Monday, December 31, 2007

Saying Goodbye to 2007

There were several things I am happy to leave behind in 2007:

1) Those pounds I lost. Five of them reunited with me during the holidays, but we'll be parting ways again soon.

2) The 37 cholesterol points I left behind. Hasta la vista, artery-clogging muck.

3) Our old water heater. Not that I really wanted to spend seven hundred dollars last summer when I wasn't teaching and didn't have an income, but I'm guaranteed hot showers for the next ten years.

4) The rotten back door that was falling off our house. Not that I wanted to spend a thousand dollars right before Christmas on something other than presents, but I really enjoy sitting at the kitchen table sipping my morning coffee and NOT feeling the cold air drafting through the gap at the bottom of the door.

5) Three of Ten's molars--all lost within the last two weeks. Oh joy, now it's time to save up for braces.

6) Being an unlicensed teacher. I will be renewing my license and (Please, Lord) going back to teaching "Big School" this year. Hopefully next year I'll be saying bye bye to teaching preschool.

7) My Non-writing Phase. I've hardly written anything at all (other than blogging) in 2007. I seriously need to carve out more time for my writing. That five extra minutes of free time that I enjoy each day should be filled with writing--not just reading what other people have written.

8) My neighbors' title as "Reigning Champions of Cranium." It was a complete fluke, but my best friend and her husband were victorious at last year's New Year's Eve party, so they had bragging rights for the whole year. But all that's about to change as Dan and I kick some Gafford booty tonight.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Words Parents Fear

There are a few phrases that send terror racing through the hearts of parents. Here are a few such phrases that Ten uttered today:

1) "I don't think they heard that." (Said while sticking his head out the bonus room door, looking at our bedroom door, then shutting the bonus room door again quickly.)

2) "Look Dad, the art of balance." (Spoken from the upstairs balcony.)

3) "Hey Mom, you know that picture frame on the table in here? It wasn't like valuable or anything was it?"

4) (after a BIG crash from the play room) "Well, that didn't exactly go the way I planned."

Pray for us. Please.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Air Hockey Wizard

Grama got the kids an air hockey table for Christmas. It was broken when we took it out of the box, but my genius husband has glued, nailed, and rigged it so that the broken side panel is attached. It ain't pretty, but it works. Of course, this thing was supposed to go out back in the workshop. Instead it's sitting in the floor of the bonus room, sans legs. We didn't want Seven to play with it outside because, even though we have space heaters in the workshop, it's still warmer in here. And I can play whenever the mood strikes me, even if I'm in my pajamas. But soon, soon I tell you, it's going out to the workshop so I can get some work done again.

By the way, Seven said words that are magic to my ears this morning: "Mommy, I'm feeling much better today." Go amoxicillan! Fight those strep germs!

Anyway, our home has become the air hockey battleground of the universe. My right arm aches as I type this from playing a few too many games yesterday. I play Seven left-handed to level the playing field and give him a chance, but with Ten I'm right-handed all the way. I have to bring out the big guns to play him. He's an air hockey maniac.

After one particularly memorable game yesterday-- memorable only because Dan beat me, which almost never happens and it was only by ONE LOUSY POINT-- Dan was taunting me, saying, "Who wants to play the loser? Who wants to play the loser?"

Seven said, "I will! I will! I want to play the los-- uh, I will play against Mommy. You're not a loser, Mommy."

Smart kid.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in the ER

Guess what Santa brought Seven this year...strep throat. He missed going to visit Nanny in the hospital, which was really disappointing because he'd practiced a bunch of Christmas carols to sing to her and drew lots of pictures for her. Then he didn't get to go to Grama and Grandpa's house for dinner and to open presents (we brought them home to him).

This morning he had a 102 degree fever, threw up on the couch, and was shivering uncontrollably, so we headed out to the ER. Where we had to listen to Josh Groban sing "The Little Drummer Boy" followed by Celine Dion singing "The Christmas Song." In other words, hell on earth for mommy.

Then I had to drive twenty minutes away to find the only pharmacy that was open today. So now he gets to take "the yucky pink medicine" three times a day for the next ten days. Yippee.

