Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Partying like it's 1949

We had plans tonight to go and sit with some friends and play some cards and watch the new year come in and the ball drop and all that stuff. Unfortunately my stomach has not been happy today and I don't want to be a share friend with something like that. So we are sitting in our pajamas, have been since 6:30pm, and are watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy. The dog, after a lively romp at the dog park, has made herself comfortable on the kids' gaming chair because she has decided it is hers. Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters are playing pool on the TV.

I wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. I plan to take better care of myself so I can take better care of those I love. It is way past time for me to do that.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bargain hunting...but kind of sad

I was never a super clothes girl growing up...or now...but I did have one store that I loved. I've talked about it before. The Limited. Their clothes are much different now, but their Outback Red brand with their gorgeous redheaded safari-clothed model was all I ever wanted to wear. Tonight, the hub texted on his way home(he used the voice thing so he was safe and hands free)and told me that two store that the girls enjoy were going out of business at the mall closest to us. I agreed to take them looking after dinner and, if the prices were right, purchase some. The first place we went was obviously not going out of business until the middle of next month. Sure 50% off was tacked on some clothes, but 50% off a gajillion is still half a gajillion. After the low lights and overpowering cologne smell proved more than we could take, we went to the other store which clearly was on the verge of closing as the back of the store looked like a mannequin massacre...and they were for sale.Dressmakers forms are crazy expensive, but the muslin covered bust of a man or woman that once had some cropped shirt on it was only $50. Not bad. After adding up prices and savings, it looks as thought we had a pretty good night. No more clothes will be brought into this house until a good third are taken out. I think that is fair.

I shall now go worry about how soon it will be before the house busts at the seams. 2015 will be the year of pitching and tossing for sure.


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Monday, December 29, 2014

Lazy rainy day

Today was not totally, but almost completely, a day of sloth. I did laundry, shopped for groceries and swept the floors. The rest of the day consisted of watching episodes of Survivor Season 1 that Santa brought S. It is one of the few seasons I have watched completely. My oldest is such a Survivor fan, but she's only watched the last maybe 4 seasons. Luckily the jolly old elf felt the girl needed to see where it all started. She was completely blown away by how much the game has changed. She was annoyed at the winner, but thorougly enjoyed it. Rainy days make you feel not so bad about binge watching something. The kids also decided that they wanted to cook dinner tonight. Who am I to tell them no? It was quite tasty:



Flatbread pizzas, tossed salad, cherry limeade and cake and ice cream for dessert. Not too shabby.

Honestly, that is about all I have to report today. I did get gas and use my Kroger gas points. My gas ended up being $1.13/gallon. This was the result:


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

First Sunday off in, um, forever

I took my first Sunday off from work in over a year and, I'm not going to lie, it felt great. I enjoy what I do, but I miss out on lots of things not being there on Sunday mornings. I got to sleep in a bit and make breakfast for the children that required more effort than pouring milk over cereal or opening up a Cliff Bar. I won't deny it, I felt very guilty about not being in church. Like brushing my teeth or making the bed everyday, church is part of my routine and I feel a void when I am not there. But I needed this time with my family. If we could have found a place for Copper to go, we would have been out of town on this day. I am ashamed to say that I slept in until 8:50. The last time that happened was probably in college...and I was pushing it even then. I don't like to sleep my day away. Too much to do, fun and otherwise.

My friend Sarah, who has been my sister from another mister since the seventh grade, came to visit us today along with her little dog Fritz. The kids had not seen her in a long time and it was so nice to have her here. I wish she lived closer, but she is doing good work in the ATL.

The boy is hankering to play a spirited game of Candyland and the girls are wanting to play Phase 10. Looks like my plans have been set for the evening. Night all.


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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nice uneventful day

I had to take S to a birthday party at the mall this morning. It was a scavenger hunt that proved to be quite fun and entertaining for all involved. I was able to find some after Christmas deals, so everyone was happy. Afterwards, the kids and I played Phase 10 and watched old Survivior episodes while the hub was the only true fan and watched the Hokies with in their bowl game. We then worked the community meal at church which included dishwashing and feating on Mr. Richard's meatloaf.



Afterwards, the hub and I went and played Cards Against Humanity with my brother and sister in law. I feel like I should go straight to hell, but I laughed harder than I have in a long time. I needed it. Badly. I need to go to bed now and wash the funk of the day off of me. Night all.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Beginning the holiday ho-hums

Today was the small start of the cleaning up of the Christmas aftermath. It is always kind of a depressing time for me. I chose not to make the kids labor all day since yesterday was busy and they didn't get to play with their things very much. I will admit that I took a nap at a horrible time of day and will probably be up all night, but oh well. Tis the season. The boy worked on artwork with his new light board. He wants to be an artist:



The dog had a trip to the dog park and a run and a romp with Sparkles who was also there. She got roughed up a bit, but she sure slept well this afternoon.

As we approach the new year, I am making my 2015 list. Among the things I need to work on are being happy with myself and my gifts and talents...whatever those might be. I am developing quite the list, so the new year is shaping up to be very busy. I covet your prayers as I try to improve myself and my life so I can be around for my children and husband and can make them proud.

Now I shall go watch an epsiode of the first season of survivor with my oldest. Santa wanted her to see how the show was from the start. We're a raging party over here.
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

To all a good night...

We were awakened by three angelic voices singing "We wish you a merry Christmas" at 6am. Honestly, I can't complain about the time. This is the first year that we have ever had the kids wake us up on Christmas morning...and we have a 13 year old. The sat on the steps for their traditional "Waiting for Dad to clear out the Elves" pose:



They were very excited and very grateful for the gifts they received. We spent time with family and were grateful for the gift of technology so we could talk to family far away. We filled our bellies with good food and our hearts with good company. So very thankful for our blessings of family, friends, warm homes and happy hearts. God bless each one of you this day and in those to come.

Leaving you with this rare picture...an elf playing xbox:




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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Noisy Christmas Story

Tonight is Christmas Eve and all is merry and bright at our house, well, for the most part. Four out of the five of us are pajama'ed and lounging on the couch watching "A Christmas Story". Earlier, we feasted on our usual holiday meatloaf after discovering all the mischievious things the visiting elves did while we were at church. They brought us each a new pair of pajamas, ran toilet paper throughout the downstairs, mixed up horrible concoctions in the kitchen and googled ways to make dogs sleep and how to settle elves stomachs. We then sat and read the story of the first Christmas. G read the first rendition and, not unlike the first Christmas, the listening audience was noisy. Not rudely so, but they couldn't help it. The dog had to be included in the listening audience since she is part of our family. Before the Angel of the Lord had appeared to the shepherds in the field, the hub had the dog snarling in a headlock while the boy giggled and his big sister gasped in shock. Not sure if there were snarling dogs in the Christmas story, but the were lowing cattle at least.

We are heading to bed soon. NORAD said Santa may be here as early as 9:30 and we can't risk being up and causing him to pass us by this year. Sleep well, all my Christmas friends. I hope you all wake up to a blessed Christmas morning.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

If I ever see another cookie...

Every Christmas Eve, our church delivers plates of cookies to people in our community who have to work. Unfortunately, each year the numbers have gone down in terms of how many people make cookies to be delivered. New life has been injected into this year's cookie project and a new challenge to Sunday School classes has been issued. 20 dozen per class. That brought forth a giant sucking sound from many people, but it really is not unreasonable. My sugar cookie recipe makes about 6-7 doezen just from one batch. So three to four people baking cookies is about all it takes to fulfill the goal. I have made two batches of my sugar cookies in the last few days. My aunt gave me three family size rolls of peppermint sugar cookie dough that she was unable to make(she and my uncle both got the FLU bless their hearts). So I baked all of that dough also. My sinuses ar certainly clear from all of that mint. I wrapped up about 11 plates of 1.5-2 dozen cookies each, saving some back for Santa and deciding not to use the gingerbread cookie we made that kind of flopped. Then I made two batches of pie crust and made two pecan pies. Get me the heck out of the kitchen.

I will now sit down with the children to watch Elf. Their laughter is infectious. I gotta go.


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Shopping, Santa and Singing

G and I had quite the day of shopping. Witih her big old boot on her foot, she was a trooper as we went to several stores so she could buy gifts for the people on her list. Everyone we encountered was pleasant, for the most part, and it made the shopping so much easier. We did see Santa during our travels, but decided to wait until all of the siblings were together to pay him a visit. We knew he'd still be there. And he was at 6:45pm on the other side of town. The kids waited and saw him. The boy was very serious and had his permagrin on his face. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was excitement or terror:



Santa was a patient guy. I hope he gets good cookies this year.

