that?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

VOTE NOW! Voting closes August 15th!

The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier publishes a "Best of the Best" in the Cedar Valley list each year. I have not been on their website recently, so I just discovered that voting is going on now. The categories range from grocery store to oil change company to photographer. Hmm....photographer. Do I know any outstanding photographers in the Cedar Valley? Actually, I do. - Yep, that's the one. If you think Ashley's photography is the best of the best (which I do!) why not take a minute and nominate her?

Go to and click on "Best of the Best" logo in the upper right hand corner. You can fill out as many categories as you like, or just photography. Seriously, it will take you a minute.

My regret in all of this is that I didn't see the voting going on sooner. Voting closes August 15 - so hurry up and vote, already!

Ashley, I'm sorry if this post embarrasses you terribly, but for those of us who know your photography truly think you're the Best of the Best. : )

Sunday, August 9, 2009



"2 tickets for the 10:40 ferry to Boston, please."

From the recommendation of our rental car dude, we took a ferry into the city from an outlying suburb yesterday. It was such a neat way to make our way into Boston. It was scenic, relaxing, and incredibly cheap!
Once checked into our hotel, we headed for the Museum of Science. It was on our list of "things we'd like to do in Boston", and we wanted a way to kill a few hours before I forced Jay to take a Duck Tour of the city. Truth be told, I was not in a mood to be in a museum. I was feeling impatient, and had a short attention span. Once inside however, we ended up learning a lot. I lightened up and had some fun, although it was rough going for a while. Jay discovered an exhibit called "Mathematica", which was pretty much my idea of hell on earth.

One particular exhibit was for kids to understand classification and how museums make exhibits.

You were supposed to pull from a bucket of random objects, and Make Your Own Musuem. Here is my museum:

And here is Jay's:

The non-English speaking people next to us could not understand what we were laughing hysterically at. Oh, just ourselves.

After the Museum of Science, we took a Duck Tour of Boston. I thought it would be a fun way for us to get a quick sweep of the city and see where we'd want to go later. Also, I really think it's cool that a vehicle can drive on land, and then float on water.

Our tour guide was actually really cool, and we learned a few things about the city. I took this picture of our boat in the reflection of the tallest building in Boston about a block from our hotel.

The tour also gave us the confidence we needed to conquer the city by foot. We both felt assured that we now had a pretty solid mental map of some major locations within the city. Seen it once, seen it a million times, right? Sure. We could totally get where we needed to go.

After the tour, we decided that since our hotel was near the tallest building in Boston, we'd just keep our eye on that building, and walk back to the hotel. A couple of miles later, we confidently arrived HERE. This building is NOT the tallest in Boston, it just looks like kind of like it. Whoops.
The good news however, was that this building was next to the Old State House and Quincy Market. An open market/street fair area with lots of shopping, restaurants and fun things to do. Jay said it was really no accident, but rather it was God's will that we found our way to Quincy Market that night. He thinks God really wanted him to have a beer. Here, Jay experiments double-fisting a bucket of meat with a large beer.

Here I am with a street performer in Quincy Market - my hat is from our waitress at Dick's Last Resort. It said "Pole Dancer", ha ha - yah right.

After our run-in last night and since we had not yet picked up a proper map of Boston, we pulled out the GPS to get us where we needed to be this morning. Jay got this from my parents for Christmas, and we've used it so many times! Unfortunately, thanks to Joe, Jay downloaded a Homer Simpson voice that can be our GPS tour guide. It's not obnoxious at all.

Most of our day today was spent walking the Freedom Trail. We opted to take a guided tour, although I was originally reluctant to pay someone to walk us through something we could do for free. Most of the tour guides dress in costume and stay in character throughout the whole tour, and I thought that would be kind of hokey. Our guide was a history professor from Quincy College and although he was dressed in character, took a teaching approach to the tour. I'm sure he's the kind of professor whose classes are always packed, because he had us hanging on his every word. I know we learned a whole lot more with him than we would have walking through on our own.

This is the building where the Sons of Liberty decided they were going to dump the tea into the harbor for the Boston Tea Party.

This is John Hancock's grave. This was also the burial ground of many historical figures -Sam Adams, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin's parents, the five "victims" of he Boston Massacre, etc.

Below is the pub across the street from the burial ground. Our tour guide told us the joke that this is the only place in the world where you can have a cold Sam Adams while looking at a cold Sam Adams .

We saw SO much more on the Freedom Trail, but there's just not time in this day to pass it along on my blog. If you're ever in Boston, I highly recommend you check it out for yourself.

Jay and I have maneuvered through nearly every neighborhood in Boston in the past 2 days, and we have done miles and miles of walking. I've really enjoyed all of the access to history and information here. I've been impressed by the friendliness of the people and the pride they take in their city.

Lastly, tonight we walked to the Fenway district and planned to watch the Red Sox beat the Yankees at a local pub with some true Red Sox fans. Unfortunately during dinner, the people in the table next to ours kept sneaking off to smoke pot in the alley outside the patio. After about 2 innings, we decided this wasn't quite the crowd we were looking for, and that we'd have just as much fun watching the game back in our hotel room!