But through the whole thing he was his normal sweet little self. He hasn't complained once. He didn't even ask his older brother to wait until he got home to open presents (but Dan made Ten wait anyway). Seven just sat and read in the waiting room--he finished one chapter book and started another one. And every time he takes the medicine he says, "I sure don't like this medicine, but I'm not going to complain because I want to get better."

That's one awesome kid.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The End of Monkey Fun

This post has nothing to do with Christmas, but it had to be done.

Ya'll know my family has a history of botching the lyrics of popular songs. Well last night Seven provided us with a new one. Dan, Seven, and I were singing The Beatles' song "Michelle" and we got to the French part of the song. For my culturally illiterate friends who aren't familiar with every single Beatles song, (Blasphemy!) it's the part that goes, "Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble."

I was explaining this part to my child because I took two semesters of French in college. This enabled me to know how to say both "Where is the bathroom" and "Where is the cheese," so clearly I'm an expert in the language.

It was at this point that Seven said, "You know, when I first heard the French part I thought they were saying...(wait for it)...

"Someday monkey fun will end on Zon, will end on Zon."

Surprisingly, this fits. Poor monkeys. No more fun for them.

Oh Lord help us, it's contagious and Seven's got it too. Thanks, Mom.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cyber Christmas Card

Since I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, I thought I'd show all of you the pictures that we sent with our cards this year. We had quite a fun time learning how to use the self-timer feature on my camera. I couldn't find my tripod so I propped the camera on Dan's music stand, angled it with a couple of pouches of guitar strings (caught it when it slid off several times), and ran over to dive on the couch with the rest of the family. Who were sitting absolutely still and quietly, waiting patiently for me to figure everything out. Yeah, right. Ahem. We have quite a selection of outtakes, let me tell you. Here's the picture we ended up using:

I don't know why Six's eyes look demonic. I guess I forgot the red-eye reduction option--but I corrected it at Snapfish before I mailed them out. It was such a spur of the moment picture. If I'd planned ahead I'd have taken the boys to get haircuts (or simply brushed their hair--ARGH!). But I seized the moment because we were all h
ome and awake at the same time (a rarity) and I wasn't sporting a ponytail and PJs (SOP for this time of year).

The card we chose had one big picture and a little picture on the side. Here's the one we used for the smaller picture...

Poor Lily. Her expression is saying, "I can't believe they're making me do this. Such indignity."

And just to show we don't take ourselves too seriously here at Casa Teble, here's one of my favorite blooper photos--the "Mommy, can we make a funny face now?" shot...

So from our crazy family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Favorite Christmas Songs

Since I got some heat for my Worst Songs post yesterday, please allow me to tell you that I'm not all Scrooge-y. In fact, I love Christmas music. Look--I have a lot more "favorite" songs than "Worst" songs. The best parts of Christmas for me are the songs and all the Christmas cards (especially the ones with pictures). I love seeing how much all the kids have grown.

Here's a list (again, in no particular order) of songs that make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy. Click on the linky-loos to hear (or read about
) the songs to see why I like them so much. These songs almost make me want to mull cider or bake cookies or, gasp, shop. Almost.

1) O Holy Night--I SO love this song. Everybody from Kelly Clarkson to Carrie Underwood to John Berry has done this one and I like them all. In fact, you have to just completely stink as a singer for me to not like this song (ahem...Cher, Avril, Mariah). I can't stand Celine Dion, but I really like the way she sings this one. My favorite version is by Martina McBride. I get chills every time.

2) Silent Night--This is in Irish, but Enya has such a beautiful voice that I had to include her. My favorite way to hear this one is at the Christmas Eve service with all the lights off, candles flickering, and nothing but guitar and two vocalists. But I also loved when Six's first grade friends sang it in German at the school choir concert.

Merry Christmas Darling--Karen Carpenter. She had such a smooth, clean voice. (This entry is totally for Dan. My friend Holli is either falling asleep or vomiting right now at just the mention of this song.)

4) Happy Xmas (War is Over)--If you can get over Lennon's blatant, in your face political statement and just enjoy the music, it's lovely. Shame about Yoko being crazy and all, but I love the sound of this song.

5) Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time--Sir Paul has such a nice voice. Dan doesn't care for this one, but he likes Karen Carpenter, so clearly he doesn't know what he's talking about.

6) Let It Snow--as recorded by Ricochet when my friend Junior Bryant was still in the band. We listen to this on CD every year when we're putting up the tree.