After seeing Santa, G and I went to her oldest and dearest friend's(really her other sister)house to practice a song. She and her friend, CR, are singing during a portion of one of our Christmas Eve services. They sounded great...we were able to hear a couple serious takes. ANd then the giggling began and then I saw my child laying on the floor in convulsive laughter. It was a lovely sound to hear, those two. They will definitely be making a joyful noise to welcome the baby Jesus on Wednesday. I am proud of them both.

Now tis the time for bed. I am tuckered for sure. Night all.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Count down to nerves

In t-minus 9 minutes, Homeland will have its season finale. This season has been about to cause me to be on nerve medication the whole time. It is wearing me out, but honestly one of the best seasons of television I have ever watched, like, ever. I have rushed through everything, washing dishes, cleaning clothes, heck, I probably still have shampoo in my hair when I rushed through rinsing it a few minutes ago. But in now three minutes I will be a side of my finger chewing mess.

The kids made sugar cookies and hot artichoke dip today. They are getting to be quite the masters in the kitchen and I love it! Tasty delights abound. Come visit and try some out!






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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The house that ginger built

Today was a productive one. We got presents wrapped while the grandparents made sure the kids stayed upstairs and out of the workshop. We successfully wore the dog out multiple times and made several strange looking gingerbread cookies. I love to bake and would like to think I am fairly good at it. BUT, there are few things that make me more frustrated than rolling out dough...whether that be for a pie crust or a cookies to cut out with cutters. The sticky dough to flour ratio makes my temper rise. Our first few attempts looked okay, but then the dough got stickier(even though it was kept good and cold) and so the nice brown gingerbread turned into to white dusty gingerbread. We will save some of the cute ones for Santa and let Rudolph and company eat the square ones we did towards the end. They looked like reindeer treats anyway.



Now is the time for relaxation and the cleaning off of flour from every visible surface in the kitchen. Yikes. Night all.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

We're free!!!

It is officially Winter Break as the school system calls it and I feel like quite a weight has been lifted off the shoulders of the whole family. And as a bonus, no assignments were given to complete over Chirstmas break. Woo hoo!! This afternoon I prepared the house for the arrival of the in laws and make two batches of cookie dought to be made tomorrow and distributed to the elderly neighbors on our street. That way we can get a hit of cookie dough and spread a little holiday cheer to our seasoned citizens. Tomorrow hopefully brings present wrapping and cookie baking and possible last minute shopping. We'll see. Tonight we showed the grandparents the video of the choir concerts an d band concert. I still am amazed at the caliber of performance by the Off Broadway Kids...especially CR who literally transformed in front of our eyes with a fantastic performance. That girl...just amazing and what talent!

I am about to collapse and head to bed. I think I got molasses in my hair from making gingerbread cookie dough, so a hair washing is a must. Hope the cookies are worth it. Night all.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bah humbug

We have grumps in our house and it is catching and I REFUSE to catch it...ot much of it. For people who are almost free of school for a couple of weeks, we have the longest faces around here. One now has a booted foot for two weeks, one has the makings of bronchitis and one has the makings of a sinus infection. I am currently making sausage balls for a bunch of second graders to eat while watching "The Polar Express" tomorrow in their pajamas. Then I shall retire to the dungeon with a beverage, probably water, and a roll of tape and scissor to start wrapping. I am determined to enjoy my Christmas Eve this year and not be stressed by unfinished business. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go mash pork, Bisquick and cheese together to make puffy balls of holiday breakfast goodness. Night all.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another check on the list

It was party time excellent with the second graders today. The teacher was playing nurse to his recovering from surgery wife, so the subs and the moms(and one dad)pressed on and did our best. We made some crafts, played several hardcore games of Bingo with holiday M&M's as markers and of course ate various and sundry Christmas delights. I found myself quite amazed at the eating habits of some of the little people. One child wanted a doughnut, about 37 grapes and the green m&m's only. Another child wanted everything but the doughnut and wanted to mix strawberries with his string cheese...blurg. They had a good time. Here is the boy with one of his ornaments:



A paint sample Christmas tree. Pretty cute. Tomorrow is G's party. We'll see how 5th graders like to party. I imagine most of it will involve eating...and more eating. Whatever floats their boats.

One last thing. G had to make a Christmas craft for a 4H project. She made several different ones, but this was my favorite:



The snowman holy family. They are socks filled with rice. She said, "The holy family can also be a healing family...just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they will soothe aches and pains." That kid is a mess.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What is a holiday without germs?

So the boy woke up this morning with a sore throat. A super sore throat. He usually pops right out of bed and is the cheeriest of the cheery in the morning. Not so much today. He got up as usual, but immediately said that his throat was not feeling good. Well, why should it? We drugged him up with lots of good stuff and sent him on his way. No fever meant he could enjoy whatever holiday fun was going on today. Fast forward to 2:45. The boy climbs in the car and says, "I feel so awful." Crap. Once we got the girls from their various activities(and had to deal with G's hurt foot from some tag/chase mishap), the boy and I started on a journey to find someone to look at his throat and get him help so he wouldn't miss his field trip on Thursday. We went to Walgreens and saw that they were so booked that no walk ins were allowed. A poor mom sat in the waiting area with two boys who were draped over their chairs like wet rags. Bless her heart. There looked to be like 8 people in the queue waiting to be seen. NEXT! We started to another Walgreens and I called our pediatrician's office. Double booked for the foreseeable future. NEXT! THe hub sent me the wait time for Little Clinics in nearby Kroger stores. We found one that was not completely overrun and stayed there. Our wait was a good two hours, but thank the good Lord for the ipad and people watching. One frown father and son pairing left after being seen and came back to the receptionist to buy ground lamb, sausage and some amoxicillin. Okay. That was a little weird. A girl and her father left after she was diagnosed with the flu. She had rocked back and forth in the waiting room, coughing and aching and suffering. Every time my boy got a hand even near his face, I batted it away. "Put those paws in your pockets!". I don't consider myself to be a germaphobe, but I do not want to have flu in this house. Another family came with their two children. THey settled in for the long wait by letting their two boys lay ON THE FLOOR OF THE CLINIC RIGHT WHERE THE FLU GIRL HAD BEEN COUGHING ALL OVER THE FLOOR. It bothered me a little, if you can't tell. The boy was finally seen and I asked for his prescriptions to be sent to our usual pharmacy because, honestly, I couldn't bear to watch kids on the floor of a sick clinic any longer. I dropped the boy off at home and went to get the meds. Of course there was a wait and, oh my goodness, the poor woman with the two dishrag children was still there and they were still draped. She looked defeated. After I wondered around the store for 30 minutes and had not heard my name, I went back. The girl forgot to call me and got the boy's meds. As I was leaving, I saw a couple sitting across from the poor mom. They were sloppily and loudly making out in the waiting area in front of this poor woman and her kids. The boys, still so very sick and weak, stared with wide, fascinated eyes. Mom looked like the camel who just had that last straw placed on her back. She looked murderous at this grossly misplaced PDA. She started to rise and walk ove to them and I got the heck out of there. It was about to get ugly.

The boy is sleeping as is the rest of the family. I am sitting and still marveling at the weirdness of people in public. Making out in front of flu patients. What the what?!?


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Check another thing off the list

The Christmas concerts are now in the books as they say. While I can mark another thing off the list, the aforementioned list is not getting any shorter. What up with that? Oh well. It was beautiful and meaningful as always and fun to play in, but I am glad it is over.

On a completely different note, let me tell you a little story. I went to The Guitar Center today. I really probably shouldn't mention their name, because I don't really want them to think I am endorsing their store. So whilst at the store, I was looking for implements of percussion for my oldest. I won't say what, because she looks at this mess of a blog from time to time to see what her crazy mother is up to during the day. Anyway, I was looking at some things and not being helped or acknowledged in any way and a woman came in to the area. She was purchasing an acoustic bass guitar, drumsticks and a new drum for a drum set, so naturally the employees flocked to her like moths to a flame. I get that it is the holiday season and fa la la la laa and all that, but I was a wee bit annoyed. It had been a good 20 minutes I had been waiting with cash in hand looking at the exact item I had reseached with not one bite from an employee. So I watched the transaction take place. An offer of an $8 extended warranty of some sort was offered. For an instrument, $8 dollars is a steal I felt. The lady asked, "Well. How good is this warranty? I mean like if my son throws it against the wall and it breaks, will it cover the damage?". Throw what I thought, but the employee asked my very question. "Well he might throw the drum or the sticks against the wall...will it cover that damage?". I stood, mouth open, in the djembe section wondering who on earth would ever feel comfortable admitting their child would throw a $300 drum against the wall. Whatever he said satisfied her question and she made her purchase and left. My hopes were up that I was going to get help, but my hopes were in vain. The employees chatted it up over the counter while I waved my hand and said, "Excuse me? Excuse me?". I finally left, stopped by a manager who asked if I had been helped to my satisfaction. I kindly said no, nicely refused his offer to make it right and left the store. I found what I was looking for an hour later from the people at Lane Music who wanted my business and gave me a great deal.

