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Here’s “Space Age Santa”

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Isn’t he COOL?!?
And what a sweet note to Lydia!
How fun is that?!?
Of course, you’ve seen “When I’m an Astronaut” 
The print (with the poem) he sent is too big to scan.  On it, Pignatelli wrote,
For Noah,
From the original boy
astronaut to the new
boy astronaut.  Keep
reaching for the stars.
All my best.
Smitty Pignatelli
I know!  Isn’t it sweet?
He also sent two bumper stickers:

I thought about putting them on our cars, it would be such fun… but then I thought they’d be even MORE fun in the munchkins’ baby books!
Hush!  It doesn’t matter that I don’t even have Noah’s first birthday in his… or that I only have Lydia’s name in hers!  We’re too busy MAKING memories to RECORD them, right now!  Sometime, though…  I’ve a stack… we’ll get it done!
Oh… here is Smitty Pignatelli:

He looks like a nice guy!
I’ve got to run!
I’ve been feeling much better today.
I need to run to my parents’ though.
The family is heading home today, cutting their ski trip short because Momma broke her leg!  They’re trying to get her into surgery Sunday.  It’s pretty bad, apparently.  I’m going to bring a wheelchair out there, before their flight comes in.
Pray for mom!  Pray that she’ll be patient and sweet and not too grumpy or irritable about this situation!
Gotta run!
©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved


I didn’t get my nap yesterday!
JUST as I was drifting off to sleep with a MASSIVE headache, the doorbell rang!

The prints are HERE!

They’re GREAT, too!  The messages Pignatelli wrote were GREAT!  (I’ll write more about them another day). 
I can hardly wait to get them framed!

I had planned to take them in today.

Last night, though, I suddenly felt TERRIBLE!

My headache got worse and worse…

I tried to eat dinner and just felt SICK.

Charles put me to bed and made some theraflu and I was sound asleep before 9.

I feel a little better today.  Not much.  I’m tired of my bed, though.  Charles is commanding that I stay there, but I want to enjoy him and the family today.  He doesn’t have to teach, schools are closed because of the boil advisory.  And he’s keeping me in bed!  blah!

I MUST love him, though!  He’s absolutely perfect.

More later, I think he must be right.  I should get back in bed.  I’m not feeling very well, again!

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved


Happily, we proved Monday night that a two-loss SEC team is better than a one-loss (or even an undefeated) team from any other conference. 
It’s ins’t arrogance… it’s statistical fact.
Besides… LSU is MILES ahead of everyone else, anyway!  Les Miles is a gutsy coach!  He’s fun and exciting and he owns the hearts of Tigers everywhere.
We’re going to bawl when he DOES leave (we’re hoping, though, that he never will!) 

STAY, Les!!!  PLEASE!?!  I’m not too proud to beg!  We love you! 

Money might try to persuade you to move… but money can’t make you happy…  and you can’t take it with you!

Aren’t you having FUN here?

Aren’t you ADORED here?

So STAY!  Stay forever!

Our food is better, anyway!

And we SMILE and HUG and KISS in the South.

We’re ALL one big HAPPY family!

Most of those yanks can be so rude!

You KNOW you love us!

Learn from the mistakes of others! ♥

Okay… so… LSU won the BCS Championship… Huzzah!

What else has been going on?

Charles made it home safely Sunday night.  I was SO happy!  I HATE when he’s away.  I don’t sleep AT ALL!!!  I watch the most boring things on television, I read BORING articles/books… NOTHING will get me to sleep.  Everyone suggests I take a pill… but you know how weird I am about that… it just seems AWFUL!  AND I couldn’t possibly, being the only adult here!  What if I took something and my babies needed me in the night, but I was so sound asleep that I didn’t respond!?!  My prohibitive conscience would NEVER let me rest again!  So… I had an entire weekend of no sleep.  I got to study, though, and that was fun!  We discussed “WHERE GOD IS” in Sunday school and it was GREAT!  I forgot the treats, though and James M. LOVES treats!  It was fun, though, because Hayden said, “Awww…  no treats?  But this was one of the best times ever!”  Pretty fun!  So when you see some of our Sunday school kiddos, ask them “WHERE IS GOD?” and if they give you the patent, “He’s EVERYWHERE!” then be sure to report back to me!  I told them NEVER to answer that way again!  God is specific… so WE’LL be specific, too!