7) Away in a Manger--I like it best when it's sung by little kids at church. Or my own children. Because, according to those wise prophets, Destiny's Child, "Christmas was made for de chidruns."

8) Carol of the Bells--I loved how it sounded when we played it on handbells at my grandmother's church. So beautiful.

9) Blue Christmas--Elvis' rendition is the one true blue Christmas. Accept no substitutes.

10) Please Come Home for Christmas--You know what I'm talking about..."Baby Please Come Home." The Eagles version absolutely rocked, but Jon Bon Jovi sang it well too. If you watch his video, he and Cindy Crawford practically do the nasty right there on screen...because nothing says Christmas like simulated nookie.

12) White Christmas--Bing Crosby, Marjorie Reynolds in HOLIDAY INN. Enough said. (We'll just pretend that her voice was not overdubbed by Martha Mears. Let me have this one moment, people!)

13) The Christmas Song--Nat King Cole. Rough song if your name is Chet (think about it--take your time), but it's a classic all the same.

Baby It's Cold Outside--the way Bette Midler and James Caan sang it on the FOR THE BOYS soundtrack. Just love it.

15) Anything from the Rankin/Bass 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie. "We're a Couple of Misfits, There's Always Tomorrow, the Isle of Misfit Toys, etc. Throw snowballs if you must, but I love all the animated cheesiness.

16) The Christmas Waltz--Frank Sinatra. Who doesn't love a Christmas message in three quarter time?

17) I'll Be Home for Christmas--Frank Sinatra. This song chokes me up every time. I think about all the soldiers who would rather be at home with their families.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas--Frank Sinatra. That's right. All Frank, all the time. You got a problem with that?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Most Hated Christmas Songs

I admit it--I'm a Scrooge. Christmas time is hard for me because I look around and see so much waste and stress and overeating and just, ARGH, busy-ness that it makes me wonder what Jesus would think about the way we celebrate HIS birthday. I refuse to be one of those people who maxes out her credit cards going into debt to buy cheap plastic action figures that will be broken or forgotten by March but I'll still be paying interest on in freakin' June!

So in the interest of maintaining my Scrooge-y reputation, here's a list (in no particular order) of the worst holiday songs in history. Feel free to leave comments if you agree. Or, heck, even if you disagree because I can take it.

1) Christmas Shoes--Oh my gosh, is there anything more maudlin than this song? "Sir I need to buy these shoes for my mama because she's going to meet Jesus soon and I think some red stiletto 'do me' heels would be really appropriate when she meets her savior." Oh barf.
I'm depressed enough at the holidays--I sure don't need MORE things to make me cry.

2) The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)--Or, really, anything by those vile chipmunks. If God had intended for rodents to sing he'd have given them real voices. Simon, Theodore, and Alvin must die.

3) All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth--(Lord help me, more chipmunks) Well whoever knocked them out for you didn't hit you hard enough because you're still singing!!

4) Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer--This song just perpetuates the belief that everyone in the South is a barefoot, cousin-marryin', pick-up drivin', egg-nog swillin' Nascar fan.

5) The Little Drummer Boy--also known as The Longest, Most Monotonous, Repetitive Song in History, but that title didn't sell well. The one and only exception to this rule is the Bing/Bowie version just because, well, it's Bing Crosby. He could sing my grocery list and I'd listen. I LOVE this version because it veers so far away from the original Drummer Boy drivel that it's beautiful. When Bowie belts out the "Peace on Earth" part in his lovely high voice while Bing is "Rum Pum Pum Pumming" in his buttery low voice...well, I get chills. But every other version of this song is unbearable.

6) Jingle Bells (as sung by Barbra Streisand)--Wow. Smoke crack much, Babs? My kids heard this and said, "What's wrong with her? She's singing WAY too fast." Exactly.

7) I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas--Stupid song, no matter who sings it.

8) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (as sung by Wayne Newton)--Okay, so he was a kid when he did it, but still.

9) Dominic the Donkey--What the heck were these people thinking? There are no words. My mind is boggled.

10) Oh Holy Night (as sung by Cher)--It's pretty bad when even Paul Shaffer makes fun of the way you sing.

I'm sure there are more, but I'll save them for another day. As Clarice (Rudolph's girlfriend) would say, "There's Always Tomorrow...."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wet Hair, Dry Book

Today I realized what a complete book lover I really am. Not that anyone around me is surprised by this.