All is well. Night is upon us and my bed feels very comfy. I must go and prepare for slumber. Night all.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cold campers are home

The campers are home and thawing. The girls had to get cleaned up, thawed out and back out the door to church for the Christmas concert. The hub was absolutely amazing and had them all scrubbed and ready in plenty of time for their practice times before the big show. I think it is a fair statement that we will all sleep well tonight...at least I hope we will. The concert was nice. I got to be a youth for the evening as one of our friends fell prey to "the strep" as it is called here in East Tennessee. It is kind of akin to "the Kroger" or someone is going to "the Target". I played next to my oldest which was interesting. I consider myself a pretty good sightreader, but she got tickled and got the choir director tickled. I screwed up a faor amount, but fortunately they couldn't hear it in the back of the sanctuary. Thank goodness.

I'm going to snuggle with some children and get warmed up before our quickly approaching bedtime. Night all.


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

I miss my heartbeats

I know I speak of how I am burnt out and need a break, but I really do thrive on their energy be it negative or positive. The house seems so quiet without them. I had our early childhood ministries Christmas party this morning while the hub took the kids to camp. While we didn't have a huge turn out, I feel that the little ones we did have enjoyed themselves. After the party was over and cleaned up, I went home and waited for the hub to arrive. We went all over town trying to find the perfect last few Christmas gifts without having any luck. As we discussed, the great thing about our kids is that they have never been ones to run through a store saying, "Gimme this! I want that and that and that!". I appreciate it very much, but sometimes you sure wish they would throw you a bit of a bone. Anyway, we looked and looked for something perfect for our oldest. We called and talked to percussionist friends of ours to see if we could find something in that vein. We got several "You need more cowbell!!" jokes. I answered with a "She'll come practice it over at your house!". She occasionally reads the crazed rantings of her mother, so I will say no more other than today we had no luck. We did find teacher gifts, so there's a plus. There was a conversation at one point about what kind of beer would pair well with silver dollar pancakes. We had gotten to the punchy stage by that point.

Tomorrow brings with it day one of our church choir Christmas concert and the whilwind of a week begins. I just am anxious to have all three of our heartbeats back i the house. The quiet is deafening and driving us crazy.


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Let it go....

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love it...the excitement...the anticipation...the wonder of a baby king...the beauty of the music...being so in awe as to "Fall on your knees...oh hear the angel voices"...all of it. But right now I am filled with anger...filled with just plain old rage. Selfishness and cruelty that zap that wonder and awe right out of me...and I hate that I have allowed it to happen. I am so tired, as a mother, of having to say to my children that it'll get better, that these things will only serve to make you stronger. Then I go in my own room and have a meltdown away from their ears. I have to tell myself that like a mantra, praying that it will be true and that their souls will survive it. We are sending them to Christmas Camp tomorrow at their normal summer camp location. I think they welcome the break from normal life to go to a true retreat from the cruel world.

I am going to finish packing them and pray that they can come back refreshed and strengthened by positive love and Christian friendship. Otherwise I think we are going off the grid and will never be heard from again. Both sound great right now.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Music of the season

Tonight was S's Christmas concert for band. I was a band kid myself and I loved it, so I enjoy every second of the concerts. Sure there are a lot of squeaks and missed accidentals, but it is all part of the learning process. The new director was very kind and humble in his praise for the kids. S certainly enjoys him and appreciates his teaching and leadership. I still laugh that at my very first band concert we played the theme to "Dallas". Yes, I totally just dated myself right there. My brother's 8th grade band played Toto's "Africa". Again, dating us.

I love to watch my girl play the marimba, the snare, the cowbell if she has to. I love that she beats stereotypes and is not a little blonde girl who plays the flute. I love that she gets to hit things and work her anger and frustrations and pain and love and sorrow in a beautiful, loud and musical way. She's a great girl...and I am so proud of who she is.




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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

They did it

As I predicted, the children got me in the Advent/Christmas spirit with their beautiful worshipful singing. They all sounded great. My son's group started the tears and they never stopped after that. I was just so moved by how transforming not only the message of the season is, but also humbled by the healing power of music. They were all equals up on there signing. G and her friends who are made to feel different or less than by peers because of their differences were transformed by the the power and message in that music. The love and light of Advent was bright and shining and beautiful on each of their faces. It broke my heart to see...just a gift. And I was so very grateful to Ms. K, their director. She expects nothing but the best from these children and she gets it. I think it was their best musical yet. Hands down.

I am worn out and going to bed. Tomorrow is my oldest's band concert and I am so excited to hear what they have prepared for this year so far. Wonderful children and husband and family. My cup overflows.


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Almost here

Even though the season of Advent has begun, it really kicks off in earnest for me tomorrow. The children of our church will present their musical performances for each of their choirs/singing groups. The boy will be singing with his buddies. As always, I imagine he will have his hands in his pockets and a completely serious look on his face as he perfectly annuciates every word in every song. He enjoys the songs, but he is all business. I love it. Then G's singing/performing group, Off Broadway Kids, will be presenting their Christmas musical "An Out of the Box Christmas". Every year these choirs with their squirmy, wiggly kids and somewhat unpredictable arm movements, set the season off right. They are what the season of Advent is all about. They excitedly await the birth of the baby, the coming of Christ. Their anticipation and excitement is pure and beautiful. They get it, the whole experience, especially when some of us old people have become jaded and forget how exciting this coming is. I cry every year at their sweet little faces and the beauty in the simple but poignant words in their songs.

So if you see me tomorrow night at Kroger picking up Kleenex and a gallon of milk and my eyes are a bit red, just know that the Spirit took hold and showed me the true light of Christmas.


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Drop bubble wrap here

This afternoon I was slumbering blissfully in my vehicle when, all of a sudden, I was awakened by knocking on my window. I must admit I'm glad my bladder was empty, because the startle really could have made me wet myself a bit. "Um, your son hurt himself...why don't you pull into the gravel lot and they'll let you come inside." Of course I freaked out, almost back into and then rear ended the cars around me to get out of my space and into the school. They let me in and I hurried to the clinic in the office. I found a pitiful little guy sitting with the principal, holding an ice pack to his head and trying really hard not to cry. When he took off the ice, I had to bite my tongue a bit. It looked knotty for sure. I know everyone says that it is a good thing when a bump pops out after a whomp, but as a mother it is just a shiny, bulbous beacon showing that I was unable to protect him at all times. Reality is an ugly reminder, but it makes people like me know that other people can care for him when I am away and accidents happen. Let's get to how it happened. "Well, we were playing kickball...". There you go. His ripped up finger last week and scraped up knee the week before all had stories that started with, "We were playing kickball...". So they were playing kickball and he was having a good run, they threw the ball to get him out, he tripped over it and landed head first into a wooden post. I asked him if it knocked him out or what. "Well, I walked around in circles for a couple minutes to try and figure out what was going on and work on standing up and then I walked over to my teacher." His teacher said he kind of staggered over and, upon seeing his head and demeanor, had him go straight to the office(with a helper). We waited for G to get done with her safety duty, had a talk with the hub about our options and then called our nurse friend who works a our pediatrician's office. He got home, got his soccer ball ice pack and some Motrin and settled down to take it easy for a minute. I immediately realized he was on his way to fall asleep, so we started asking lots of questions to keep him up. By the time bed rolled around, he was feeling better but still had a massive headache. His head is going to look absolutely excellent for Christmas pictures. He did not appreciate me singing a song about him similar to Rudolph containing the line, "The pump knotted 2nd grader...". No humor at this point. Maybe tomorrow.

Look for his poor, shiny little head tomorrow. The pictures don't do it justice. Tomorrow's will be a lot more purple I imagine. Yuck.


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Will I ever learn?

