Friday, February 28, 2014

Surviving Buzz and the fields

I am trying really hard to socialize this crazy dog so she won't be crazy and viscious all at the same time. Today I took her to the dog park in the morning, hoping to avoid the super busy times that would freak both of us out. We went in to find one canine potential friend there, a Basset Hound/Lab mix. He was solid and low to the ground. Copper was taller than he was, but lacked about 15 pounds of mongrel to equal his girth. She learned very quickly to be sumissive and lay on her back until he decided to let her get up. He was a bit forward, but not mean. She had speed on him for sure, but if she stopped, Lord help her. She was t-boned dog style multiple times and her brown hair had silver streaks all over it from his copious amounts of slobber painting her outside. We left after 45 minutes. It was the best trip ever. She spent the rest of the afternoon resting and recovering in her crate. Socializing continued this evening with the first soccer practice of the season. It was good to meet people, but a cruel exercise with all kinds of bright objects flying through the air and rolling around on the ground. Lots of little boys and girls were at just the right level to lick and beat about with her tail. She took a second trip to the dog park. It was short lived because I am a big chicken. A little dog that resembled a mop head tried to bite her in the face twice. Jenny=Done.

She is currently snoozing on her girl while she watches an episode of Survivor. The snoring is epic. I may have to join her soon.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Meatloaf double beet loaf

Today was a meatloaf night in our house. I have never been a fan. I loved helping my dad make his, special cooking time, you know? But I was never a fan of any meatloaf that any person made. Not an attack on anyone, just a statement of my palate's dislike for comfort food drowned in ketchup(though to be fair, I'm not sure what my dad used on his, but it really smelled scrumptious). Over the years I have tried, through many failed attempts, to make a meatloaf that I can eat with the rest of the family. I think the whole concept, a loaf, is just off putting. I now have a recipe for Italian meatloaf that I make that I can eat without holding my nose or spitting in my napkin. Still not a fan, but I can ingest it. That was a long explanation for nothing. After I made the meatloaf this morning, which I mix by hand to make sure it is good and blended, I scrubbed my hands raw to get the meat smell off of them...I thought. Going to play with the puppy was probably the dumbest idea ever. Just like in the movie "Best In Show", see it if you have not, the dog show commentators said of an owner who was attacked by a dog, "The dog went after her like she was made out of ham!". Copper was on me in flash, fighting to get as close as possible to my hands. She kept nosing them around looking for the meat I was obviously holding. Lesson learned. On meatloaf night, someone else take care of the dog. I feel llike I went through battle.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waaaaakey wakey!!!!

You know, when you get a 2am wake up call from a sick child burning up with fever, it should be an indicator as to how the rest of your day will go. When G crept into our room and I awoke to see a figure standing in front of our bed, I yelled out loud enough that the hub even woke up. She was feeling dizzy and out of sorts, so we had her sit in the bathroom and await further instructions. I rifled through the cabinets in a groggy state trying to find a thermometer. Even being a foot away, I could feel the heat radiating off of her 9 year old body. The thermometer beeped a red face: 103.5. Trying to act calm, we ibuprofened her, wiped her down with a cool wash cloth, put a fever strip on her forehead and put her on the sick mattress in our room. Let's fast forward to 10am this morning, okay? The hub had mercifully taken S and the boy to school and I was kind of sitting vigil by G's sick bed as she moaned and tossed and turned and sizzled. She finally settled, watching The Incredibles, so I could get some breakfast and exercise the dog a bit. I checked the outside gate. Shut. I let her out and went to toast a bagel and fix a cup of coffee. I ate and watched Flipping Out on Bravo and tried to wake up. Thinking G would like to snuggle with her pup, I called the usual high pitched "COOOPPPEERRRCOPPERCOPPERCOPPERCOPPER!!". Nothing. I did it again. Nada. Down at the fence deep in the backyard, I saw our newish neighbor. I had met her once and knew she worked for a local animal shelter and was a dog kind of gal. Good thing. I noticed, as a walked to meet her, that she was in some brightly colored odd clothing. As I got closer, she said, "Hey! Um, your puppy just crawled and climbed and jumped the fence." I was horrified for many reasons and sighing with relief that she was in a friendly yard. I was also a bit concerned because our neighbor was in her pajamas. The next five minutes of conversation left me wanting to dig a hole in the ground and live there. Apparently my super smart dog hopped over the fence to play with her doggie friends, smelled the path they take in their yard and found the dog door to go into their house. Shall I continue or can you see where the story is heading. She went through the looking glass, AKA the dog door, and got the wife out of bed. Yes. You read that correctly. Needless to say, I carried the dog back to the house and quickly deposited her into her crate for her personal safety. I think I'll rename her "Paul Revere"...going house to house waking everyone up. People wonder why I'm crazy. There's your answer.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bubble wrap day