I went downtown for my annual well woman exam. Again. Ahem. It was pouring down rain so I was doing the mad dash from the parking garage across the street to the hospital entrance.

side bar: Why do we do this? Are we somehow less wet because we moved faster through the drops of rain?

Anyway, I had a hardcover book from the library with me and I didn't want it to get wet so I tucked it under my sweater as I ran. One of the valet parking guys (the same ones from yesterday who were no more helpful today) said, "You know, most women would hold the book over their head to keep their hair dry."

I think I gasped. I scowled at him and kept walking, too outraged by his blasphemous statement to respond. Get a hardcover book--one that's not even mine, by the way--WET? What was he smoking? My hair will eventually dry, but the book could've been ruined. My hairstyle was beyond repair, but my precious book remained relatively unscathed.

For those of you keeping score at home, it was another Lisa Scottoline book, THE VENDETTA DEFENSE. I love her characters.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Welcome to today's post, in which I confirm that I have lost my mind.

I drove to downtown Nashville today for my annual well woman exam. (And of course you know how much I was looking forward to THAT!) After fighting rush hour traffic, finding a place to park (playing the "drive 'round the garage" game for a few minutes), I ran across the street, through the valet guys standing around smoking (Hello? Where were they when I was trying to park?), rushed into the office and signed in at 9:00 on the dot.

Then I waited, waited, waited.

I was the only one in the waiting room, so I know they weren't backed up with patients or anything. Finally, after twenty minutes of being completely ignored by the lady on the other side of the sliding glass window, I tapped on it ever so politely and said, "Hi, I just wanted to make sure you guys know I'm here."

The nurse and receptionist both looked at me and said, "Why are you here?"
Me: Um, because I have a 9:00 appointment.
Them: No you don't.
Me: Uh, yes I do.
Nurse: No, your appointment was last week. You missed it.
Me: internal cursing
Receptionist: We wondered why you were sitting out there.
Me: (internally--And it never occurred to you to, oh I don't know, ASK ME THAT QUESTION
instead of sitting there silently wondering???!!)
(externally) Well great. Now what do I do?
Nurse: Well, we won't be back until January. Unless you can come in tomorrow.

So I made an appointment for tomorrow AND THEN I remembered that my mom is supposed to be coming over tomorrow! ARGH! Where's my brain? I'll tell you where my brain children stole it from me!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mourning Kate

A year ago a friend of mine died and I'm remembering her today.

Okay, she wasn't truly a friend of mine because I never met her face to face. But I feel like I know her because she read my favorite author's books to me all the time. Her name was Kate Fleming and she was a brilliant, award-winning audio book narrator.

She also just happened to be a lesbian.

The only reason that's significant for me to add (because, quite frankly, it's none of my business or yours) is because her partner, Charlene Strong, was nearly denied the right to say goodbye to Kate. And that really makes me mad.

Kate's death was horrible and tragic enough--she and Charlene did not need the added stress of red-tape, bureaucratic B.S. on top of it. Luckily the hospital staff was able to reach Kate's family in time to let Charlene in. No matter where you stand on the whole same sex marriage issue, it's just plain wrong for someone to die alone while the person they love more than anyone else in the world stands crying on the outside of the room.

Just plain wrong.

Friday, December 14, 2007

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Yesterday's post was so cozy and filled with holiday warm-fuzziness that you wanted to vomit, didn't you? Well, I knew it couldn't last. Here's how Ten looked when he went to school today...
Why, yes, that is a big black eye my oldest child is sporting--thanks for asking. Thank God it happened THIS week instead of right before the play. Wanna know WHY Ten has a shiner? Well let me tell you...sword fighting. Yes, you read that correctly. Sword fighting. Only, not just any sword fighting--this was sword fighting with Dollar Tree plastic swords and shotguns. I'm still a little rusty on the details, but apparently Seven swung wildly and caught Ten in the eye with the butt of a rifle . Clearly Ten needs to work on his defensive maneuvers.

The gun broke upon impact with Ten's face (which just proves how hard-headed that child is) so they were looking for duct tape to repair it. You just can't buy quality $1.00 plastic "Made in Taiwan" toys these days. Otherwise I might never have discovered how the injury happened. I refused to fix the gun, since they were playing too rough with it in the first place, and threw it away.