What else?!?  Oh!  While Charles was gone, I had great fun texting him!  Gotta love some of this technology!  I can only imagine the smiles on his face when he received my texts!  What fun!  Wives… LOVE your husbands and LET THEM KNOW IT!  Send him notes or texts about the the way he makes you feel!  Send him notes or texts about… *blushing* well… ALL SORTS OF STUFF!  You are MARRIED!  ENJOY IT!  It’s GREAT fun!  Just be prepared to make good on your texts! 


God has given our sweet friends, Michael and Christy a baby!!!
After years of prayer, in His perfect timing, God has given them a son!
I LOVE adoption!
What a picture of God’s redeeming love!

They go get him in Dallas, Monday!
Isn’t he a doll?!?
Carsten!  Don’t you want to just EAT him!?!?
There I go… babies turning me into a cannibal!
Thank God for providing a family for this little man…
And thank Him for blessing Michael and Christy with a child!


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Our new LOVE!
Fisher Price had a BRILLIANT marketing scheme… send a 27 minute episode to families across America just in time to get them hooked before Christmas.
Charles and I watched the dvd, but decided not to show Noah, as bits were pretty intense (and some of the characters were just mean and ugly) and his studious, analytical mind doesn’t do intense.
We LOVED the toys, though, and Lydia gave him Ace and Tiny for his birthday.  They’re very well-made for rambunctious boys… though of course they’re made in China.  DANG IT!

Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Paul gave him Gustus (Jupiter) and his dog, Zip (Mercury), Digger (Mars), Rings (Saturn) and then went out to the car and brought in Professor Darkness (Black Hole) because she COULDN’T save it a moment longer!  Sweet Aunt Carolyn!

Noah LOVES the Planet Heroes!  He and Lydia (okay… I confess, Charles and I, too) play with them for HOURS… making up adventures and vanquishing evil foes, trying to destroy our solar system!

Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Paul gave Dazzle (Venus), Yuri (Uranus), Tune (Neptune), and Shiver (Pluto) to Noah for Christmas.  We gave Noah the Turbo Shuttle with Ace in the orange space suit.

He has them all!  So we thought!
Happily, though (I can’t believe I’m not groaning), Fisher Price has realized their brilliance and has made MORE!
Now there is an Ace in a GREEN suit with a Rocket Go-Kart, Shooting Star, Lunar, Sun Commander, Digger has a rubble rover, and I’m sure they’ll make Red Giant (as he’s in the new comic).

It’s really fun, though!
Noah is drawing his own comic books, now.  That’s fun!
Lydia wants there to be more girl planet heroes.  She thinks they should have long curly hair and wear pink and purple.  She likes Dazzle, but wishes she were more “girlie”.

I left a comment on someone’s blog about it yesterday:

WE WANT MORE!!!We LOVE the Planet Heroes, though my daughter wishes there were more GIRLS and that some of them would have long curly hair and wear pink and purple!Perhaps Ace’s little sister can get involved and fly through space in a Mega-Tutu that Yuri can design for her!

Perhaps you can talk to the powers that be!

Just when I thought we had every planet hero and bad guy under the sun… we discover there are more.

Instead of groaning, my husband and I are in hog heaven!

It is not an unusual sight to see us on the floor with our two, vanquishing one another as we save the solar system.

At the park, we are various planet heroes, soaring through space, even venturing into other galaxies as we chase Red Giant and Professor Darkness…

By the way… we want Planet Heroes T-Shirts!Who do we talk to about that?Fisher Price needs to get on this! We mommas want it!