I want to wrap my kids up in bubble wrap and protect them from the world, but that is not a reasonable parenting technique. When I worry about life, I neglect other things. My brain is left to dangle out of my pocket and rock in the wind like the Lego Frankenstein on my keychain:

Today I was worried about a sad child and a headache sick child and completely forgot about the one who was having a halfway decent day. I made a quick run to Walgreens to get some Motrin and I completely leave him at church during G's choir practice. In all fairness, all those moms there are more than authorized by me to be mom in my absence, if they see my children acting like miscreants out in public when they are in high school or if they see they have gotten in a fender bender in front of Walgreens....or if their mother has no brain and leaves him playing the ipad in the choir room with one of his best friends. Just stop writing your speeches right now...I am winning the Mom of the Year award. Hands down.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm a shoe in...okay, that was corny

On my quest in 2014 to become a little more trendy, what, I didn't share that with you? Today's trendy attempt was to find some new trendy shoes. Truth be known, Chucks and Vans are very trendy with the high school boy demographic, but for the 41 year old schlumpy mom set? Not so much. I am not so much into what demographic I fit into, but I was told that if I didn't diversify my shoe collection, it would violently and mysteriously disappear. Um, harsh statement number one. In my quest, I began to notice lots of different kinds of footwear. Anything with a heel more than a millimeter is out. Clutz of the highest order right here friends. So I started to notice that lots of people had on a certain brand of shoe. Heck, I've bought them for my own children. They are a charitable company, providing shoes to children. I don't have to tie them. Why not? When a dear friend found out I had never purchased a pair of said shoes, she said she might have to consider revoking the friend card. Harsh statement number two. On my quest, I learned a lot of things about charitable and eco friendly shoes. My best friend from college and I always joke about a certain actress who we are not great fans of (Natalie Portman) and her choice of foot wear. I found her preference at River Sports today:

Vegan shoes. I could have really gone Hollywood. Sadly, they did not have my size...and I loved them. But what I ended up with was these:

TOMS! I have taken a step, a charitable step, into trendiness. My kids were even proud and unashamed to buy bananas with me at the Kroger. It's a win win. Yes, I did pick the drabbest color that, as my college friend said, I need to introduce color and not look like the late Steve Irwin's cousin from the states. Struck out on that this time...crikey, I'll try harder next time.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Not a lazy Sunday

I am in the middle of Downton Abbey and am close to falling asleep. Season finale night leads me to stay up intil 11:00. Yaawwwnnn! It was a typical Sunday, busy morning and busy afternoon. I got in a little sewing time and made a few dinobunnies. I went to a meeting this afternoon where a man called something my brother has helped work on "schlocky". Have you ever heard it? This is the meaning:

Let me just tell you that I almost went over the table at him. Nobody speaks to my brother that way, but as always, he handled himself like a true gentleman. I fumed, but that is what I headed temper.

Oh well...Ms. Hughes just found a ticket stub and some bad $#&^ may go down in a minute with the downstairs people. Can't miss a thing.
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Windows open kind of day

What a glorious day we had in East Tennessee today! We made a bagel run and then went to the kids' version of hell: Home Depot. We needed to get some squirt bottles for deterring the dog from putting her paws up on the counter and I needed to look at sinks and faucets for the kitchen for the 75,000th time. Upon our return home, I turned into a candidate for "Worst Mother of the Year" and made the kids super-de-duper clean their rooms before they could go out and frolic in the late winter sun. To say there was some strife would be an understatement, so I'll just say there was. But the desire for a large dose of vitamin D motivated them to hasten the process. "Aunt Julie", the dog trainer, came to work with Copper and got lots of laughs at her and our expense. I think we are her comic relief for the week. Between trying to teach several different age levels how to execute a command and trying to work past puppy ADHD, sometimes her best defense is just to laugh and shake her head. After she left, I did a little cleaning of the patio and backyard and found this little friend:

