Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fun Day at the Park

Today our realtor held an Open House at our place. Only ONE couple showed up but, hey, that's two more people than we had the first four weeks it was on the market! They loved the house but it's not right for them. Sigh. They have some neighbors who might be interested, so maybe something good will come out of this.

Since we had to be gone for two hours, we packed the dog up in the car and headed out to the park. We had a really good time, even if we did end up covered with dog hair and drool.

More brownie bites, Dan?

Dan's boss had a party at her house Saturday afternoon and the boys went with us. Jill served the most wonderful brownie bites and the boys wanted more. They couldn't understand why Daddy could eat as many as he wanted, but they could only have two.

Ten (to his Daddy): How come you can have more but I can't?

Dan: Because I'm twice as big as you.

Ten: No you're not.

Dan: Oh yeah? How much do you weigh?

Ten: About 72 pounds.

Dan: See? I'm more than twice your size.

Ten: No, you're not twice my
size. You're twice my WEIGHT.

.....Everyone in the room started cracking up.....

Dan: (rolling his eyes) Thanks a lot, son. I'm sure that's going on Mommy's blog tomorrow.

Me: Oh yeah. That's SO going on the blog!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not Clueless

We were playing Clue a few nights ago with the boys and Seven drove us crazy. Remember Clue? Miss Scarlet in the Billiards Room with a Wrench? Well, you've never played with Seven! He kept leaning sideways and accidentally showing me his cards. He'd make a Suggestion and then forget to write down the clues when someone proved him wrong. He'd roll and count the spaces with his game piece, count wrong, and have to start all over again--except he'd forget where he started from. He'd forget to move the character and weapon to the room where he was making Suggestions. ARGH! I kept getting frustrated with him and assumed that he had no clue what was going on in the game.

Ten, our impulsive, impatient, know-it-all child, jumped in and made an Accusation because he was SURE he knew the answer. Of course he got it wrong so he was out of the game. Next Seven said he wanted to make an Accusation too. We figured he was just copying his big brother because he hadn't been paying attention at all (or so it seemed) so we tried to talk him out of it. But he was adamant so we let him make his Accusation.

I'll be darned if that little tike didn't win the whole game! Sneaky little deductive reasoning monster. All that time we thought he was just goofing off, but he was soaking it all in. We were so impressed with our little detective.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekly Wrap-up

I've been going to professional development workshops all week long and I've met some of the nicest people in the world. I only got to meet two people who teach at my new school, but I've been "adopted" by some wonderful women at Howard Elementary. They are the coolest chicks ever! I learned lots of neat stuff and can't wait to try it out in my classroom. I even won a copy of the book written by the author of today's workshop. AND I have the opportunity to take part in a program for social studies which would end with a trip to Washington, D.C. next June. Oh, and did I mention that the trip is FREE?

Today after class I went to look at a few more houses. One we'd already seen and I want to move in tomorrow. One was awesome--right across the street from the lake. You can look out any window on the front of the house and see water!--and the rest were just so-so. As we were leaving the last house my realtor said, "So do you think you can fit this sign in your trunk?"

Me: Uh, what sign?

Him: The "Open House" sign.

Me: Oh! Are you having one of those?

Him: Yes.

Me: Okay, great! When?

Him: Sunday.

Me: Sunday? As in two days from now, Sunday?

Him: Yes, because next Sunday is a holiday weekend. Didn't I tell you ?

Me: ~

So, I'll be cleaning the house until it's super-duper shiny tomorrow because I have to teach Sunday school that morning. AND we have to go to a party for Dan's boss because she's leaving the company, so I'll have to clean very early tomorrow. Darn it, I was really hoping to sleep in Saturday morning after getting up at six every day this week--not that I'd be able to do that with two kids and a dog, but a girl can dream, right?-- but now I'll have to clean.

But at least someone will FINALLY be coming to see my house. At least they better! I think I'll assign Grace to stake-out duty so she can tell me who comes over. Pay no attention to the redhead across the street with the binoculars, folks!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guess who Dad saw Wednesday!

Dad was at an antiques store today looking at something...

Digression: I sure hope it was a house-warming gift for me. Perhaps a stackable Barrister's bookcase? Hint, hint. But I digress.

...and he heard the shop owner say something like, "Well, great. So you think that's going to do it for you, then?"