With the space shuttle retiring and the new Constellation program coming up, NASA and Fisher Price should put their heads together… the UNIVERSE is the limit!
We need more kiddos excited about space and pumped about science! Come on Fisher Price (you know you’re reading this)… force parents to explain black holes, comets, asteroids, stars…! It’s GREAT fun (AND makes you more money! GO CAPITALISM!)

Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific;
Feign do I fathom your nature’s specific
Exaltedly set on the aether capacious
A reasonable facsimile of a gem carbonaceous.

Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific;
Feign do I fathom your nature’s specific

So… we’ll see!

Charles’ mom (Ginny) had to bring her truck in for a new alternator, so she used Charles’ truck and Charles took my car yesterday.  Instead of taking him to school, so I’d have the car, I thought I’d trap myself at home, so I would be FORCED to fold and put away laundry and tidy!  The house was a WRECK after the LSU game!

Yay, though!  A friend called and whisked us away to the park, where we ALL played Planet Heroes!  Her little man loves them and so does she.  I got to be Professor Darkness!  What a blast!  My throat is still a bit sore, though.  You KNOW I’ve got to get into character and that raspy, wicked voice can do some damage!  When it began to rain… we raced through a meteor shower to the safety of the van… um… I mean Turbo Shuttle! 

I know!  I’ve got the life!  It’s days like this that I remember it really is worth the sacrifice!  A family of four on a Louisiana teachers income shocks many… but wow!  Don’t raise your eyebrows or shake your head in pity!  I get to play Planet Heroes!!!  I get to read books to my kids all day and build satellites and space stations and princess castles and robots!  Of course… there is all of the “un-fun” stuff, too… but let’s not talk about that!  It’s a drag to pick up after everyone every day.  It’s a drag to finish the laundry and the dishes… to have MORE by bedtime.  It’s never-ending and can feel very defeating… and even vacation isn’t a vacation… but honestly, it’s only EVER a drag when I am being SELFISH!  Ugh!  And I HATE being selfish, though I am probably characterized by that very trait!  blah blah blah.

Hmmmm… Oh!

Another fun thing happened yesterday.  I got out of the shower and the phone rang.  I nearly answered in a sultry tone, “Hello, you sexy beast!”  because it was at the precise time that Charles usually calls.  I didn’t, though.  (THANK YOU, Father!)  There are so many times I’ve answered that way or NEARLY answered that way and it was NOT my beloved!!!  I just need to say, “Hello.” or get caller id.  Save some blushing.

ANYWAY… it was Smitty Pignatelli

 (who is related to astronaut Stephanie Wilson– how cool is THAT?!?)!

He called to let me know he put the print in the mail!  Wow!  That was fast and KIND!  He said that he wrote some words to the kiddos, too.  Those of you reading this who know me well, know that I LOVE notes!  Notes are my very favorite things in the whole world!  One word notes… 50 page notes… I LOVE NOTES!!!  So!  I am very excited!  What treasures for the munchkins!  I think I shall probably like the notes better than the prints!  Too bad we’re not closer to Nola.  It would be fun to feed him and his crew and let Noah meet him.  Someday, perhaps.  Noah had just gotten up from a nap and was having a blast, drawing a comic book… aliens and space heroes, of course… and I asked Mr. Pignatelli if he’d like to talk to Noah (most of you know how Noah LOVES to talk on the phone and will talk forever, if given the chance).  Not so yesterday!  Ugh!  He was bouncing on my bed (yes… I still let them jump on my bed… it’s just FUN!) waiting to show me his newest illustration and got on the phone and said, “Hi, thanks.” or something like that and then became an absolute giggle box!  What is a mother to do?  Another time, perhaps.  Noah said that, “Mr. Pignatelli must be cool.  I think I’ll send him a Planet Heroes poster and I’ll write a comic book for him.  I wonder if he plays with the Planet Heroes, too.”  What a hoot.

I’ll let you know when we get our fun goodies!  It’s SO exciting.  We thought we’d put them in the munchkins’ room… but I think we’ll put them in the living room above the chair Noah “launches” from!  Fun! Fun! Fun!