It caused quite the kerfuffle in our family, but eventually everyone had touched its pretty blue tail. It sunned itself on the hub's hand until it had enough, bit his finger and moved on to browner leaf piles. Whatever. After that excitement, we took the kids for a late afternoon treat of The Lego Movie. Uhhhh, loved it! It was quite funny and I laughed out loud several times...good and snarky. We returned home to run out a bit more energy playing soccer and football. S took the dog for a walk in her new harness and watched the sunset. A lovely end to a lovely day.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Running the gamut

Every year around Valentine's Day, or this year the week after, our school holds a jump rope event to raise money. It used to be Jump Rope for Heart, which raises money for the American Heart Association. It has now gone to raising money for school needs. I understand the need for helping the school, but I miss the excitement the kids show in seeing how much money they raise to give other people. I think it is important for them to know the excitement helping people other than themselves. Oh well, it was still fun to watch them jump and get crazy and I hope we raised good money to improve our playground. My children have really upped their jumping skills as well as their Cha Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle game. I tried to get pics of the kids, but I got mostly blurs:

They were hardcore, friends, hardcore. Afterwards we picked up sister and got home to scramble. S and some other youth from church were making a visit to one of the local synagogues to participate and see how other religions work. B has Jewish relatives and it was very important to us for our kids to know how their relatives worship. Sarah returned home very excited and full of newly found facts. She even saw one of her substitute teachers there. Small world.

Jumping rope and Jewish church with a little bit throwing the football outside tossed in for good measure. Not bad for a Friday.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Boys...I tell ya...

We had a guest for dinner tonight. She had eaten with us before and is really family, but still I have this standard I set for my children in terms of manners. Here it is: Use manners. That's all I ask. It is not like we had a cram session an hour before she arrived. As soon as we sat down to eat our funky chicken sandwiches on Hawaiian sub rolls, my son's giggle box activated...and it did not turn off until he put head to pillow at bedtime. I could have threatened groundings galore and taking of toys and electronics and privileges, but he could not stop. He had bought a one way ticket to Crazytown. The other eniga I have yet to solve is how the boy can somehow fit the word "poop" into every meal she has eaten with us. Seriously? Luckily it is taken all in stride. I just don't understand it. We were having a somewhat riveting conversation about Disney movies in terms of their level of hilarity, The Emporer's New Groove being one we had not seen that was high on the scale, and he managed to slip that word in conversation. I know he's a boy. I had a brother, I know how these people work. But why that word? Why not generously pepper every dinner conversation involving your parents and guests with words like, um, "jaunty" and "death defying" and "scapula"(just to sound scientifically knowlegeable). You know, the $5 words.

Well, I hate to be one of those people, but "It Happened One Night" is on TCM and it is a favorite. My oldest friend in the world introduced it to me when we were roomates. I'm grateful. After today, I need a good dose of Gable and Colbert. I'm nerdy like that. Night all.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I said some things....

Today was one of those days that I found myself saying things, some of them a bit colorful, that I never thought I would ever say. Not terribly proud of some of them, but I am human. Some of these were said by text, so it is out there for public consumption.

1. "For the love of everything holy on this Earth, take your paws off the lampshade!!!!" I think that most people can probably guess what that one is about. The sweet chocolate puppy with the golden eyes has become an accomplished the point that I have found her with paws up on surfaces higher than the top of my head. This morning I came in to find her licking the lampshade of a lamp on the top shelf of the baker's rack. The look of "What?" was plastered on her face. Enough said.

2. "Clean yourself up so people won't think you were trapped for a week in a Sochi hotel bathroom!!" That was kind of lost on a 6 year old. So I just found a package of baby wipes and asked him to wash the ice cream, peanut butter and unidentified school lunch off his face. Then we watched some hockey.

3. "I want to rip that woman's arm off and beat her with it." Notice the lack of exclamation points. I texted that with a somewhat icy calm of a person tipped over their edge with nothing to lose. I had been doing some clerical work to help a friend out. Other people were also assisting us, but one in particular had a correction for everything I said. "My parents decided my middle name was going to be a combination of two relatives' names...". Her response, "Actually to restate what you said more correctly..." or "To state what you said in a more intelligent way..." or "I have to correct you on what you said about your dog being a lab would instead be referred to as a 'Mixed Breed Dog' including lab." Needless to say, I started to develop a facial twitch, sweat profusely and even began to foam at the mouth so as not to speak out and be sent home. I think my friend knew she'd better diffuse the situation and shut that girl up or things would be a-gettin' all WCW up in there.