It has been quite a busy day, as most Sundays are. Work this morning, a luncheon this afternoon and then shopping for craft supplies with G for her 4H project. By the time dinner rolled around, I had just about hit my limit of patience and stamina. My resistance was low...my will was weak...I just wanted some food and rest. So I agreed, against my better judgement, to go to Pizza Inn. Now for my precious three readers who have been with me from the beginning, they know that when my family goes to the Inn, strange things ensue. Things started out innocently enough. We got some food and started to eat. The booth that was diagonally set from our table was quite lively. It was stuffed full with nine people plus a baby in a carrier in a chair at the end. The children were hopped up on coke and were getting quite rambunctious, so the adults started using the "threat" of the upcoming holiday on the 25th as a reason for them to calm down. "Santa's watching. Calm down." We hear another scream and then a giggle. "Okay, Santa knows what you are doing. Stop it." I hear some silverware fall on the floor and a heavy sigh. "Okay, kids. Do you want Frosty Willard to go away? I'll make him go away." "NOT FROSTY WILLARD!!! NOOOOO!". As I was trying to figure out who in the world that was, they answered it for me: their Elf on a Shelf. Is that the greatest Elf name or what? This news got their attention and a somewht calm was returned, so much so that the baby was nodding off which was not what the parents wanted. Someone stuck a piece of pizza crust in the baby's mouth saying, "You have to eat so you won't go to sleep." Well karma suck when you decide to shove dough in a sleeping baby's mouth. He knocked over a full glass of coke....unfortunately for baby, the bulk went right into the carrier like a little sugary pool of further torture for the poor little thing. After three employees mopped and sopped for a good ten minutes, the family reset their base of pizza operations in their stuffed booth. Talk went to that of Elf of the Shelf antics involving baby powder and chocolate. Once chocolate was mentioned, another conversation started. Apparently the alpha female of the group had recently made a long awaited and much anticipated trip to the Golden Corral for a chance to partake of their much lauded fountain of chocolate. One of children under Frosty Willard's watch decided to stick their whole hand in the fountain not unlike Augustus Gloop in Wonka's chocolate river. Mayhem ensued and Def Con 5 chocolate fountain contamination emergency management began. The fountain had to be shut down, emptied of all contaminated chocolate, sanitized and refilled. This process took a total of two hours to complete. How did they know this? Because they stayed the whole two hours waiting. "That's the only reason I come in there...I had to have me some of that fountain." The hub said, "I'm paying, let's go." Never a dull moment. Just keep that in mind the next time you see one of those fountains....


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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Treed up

The rain came down for a good part of the day today. We took advantage of a quiet morning and decorated our tree. The kids stayed in their pj's, drank hot chocolate and listened to Christmas music while I got out each ornament. We have amassed quite a few over the years and it is always such fun to look at them and remember who they came from and their special meaning to our family. It was the boy's year to place the most coveted(not sure why)ornament on the tree:






I swear he looks like the boy on The Goldbergs with that smile. We had a few moments of melancholy. The special stocking we had for our beloved dog, Cosby, who died a year ago this past June. We had several ornaments in her likeness as well. We found some made by Great Granny and Uncle Jim and many other much loved family members. Sweet times reminiscing with the hub and the brood while warm, dry and safe from the elements. it was a busy day all the way around, but I was so grateful for the quiet special time with the family. That is the best Christmas present I could ever hope to have.
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Pre rain on our parade

So tomorrow's plans to be involved in the local Christmas parade have been cancelled. The parade itself has not been cancelled, but our church and the high school band have opted not to get kids in costumes and uniforms out in a monsoon. I can't imagine why. So the hub and I are now at futsal with the girls. The boy is partying with his friends at a birthday party tonight. He needed that...rough week being him. Hopefully a little time with his buds will fix that. The girls will get to have dinner at the diner of their choosing tonight. Knowing their preferences, I will be having cereal.

I don't know about you, but I am ready for the Christmas holiday. A friend once told me that you should never wish any of your time away...that you can never get that time back. I totally agree. BUT, the kids are to that mentally fried state and Thanksgiving wasn't really any kind of a break for them. I cannot tell you how heavenly the thought of snuggling up with my children all day...in the pajamas...with good stuff on TV...good games to play...good food to eat. Absolutely blissful. I know the time will come in the next few weeks. And I can't wait. If anyone asks you what I want for Christmas, tell them uninterrupted time with my children. That's it.


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Thursday, December 4, 2014

My momma said...

My mom told me what most moms told their children, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Today is one of those days. I have rewritten this post three times and each version gets worse. I'll just say this...moms get really ticked off when someone hurts their child, We take it quite personally.

I need to go sew up a sock monkey bunny for a friend's child's Christmas present. I will try to adjust my attitude.


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bored pooch

I had to go to handbells tonight, well, I do every Wednesday, and I turned into one of those people. Our veterinarian plays bells next to me and I had to get her opinion as to why our dog is a psycho. She chewed up more of the trim today when I was down in the dungeon doing laundry. I hate being one of those people who bothers someone with work questions during their relaxation time. But I did it and was told that our precious little furry demon child is bored to tears. Insert a hanging head here. So now I am on the search for boredom reducing activities for her to do when I cannot play with her. Laundry has to be done and she'll have to get over it, but not by going full beaver on our woodwork. I need to come up with something...or my husband will be giving her a new permanent home outside. Wish me luck.


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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rainy day yuckness

Today was a yucky, rainy day. I had a child come home with horrible allergies and one who got her braces tightened. Yuck on both fronts. But, friends, I'll take that yuck any day over what happened in our community today. Two school buses from two different schools in the eastern part of our county carrying elementary schoolers were involved in an accident with each other. This crash resulted, as best as we can tell from the news, in the death of two children and one adult. As the parent of three children, two who are in elementary school, I am sick at the thought of such a tragedy. My day was hectic and stressful, but I still have my babies to hold tonight. Someone doesn't...and doesn't have their grown up to return home to anymore. Such sadness in this world. Hold your loved ones tight tonight and say a prayer for those whose arms are aching for their lost loved ones. Good night.


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Tic Tac Oh NO!

I worked childcare tonight at church. The holidays are here nad we were down a few people on staff, so I went in to play with some little friends and maybe get a few laughs. Well laughs I got indeed. Our little friends are at church twice a week, so they have the process down. They came prepared with two of their games: Bingo and Tic Tac Toe. I think they were playing some sort of El Paso rules or something, because there were Bingo marker switchups and X and O exchanges. I was told multiple times that I was going to have the "underpants beaten off" off me. I believe from 5:45-8:15 I played maybe 200 games of Tic Tac Toe. A formidable opponent I did have in this 6 year old, but when I beat him the look on his face was absolutely priceless. It was like he was so shocked and amused all at the same time. I may dream of life as it is contained in this pattern:



Either way, it was a fun time. He was awfully cute...but next time I hope he'll bring his box of Candyland.
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Back to reality

Tomorrow we will all return to reality from the Thankgiving holidays. My return kind of started today as Sundays are a workday for me. We were down quite a few grown ups today, so I got to work the nursery this morning which is always fun. They never cease to crack me up. I was discussing what they had to eat for the holiday feast. The baby looked at me like I had a third eye, spit up a little and smiled. I'm pretty sure I know what he had. The girls had to think about it a while. One would repeat that she had eaten every food we suggested. Me: JL, did you have have asparagus for your meal? MC: I had 'paraga at MY meal. Me: Ms. J, did you have frog lips at your meal? MC: I had lips at MY meal! The other wanted to be very coy about what she had at her feast. She was happy to share that she had spent the night with her aunt, got to sleep in with her cousin and hear her uncle snore. When I finally got her to talk about her meal, I said, "Did you have turkey, JL?". "I had different turkey."(insert eye flutter here). Me: "What do you mean 'different turkey'?". (insert heavy sigh and eye roll here) "Different turkey...you know...ham." The other grown up and I just rolled.

I'm going to go pack lunches for tomorrow. Just an FYI, I'm making "different turkey" sandwiches.


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

We're treed

Today was the first day of the Thanksgiving holiday break that I got to actualy sleep in...and it was glorious. I can't even try to pretend like I have guilt about it. 7:30 wake up time. Yeah, baby, I got crazy up in this house.

The boy had a wad of cash burning a hole in his pocket and was itching to go Christmas shopping for his sisters today. After a long discussion about why you really don't want to take all the money you have saved up in your wallet...to Target...during Christmas shopping season...we agreed on a set amount and got on the road. An hour and a half at Target later, he had a very thoughtful gift picked out for one sister and had already put an item on hold at another store for his other sister. The kid is hardcore.

We also took the plunge and got our tree, always a Frasier Fir, from the tree gypsies across from our grocery store. We have gone to farms and cut our own trees in the past, but no Frasier Firs grow in our area too successfully so we have to imagine chopping them down. One time, I think I've told this before, we went to a tree farm where the FF's were locked up in a chain link dog run and the gift shop had decorations from Kmart circa 1982 and assorted nudie magazines if needed. It made for a great story, but we needed easy this year post back surgery. We went to these people one particularly cold night a few years ago and the children started pretending to stick their tongues on one of the poles holding lights. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to reenact Flick's decision to not back down from a triple dog dare:



Luckily, no one had to have a bandaged tongue at the end of the experience. The tree is now living in our house, acclamating to its new environment. It will be decorated in a few days. Until then the children will walk in a sniff it and probably bring Copper in to check it out. We are really exciting people around here...
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Friday, November 28, 2014

I have Black Friday feet

My oldest child is a great kid, responsible and true, but she is something that I will never be: a shopper. Unless it involves a bookstore or, back in the day a record store, I am good to stay home. She plans and researches for weeks ahead of time, budgeting her money and planning amounts for each family member. She has been looking forward to Black Friday shopping for a long time and the decided departure time from Casa de Loco was 6:30am. That alarm clock was not a happy sound this morning, I will tell you that, but I got up and got S up as well. Last minute change of plans, we had to take the hub's van. My doors were frozen shut...well at least 4 of the 5 of them. That's a problem. Vehicle changed and we were on our way. Our first destination was a Target store out in the western part of the county. Upon entering the store, and lots of stores after, I learned things.