Oh!  Another funny thing… Noah saw Paige and her dad get into a sassy white Mercedes after church Sunday and suddenly, the top began to fly up and then hide away in the back of the car!  Noah FREAKED OUT and though it was the coolest thing EVER!  He’s seen convertibles “already convertibled,” as he says, but has never seen the PROCESS… he LOVED IT:

“Mom… how did she do that magic on her car?”
“It’s called a convertible.”
“Isn’t it?!”
“I want our car to be a convertible.  Who is she in that white?”
“That’s Paige.”
(blissfully) “I love Paige.”


“She must be a cool girl because Mr. Horn is with her.”

(chuckling) “Yep!  She’s Mr. Horn’s daughter.”

“No way!  I didn’t know he has a woman daughter.  I want to know Paige.  I know I love her.”

(laughing) “She knows you, Noah.  She’s known you since you were a baby, but she went off to school, that’s why you don’t remember her.”
“I wonder if her house is a convertible!  That would be so cool!  The space shuttle is like a convertible because the cargo bay doors open.”
“Where was Mrs. Horn?”

“She went in another car.”

“I’m going to have to invent a bigger convertible so the whole family can ride together next time.  That one only had two places for people to ride.  Can you turn on ‘Hark the Herald’, it’s my favorite.”

And THEN… last night… Paige came over and let Noah sit in Mr. Horn’s car and put the top down… He LOVED it!!!  He LOVED watching it go back up, too!
He is absolutely smitten with Paige now and declares that he is going to marry her!  He’s going to invent a convertible house for them to live in and he’s going to make one for Miss Naomi, too! 

Charles said, well… if Paige waits for him… Noah can be HER mid-life crisis.  How funny! 

What a fun life we have!  Laundry, dirty dishes, unfinished projects and all!

I’m a happy, thankful girl! 

Oh! Michelle just brought me Starbucks!  What a love!  I have the best, sweetest friends in the world!

Back to play with my babies!  Can you guess what we will play?

OF COURSE!  We’re the PLANET HEROES… here to save the day and keep our solar system safe!


©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

This will be very rambling… just that kind of day!

Okay… so a while back I wrote, asking for aid…


While it was opposite a poem titled “When I’m an Astronaut” I didn’t even consider that might be the title!

Hush! You know that I’m usually MUCH brighter than that!
In googling like crazy… I came to that conclusion, though.
So did my sweet pals, Wendy and Joy (Thanks, girlies! You are STARS!)

Even after emailing the Rockwell Museum… with no response… I couldn’t find a way to get the print!!!

The only info I found through google was that Representative Dan Bosley (Mass. D) presented a print of this very illustration to the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development and that the BOY in the illustration is Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D) who sits on the committee.

That’s it.

I WISHED I could find where on earth he got that blasted thing! I really wanted one! Can any of you blame me! You know our little Noah… HE is the one in that illustration… SURELY! :o)

Well… continual searching without success had me abandon my search. I couldn’t bother government officials about something so small and silly! Besides… they’re democrats! :o) Oh! Quit getting huffy… you know I love you!

At any rate! I quit searching. I let it be… decided I’d be happy with my little copy in the book. And think how fun it is it looks like Balboa. Done.


Cleaning my desk, I found all of my notes about the illustration… Bosley’s info… Pignatelli’s info…

What the heck… the worst that could happen is I’d get no response, right?

I sent the following email to Bosley (he was the one who presented the print, after all):