Please forgive my less than kind reactions to day to day life. I need to get a grip....and a muzzle.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Someecard addiction

I am tired tonight as I have just returned home from a meeting on this summer's VBS. My brain is a little fried to say the least, but I cannot stop laughing about things I have read today. If you are a fan of sarcasm at all, then you will enjoy the someecards website. I often send these to coworkers during meetings to break the tension, boredom, what have you...:

There is not enough room for me to share all of my favorites. But after days like today, I can't read enough of them. Here is the last offering for today before I drop off to La La Land:

Night all.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Love is in the's Presidents' Day

The kids were out again today, but not because of snow this time. Presidents' Day. It was a pretty uneventful day: an eye doc appointment for the boy...working childcare for Bible study for me and the inaugural trip to the dog park for Copper...a trip to the super car wash for the hub. Riveting day for sure. After all that excitement, the hub and I sat on the couch to watch Olympics or an episode of Dirty Jobs or something. The children were busying themselves throughout the house, playing with a Nerf gun, carrying the dog around, you know, typical stuff. Then some time went by and I realized that I hadn't seen them in a while. Not unusual, but I just wondered what they were up to in unseen parts of the house. One of us went to use the facilities and we saw scrambling and the door to the kitchen shut quickly. Eyes roll and the parental voice volume turns up. "What are you all doing in there?". Crickets. The hub asked again and was told that there was a surprise being prepared for us. When pressed, they said they were fixing dinner. I immediately looked at my phone's clock: 3:55. Oh wow. I'm all about getting a deal, but the early birds would regard this early bird special as too early. "We're making it for you two!'. Heads hanging in shame for our attitude, we were led to the table set with two plates already filled with food. "This was F's idea and this is what he wanted to fix..."...said sisters more than ready to throw him under the bus if we were upset. Our plates had chicken patty sandwiches and corn. A bowl of fruit cocktail was also included. Various condiments to spice up the sandwiches were ready for our enjoyment. We blessed the food, still puzzled as to why we were eating midafternoon. G pulled out her ipad and put some "music" on in the kitchen. When asked what it was, she said, "Romantic music." F said, "We wanted to give you all a romantic dinner today." The next thing we knew, S had gotten out her djembe and started to play. The boy started a combination interpretive dance and rap performance with G dancing with him:

"Sorry all we have is water. Would you drink something fancy with this meal?"...we thought about that. Then the hub said, "Well if we went to Harvest Towne(liquor store), what do you think they would pair with chicken patty and corn?". "Um, maybe a wine cooler? Boone's Farm? I got nothin'". The boy was so proud he had orchestrated a romantic dinner for his parents. Move over, Cupid. Apparently Washington and Lincoln are the new masters of love...and they have the round poultry patties to prove it. Love those kids.
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

I love my kids

I am a lover of older movies. My parents made sure that my brother and I were familiar with films and actors that were made and gone before we were even born. Those remain our favorites even today. Right now, beside some series of television shows(mostly children's programming), I have two movies on my ipad for anytime viewing: No Time for Sergeants with Andy Griffith and Support Your Local Sheriff with James Garner and Joan Hackett(among lots of others). They are two of my very favorites and I have always had a deep love for James Garner...ever since I saw him on The Rockford Files. So you can imagine my delight when I walked into the TV room to find G and F reenacting scenes between James Garner and Walter Brennan. I was so proud. Eat your heart out Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. My kids are retro:

Walter Brennan and James Garner...

The boy and G. As my brother called it, their "post modernist reading". Love.
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Djembe away

Tonight was a Valentine's dinner at church to raise money for our youth and their mission programs for the summer. We had a nice dinner and entertainment from different youth. Guitars and dancing and violins and piano and singing. S and our talented pastor, A, did a djembe duet. Seeing them up there, making a joyful noise and showing girl power was fun to watch. I was so proud of all the kids and their abilities. What a talented bunch! And I think they made a good amount of money for their efforts.

The hub and I are now relaxing, feet up, watching Treehouse Masters. I want to adopt this man into our family and have him help us build a treehouse in our woods. Is that too much to ask? I can just pull an extra $75,000 out of my ear. Oh well. I'll go to bed dreaming of treehouses with the sound of djembes in the background. ZZZZzzzzzzz......