1. Caffeinate and eliminate before you "consumerate". I think that is self explanatory.

2. Start every question to all employees with "I'm so sorry to bother you with this question, but...".

3. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make eye contact with the Mediterranean skin cleanser kiosk. They sense weakness and will slather you with goop.

4. Stay away from the little train that drives little chilldren around the mall. That man is serious about his job and apparently has a hard schedule to meet at each station stop. I saw him clip a woman coming out of Williams-Sonoma with her cider sample. Conductor don't play. He honked his horn and clanged his bell with great "authoritay".

5. Don't stare at anyone with a cart overflowing with the same item or strange combo of items, like a cart full of gloves or one full of Natty Light and boxes of Eggos. You just need to move on and make up their story in your head.

I will think of more, but feet are calling for motrin. I should have worn my pedometer, because these dogs are barking. Night all.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for sure

Presently I am sitting in bed with sore feet and a tired mind...just like millions of other people today. I started the day before 6am making sure that Tom Turkey, or as my grandmother used to call it "Turkey Lurkey", had safe passage into the Jenn-Air for his five hour tanning session. Attempts to go back to sleep were in vain as the boy had gotten up with me and was in all of his wiggly glory. Eventually I gave up and got dressed in my dinner prep uniform and descended into a wave of roasted yumminess. The next several hours are a blur, but included(not in any particular order): visit from the VA cousins and jubilation as all the kids rough house and bodyslam each other in celebration; discovery that I had cleaned and dressed the turkey and roasted him upside down...very moist; the revelation that one can sustain a fairly severe hand injury from a "lively" game of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and that holding babies really does lower one's blood pressure.

We did have a great experience this evening. Our minds had been with Stanley, the gentleman who had helped us look for a new television a couple weeks ago. As I explained, due to Black Friday starting on Thursday, this was his 6th Thanksgiving with his famiy he was going to miss due to company requirements. We were so sad and had invited him to come eat with us, but we knew he wouldn't...but he appreciated the thought. The boy can be very convincing, but the poor guy probably just needed to have his feet up before being on the sales floor all night. He remained in our minds and hearts for the next several days. After ingesting enough food to feed a small country, the boy said, "What about Stanley?". We chuckled, looked at each other and began the deliberations. If people you had met twice brought you a plate of food, would you eat it? Would you be scared that it might not be cooked properly? What if he has food allergies? Would it seem creepy or too forward? We came to the conclusion that we would bring him a sampling of all the desserts just in case he didn't have access to a fridge. A tray was located and a bag with napkins and plastic utensils was prepared. We had plates of dessert and labels on them so no one with any conscience would take them:



We were all kind of nervous walking in there, not gonna lie. A couple of people looked at us in a suspicious way. Some employees came up and said, "Look at the food...where is that going?". After we explained that it was going to our friend Stanley, they looked disappointed. We saw him and he looked at us out of the corner of his eye. He was making a sale, so we didn't want to bother him. Then he walked by us, got a grin on his face, and said, "I'll be right with you folks." A couple minutes later he walked towards us, kind of shook his head and grinned. "We decided to bring you some treats to enjoy on this busy evening...get you good and sugared up to make some money." He shook his head, put his arm around me and said, "I can't tell you folks how much this means to me." He just stood there a minute and it felt like he didn't know what to say. We tried to alleviate his surpise and explained to him what was on each of the plates and who had prepared them. The boy got a fist bump for his chocolate dipped strawberries and S received a proper handshake for her mint chocolate trifle. "We just couldn't get you off our hearts, Stanley, and we wanted you to know we were thinking of you." Again he shook his head. "Thank you all so much. I can't say anything else or I'm going to cry." He gave another hug, handshake and fist bump and we let him get back to his work. We all walked out to the car a bit teary. Sure we had lots of food and family and fun and they were all great...but who knew that the little question "What about Stanley?" would lead to our favorite part of the day. Night all.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Prepping for Tom's 2014 debut

I am exhausted as I know many men and women around this great country of ours are. I did not have the greatest of sleep last night, so today's venture into cleaning and cooking was a bit more of a challenge than usual. The kids are mentally burnt to a crisp and were needing a day of complete sloth. Their battle ax of a mother made them do horrible torturous things like pick up dog poop and clean dog slobber off the storm door and mop up dog hair....I'm sensing a trend. I had to battle with relatives who were feeling guilt for not hosting 75,000 people at their home when all they wanted to do was relax. I get it...stop apologizing and enjoy. I had to battle someone who decided they were going to be carrying 25lbs of poultry, unassisted, up the basement steps at 5am tomorrow so I didn't have to get up. Nice, but when said poultry is half your body weight? No. My feet and hips and back and neck hurt, but dalgarnit Tom Turkey is dressed to the nines and ready to make his debut tomorrow about 1pm. Anyone needing some food can come on over. You just have to clean up some dog hair.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Someday I'll learn

We had futsal practice tonight, so it forced me to get away from the house and listening to "Serial:Podcast" and not getting any work done. Talk about ear crack. Anyway once practice was finished, the oldest and I went on a corn casserole mission at the Kroger. I was a bit punchy and singing in th aisles. Thankfully the girl was too tired to argue and make me stop. I sang to the celery. I did a little jig while choosing oreos for a trifle. I decided I'd better tone it down when, in the dairy section, I said, "Noggety nog nog" in my best Eeyore voice. Apparently dirty looks were free and the lady looking at pumpkin spice creamer did not appreciate me or my mouth. S was blood red in the face from laughing so hard. At least someone appreciated the humor.

I'm going to take a shower and get ready for bed. I may stay awake long enough to see who wins DWTS...but I may be finding out the winner on Good Morning America tomorrow. Night all.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Beast mode on the BSA

I know I am biased, but I think my son is about the cutest little Cub Scout working on his Wolf rank that I have ever seen. I just want to squeeze him he's so scrumptious(as the mom in The Goldbergs would say). Tonight was a pack meeting where he was to receive several belt loops for his work at meetings and at home. He sat so quietly with such good posture, ready for the portion of the meeting that included him. As unusual as his name for our parts, he has another one in his den. Three boys were called and then his was. He popped up and started up there. The cubmaster said he was the wrong one and to sit back down. He then proceeded to go through all the other boys in his den, except for my boy, and then went on to the next group. The boy's sisters looked distraught and tried to get the attention of the cub master. My sweet boy, always the gentleman, sat in his seat repeating to himself, "It's okay. It's okay. It's really okay." His mouth said those words...his little face looked crestfallen. The hub and I looked at each other with the same "Heads are gonna roll" kind of face. I had to leave him to go to a Church Council meeting in the room next door, so the hub dealt with it. While I won't go into details, I will say that the den leader was as confused as we were and apologized to the boy. The higher leadership gave a bit of a sketchy excuse which, based on the last pack meeting, was inaccurate. Either way it had better get fixed. My boy worked hard for those loops and takes his job as a scout very seriously. I am so proud of him for being so gracious in this awkward position. He could have pitched a fit and cried. He sat there like a little man. WIth class and grace. I love that kid.


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pecan pie organ donation

I had a brilliant idea this afternoon. Brilliant. Let's get ahead on the Thanksgiving Day baking and get supplies. Hey, let's go to the grocery store! At 4! On the Sunday before Thanksgiving! Excellent idea. I came to the conclusion about five minutes in that there was absolutely no reason to get angry at the people around me. Preparing dishes way ahead and putting them in the freezer is something I do well in waves. Unfortunately, we are in a low tide period of life and so I find myself with 300 of my best friends at the store. The employees there were top notch. I have no complaints. They answered every poorly thought out question, listened to every strange and ridiculous gripe. "Where is the gallon jug of tea sweetened with lemon?" a woman asked in a snippy voice, "There were two jugs there when I passed by 15 minutes ago!!!". The employee was very kind and went in search for more, never losing his polite attitude. I wanted to say lots of things, but instead navigated my cart to the baking aisle for much needed pie supplies. One woman was angry that she could not find pumpkin pie spice, not realizing that she held a bottle of it in her hand. A can of Eagle Brand milk got dropped on my foot, but I managed to hold my tongue. I will confess that I looked at the price on the bag of pecans I was getting ready to buy and said, "Geez. I didn't know I would have to sell a kidney to buy pie supplies this year." Unfortunately, what I thought I said in my head I instead said out loud. A lady laughed at me. I get it. I did see a scramble for the last "10 for $10" celery that got interesting. It's the little things that get one through a shopping trip, you know?