Dear Sir,
I am a Louisiana Libertarian and so will likely never have cause to vote for or support you, but I DO have a request! :o)
I discovered an illustration by Norman Rockwell that I would REALLY like a print of! No one seems to be able to help me, though!
In researching the matter, I’ve found that YOU were SOMEHOW able to obtain “When I’m an Astronaut” and that Rep. Pignatelli was actually the little boy in the illustration! What fun!
If you would find time to send me the info, so that I might obtain a print, I would be extremely grateful! We have the 1974 Childcraft book that the illustration is in and when we saw it, we knew we MUST have it… as it is EXACTLY what our son does, for EVERY shuttle launch! It even LOOKS like our little Noah (future Orion commander, perhaps?!?).
Sir, I’m certain you are very busy, but your aid in this simple little pleasure would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time,
Tina M****
Tina M. M****
“I’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville, and I’ve read about democracy,
and I’ve lived in countries that had no democracy,
that had no founding fathers, that could not resolve,
so I don’t find myself in the same luxury as you.
You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom,
because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom.
I haven’t. I know that there are many things wrong with America,
and I know there are many things wrong with Americans,
but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world.”
~Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I really expected NOTHING… not even a response…

YAY, though! Imagine my delight when ALMOST RIGHT AWAY this popped up in my inbox:

Thanks for the email. I will pass this on to Smitty Pignatelli, as he is the one who actually had the print. I know that he got it out of a book, but am not sure which. He also has a copy of the painting done by Rockwell that his grandfather posed for. What memories for the Pignatelli family!Smitty has actually been in Louisiana several times over the past year. He is an electrician by trade and has been down to help the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans several times. On one trip he brought a lot of his friends and they did a lot of work. He is very committed to helping and is a great guy.And if you are near Baton Rouge, you can say hi to Mayor Kip Holden for me. He and I are old friends and went to South Africa together a few years ago.Let me follow up with Smitty and see if we can get a copy to you.Thanks again,
Dan Bosley

Okay! So now I’m thinking… HOW STINKIN’ COOL IS THIS?!?

I didn’t expect it at all!


And HOW ROCKIN’ is it that Pignatelli has been helping out in N.O. ??? He’s not one of OUR Reps! AWESOME!

And his GRANDFATHER posed for Rockwell, too! TOO COOL!

I have loved Rockwell since I was a little girl! I poured over Mom’s big coffee table book of Rockwell…

ANYHOO… I HAD to send a response, because I’m me and that’s just what I do… I gush.

I know… it’s just the way God made me… I’m a gusher and some people like it! :o)

I emailed back:


Thank you, sir, for your immediate response! I am blown away and VERY impressed!
Thank you, too, for your help in finding a print for me!
I really am in awe of your kindness!
While we are often in Baton Rouge, I doubt I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting Mayor Holden, but if it should happen, I will certainly gush about your kindness!
Thanks again, sir!
Tina M. M****
“I’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville, and I’ve read about democracy,
and I’ve lived in countries that had no democracy,
that had no founding fathers, that could not resolve,
so I don’t find myself in the same luxury as you.
You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom,
because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom.
I haven’t. I know that there are many things wrong with America,
and I know there are many things wrong with Americans,
but I still believe it’s the best nation in the world.”
~Ayaan Hirsi Ali

That was that, done deal… I figured he’d pass it on and it would get lost in the shuffle… and nothing would ever come of it. I’m nobody… this isn’t important… it’s an illustration… no big deal. It was a fun exchange. Woohoo… that’s it.


Bear with me, people… I told you it would be rambling!

My sweet little sister Jessie came over for lunch today (broccoli soup– YUMMY!)

Just as we were sitting down to eat, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the area code but instead of just letting it ring, I decided I’d pick up and let them know it was the wrong number…

…but it WASN’T!

It was “Smitty” Pignatelli!!!


YES WAY! It was!

I know! I was incredulous! And an idiot! I don’t think I guffawed… but I was certainly shocked and amazed! What on earth?!?


He was VERY kind and very fun!

We laughed about my libertarianism and I told him I still was NOT voting for Hillary or Obama and he asked who I WAS voting for… I confessed my disgust… that I had NO IDEA and that I might very well throw my hat into the ring and run. (I didn’t get into the fact that all of our choices are socialists. I did admit, though, that I am in love with Joe Lieberman.)

Shhhh! I don’t want to hear it! Let me be in love with him… it’s not killing you!

He asked about Noah and was REALLY kind and generous with his time and info.

He told me more about the illustration.