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Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine Love Letter

Valentine's Day has always been a big deal in our family. Sure, it was nice to get sweet notes and conversation hearts and heart shaped toast with red jelly on that day, but that is not the reason it was so special. As those of you who have read for a while know, February 14 is my brother and grandmother's birthday. It is was a big celebration with the two of them sitting together, year after year, with their individual birthday cakes blowing out the candles together. Granny's was usually a Butterscotch dessert and Mike's was a cheesecake. Mike would have a celebration with his friends at a different time, but he and Granny shared their day every year. Now that she has met her great reward, the 14th is different. It is still a day of celebration, but with an empty place...and I see it in my brother. I'm sure that it wouldn't be the coolest thing for lots of guys to party with their grandmother in their teens, but he always celebrated every second he was with her. I know he feels the loss more than any of us do.

So tonight, as the "Made up holiday"(as I saw over and over today on Twitter)draws to a close, I say an extra prayer of thanks for this day and the unmade up celebration of two of the most important people in my life...and I'll never stop celebrating.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Uncle...snow day uncle

Soooo, we are out again for snow tomorrow. I love snow just about as much as any person on this planet, but come on. Because I am an idiot when it comes to predicting whether or not the super is going to cancel school or not, I have missed the boat on getting people to come over and play or spend the snow nights with my kids. I can remember when I was S's age, we got an enormous amount of snow that year and missed major amounts of school. My friend MG and I lived at each other's houses, listening to Duran Duran albums and making friendship bracelets while checking the time on our Swatches. We had to make up school by going on Saturdays, which sucked big time, but we used every bit of the snow days we had to the fullest. Mother of the year has done a horrible job of being on top of these friend opportunities, so now my oldest has received pictures and texts from friends who have been making the most of the days with other buddies. She's ticked off at me...and rightfully so. Someday I'll get on the ball and hopefully before she is a complete social pariah. Until then, I made it a little better with:

...chocolate covered cherry snow cream...and: shaped snow creatures...and:

...snow fist fights with siblings. She enjoyed it, even if I did get a few snowballs in on her. I enjoyed that!
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


We enjoyed, for the most part, our snow day without the snow. The kids got kind of annoyed that there was no snowman construction, but they weren't complaining about getting to sleep in past 6am. We made a suicide mission to the Kroger to get supplies for S to make special Valentines for her friends. We saw at least three pews worth of people from church getting emergency fruit and coffee and cans of Beanie Weenies. Prepping for the Snowpocalypse. Unfortunately, the snow did not arrive until about 2:45 or 3...and not with the fervor we had hoped for. School did get cancelled a couple hours later, but snow days are no fun without lots of snow. S was supposed to have a band solo competition tomorrow. Not anymore. Instead our pastor came over for another rehearsal for their duet and then, poor thing, got roped into staying here for dinner. She had no idea how this would hype up our children, but she soon found out. Thank goodness she is a good sport. Lesser people would have run screaming from the house full of cabin fevered children.

It has picked up a bit and the news reported a possible 5-9 more inches. I won't hold my breath, but that would be excellent! Hopefully there will be enough for a decent snowman. That would be excellent!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm a bad parent...again

Since Snowpocalypse II is predicted to hit sometime after 10am, our school super has decided to cancel school tomorrow in anticipation of epic blizzards that will cause county wide turmoil. True, he did get some pretty bad press for Snowpocalypse I's bus accidents and slippery pick up conditions. I get that he is a bit in the paranoid category. So while some parents are shaking their fists in anger towards the downtown administration offices, I am breathing a little sigh of relief. The kids and I are snuggling on the couch watching unheard of "during the week" television. I let them watch an episode of The Goldbergs, a funny show that is not something they would normally watch. The hub and I are fairly strict about their viewing choices, especially since they like to repeat quotes and some of them don't know not to repeat things to the pastor at Wednesday night supper. They watched, marveling at the weird clothes and hairdos. We had to have a discussion about acid washed jeans. That was hard to explain, I must admit. Then they saw the posters on one of the children's walls, they said, "We have that poster down in the basement. Where did they get that?". They don't seem to understand that this show is a snapshot of my life at my oldest's age.