So this morning at breakfast Seven asked me if I would take him shopping so he could get his brother a new gun for Christmas. Because, you know, that whole "Jesus came to bring peace to the world" thing is overrated. I told him that we would not be celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace with the purchase of weapons of mass destruction.

So then he asked if he could buy a slingshot instead. Hey, at least that's biblical.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome Comfort

Today at work I had a Very Bad Day. No, really. It was BAD. Then I got a note from Ten's teacher that he's not listening in class. Again. So I was feeling pretty bummed, ready to crawl into my flannel PJs with a box of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and a cup of Indian Spiced Chai tea, when I saw this...How precious is that? Seven is reading a book to his older brother because he has an Accelerated Reader test on it tomorrow. Seven says he needs practice reading aloud with inflection and, CLEARLY, Ten needs practice listening. Seven told me he had to wear the Santa hat because it's a book about Santa. But of course!

And if I can completely boast about my kid for a moment, that's a 4.5 Reading Level book. As in, the fifth month of fourth grade. Seven is in FIRST GRADE. So he's totally and for realsies a genius, right?

Just so I don't leave Ten out of the blatant bragging fest, he sat STILL and LISTENED to the whole book without jumping in every time Seven took more than a split nano-second to sound out a word. Ten was the very soul of patient big brother-ness and I'm so very proud of them both.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Seven said...

My seven-year-old is a funny little guy. He loves to dress up in costumes and act goofy, like spinning a spider web. --------->

He's forever saying things that have me scrambling for pen and paper to write them down so I won't forget. Here's a small sampling from Sunday alone.

Seven: When I grow up I'm going to be a painter and an artist.

Me: Really.

Seven: Yep. I'm going to play music like The Beatles and I'm going to paint pictures of Jesus.

Me: Wow. Seriously? The Beatles and Jesus?
Seven: Yep. I'll paint pictures of Jesus in the manger, Jesus on the cross, and Jesus in that tomb where they buried him. And I'll start my paintings when I'm a teenager so I can have a job. And I'll paint them out in the workshop (our storage barn out back) so I won't get paint on the carpet.
Me: Sounds like you have it all planned out. How much will you charge for your paintings?
Seven: Oh, I'll give them away.

Me: But how will you make money?

Seven: I won't charge for the Jesus paintings because I think everybody should have Jesus in their house.

Seven: (while looking at a picture of an Egyptian mummy) Why did people in Egypt wrap their dead relatives in toilet paper?

Seven: (who was running around the house in sweatshirt and little white briefs) Mommy, I'm going to go outside to play.

Me: Okay, but you should probably put on pants first. It may be warm, but it's December. It's not THAT warm.

Seven: I'm already wearing a sweatshirt so I just need to put on pants with long sleeves.

The kids were playing out in the workshop and I looked outside to see Seven standing in the doorway with bare feet. So I opened the window and called out, "Why are you barefoot?"

Seven: (holding up his socks) Well, we're playing hide-and-seek and I didn't want (Ten) to find me so I took off my socks and placed them behind something so he'd think I was hiding there. Pretty clever, huh?

Seven came downstairs in a red sweatsuit with a belt and a Santa hat.
Seven: Hi, I'm Santa.
Me: Wow, Santa, you look a little different.
Seven: (putting his hands on his belly) Yeah, I shaved my beard and cut down on my sugar.

Then later, after another costume change, he ran into the room in a Santa hat, a big red clown nose, a red Superman cape, and his tiny white briefs, with his hands on his hips Super Hero style and announced...


He's so weird. Must get that from his father.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Little Performers

Ya'll better take a step back because I'm so bursting with pride the electric vibe might just jump through the computer and give you a jolt. Prepare for a Major Mommy Brag...First, the choir/band concert. Thursday night the boys performed in their first choir concert at school. Since it's a K-8 arts magnet school, we were expecting musical greatness. We were NOT disappointed. It was wonderful! They sang several folk songs and Christmas carols, many in three part harmony. The K and First graders sang Silent Night in German. So cute! Here's a picture of the kiddos right before the concert.