Rockwell had a contract with Childcraft and was paid $1500 for “When I’m an Astronaut” It was 1969 and Pignatelli was 9 years old when Rockwell saw a photo of his winning baseball team in the paper and decided that “Smitty” was the boy he needed to model!

“Smitty’s” grandfather, at 87, posed for Rockwell’s 1967 December Family Circle Magazine cover, “Space Age Santa”!!!

Too FUN!

At any rate… “Smitty” is going to be in New Orleans next week… he’s taking a crew to work! How cool is THAT!?!

I told him that if he is EVER in THIS area… he is more than welcome at our place for gumbo. Oh yeah… you KNOW mine is good! If you’re nice I’ll give you some, too!

Wouldn’t that be fun?

All of that to say, he’s going to send us a copy of BOTH the “When I’m an Astronaut” print and “Space Age Santa”.

Too neat! He told me to email our info to him… and I should have just emailed the info… but I couldn’t… because I can’t ever keep things simple… so:


I am still stunned that you took the time to not only call, but to carry on a very FUN conversation with me!
Are you planning to run for president sometime… hmmmm…
No! I think you are just kind.
You must be just about the MOST FUN representative on the planet!
Both you and Rep. Bosley have been unbelievably kind and generous to our happy little family!
THANK YOU! A million times thank you! I could attempt verbosity… but I’d hate to overdo it, so just plain old THANKS!
Sooooo Sincerly,
The info you requested:
My son, Noah, is 5.
I’ve also a sweet little girl, Lydia (3).
Thank you!

I KNOW! I spelled “sincerely” wrong! Me! How embarrassing! Be embarrassed for me! Hug me! Okay… I’m over it!

Oh well… I am human! English majors are the WORST spellers, you knwo! :o)


What a story!

Noah has no clue right now about how fun it is… but when he’s a bit older… it’ll be pretty darn cool!

I hope Rep. Pignatelli will sign it or something. That would be fun. If not… it’s still rockin’!!!

So… HAD to gush… I’m a gusher… That’s the way it goes.

Juice and I had a great convo, afterward… so fun that she was here for the whole thing… about how God just likes to do fun stuff for His people. TOO NEAT! We GUSHED about our King!

We were wooed by our Lover in so many arenas this afternoon.

What do people do, who don’t know Christ? Where do they get their joy?

Where is their delight? My joy and delight are not in this illustration… or in Pignatelli and Bosley… I am able to ENJOY them… because the SOURCE of my joy is Christ.

Think of my hero… Ayaan… think of all she’s been saved from… delivered from… but I wonder… where is her JOY? What is the OBJECT of it?

another subject… a fun one… I’ll go revel in the Object of my joy while I ponder it and finish studying for my S.S. lesson! WHERE is God?!? I know! Do you?

Oh! Before I close:
You must come see my fabulous print once it gets here and I have it on the wall.

Several rules, though:
You must gush about how much it looks like Noah.

You must NOT tell me about Bosley’s or Pignatelli’s voting records! Shhh! I know this is very unlike me! I’ve been restraining my hand… You MUST know my temptation to look… to be informed… can you imagine the agony… I don’t want to read anything unkind about these two sweet men!

Think of all the ill that could be plastered about you or about me on the WWW!!!

Oh! Come on! Imagine if the secrets of your heart were written for all the world to see! I know mine would be MUCH more atrocious than some lousy voting records and errors in political judgment!

You know, though… like Spurgeon said… a few blacker touches and it would be nearer the truth.

These men are doing something nice for someone they don’t know… someone who can’t vote for or help them in any way… just to be NICE! Wow!


©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

What is the name of this piece by Norman Rockwell!?!
(click for larger image)

Does ANYONE know?
I know… it should be called “Noah” as this is the scene at our house, daily (though his dog stays outside).
Noah actually thinks it IS him! 

If anyone can find out the title… please let me know!


Currently reading :
Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust
By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Release date: 28 January, 1997

©PortCityPrincess 2007
All Rights Reserved