I hope to have an exciting report tomorrow about masses of snow and huge snowmen and fantabulous sledding conditions. I hope the gun was not jumped. Either way, we have a day off tomorrow. I'll take it.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

New book title: The Pukey Little Puppy

With a dog like a shop vac set loose on the world, we should be pleased that it has taken this long for her to get a sick tummy. When we go for a walk or a romp out in the yard, she ingests everything from rabbit pellets to hickory nuts and everything in between, not that I am encouraging that at all. The hub went downstairs to take her out and make his coffee and found that she had gotten sick in her crate. Poor little thing. She didn't realize how much being sick really sucks until her food bowl remained untouched all during breakfast. She did not go gently into that good crate when she realized that she and Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Formula were not going to have a meet up. This attitude repeated itself when I canme home from work and she had again gotten sick. The little puppy attitude came out as did the chew anything and everything she could get her paws on. After a period of revelry, she would climb into my lap and take a nap. Then she'd eat some ice chips, puke, try to find some newspaper to shred and then climb up into my lap again. Not to be gross, but dog breath is in no way enhanced by bile. Not a bit. Sarah just came up to inform us she had started a new load of laundry as Copper had once again puked the ice cube leavings on her bed. Soooo, a trip to the vet is in our cards for tomorrow.

The exciting life that I am sure you are all thrilled to read about as you rest from a day of real work. Stick with me. After the vet visit, I may have the joy of giving her pills. That'll be another joy to read about. Gag ack barf.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Implements of Percussion

Living with a middle school percussionist is never dull. She is always drumming her hands on something, using her eating utensils as drumsticks and playing along with every song that comes on television or the radio. She takes her role seriously and takes great offense at those comments implying that she has the build of someone who plays the flute rather than the djembe. So imagine her delight when she learned that our newest associate pastor is a percussionist. I knew since her mother was my brother's drum teacher and she did the percussion in our church programs. S, of course, thrilled in the knowledge that yet another girl she thinks so much of likes to make a joyful noise. I am so grateful she has our pastor and her friend, S, to show her the ropes...or the sticks. Pastor A came over this afternoon to rehearse for a little duet for a youth fundaraiser next weekend. It was fun to watch and listen:

I look forward to seeing the duet...and wll try not get tickled. She looks so intense.

I'll end on a funny. The boy was employed to help clean the bathroom when we were having a cleaning blitz. He is wildly enthusiastic about his bathroom cleaning skills, especially when his Nana might see the fruits of his labors. This is how I found him this afternoon:

Excuse the look of the bathroom. We are stuck in remodeling purgatory. He was perched on the edge of the toilet like a little potty bird. That kid is crazy. It is never dull in this house.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Would you like to dance...or jam?

I am a big fan of traditions of all types. Tonight brought with it one of the sweeter traditions we are honored to take part in...well, the hub and the girls take part in it. The annual Father(or significant male figure in your life) Daughter Valentine dance at our church. This was the 11th year for the event and the 10th for our oldest and the hub. He is not a fan of dancing...or huge crowds...or blaring music...or super dressy stuff. What he is a super fan of is his daughters. It is such a sweet time where dads, grandfathers, uncles and even neighbors take the sweet young women in their lives to spend a special night celebrating and dancing and eating lots of cookies. My trio went to dinner before all decked out. It has become a much anticipated event not only by our church, but by members of the community. The girls were excited to go, even S who is supposed to be a jaded middle schooler who is embarrassed to be seen with her grown ups. I think I even saw both of them flutter their eyes and blush when their daddy complimented them on their dresses. I am a horrible photographer, but here is how they looked right before send off:

The boy and I had a starkly different, well maybe not, experience planned. Along with a group of his buddies, we went to the premiere idea of "funtertainment' around these parts: Jump Jam. It is one of those indoor trampoline parks with booming, pulsing music and tons of people everywhere. I was hesitant to go to be quite honest. For every good experience I have heard, I have heard three injury stories. Broken arms, cracked vertebra, sprains and cuts...yeah, I was concerned. The boys were very excited and ready to get started. I ended up not jumping, long story, but someone needed my ticket and that was fine. In all likelihood if I had jumped, the hub would be writing a guest post from my hospital bedside as I would be in traction. They were worn out and sweaty monkeys, but they had fun. My boy was ready to go and enjoyed an ice cream treat afterwards. Since I failed to ask permission, I will show you a less than great picture of the boy's experience:

He got a few scrapes on his back, but otherwise fine. He is enthusiastically sawing logs as I type.