They also had three performances of their play, Once Upon a Dream--A Cinderella Tale, this week. Two performances were during the day for their peers at school, then last night was the BIG public performance. Oh. My. Gosh. It was SO amazing. Well, okay, there were a few glitches during the day performances. Like miscued music, forgotten lines, and the tiny little problem of the entire set falling down on the heads of a few stage hands--including yours truly. But it's okay because the curtain was closed. But last night was theatrical perfection! Great, great, wonderful, amazing show. EVERYTHING went right. They were both excellent as Townspeople in the chorus.

<-----In addition to being a Townsperson, Ten was also Cinderella's Footman. He sang, he danced, he said his lines beautifully. He even had a solo, which he sang to Cinderella after the Fairy Godmother transformed her. It was so stinking CUTE! But I think my favorite part of the show was when Ten and the other two mice (who were turned into Cinderella's Coachmen) told jokes during intermission while we were changing the set for the ball scene. The director called me Thursday night--when we were on our way to the choir concert--and said, "Since the set change takes a while, do you think Ten would be willing to come out on stage and tell a few Knock Knock jokes or something?" I just laughed, knowing he'd love it and that we'd need a hook to pull him offstage afterwards. I was up 'til after midnight Googling Cinderella jokes. The other mice/Coachmen joined him in the comic relief and were hilarious. Here's a shot of Mom and me with the boys after the daytime performance on Friday. I was even more exhausted than I look.
And here's one of the boys with Seven's little girlfriend (who is at least a foot taller than he is) after the Friday night performance. Ten was hamming it up in the photo, as usual.

Most of the shots with my camera are too dark, but I lightened them up at Snapfish. Problem is, I can't post those because Snapfish owns the edited versions. I can post the link to see them, but not the actual photos. Email me if you want to see all the pictures from the show.

Oh, and after the last performance the director called me up on stage to thank me for helping her and being there for every rehearsal, performance, etc. And she gave me these great flowers in the school colors. I had such a good time working with all the extremely talented kids in this production. But I have to admit I'm excited about getting my afternoons back. :-) At least until the next performance.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Things You Only Hear in Preschool

I teach Four- and Five-Year Olds four days a week. The school is part of a church, which means I'm not supposed to cuss at the little darlings. Some days that's easier said than done. Most of them are precious, wonderful, adorable pumpkins and I enjoy every minute I get to spend with them. Then there are the others. Ugh.

I doubt that many tax attorneys, pharmacists, or insurance agents encounter the same kinds of challenges that I do on a daily basis. Because there are just some things that you only hear in preschool. Here are a few totally true examples from my school.

From the kids:
1) "Well, you know I'm gonna kick your butt." (It was directed at me and I didn't even drop kick the child. I have such restraint!)

2) "I used to be able to fly."

3) "Cats don't eat cat food. They eat banana food."

4) "I have two titties." (She meant to say "kitties.")

5) "My daddy killed a deer and pulled its heart out."

6) "My daddy gots a really big belt."

7) "I gots a pony at my home. He sleeps in my bed."

8) "Mommy says I shouldn't touch my pee pee at school--but it itches!"

9) "Watch this," as the little girl pulls her arms inside the sleeve of her dress, "I can touch my panties!"

10) "Do you have hair on your privates?"

11) "Mrs. Teble, Ben is tattling."

Question and answer: (some unusual answers to our questions)
1) Teacher: "What month is it, class?"
Child: "Octember!"

2) Teacher: "What day of the week is it?"
Child: "Santa Claus!"

3) Teacher: "What do you stuff a turkey with?"
Child: "A dog!"

4) Teacher: "Why did you put cheese up your nose?"
Child: "Because I didn't think it would fit."

5) Teacher: "Today we're making a pattern. Red, Green, Red, Green, Red... What comes next?"
Child: (waving arms excitedly) "CIRCLE!"

6) Teacher: "I've told you several times not to climb up the slide. Why do you keep climbing UP the slide?"
Child: "Because it's there."

From the teachers:
1) "Please sit criss-cross applesauce on the carpet and catch a bubble in your mouth."

2) "Please get your finger out of your nose."

3) "Please get your finger out of your friend's nose."

4) "Please stop licking the floor." (or the bottom of your shoes, the table, the sidewalk, the white board, etc.)

5) "Please stop chewing on your sleeves." (or your shoelaces, your collar, your hair, your hair bow, your bracelet, etc.)