Then he heard an accented woman's voice say something like, "Yes, this will do nicely."

He looked up and saw a very tall woman who was very thin--except for an enormous pregnant belly. He noticed that she was wearing a baseball cap pulled low on her forehead. He also noticed that she had skin like a plate of fine China. He said he'd never seen skin that white. He didn't think much about it until he saw the fella standing next to her.

It was Keith Urban.

He looked at the woman again more closely after that. He said even with the very pregnant belly and the baseball cap she was one of the prettiest women he'd ever seen.

Then he called Mom's cell phone (I was at lunch with her) and asked, "Who is Keith Urban's wife?" So I told Mom to tell him her name is Nicole Kidman. So he told us the antiques store tale. Then he said, "Tell Teble they asked about her so I told them she's doing just fine."

Smart alec.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friend of Dorothy?

Mom and I went to lunch today without my kids (YAY!) at a Mexican restaurant (YUM!) and we were talking about a teacher I saw at a professional development workshop yesterday. I asked mom if she remembered this teacher because her husband is an elected public figure. She told me that, yes, she did remember this teacher and her husband. Here's the conversation that followed...

Mom: Yes I remember him; he's "friends with Dorothy."

Me: [big eyed] Really? He is? [thinking, Wow, look at Mom using the hip lingo! I didn't know she knew what that meant.]

Mom: Yes--and he used to beat up on his wife.

Me: Wow! Really? That's terrible.

Mom: Oh yeah.

Me: Was it because he's gay? You know, like he was taking his frustration out on her because she's not a man and he's forced to hide what he is?

Mom: WHAT?!

Then I had to explain to Mom that calling someone a "friend of Dorothy" means he's gay. She was referring to a mutual friend of ours (and, apparently, this very heterosexual wife abuser) who is NAMED DOROTHY. Mom had heard the expression before, but that's definitely NOT what she meant.

As long as she's not calling him a "cake boy" or a "disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand-ticket-holding, friend of Dorothy" then it's okay.

Otherwise I'll know my Mom's been Netflixing "Clueless." And then I'll start to worry.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anybody wanna buy a slightly used labrador retriever?

I'll sell her to! So here's what I did today:

And here's what Lily did five minutes later....

She loves to dig up the dirt under the table and then burrow in where it's nice and cool. Stupid dog.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Total Time Sink

Because I Didn't Have Quite Enough Ways to Waste Time on my Computer Before...
I have become addicted to adding Pieces of Flair to my Facebook page. And the Facebook pages of everyone I know. I wonder if there's a twelve step program for it?

And more random thoughts for this Saturday afternoon...

Two songs I'm totally sick of because my kids sing them constantly after VBS: The Chocolate Milk song and The Campfire Song Song (no, I didn't type that twice accidentally). Have you heard these?
Yes? Then you feel my pain. No? Well here you go.

Forget the verses because the kids only know the chorus on this one. Just picture the huge sanctuary packed out with kids spelling out "I love chocolate milk." Seeing the words doesn't quite capture essence of the song:

I- (I) L-O-V-E- (L-O-V-E) C-H-O-C- (C-H-O-C) O-L-A-T-E- (O-L-A-T-E) M-I-L-K (M-I-L-K)

What does that say?

It says, I love chocolate milk...huh!

I love chocolate milk! I love chocolate milk!

And who could forget the ever-popular Campfire Song Song, as immortalized by that musical genius, SpongeBob SquarePants?

I think I'm going to scream if I hear them again.

I got my new e.l.f. makeup in the mail and it's just a sad testimony of my life that I was crazy excited about it. Unfortunately three of the pieces I ordered were missing. But I emailed them and I still have twelve new makeup-y girly things to play with.

I'm over the whole keep the house spotless just in case someone calls to see it thing. It'll never happen. We're never going to sell this place because there appears to be some kind of black hole over my neighborhood. Or maybe it's just my house. Must be some kind of Klingon cloaking device--it's invisible to buyers and their realtors. Or, because Murphy's Law is alive and well in my life, once the house is well and truly trashed again that's when someone will call. Maybe I should go vacuum.

Tonight my oldest child nearly died. By my hand. He bellowed from downstairs, "I'm hungry! Woman, come fix me some dinner!"

Oh. No. He. Di'int.
Oh yes, he did.