Sometimes preparing the girls, or helping them prepare, is stressful and I say things like, "Well next year ou just won't go if this is so awful" or "Then just go in your dress from last year that is too small if you will not try anything on..". I sound like a swamp witch for sure. But it would take a whole lot to keep them from the dance. It is a precious tradition that would not be missed by my three. It isn't about the dance. It is about the time spent together...the fact that dads who don't dance would go and actually dance...and dress up! I am grateful for my daughters and I am grateful to my husband for loving his girls and treasuring the gifts of his daughters.
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Opening ceremonies night...Sochi

My oldest is away at a sleepover toight, so the rest of us are pajama'ed up and waching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. It has been a strange day. I helped with RIF this morning and watched an adult get grumped at by a boy for not having the right colored fairy book. This is not the first time he has gotten into a verbal confrontation about fairy books. I am not going to lie...I find it entertaining. I love looking at all of the books and seeing what my two bring home. I must question Scholastic's reasoning on some of their book bundles. I opened up one to spread out on tables for the kids to look through. There was a bundle with some Penderwicks books and Time Warp Trio and maybe some Judy Blume. Thrown in there for good measure was an anthology of Emily Dickinson poetry called "I'm Nobody, Who are you?". I had to memorize that poem in middle school. Nothing says "Elementary Reading" like the light fare of Dickinson. I'm shocked nobody picked it for the second RIF distribution in a row.

The most exciting part of my day was that my friend Kaiti gave us a face time call from Guatemala. She left January 10th and we sure have missed her. Several of the little people in the orphanage where she is were very interested to see our strange faces on her phone. We got lots of "Hola's" and "Come on-come on's" from them. So cute! Technology is a wonderful thing!

The little girl has just finished flying through the air and the parade of nations has just started. Even though it was not my national anthem, I thought the rendition of the state anthem of Russia was absolutely gorgeous. Just beautiful. If Matt Lauer would shut his mouth, it would be wonderful. Night all.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Musings from a mad woman

I am so tired tonight. Between hearing sad news from a friend, trying to work with our crazy dog, getting kids picked up and fed and homeworked and session'ed and baking cookies for the Father Daughter dance, I have been in full throttle mom mode today...not unlike millions of other moms existing on this big blue ball of fun. I may have to go to bed very soon. This is a big weekend that will require a Monday recuperation period. Oh well. Won't be the first time I drop the kids at school on a Monday and come back to take a power nap with the dog. I'll own it.

I will leave you with yet another weird animal picture that I can't help but love:

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

$12.75 for great entertainment

In my quest to find the key to the dog's nipping and inordinate amount of energy, I took yet another one of trainer Julie's suggestions and purchased the greatest invention since sliced bread...when it isn't being used to bring down planes, annoy basketball players or make students laugh at a teacher. The laser pointer. And ours is even a keychain laser pointer that can bring the fun where e're we go. After batteries were put in, the next 45 minutes were some of the most entertaining I have had in a while. She tried to bite at it, run at it, bark at it and jump at it. She would run so hard and slide on the linoleum right into the wall. She would run around in circles and then switch directions and go the other way. The best thing of all was that the fun didn't end when I turned the pointer off. She spent the next five minutes trying to find that blasted glowing dot. After she gave up that search, she voluntarily laid on her bed and rested. She was exhausted...and it was beautiful. As soon as I can get the app to cooperate, I will put the video up. I am probably too entertained by it, but that's okay. I have no life, so it gives me a break in the sadness that is my existence.

Need some entertainment, come on over and watch. I'll even pop some corn if you'd like.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hot, painful lesson

So our brown little furry nippy bundle of canine puppy joy has decided she likes wood. She likes the babygate that keeps her in the breakfast room. She likes our chairs and stools. She likes the table legs. She loves newspaper and cookbooks and her dogbowl and her sister's leg. Our wonderful dog trainer, Julie, told us to make a concoction of vinegar and the hottest things we could find and paint it on the objects of abuse. My first concoction consisted of red pepper flakes, vinegar, dried jalapenos and cayennes, Texas Pete hot sauce and Tabasco. I let it steep for 24hrs and then put it on the baby gate. The d$#@ dog couldn't lick it off fast enough. Then she barked at the container with the mixture for the the next 5 minutes. Sigh. So tonight I got a bottle and filled it with vinegar and 6 fresh habanero peppers chopped plus their seeds. I washed my hands, put the cutting board in the dishwasher to make sure it was super clean and left the pepper to saturate that vinegar. Soak, baby, soak.