Tomorrow will be our last day in Boston and we're headed to Fenway (hopefully) to watch the real deal. It's supposed to rain and as my blog and the game are wrapping up, the Red Sox haven't won in 6 straight games. Ouch. Cross your fingers that the sun will shine on the Green Monstah tomorrow. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

On a Boat...

We thought we'd catch you up a little more on vacation so far! Tonight we're calling it an early night because we leave for Boston in the morning. While you have been going about your normal lives, here is what the Schmeebs have been doing.

**All italicized sections are written by Jay**

Kayaking the Bass River:

Our second day in Cape Cod, and 3 meals out under our belt, we felt we needed to do a little something active. So we thought we would explore the option of kayaking.

After arriving at Howie's Kayaks on the Bass River, we wanted some details:
- How much will it cost to kayak?
- How much time will we get?
- Can we kayak together?
- Lastly, what's a kayak?

Jay's athleticism showed its true colors during our trip. Apparently he has been secretly rowing at the rec center in preparation for this day to come. He wanted to leave me stranded and helpless in a river.

Kelsey promises me that she was not pouting or angry when she violently shook her oar at me. She loved the fact I got so far ahead, and she did not initially hate kayaking because the tide kept pulling us apart. She promises.

A peaceful moment on the "Ocean River" as Jay calls it.

Experimenting with Food:

We're smart enough to know that you're not interested in knowing about all of the wonderful meals we've eaten while in Mass. We have tried to do a little sampling of some foods outside of our comfort zones or a little more true to the area, because when in Rome...

Kelsey decided to try the lobster. She took the obligatory, look at me I'm doing something new picture. She really liked the meat she took from the lobster claw.

Jay has done a lot of experimenting with ice cream. Mostly it's been, "Will ice cream taste good after such-and-such a meal?" to which he emphatically answers, "YES!" every time. Here, Jay samples the double fisting method with ice cream....and beer.

Was it good? YES!

Unfortunately for Kelsey, she did not finish or enjoy the rest of her lobster post-claw. When she started to eat the body of the lobster she noticed her dead lobster's eye staring at her. She did not like this. She prefers not to be reminded of the innocence of her prey mid-meal.

Eyeballs, GROSS.

Golfing Prestigious Golf Courses:

Our 3rd day in Cape Cod was rainy (see it pouring behind me?) and overcast. We had planned to hit up the beach this day, but didn't want to risk driving an hour to get to a wet beach. Instead, we golfed one of the Cape's finest courses.

This picture was taken for Johnni. On my Plymouth blog, she asked why Jay was standing so funny while posing by the fake Mayflower. She was unaware of his heritage and the fact that THIS is the way captains stand. Here is further proof, my Johnni dear. : ) He did rest his leg on the fence though, instead of mid-air like last time.

For those of you who have never vacationed with Kelsey, here is what happens: Kelsey sees something that she can act strange around, she stops doing whatever it is she should be doing (in this case putting on the third hole), and she runs to the something she saw. She then hams it up until I ask, "Do you want your picture taken?" She acts surprised as if she didn't plan on having her picture taken. She then hands me the camera and I take as many photos as it takes until we get the perfect strange shot.

The #1 in this photo is very symbolic.
- It stands for the fact that Jay was the winner of our game (he beat me by 3 strokes)
- It was the hole he shot a hole-in-one on
- It stands for the number of times he has won in any type of competition against his wife

P-town Whale Watching:

Everyone in Mass says driving to the very tip of the cape is worth the drive, just to experience Provincetown. I wanted to go there to do a little whale watching, but the watching in town was almost just as exciting.

Our whale-watching trip was definitely one of my favorite things we've done so far. The boat we went on uses data from each whale watching trip as part of their whale research and education. They gave us lots of information on whales, like how humpback whales don't have teeth. They have this balean stuff - it works kind of like a net in their mouths. That's what Jay's holding.

They documented 17 different humpback whales on our trip. This group of whales literally had us surrounded at one point and came right up to the boat. I got some pretty cool video footage that I might post later, but for now these pictures will have to do.

This one really put on a great show. No words.

As for the people watching portion of Ptown...well we don't have any pictures. Not that there wasn't plenty to photograph--it's just really rude to see someone doing something strange and taking a picture of said weirdo. I personally don't know if my favorite person was the person who painted himself in shimmery green paint in order to look like absolutely no one anyone's heard of, or the four men standing outside of a dog accessory store wearing towels handing out fliers. I presume the fliers said, "Please don't have your children turn out like us. We hurt inside."

It was also enjoyable watching some of the more flamboyant residents of Ptown try to convince suburbanites from all over the world to attend their "spectactular, theatrical drag shows!"

And finally, we wrap this blog up with a portion of this post called,
"Places Around Town We've seen Jay's Name."

Cee Jay. Cee Jay's name. Cee Jay's face. Grumpy, Jay, grumpy.

Jay Mart, far superior to Kmart.

Okay, who farted?

Sorry to end on a fart joke, but that's all for now.

I'm a sailor pig, and I've lost my leg.

If you know that reference, we think you're cool.