6) "Please take your hand out of your pants."

7) "Please take your hand out of your friend's pants." (Actually, you might just hear that one in a grown-up workplace. That's called "sexual harassment" boys and girls.)

8) "Sometimes you just have to shoot the monkey." (Please don't ask me to explain this--but if you teach Pre-K with me, you're probably laughing right now.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dress rehearsal

Just a quick note to show you how stinkin' cute my boys are in their costumes for the Cinderella play, Once Upon a Dream. We were doing a last minute fitting Sunday night because dress rehearsals started Monday after school. I finished Seven's fitting and started working on Ten. Seven decided to kill time by playing his guitar. He looks like a little minstrel, doesn't he?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Of course, then Ten wanted to be in the picture too, so we let him borrow Uncle Ted's mandolin. My mom made their hats (along with several more to share with the other cast members). Are they adorable or what?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And I'm not AT ALL biased in any way, even if my kids are the cutest ones in the whole show. We only have two more dress rehearsals before opening day and the set isn't built yet. Cross your fingers!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Is your family weird too?

Okay, let's be real...everybody's family is weird in some way. The question should be How weird is your family? With this holiday time of togetherness I can't help but notice that my family is slightly bent. Okay, they're twisted as a corkscrew.

Does your family have any special quirks that seem to get handed down through the generations? I blogged about that Friday, mostly because I knew my mom would be shopping and would be too busy to know I was talking about her online. Again. But because Mom is threatening to take back all the new clothes she bought me, I decided to share the goods on Dad. Hey, I'm an equal opportunity parent teaser!

Dad's high school band marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade back in the 1960s when he played the trumpet. They also played the Rose Bowl parade and several others. They were really Good! Go Litton Marching 100! Anyway, every year when I was a kid we'd turn on the Macy's parade and play it in the background while we cooked. Or, more accurately, watched Mom cook. And every year, without fail, my dad would say, "Did I ever tell you that I marched in that parade?" And then (even when we'd say, yes you tell us every year) he'd proceed to describe, in detail, every part of his parade experience.

Well, when I got old enough to realize what he was doing I turned it against him. Because that's the kind of good kid I was. Am. Whatever. I'd say something like, "Daddy, come quick. There are strange balloon characters taking over the streets of New York! What's going on, Daddy? I'm scared!" Even when I moved away, I'd call home and say something like, "Hey Dad, there's a parade in New York. Have you ever heard of it?"

Now that I'm a responsible adult and parent (snort), I get Ten to call his Grandpa and do the job for me every year--because I take my responsibility to raise the next generation of smart asses very seriously. ;-) But just to keep him guessing, I didn't call this year. Hey, you gotta keep those parents guessing--never let them see it coming.

Botching the Lyrics

My mother has an uncanny ability to sing the wrong words for a song. This is not an unusual phenomenon. You know the old CCR song, “There’s a bad moon on the rise”? You’ve probably heard of someone thinking the song said, "There's a bathroom on the right." Yep. That'd be my mom.

Also “wrapped up like a deuce another roller in the night,” (“Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) was turned into “wrapped up like a douche another runner in the night” when my mom sang along with the radio. But, okay, I can see that. She’s not the only one to make those mistakes. At least the bathroom thing makes sense as a sentence and the second one...well, it does sound like he’s singing “douche.” Don't believe me? Just listen.

But the most bizarre botched lyric my mom ever sang was “Walking on a Thin Line,” the Huey Lewis and the News song that says, "Doncha know me, I'm the boy next door."

One day we were driving down the road and for some completely incongruous reason my mom starts singing along with the radio, “Doncha know me, I’m the photomat store.” What?! I looked at her and said, “Mom? What the heck are you saying?” And then she repeated it. She really had no idea that those words made no sense whatsoever. Like the guy would be singing that he’s a photomat store to the woman he loves. Mom is nuts. Sad but true.

Unfortunately my oldest son seems to have inherited the botched lyric gene. A few months ago we were driving to Ohio to visit the in-laws, listening to the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night album. We were belting out the song “Any Time at All” when I heard him singing something strange. I asked him to repeat it and he sang, “Eddie has a skull. Eddie has a skull.” Try it. Sing along. It fits, in a weird sort of way.