I look forward to the cooking and the family time and the time away from work and school. Every sweetened condensed bruise and super pricey pecan will be worth it.


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

One proud mom

Today we drove our oldest to the next county over so she could try out for Junior Clinic. If you don't know what that is, it is a chance to audition for a place in one of several bands made up of middle school kids all over the area. S was one of 78 kids to try out for percussion alone. I participated in Junior Clinic myself when I was her age. Let me just say that I felt like I wanted to throw up all over again as we walked in there. Auditions, interviews...they are all the same. Terrifying. The auditions were held in different classrooms in a junior high. There were lines of kids standing outside classrooms, gripping their instruments with white knuckles, pale with nerves. S had worked hard to learn the music, practicing on her drum pad in the car and at soccer practice. She really wanted to be as prepared as she possibly could. Three rooms and three auditions later, she was finished and famished. You see all kinds of people at these things. Kids with parents who have no clue about anything to do with music..."What are these 'dynamics' other people are talking about, son?"...insert teenage eyeroll here. Or there was the dad hulking over his daughter in the practice room, "You only have yourself to blame if you don't get it. I told you two hours of practice a day, Two hours." Insert terrified kid look here. S knew that we had nothing to do with her outcome and that her practice and determination and NERVES were going to determine her outcome. It was her first audition for anything. Ever. We got a call this afternoon saying that she had gotten an alternate spot. Sure, I was disappointed that she didn't get a band spot. But that was me. When I asked her band director how many auditioned and he told me 78 and she was number 24, I was even more proud. That was nothing to sneeze at. To go into a room, unable to speak due to blind audition rules and play to a judge behind a curtain...to have 30 seconds to review a piece of music to sightread and play? Alternate is just fine with me and shame on me and my expectations. I am proud of that girl and I'm grateful for her example to set me straight.

Lots of food for my thoughts. Night all.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

A New Sport to Try

I am currently sitting in an aluminum shell building covering some tennis courts at our local YMCA. My toes are a distant memory as I am seated near the open door. Moron would be the operative word for my current location i"ll admit. Well, my current location in the building makes me a moron. The hub has said, "Um, you do realize that you are sitting right at the door opening? Right there? " Well. What would I have to blog about if I weren't sitting in the dumbest location in the building? The kids are learning to play futsal, an indoor soccer game with different shoes and a weighted ball. It should be interesting for sure.

International food tasting happened in the boy's class today. He is pretty much a fearless eater and tried a little bit of everything. It was quite the success for sure...and entertaining. I won't go into details, but the interpretation of what people brought to represent their country was very interesting. Either way, there were lots of full tummies...some of which really needed filling.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Check one off the list

Please forgive me for how this sounds. G had her fifth grade talent show this afternoon and tonight and I have to admit that I am relieved for it to be over. They did a lovely job and my sweet G sounded lovely. I must admit I would have loved to hear G sing more, but I am grateful for what she did and that is a selfish mom talking. I know our sweet music teacher has to be absolutely exhausted this evening and I hope she is able to get a nice foot rub and a good night's sleep.

The Chinese almond cookies are ready for international tasting tomorrow and G's 4H poster is complete. Now I can finally watch Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder in peace. Feel free to judge me for my show choices. I need to mentally escape for a bit. Night all.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Getting a little cultural

The boy is having an international tasting party thing at school on Friday. They have been assigned a country or countries and have to make a food from said country for the class to try. His group has China/Japan which is full of possibilities. But, I was not sure if there were going to be many children who wanted to eat fried rice or lo mein or moo goo gai pan. So, I found a Chinese almond cookie recipe and have constructed and baked those. Thank goodness for Pinterest. Tomorrow is G's fifth grade musical, so the bulk of Thursday is out in terms of making anything majorly complex. Hopefully the kids will like these and no one will have any nut allergies. I do not want to be the reason for someone using an epipen. The boy said his friend is bringing in a pizza since he has Italy. That should be a win I guess.

Night all. Have to clean up international tasting party messes.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is it time to hibernate yet?

I'm tired, but who isn't at this point in the year? The kids are tired and so is the hub. Everyone is ready for a long winter's nap. Oh well. Soon enough. I need to remember to be grateful even on the tired days. So many people dealing with so much loss.

I have made a little bit of progress on the Thanksgiving front. The most important part of the feast has been purchased:



The boy even lifted it from the cart onto the belt at check out. It was every bit of half his weight at least. He was up to the challenge. Now if I can just get some other things taken care of this weekend, I might get to relax. Maybe.

Oh well. I am going to bed. The craziness starts tomorrow and won't stop until after Tom Turkey is in the oven. Night all.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

The deal with the dozens

I am not going to lie. I was not a good role model today. Art class was on the schedule today and I was on tap to help with sock monkey construction with the fifth graders. There was an exchange between two boys about tail placement and how one dared the other to sew the tail on the front. There was a lot of snickering and bathroom jokes. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I had to help them get back on track a little so they would get all their parts sewn up in time. They were just being kids and I love it. I went to take a handful of thread pieces to the trashcan when I heard one of the girls say, "I learned these from my cousin. They are funny." I wasn't really paying attention to the conversation, just caught snippets here and there. I was reading one of the posters in the art room when the girl said, "Your momma's so fat, the only hike she's ever taken is up Mtn. Dew." I tried very hard not to laugh, but I did...longer than I should have. Anyone who has children, works with children or was a child at one time, laughter is just like fuel to the fire. She came up with more: "Your momma's so poor, she eats cereal with a fork to save on the milk! Your momma's so dumb, when she got sick she made a call to Dr. Pepper!". The monkey makers shook and were dangerously close to stabbing themselves with their needles as they listened to "the dozens" going down in the room. I gained my composure after staring at one of these like it was my focal point during labor:



Finally, they stopped shaking and were able to complete their jobs. I was exhausted when I left. It is hard to force yourself not to laugh. Thanks to YouTube I was able to get those laughs out by watching an episode of "The Dirty Dozens" from In Living Color. So funny. I know the jokes aren't kind. I know that. But the kids don't really understand they were used as a form of verbal sparring. They just like the "punny-ness" of them. I will leave you with one S found this evening: Your momma is so slow, she works from home and still can't get there on time. There you go.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yet another capital discussion...

We had yet another discussion on state capitals with a group of people ranging from grown up on down. Boredom will breed desperation which will breed random conversation. This is what happened today. I said, "Okay. I have all the states and capitals in front of me and I am going to tell you the state. You give me the capital...okay?". And then, they blew my mind. First person..."Nevada". "Um, I know this one. Nevada City!". No...but it does have city in it. "Okay, that's right. Salt Lake City." Nooo...Carson City. Next one. "Minnesota." "Okay. I know it has Saint in it. Ummm." I had such hope. "St. St. St...." We did give a biblical hint which, thankfully, they picked the right man of God. "St. Paul!!"...and there was much rejoicing. Next one. "New Mexico." "I know this is right-Salt Lake City!". No. The poor LDS nation is weeping at their misplaced city I just know it. I'll give you a hint...Santa. "Claus! Santa Claus!". Really? "I was just joking...it was Santa Louis." Sant Fe. I just gave it to them. When I said, "Utah", I had such high hope. What did I hear? Crickets. "SALT LAKE CITY!!! Why did you choose this state not to use it!! ARGGHH!!". The gaggle of faces looked at me like I had a third eye.

I need some ibuprofen.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Almost warm

Frigid soccer Saturday today. Two games for G...one loss one draw. I was very pleased at how all of them looked. They were placed in the upper category of their division and were playing teams a lot bigger than they were. We have several girls on our team who play up, so there may be two to three years different in age between some of our girls and the older girls on the other team. They held their own which speaks to the training they are receiving, I must say. We all sat on the sidelines, bundled and layered and frozen. I think, after boiling myself in the shower for 15 minutes, I may be almost thawed.

Injury report: G went to get the ball and a snarky little girl decided to cleat her in the knee. She layed there on the field for what seemed like an eternity, the teenage ref not stopping the game. I watched the ball whiz by her head and running players and cleats come dangerously close to her head. We yelled for her to get up and she wouldn't. The coaches yelled at the ref to stop the game. He wouldn't. Finally the ball went out of bounds and our coach went out and checked on her and walked her off the field. She's pretty sore and is going to be tender to play tomorrow for sure...but she was a trooper.

We are all wind burnt, but comfy in our warm pj's. Happy Saturday night to all.


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Poor Stanley!

