Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Fragments: Interviewing...Me

What is your recipe for quick cleaning of the kitchen?  Play "I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me" by the Osbourne Brothers on YouTube so many times that the rest of the family leaves the house and then the messy kitchen doesn't matter so much anymore.

How long now has your nephew been waiting for his high school graduation gift?  Just two years because I so strive for promptness.

How was that first batch of ribs done in the electric smoker?  A little tough, but smelling them while they cooked was a pure gift from Heaven.

What is next for the smoker?  I'm supposed to use it more than once?! 

Your greatest suprise this week?  My daughter has called me for a ride home from the bus stop almost every day this school year.  It's a half mile away. She is now willingly walking and I was delighted in her quest for exercise.  Wonder what motivated that?  Two young men who get off at the same stop. 

How many more family devotionals do you have to write for Sunday school this year? Three: Timothy, John, and a review of the New Testament (how's that for narrow topics?)

Have you picked out your children's spouses?  Of course. Doesn't everyone have that done by the end of elementary school?

Do you want to share a happiness that might be misconstrued as bragging?  This week, after the first night of class, 13 of the 28 students sent me emails saying how much they enjoyed the class.  The point here is how absolutely thoughtful it was of those students to take the time to write and how long I'll treasure their words. And no, Checkered, I don't suppose for one minute that they are all apple polishers.

Where are you headed this summer?  Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  Want to meet me for lunch for the two hours I'll be in each state?

IF you qualify, go here:\

What site do you visit every Friday (and Thursday and Wednesday and...)?
 This one.
Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sepia Scenes: The Great Outdoors

Where do three boys and their dad go to camp and get away from it all?  The driveway, of course.

For more Sepia Scenes, go here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happiness Project: More than the picture

This progress report arrived in the email last Friday:
 73.6%!?  This boy of ours who has earned all A's this year was going to close the school year with a C.  It's not that he has done poorly on assignments, but that there are assignments that are missing (which may well be due to his increasing extracurricular pursuits named Rianna, Julia, Rachel, and so on.).   So we were disappointed in the grade drop.  But knowing  that one non-A in 6th grade is not the end of happiness, we put it aside.
Our boy assured us that his socializing had shown more self-discipline and that he couldn't imagine how he had missing assignments.We smiled benignly and didn't believe a word he said.

Then, on Friday long after school was dismissed, the phone rang and "Middle School" came up in the caller id.   Knowing that nothing good ever comes from a school call, I answered with my best practiced weary voice.
And here FINALLY is the end of the story: the teacher explained that those missing assignments weren't missing anymore and that his course grade was actually an A.  While that was good news, how does this really qualify for the happiness project?  That teacher, tired at the end of her work week, surely didn't have to stay late to reconfigure his grade and she surely didn't have to call me...but she did. I just wish I had a picture of that call and that teacher to post here.
For more happiness, go here


Friday, May 21, 2010

FF: Things I've Learned to Accept

~That when a 17 year old boy tells our daughter that Checkered and I are "effin' cool" I should regard it as a compliment.

~That I should have bought an oil company twenty years ago.

~That some moms can put on a garbage bag, hiking boots, and a trench coat and look sexy.

~That I can't.

~That I could  happily outfit myself from the Tractor Supply store.

~Do you see now how big the un-sexiness problem really is???

~That my kids prefer restaurant chili to mine.

~That my kids prefer ANY restaurant food to mine.

~That my children will always shock me with their comments.  My youngest son recently came to me with a tampon and said he couldn't decide if it was a pen or part of a Lego-type-thingie.  Then, the next day, my middle son said, "I pray you never have to see Daddy naked."

What else have I learned to accept?

~That my dog will always prefer eating a piece of coal to dog food.

~That I am an expert at interpreting teen girl speak.

The daughter speaks:
  "I want you to come with me to the choir banquet, Mom.  You can sit with Jen's mom.  The dancing begins at 8."

The interpretation:
"Other parents are going to be there and I don't want to be the only one without a parent in case I need money for something.  Jen and I have thoughtfully found seats for you and her mom so that Jen and I don't have to interact too much with you all.  Please go home at 7:55 before the dancing begins.  You are free to pick me up at 10 when the fun is over."

Now go visit Mrs. 4444:
Mommy's Idea

and the girl:

The Girl Creative

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So Much Progress

A year ago he told us that he never felt anything inside.  "Don't you understand? When people ask me if I'm happy or sad, I don't know because I feel nothing."

One year later, he says that when he's at school it feels like he's smiling inside, but it just doesn't show on the outside very much when someone takes his picture. 

That's why this smile melted his mom's heart.

P.S. He has also learned that if you rarely show emotion on your face, you can often win when playing the 7-Up game at school.  See?  It's all about perspective :)

For more sepia scenes, stop by here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relay for Life

His scoutmaster said this guy did sell a few watered-down iced teas and he did raise some money for a worthy cause, but what made the scout happiest was that Sponge Bob is apparently a chick-magnet. 
Who knew?

Friday, May 14, 2010

FF: Questions

What did I receive after shipping off my half of a garden swap?  Nothing...yet...

Did I love winning the blog giveaway for coupons for free yogurt?  Well, yes.  And when I realized I had won more than coupons, well, life was grand!  I do wish I could remember which blogger hosted the giveaway.

