Archive for the 'The Kids' Category

Whither the Sizzler?

( Cars! andFamily andFun! andThe Kids )

One of the coolest toys I remember from my younger days was the Hot Wheels Sizzlers. They were the size of regular Hot Wheels cars, but were made of plastic and had electric motors (like you’d find in slot cars) and batteries that would recharge in a minute or so using The Juice Machine — […]

The Cicada Killer Wasp

For the last few summers we’ve had some scary looking bugs in our yard. Thankfully, they’re just scary looking, and nothing to really be afraid of, provided you’re not a cicada. A female cicada killer wasp in flight, approaching a prospective nest site. The lifecycle of the cicada killer wasp sounds like something out of […]

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

Today is Mother’s Day, but for the last several years I’ve felt a little left out. My mom, Celeste Agnes Green Thornton passed away almost five years ago, just one short week after Mother’s Day. The last few years that Mom was with us were difficult; Alzheimer’s Disease stole them from us. I first realized […]

Parenting Advice

“The best piece of parenting advice I’ve heard came from flight attendants; in case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first.” Randy Pausch Randy said that during an interview with Diane Sawyer that was broadcast earlier this week. Makes sense to me; if a parent isn’t taking care of himself/herself, they’re not doing […]

Real Family History

I’ve been working on tracking down some of my ancestors lately, and there’s one thing that really, really sticks out to me — for most people the sense of who we are and what we’ve accomplished doesn’t stick around very long after we’re gone. I look at the names of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and so […]

The Famous Maurice Fire Escape Slide

( Fun! andThe Kids andTravel )

We spent Mother’s Day in the thriving metropolis that is Maurice, IA. And a day in Maurice (pronounced “mawr-is”, as in “morris”) isn’t worth much if you don’t visit the park and take a ride down The Famous Maurice Fire Escape Slide. The Famous Fire Escape Slide can’t be terribly famous; a Google search comes […]


Meet the newest addition to the Thornton family; Pippin the Canary. Yvonne had mentioned before that she’d like to have a pet finch or two, so for her birthday I bought her a bird cage & told her that she could pick out the bird. I suggested a canary (definitely my preference, but it was […]

Buck Buck!

( The Kids )

One of the kids’ favorite things to listen to is an old Bill Cosby comedy album that I’ve had forever. One of the things Cosby talks about is playing a game called BuckBuck. In BuckBuck, five kids will line up, each one bent over the back of the kid in front, so that you end […]

Is it Caleb? Or Calvin?

( The Kids )

Caleb pulled a couple of good ones this evening. After dinner he was reading a book when he stopped & asked, “What does ‘e-i-e-i-o’ spell?” I almost fell off my chair. Then, later on he took a bath, which he does on his own with little trouble. Mostly. This time he filled the tub to […]

Bear Feet

( The Kids )

I was reminded tonight of a “Caleb-ism” from a while back. Caleb went running out the door in cold weather with no shoes on, and I shouted at him, “Hey! You don’t want to go out there in bare feet!” He stopped & looked at me with that “What the hey are you talking about” […]