Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas

Many people have asked me and wondered how our Christmas is with 7 boys. Well, here is a small glimpse into our world.

Our Christmas Eve started with Mass at 4pm (Well, cleaning the house before that...). We had a lovely picture in front of the tree and then headed off to St. Patrick Church. Mass was very pleasant as the Children's Choir sang.

We had our evening meal; our traditional Steak and Shrimp with my wife's family. Most of the boys don't like steak or shrimp so they had other boring food. And then hung out with the kids until we sent them to bed at 8pm. Everyone was very excited so it was tough to get them motivated to sleep. Joseph, despite not having had a nap, stayed up until after 10pm! It was like pulling teeth to get him to sleep. He must have been so excited!

Finally everyone was asleep, we went to gather the presents. The next hour was spent arranging and such. I unpacked the "Band Hero" I purchased on the door busters after Thanksgiving. I was so excited to play it! I Rock on easy.

Sleep at 12:30am. Holly heard footsteps at 2:30am but didn't wake me to investigate. I woke at 5:10am, shortly after Nicholas (4yo) came in and said, "Santa Really came!" He was so cute! Shortly after, we heard the footsteps of all the children heading up the stairs from their room in the basement. I thought I would head off any early present-opening so I headed downstairs. Stockings were pulled down and candy gotten into. Everyone ran around guessing what they got. Slowly Aunt Amy & Grandpa got up. Eventually Mom and the others woke up.

Then our 13yo Daniel revealed that he had been awake on and off since about 1am. He played with the guitar and drums from Band Hero and tried to peak at presents. He said he was awake almost all night.

Finally, about 6:45am we decided to start the opening of the presents. We generally appoint a Santa to pass out presents. In the beginning when we had less than three children, we would pass out individually and watch others open their presents. You can imagine in a family of our size, that wouldn't work very well. We'd be there opening presents all day. So, our appointed Santa simply passes presents to people and we all open on our own time. The drawback of that is we don't get to see reactions as much and sometimes miss what people open. However, the good thing is it's all done in about 45 minutes.

Here is our annual video from this year:
After all this, we play all day. We try to keep the trash under control but it normally doesn't work. At the end, our garbage container is full and we have 4 kitchen garbage bags full of garbage. This is not including the mountain of cardboard from the boxes the presents came in (and packaging for toys); those will go to the recycle later.

Around 3pm we have Christmas Dinner but we've been eating candy all day so nobody really eats that much, especially the children. More playing until we send them to bed. We then crash with an early night.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sick of Foreign Tech Support

I don't know if this post will label me a racist or what, but I'm going to risk it and post anyway.

The back-story here is this. Back in 2007, I purchased a volume licence count of Adobe CS3 Design Premium for my work. We purchased only the Mac version. When I logged into the licensing website at I was greeted with 5 license keys for Mac and 5 for windows. I called Adobe and asked them about this since I didn't pay for the Windows versions. They told me it didn't matter, they supplied me with windows keys anyway. I asked if I could use those if I purchased the media and they said yes. So, I purchased media.

Fast forward to today.
I'm looking into purchasing the upgrade to Creative Suite to CS5. I called their licensing company and I get a woman who obviously doesn't speak English on a regular basis. I told her exactly what I said above and asked her if the situation still applies. Can I simply purchase 5 licenses and I get both platforms? Her answer was this:

"Yes, sir, that is a valid upgrade path from Adobe CS3 Design Premium to CS5 Design premium. You can do that."

I said, "But ma’am, if I buy just the Mac versions, will I get license keys for the windows version too that I can use? Does that still work?"

Her answer, "Yes, sir, the product is available in both windows and macintosh versions."

I thanked her for her time and told her I had no further questions.

This happens so often nowadays I'm so sick of it. I call Cisco technical support I'm constantly trying to explain to them what I really need help with. They continually get it wrong and give me the wrong answer. I spent two days with an idiot at Barracuda Networks because he completely misunderstood my question and gave me the run around. No matter how hard I try to explain what I need help with, they never get it.

I'm so over tech support. I don't really care if the person is in India, Mexico, or the US, I just care that they understand the damn English Language!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Being Forced to be Good

I know it's been a while since I posted, forgive me. (Not sure if anyone even reads this thing but anyway....)

For those who don't know, I have seven boys. Ranging every two years from 12 down to 3 months. I realized the other day that my boys are only good when I force them to be good. I wonder if that is the nature of a boy? I don't know. Here is what I mean...

In the morning before school, they are not allowed to watch TV. That has been the rule since my 12-year-old was 5. We have never wavered from that rule. Early on, to "help" the situation. I programmed the cable box to block all shows from 5am until 9am so when they turn the TV on they can't get to anything. Thus, I was forcing them to be good by preventing them from disobeying.

When we got a new cable box, I didn't set the ban up and within a day they were down watching TV even though they knew they were not supposed to. I kept the ban off as an experiment and reminded them EVERY MORNING that they were not supposed to have the TV on. I did this for a week. Well the ban got put back on.

This week they had gotten some DVDs from the library. Well, all week I found them watching their DVDs!

This is just one of many things in the house. If I don't put in place forceful methods of making sure the children do the right thing, they won't do the right thing! Even my 12-year-old!

Just once, I would like them to do the right thing without being forced. But simply say to themselves (for instance), the rule is I don't eat outside the kitchen, I'm not going to eat on the couch.

Perhaps I'm asking too much. Who am I kidding, I'm raising boys!