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?

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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?

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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!