Do I say /koo-pons/ or /kyoo-pons/?  It would be the latter.

Did I survive my first 24 hours of driving the truck around town?  Yes, with the exception of one narrow experience in the Tim Hortons drive-thru.  I will NOT reveal which of us was maybe too wide.

Did my son turn in his school pictures without ever showing them to me? Yes.

Do you suppose it's ironic that the Ti plants my mom and I have which are purported to bring good luck have never sprouted?

Did I fool anyone this week?  Yes.  Pickiest eater in the world was easily convinced that the pineapple in the meatloaf was bread crumbs.  And yes, he ate it all.

Did aforementioned picky eater have a bad day at school? You be the judge: his pants completely split up the back when he bent over.  Had he been wearing underwear, it might not have been so bad.

Where do I go every Friday?

Friday Follow


The Girl Creative

and my home away from home:

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Foray into the Daybook

I usually participate in ABC Wednesdays, but am short of "Q" words!  SO...

Taking a cue from PrairieMaid, I'm participating in Simple Woman's Daybook. While I understand the context of "simple" in this sentence, it bothers me nonetheless.

Outside my sun for my dog to bask in.
I am thinking...I could have better handled frustration with my daughter.
I am thankful for...students who laugh when I make a joke and hug me on the last day of class.
From the learning game sounds. I know: it's not right.
From the kitchen...come no wonderful odors.  What ARE we having for dinner?
I am Ole Miss shirt -- which my husband thinks quite appropriate.
I am creating.... a scrap book for my son with memorabilia from his musical.  Okay, I'm just thinking about it.
I am going... to get to the bottom of that volcano of laundry...someday.
I am reading...Sizzle by Julie Garwood
I am find cheap dog care for vacation week this summer.
I am hearing...birds, leaves, and wind chimes in full conversation.
Around the house...are bits of freshly cut grass, muddy paw prints, clutter, and a mom wondering if the expensive steam mop with an extractor would be preferable to a cheaper one with a reusable pad.
One of my favorite things...a bra without wires.  Sometimes drooping is better.
A few plans for the rest of the week: grading/report cards/ice cream.
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...Ongoing push for world domination by my boys! They play every day :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Happiness Project: Bipedaling Monoglot

It was a pitifully short  Kentucky visit of 40 hours, but it was blissfully happy.  Talking, laughing, eating, playing board games, eating some more.  Perfection.

For that I needed five pairs of shoes.

You understand, don't you?

For more happiness, go here.


Friday, May 7, 2010

FF: Playing the Numbers

0 = the number of pounds I lost this week

7 17 = the number of frozen York Peppermint Patties I ate (and this does NOT have anything to do with #0)

1 = the number of times I began to mow the lawn just in time for Checkered to come home and take over

2 = the number of doctor visits I did not forget to take my children to

3 = the number of times I watched Precious with students

3 again = the number of times I cried during the movie

37 = the number of times I thought about how critical I've been of teachers who show movies in class

370 = the number of times I reassured myself that my students HAD to see that movie so they could write an argumentative critique

4 = the number of blogs I visited this week :(

5 = the number of Facebook messages I exchanged with the person I was sitting next to at a meeting.

6 = the number of times I was cut-off by a teen-aged driver

6000 = the number of times I remembered that my daughter is old enough to begin driver's training

0 = the number of times I registered her for the afore-mentioned training

8 = the number of early mornings that I asked my children, "HOW many days of school do you have left?"

9 9 kajillion = the number of times I asked Checkered why we didn't get married earlier

10 = the number of times this week I had to get boy children out of bed to brush their teeth

984 = the number of times I seriously regretting vigorously rubbing my spray on tan before it was dry

984 = the number of times I was going to wear shorts until I remembered my leprosy-looking spray on tan legs

500 = the number of dollars one month's supply of medicine will be for my child.  And yes, the doctor is looking into a different course of treatment now.

51,275,398 = the number of times I've suggested that you go here:

Mommy's Idea

and here:
Friday Follow

and here: 
The Girl Creative

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ABC Wednesdays: P is for ...

It's not as though she has no where else to recover from her busy days of chewing grass and snoozing.  It's not as though her family members live like the Shakers with austere furnishings and ladder-back wooden chairs upon which to meditate. What it IS must surely be a world-record. 14.3 seconds after this brand new rug entered our house,
Pepper the pampered pooch claimed it as her own.  Oddly enough, not a single
human has attempted to dissuade her of that notion.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Happiness Project: Teachers I Love


My daughter is finishing her first year of high school and has found her home in choir.  With a marvelous director, the freshmen choir has learned music theory and history, they've learned to sing more maturely, they've learned stage presence, and they've learned how wonderful it feels to belong to something of worth.  

Doesn't it say quite a lot when no one intends to drop out next year?

For more happiness, go here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Can we outlaw bad days?

In the time-frame of two hours on Sunday night, my daughter told me that she would never want to take a vacation with me again.  My middle son fretted over the number of gray hairs on my head.  My youngest son pronounced my stomach, "Jiggly." My oldest son sat his soaking wet self down on the computer chair and never thought to tell me before I sat down after him ...  AND ... my spray-on tan produced slightly blotchy knees and one orange hand.

How was your Sunday?