Fast forward to shower time. As i may have stated here before, I tend to boil myself in the shower or tub. It is horrible for skin, I know, but I love it. During this time, I sneezed in such a violent way that I put my hands up to my face and checked to see if my nose was bleeding. Apparently I had not done as good a job washing my hands as I thought and, after I scratched my nose and put my hands back down to get shampoo, I felt a certain heat starting to spread...quickly. Within about 30 to 45 seconds, the area ranging from the top of my lip to the top of the inside of my nose(thanks to the nice steamy vapors carrying the pepper up) was burning with the heat of 575 suns. My hair, fully involved with Aussie Volume shampoo, was dripping into my eyes and I was blindly searching for the soap to scrub the habanero off of my hands and out from under my fingernails. No matter. The damage had been done.

All I have to say is that this concoction better save my furniture from further chewing....because I think it irreversibly damaged my nasal cavity. All for the love of the blasted dog.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

I need to organize my mind...or risk an embarrassing answer

Have you ever had one of those days where a lot of information is thrown your way and it is very hard to sort it into all the correct compartments? You know, friends, when you are doing a fluency test with one child, a spelling test with another and science of different systems in the body with the third, it can get hairy when you mix up your answers. So when I was giving the boy his spelling words and S walked in asking about parts of the male reproductive system and I say to my son, "Spell 'testes'", um, that got a reaction. The way he looked at me, I must have grown a second head. After I smoothed over that slip, G wanted me to run lines with her for GPS auditions tomorrow. There was a line about a vehicle breaking down, a camp bus or van. "Did you say van?", S said, "because I just learned about the vas defrens in the male anatomy and it sounded like 'van'". G looked at her like she had a second head. The top of my body was sore from eith shaking my head or smacking it. The hub was at a church meeting and could not be there to answer the boy body part questions, so Google got a work out showing us diagrams and giving complete definitions so I don't warp my child's test answers or future as a mother.

I am relaxing now, hoping that the previously mentioned missteps were the only ones that happened and that I didn't miss any big ones. Either way, when I see an Odyssey or a Sienna, I will think of a different type of transport.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Blah Bowl

Tonight the Super Bowl is being played by two teams that I really have no interest in this year. Being a Knoxville resident, I chose to cheer for the Broncos since UT's beloved son, Peyton Manning, is playing. He is a top notch player and a top notch guy. So well respected. But, wow, this game has not been his. The commercials have not really been mine. I have kind of been in a funk today to be quite honest. Nothing wrong...just the Sunday blahs.

Funny story of the day. The current Sunday School lesson rotation for the children is about Jesus meeting the disciples and the whole "Fishers of men" story. The teacher in the 3 year old class was talking with the three little girls about the story. "What would you do if you were fishing for men and caught some?" said the teacher. "Uh, I would eat them...because I caught them!" said little O. Not a smile did she crack. That kid was serious. I don't think Jesus wanted them to eat the people they caught, unless it was to eat them up with love. I love the minds of children.

I will leave you with this. Two cute little ones who wanted to be Indiana Jones:

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Good day full of random things

Today was the day. We had our first session with Julie from Dixie Dog Training today. I must tell you that she exceeded every possible expectation I had by 1000%. She spoke to the children and let them know what was expected of them. She let us know what she expected of us...and did not beat around the bush. Copper loved her from the beginning and that was before she gave her a single treat. After one session, I already can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Exceptional. Simply exceptional.

After having a training session and doing scads of laundry, I resigned myself to the fact that I had to take the girls out shopping for their dresses for the Father Daughter Dance next weekend. Even G, who is not a dress wearer, feels the pull to get new duds for the event. So, the biggest tomboy/non dress wearer ever, took two girls dress shopping for the afternoon. When not trying on clothes, the oldest was constantly rebraiding her with using new techniques learned on YouTube and G was dancing between the racks. The only way I could find her was when her hands were in the air or doing the sprinkler. My hands were either in my hair or covering my face. We were able to find S a dress. Unfortunately, we ran out of energy and patience before G found her inner Cinderella. It came as a relief, because a mother can only see so many dresses in the "Preteen Streetwalker Collection" before she wants to move to a compound on acreage in Montana.

Now my Saturday night relaxation has begun. I have had a nice hot shower...I'm comfy and relaxed and watching one of my favorite funny men in one of my favorite funny movies:

Good times, friends. Good times.

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