Last night, on the way to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner we added a new botched lyric to his collection. Seven was singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” since his class sang it in the Veterans’ Day program at school. Ten said, “What does it mean when they sing ‘adjusted by a pony?’” Huh? We finally figured out that he was referring to the line “Yankee Doodle went to town, a-ridin’ on a pony.” Seven messed up and sang, “Just to buy a pony,” which Ten heard as “adjusted by a pony.”

I’m telling you, that botched lyric gene must skip a generation or something. What a weird legacy my mom left for my child.

What strange quirks does your family have? Anything that's being passed down through the generations, guaranteeing lots of crazy descendants? Leave me a comment.

And don't forget to shop at Linens N Things for everyone on your Christmas list! ;-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Getting Elfed

My friend, Rebekah, who is a pastor in Canada, sent me the link to get elfed. Check out Ten, Seven, and Lily as dancing elves...

Too funny.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things I'm Thankful for...

Well, with this being my inaugural blog, I thought it would be a really good time to be positive. That spirit might not last. My husband works in retail so I won't be seeing him much until January. I tend to get a bit melancholy during the holidays with him gone so much. So here are ten things I'm thankful for...

1) My husband. I'm married to my best friend and one of the best people I've ever met. He's an amazing dad, a good boss (to his employees--not to me :-)), and I love him with all my heart, even if he does forget to clean up after himself. Plus, he plays guitar and that's really sexy.

2) My oldest son. Ten is one of the most intelligent, creative, and infuriating kids I know. He's a wonderful storyteller, singer, and big brother. He looks at everything from a different perspective than the rest of the world. He could be a great lawyer someday because he loves to argue.

3) My youngest son. Seven is the child that every teacher says is their favorite student. He's better at brown-nosing than anyone I've ever met. He's sweet, bright, cuddly, and always knows just when I need a hug.

4) My dog. Lily is 80 pounds of big, furry walking buddy. Although I'm not always delighted to see her at 5:30 in the morning, she's always, always deliriously happy to see me. She positively vibrates with excitement at the mention of the W word and loves me unconditionally, no matter what kind of hair day I'm having.

5) My cholesterol level--which is 37 points lower than it was six months ago, mostly due to walks with #4 on my list. I've lost about 15 pounds since March and dropped my triglycerides by 95 points. But I still remember the days when I could eat anything I wanted and never worry about it. Sigh. I miss my twenties.

6) My first grade teacher and my library. Because she made us read a book every night, I became a really good reader. Because the library lets me borrow books rather than buy them, I can afford to feed my children.I don't know what I'd do without my books. I'm the only person I know who has an emergency book in her car at all times--the way normal people carry jumper cables and water bottles. I never want to get caught anywhere without a book. I'm currently working my way through Lisa Scottoline's backlist. She's been called "the female John Grisham" by People magazine because she writes legal thrillers, but she's way better than Grisham, IMO.

7) Easy Mac. Where was this wonder food when I was in college? My roommate and I never had fresh milk, so even Kraft macaroni and cheese in the big blue box was beyond our cooking capabilities most days. But through the miracle of modern science, it's now possible to make a delicious meal with only water and four minutes in the microwave. Thank God. If it weren't for Easy Mac, Ten would probably starve.

8) My other best friend. The one I'm not sleeping with. My best girlfriend, teaching partner, neighbor, and all-around great person. A girl who says "Sure!" when I say, "Hey, I have a great idea for a Halloween costume. Let's dress as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." This photo is from last year (Halloween 2006) and she's lost more than fifty pounds since then while I've lost a mere fifteen. She's one of those people that you never hear anyone say a cross word about. Everybody loves her because she's so darn nice. Why she's still hanging around with the likes of me is a complete mystery, but one for which I'm eternally grateful. And tomorrow is her birthday, which means I like her even more because she's my age again. Happy birthday, Grace.

9) My Mom--who doesn't bat an eye when I say, "Hey can you make two medieval muffin caps for the boys' costumes for the school play? By next week?" At least I don't think she batted an eye. I made the request through email, so for all I know she was cussing me out. But I bet my kids will have the cutest headwear in the play. Thanks, Mom.

10) My iPod--a gift from #1 two years ago. This magical device makes it possible to "read" a book while doing tasks which are impossible to do while reading. I love audio books. Laundry has never been so entertaining.

I hope all my friends have a super-long list of things you're thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!