Our TV croaked.  Life is not over, but it croaked and when I would like to see James Spader in his full snarky presence...I can't.  The boy, the hub and I went to a retail establishment to peruse their TV section and see how much an equivalent model would cost us.  After finding a deal we liked but wanted to sleep on, we got the card from our helpful associate, Stanley, and began to say our goodbyes.  "I'd appreciate your prayers as we go into this holiday season.  Because of the greed of Black Friday having to start on Thursday, I will spend my 6th year in a row not having Thanksgiving g with my family.  It's a shame."  The hub and I lamented the lack of focus on family time by big retailers and offered Stanley a seat at our early Thanksgiving dinner since we eat at 1 and he has to be at work at 4.  He grinned and thanked us for the offer.  But we are serious.  I may just have I buy a special cooler and take him some dinner on Turkey Day.  He needs to know someone cares.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stomach aware and needing some care

Well the mighty crud hit our home last night. The boy went to bed stating he had a 9.5 on a 10 point scale tummy ache. There were some questions as to the validity of this statement since he had been rough housing with his sister just moments before. He went on to bed and the hub and I went about our nightly jobs. The hub went to take the boy for one last pit stop before bed and then, well, the heaving began. It lasted about 5 minutes and then he was escorted to the shower for a fresh start before being escorted to the sick mattress in our floor. Now the fear of 11pm puke times runs like icewater through the veins of those of us still standing. I would like to hope that his combination of lasagna, salad, peach crumble and LEMONADE at church made for an unholy combination in his tummy, but hearing how many are down for the count in classrooms, my optimism may be in vain. The boy has been quite sedate today, though not without his sense of humor. I did find a rarity after coming inside from a fetch session with the dog:



Poor guy. He was pretty pitiful. Here's hoping that whatever this is gets out quickly and health is restored to the land.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Feeling the need to bake...

I know that people at this time of the year are either jacked up on or sick to death of pumpkin stuff. Heck, Starbucks has a countdown and a Twitter account for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I get it...I am a fan of the pumpkin for sure. It makes coffee spicier, donuts yummier, cakes and bread "moister". While I was helping G's class work on their sock monkeys in art...



...I started thinking about pumpkin bread and I have not been able to stop. I had every intention of coming home tonight after work and whipping up a recipe's worth of my go to pumpkin bread recipe. Unfortunately for me and for my poor children, they will be eating store brand cereal tomorrow because I forgot one major issue about tonight: The Goldbergs and Modern Family are on and they trump pumpkin. WHAT?!?!? I am sorry to say such a thing. But tonight it is the truth.

On a completely different note, but along the lines of last night's post, I leave you with the dog's ritual every afternoon when the boy gets home:


In his lap...every afternoon. Funny.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

She loves her boy

It was a work day today, so I have very little to report. I went home to let the dog out and run her a bit before the afternoon pickup grind. Because we have lots of trees in our backyard, we have lots of wildlife(skunks, squirrels, raccoons, foxes)back there and often find their carcasses in various areas of the yard. Horrifyingly enough, we made the grisly discovery of a drowned squirrel in one of our 5 gallon buckets that we carry weeds and sticks from the garden. Not what I wanted to find whilst playing fetch. Thankfully the shock collar was charged up so, when Copper made an attempt to get near the bucket, zzzzzzztttt. No, it wasn't a long shock. It just got her attention, BUT now that bucket could be made out of steak and she won't go near it. She's a crazy puppy, but she is getting better. When the kids get home, she can't get close enough to them. She is so excited. When the boy arrived, she planted herself in his lap and wouldn't move:



That dog is in total heaven...so is her brother.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

New regime in town

I have struggled for many years to put the responsiblity for taking care of their rooms and their things and completing chores without my nagging on the children.  This has not caused me to go in a prematurely gray kind of way, but I truly am surprised by that.  I have researched many options from the fairly punitive to the touchy-feely sticker reward systems.  Meh.  Thanks to the magic of Pinterest, I came upon a very interesting option that combines completing a daily laundry list of chores with a cash reward at the end of each day...but with a twist.  I even made a trip to Kinkos, or what used to be Kinkos, to have some specific chore pads created just to make it even a bit more foolproof.  I sat all three down and gave them a tutorial on the new system.  Always motivated by the almighty dollar, they were excited to see actual money there for the taking.  "All you have to do is complete your list and get a stamp of approval and the money is yours."  Their eyes lit up at the possibilities of what might come from that cash.  It isn't as easy at it might seem...so we'll see what happens.

On a completely different note, I had a weird incident today.  I'll admit, I am a car jammer.  I love every bit of singing loud and proud to the songs on the radio.  I was driving back home from a meeting when all of a sudden "Vehicle" by the Ides of March came on. If you are not familiar with this song, uh, shame on you. It is an excellent creepy stalker angry powerful sounding guy song. Great horn riff. One of my very favorites. I was jamming to "Vehicle" at the red light, singing every work with great enthusiasm and power when, well, have you ever had the feeling someone is staring at you? Well. One of Knoxville's finest was about to spew Weigel's coffee all over his dashboard while watching me. I smiled, nodded my head and drove the legal limit away once the light changed. Nice. Just know, that song is my jam. I can't help but dance.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shoeboxes of love

Today was a long day. A go in to work at 7am and leave the building at 6:15pm kind of long day. I'm not going to lie...my feet hurt in kind of an out of this world kind of way. But oh well. We had a lot of things going on in church today, including our family Advent event and a large funeral. A lot of very emotional people hurting and needing care today. So an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packing party was the perfect thing to have today. There was a lot of prep and lots of pieces part, but it was wonderful. A Sunday afternoon isn't always the best time to have an event, so attendance was a bit low. But the group of families we did have were all blessed. The children were very deliberate in every step of the process. They decorated their boxes with great care, choosing their colors based on what "their" boy or girl might like. Sweet messages of love and hope painstakingly drawn and information sheets about themselves for their child were so thoughtfully completed. Items were placed in the boxes in certain position and order based on each child's plan. They then put their info sheets and cards on top of all the treasures and put the lids on so that they could then label their boxes and ready them for travel. As I glanced around watching the different children with their boxes, I noticed some holding theirs, heads bowed and eyes closed as the whispered prayers over them. I saw some giving theirs a kiss and a pat before they were placed on the cart. It was a beautiful thing to watch. I am grateful that after a long and dificult day I was able to end it on such a sweet note.


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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wiped!!

Today has been quite the day. I am so very proud of my two youngest(proud of all of them) today. They played games and showed great sportsmanship. Honestly, the boy played to games...two full games and never missed a beat. He tore it up out there and really got some very positive attention from the coaches. Afterwards, he and his sisters went with me to our local Kroger store to stand outside and ask people to donate cans of corn to the Fountain City Ministry Center. There are so many hungry people in all of our communities. How can anyone really resist this:



I mean, come on. One guy bought two flats of 12 "because of the boy and the hat".

I am off to settle down for the night and rub the sore feet of a tired little boy. No place i would rather be. I'm a lucky woman.
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Friday, November 7, 2014

I mean, come on

Let me start by saying, I am not a Munchausen by proxy mom...I am not purposely or inadvertantly making my child sick or get hurt. But I can see how one might begin to wonder considering the luck my children have. Today I was happily assisting G's art class in making sock monkeys, when my phone rang and displayed a somewhat familiar number. I excused myself and went outside to answer. Let me backtrack a bit to say that we had experienced a bit of a rocky morning. Our teenager is a great kid, but even she has some days. We questioned her outfit which annoyed her to no end. When we dropped her off at school, she barely spoke as she left and we watched her fist and unfist her hands the whole way up the hill. Flash forward, to ouside art class. I answered the call. "Uh, Mom? Um, I popped my shoulder out in gym. Here's the nurse." The sweet nurse got on to tell me that she had dislocated her shoulder and I needed to come get her and give her some motrin. I was kind of unable to get between buildings at elementary school, so I called the hub(it was his 9-80 day)and sent him until i could get out of school. He got her and took her to our PT friend for a look. Apparently tetherball is a rough sport(ha) and if you swing your arm the tetherball whomping way, you can dislocate it. I think that shocked her and made her queasy. The cherry on top was when the gym teacher strted to manipulate it a little and it popped back in...for all the class to hear. Glurg. Needless to say, she came home, got a sling and a dose of motrin and some down time. While she was convalescing, the hub and I were decompressing and doing some work down in the basement. It smelled a little strange down there, like burning plastic or something. We didn't see anything, so continued with our activities. I started to not feel so good and felt lightheaded and queasy. The hub followed suit. So we turned off the gas to certain things, opened some windows and tried to air our brains out on the chilly patio. The hub called the HVAC guy to come and see if he could figure out the smell issue. I left to pick up the youngers and the guy came to investigate. Walking down our steps with his CO monitor, he missed the last step and fell down the rest of the way. After the hub recovered from his minor heart attack and potential suing, he found out all was well with big stuff. They came to figure out together that out washing machine motor is burning out and melting stuff, cause, why not?

So S is currently at the high school playoff football game. Orders were that she could not play the cymbals, but she could use her left hand to play the bass drum. She will be a icicle, but will enjoy herself I'm sure. The youngers and I are watching the JJ Abrams version of Star Trek. Of course G and I bawled our eyes out at the birth of James T. Kirk and the death of his father...the circle of life...sorry, different movie.

Here's hoping the freak accidents are done for a while. Night all.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Well I'm no hero that's understood..."

Do you have a song that speaks to you? Like really speaks to you no matter what day you are having? "Thunder Road" is that for me. Bruce Springsteen, the poet laureate of New Jersey, writes lyrics that just get me every time. It has been one of those days and when it says "the night's busted open these two lanes can take us anywhere...". That sounds fabulous. I think our family is in a funk and the thought of escape just sounds absolutely wonderful. Fall Break was a bust in terms of rest and relaxation. Our calendar is relentlessly full...but then whose isn't? Our problems and exhaustion and frustrations are no bigger or more substantial than anyone else's...not by a lot. But when I have days like yesterday and today, his line of "it's a town full of losers...and I'm pullin' outta here to win", I feel it sometimes. No I don't think people here are losers, it just fit for my mood. I am grateful for artists who allow me to escape my bad day and take a trip down a two lane highway headed for a land of infinite possibilities.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Well, crap

I've spoken before about my son, the boy, and his overexuberant almost attitude towards Wednesday night church activities. First let me say that he is a great guy. So well mannered and behaved, well spoken for a seven year old and just an all around fun guy to spend time with in general. When he walks into church on Wednesdays, it is like his mind and all common sense get sucked out of him. I know he is excited about seeing his friends and dinner and singing and seeing some of his very favorite people and that makes me very happy. I also know that Wednesdays are a work night for me and I am somewhat stressed making sure that childcare is in place and that there are no problems with children and all that jazz. His silly button goes into overdrive. I finally had my fill when he started eating cucumber slices and green beans on top of his cookie and would not stop when I asked him. Then I made THE statement: "When we get home, we are going to have a talk. I'm not sure you can continue to go to Wednesday night activities if this keeps up." Shock and horror and immediate regret filled his face. "I'm sorry, Mommy." Almost a whisper. I dropped him off at his choir and went on to mine. After programming, the hub took the children home and the boy really wanted to chat with me, but I always stay late to finish work and do planning with the other children's ministry staff. I tried to get home before his bedtime. Tried so hard, but the hub said the boy went to bed wanting to have a conversation with me and apologize. "He felt really bad..." the hub said. So now I sit, feeling like a heel. The mom who has always preached the "Don't go to bed with unresolved anger or issues with those you love" type of mentality has now allowed it to happen. I may have to just crawl in with him and his original Star Trek sheets, whisper sweet nothings and apologies and my undying and fierce love for him no matter how he behaves. They never tell you about these situations in the parenting books. We just have to deal with the aftermath the best and most loving way we can. Fingers crossed I do it right.


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My little moment of pride...

I know everyone is tired of hearing about Book Character Day and the hats I sewed because I am too cheap to go out and buy something appropriate. Anyway, I worked on those darn hats to the detriment of my future dexterity. The kids were very pleased, so it was all worth it. Because I am a lover of Twitter and a subscriber on Instagram, I decided to put an Instacollage of each child, their book and their costume on said social media outlets. Sunday morning I got some mentions from people I did not know about the boy's zombie goldfish costume. I looked to see that one of them was a literary agent who knew Mo O'Hara, the author of the goldfish books. Then one of the illustrators of the book expressed how he enjoyed the hat as well. Yesterday the author commented on how much she enjoyed it and today she asked if she could put the picture on her website. Am I being braggy today? I guess I'm being braggy today, but I am tickled. In my world, the author/illustrators are my rock stars(along with the Car Talk brothers...rest in peace Tom Magliozzi...you are one of my heroes). This is just a very exciting development in my very unexciting world. I will attempt to put the link on here. If it doesn't work, her name is Mo O'Hara and when you google her, the website comes up first. Sorry to write a whole post about it. I'm a geek.

http://www.moohara.co.uk/check-out-this-great-zombie-goldfish-costume-for-book-character-day-love-the-swishy-fishy-hat-and-battery-in-a-bag-genius/

Night all.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

I entered the Bizarro world today

I went to the store today. Heck, I usually have some reason to go to the store every day. Some school supply emergency or food that needs to be taken to school the next day. Never fails. Today I found myself at the store to get some supplies to prepare for a guest who would be visiting later in the day. Anyway, I pulled my wallet out and paid for my items, put my wallet back into my purse and began to gather my bags. Anyone who is a mother knows that a mother's purse is a catch all for everything. So, the lady working said, "Hey is that yours...did it fall out of your purse?" I realized what it was:



One of my girls wore this mask to dress up her costume at our Fall Fest. I picked it up and put it back in my purse. The lady said to me, "Rough night, huh? Is that a thong?". Ummmm, what? What did she just say? I just about died in the floor right there. Instead of saying something snarky, I put the mask on and went, "Not quite." Embarrassing.

So from now on, watch if you put anything sequined in your purse. It may make casual conversation uncomfortable.
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Again...

I am trying to come up with a magic pill that I think parents through the times have tried to invent. Most people have their methods and I have yet to develop an effective one for myself. I must ask you, three readers, this haunting question: why stuff dirty clothes into a bag and that bag into another bag and then that bag into a backpack and stuff said backpack into the corner of the closet under a rack? Why not just take said clothes and put them right into the laundry basket? Why? For the love of everything, why?? So when the hub and the children left after church and went a couple of towns away for the championship soccer game, I took the time with an empty house to get to the root of some of this insanity. I had already done a fair amount of laundry and had one load left in the dungeon to do. After spending time in one of the rooms, I had already filled a laundry basket and was thinking about finding another one. I found enough hangers for a small consignment sale and enough pins and rubber bands to open a mini Sally Beauty Supply. Words were said, friends. I'm not going to lie. Words were said. Bad, evil, non-Sunday words. I'm not proud, but I will air my confession on the very public and read by a trio of loyal readers blog. When I found the hidden stash of Three Musketeer mini-bites in someone's bed, I had to sit down and watch an episode of "Homeland". Kidnapping and murder and international espionage in the Middle East brought comfort to this mother who almost tore at her clothes and screamed down the street at the bug potential attached to chocolate candy between one's warm and comfy sheets.

I am now watching "Criminal Minds", but(oddly enough)not sewing any creatures. I am working on chore charts that, when presented to the population in question, will surely catapult me to the tip top of the leader board for mother of the year. Oh well. A new "Homeland" comes on at 9 tonight. I will rest in the solace...even though I fear my bleoved Saul is not long for this world. Oh well. Another fight for another day.


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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Going all directions

We were a family divided, but only geographically today. One soccering east and one soccering south and one off the hook and helping his mother. Of course the weather had to be frigid and windy and horrible for outdoor sports and I felt horrible not being with them. I stayed home to work around the house and participate in an "art" show at our church. I have been sewing bunnies and bears and creatures for a good while to sell and some to contribute to the silent auction. They had a very nice turnout and lots of nice things to buy and bid on. Sadly, I did not stay for the dinner and show. I had to help fetch and thaw out our children. Thank goodness we fall back tonight. I need some major sleep. I'm going now. Night all.


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Friday, October 31, 2014

Ready for a whirlwind

Book Character Day went off like a charm. I spent a bit more time at school today than I should have. I am a person who enjoys my routine and some scheduing, but not so much that I can't stray from it. Today I really needed to keep with a very strict schedule...which did not happen. School required a few more hours than I anticipated, which is okay. The kids were proud of their book costumes:






My fingers may never be the same from whipstitching, but the end result was fun.

The evening was a cold and wet one, not too conducive to trick or treat. We were busy enough taking S to school to play in the band at the football game. Two of the the children are going to be playing in frigid soccer games tomorrow, so they needed to keep warm. We may have to thaw the oldest out. In a felt poodle skirt with a pair of leggings, a shirt and cami and a raincoat, she will be an ice cube.

I'm off to bed and watch a little of Liev Schreiber in the remake of The Omen. I prefer the Gregory Peck one, but this one was a decent remake. A good scary movie on a creepy, cold night. Night all.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crafting madness

As I stated last night, I have been crfting book character day "costumes" for the two youngers for TOMORROW!!!!! I have made some progress, but was thrown a curve ball this morning with having to get last minute treat bags together for a class and then having to use our street shared leaf blower before the rain, snow? and neighbor come to take it away for a few days. My whipstitching has been going a mile a minute and I was seeing the finish line. Then another curve ball hit that one child need some sort of Norweigian flag for their costume. Honestly? For once, my craft supply hoarding has been of some benefit and I at least have the supplies to make one. Guess Jimmy Fallon and I have a sewing date tonight. SIgh.


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