See, when his daddy says something like that as a joke, it's faintly amusing. When my ten-year-old says it, flames come shooting out of Mommy's ears. After sitting in time-out for about twenty minutes, he was really hungry. And very apologetic.

Garage sale finds this weekend--
Me: giant dog crate so I can get another dog when we move. Yes. I will.
My mom (purchased for me and stored at her house until we move): twin mattress and box springs for Ten's new bed. Stereo for one of the boys' rooms. Lots of books for my classroom. Clothes for me--new with tags. I know there's something else I'm forgetting. Why, yes, I am spoiled rotten. Thank you very much.

Okay, gotta go add more flair...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rap Star

It appears that we have another musician in the family.

Although not a very good one.

Seven was just "rapping" the following song:

Yo, yo, yo
My name is Joe
I broke my toe on a Cheerio.

How does one break one's toe on a Cheerio? I have no idea, but this little rap has become Seven's new favorite song. He says he learned it from his good buddy, J.C. so I know why he was singing it.

Because J.C. is just that cool.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Am SO Not Worthy

We're fixin' to have us some church up in here.

Today at VBS was absolutely amazing. It was the day we teach the Gospel story, also known in VBS teacher circles as Decision Day. After hearing the story of Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection three days later, we give the kids (particularly the older kids) a chance to pray about it and come talk to a leader if they want to make a decision to follow Christ.

I'll be honest with you: this always makes me feel a little squeamish. I don't want to pressure anyone or cram the Holy Spirit down anyone's throat, but especially not a young, impressionable kid. I've been to church services where the Pastor has the Worship Leader and praise band keep playing the same chorus over and over AND OVER again for an altar call until you're so sick of the song you could scream. You're praying for someone, ANYONE, to walk down front to the altar not because you're worried about their eternal salvation but because your stomach is growling and you know that all the Methodists (or insert the "rival" church of your choice) are going to get to the Shoney's and totally scarf the buffet before you get out of the service!


I hate that kind of pressure. I hate when the pastoral staff members feel like failures unless people come sobbing to the altar. Or when they gloat at staff meeting later in the week because five people answered the call in their service that week. Hello? It's not a cause to pat yourselves on the back and puff out your chest. It's not about the church staff; it's about the kingdom!

But, having said all that, I'm celebrating tonight because three girls in my 4th and 5th grade group today accepted Christ and are going to heaven. Wow. How cool is that?

I made the guy I'm teaching with pray with them and lead them through it all because I felt so overwhelmed by the whole thing. I'm so not worthy. It's still hard for me to believe that all you have to do is say a prayer and you can have eternal life. I kept waiting for someone to say, "No, I'm sorry but you're not good enough. See, only the good people are allowed to do this. Didn't you get the memo?" You know, it seems like there should be some sort of form you fill out and then wait three to five weeks to get your approval letter back in the mail with your Heaven Membership Card and numeric code to pass through the pearly gates. And of course they'd send me a very nicely worded rejection letter:

Thank you for your interest in our Eternal Life program. We're sorry, but you don't meet our minimum requirements for membership. We'll pray for your soul as you burn in hell. Thank you and have a nice damnation.

But, thankfully, it doesn't work that way.

If you want to see an example of the sinner's prayer, go here. If you feel that's something you want to do, be sure to talk to someone at your local church. You can also talk to me about it, but I'll probably stammer and flail around and find someone else, someone MUCH wiser and intelligent, for you to talk to.

Because I still feel unworthy and tongue-tied at the magnitude of leading people through the most important decision they'll ever make. Oh, the pressure.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why, yes, I CAN walk on water

Today at VBS we did the story about Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on water when Jesus told him to. That is, until he stopped focusing on Jesus and started to get scared and then he sank. He cried out to Jesus to save him and Jesus lifted him back out of the water. So today I had the kids walk on water as a demonstration.


We didn't actually walk on plain old water but we walked across a "non-Newtonian fluid." I'd tell you what it's made of, but then I'd have to kill you. It's top secret Bible Blast scientist information. But if you've ever made ooblik, you already know. As long as we kept moving we stayed on the surface but the minute we stopped walking we'd sink. Man, that was SO MUCH FUN!!! Messy, but fun.

If you attend Smyrna First Baptist, please give Mr. Henley some extra love this week because he had a HUGE mess to clean up after today's lesson.

And for those of you who asked, Seven's head is much better today. When my mom saw it she was surprised that I didn't take him to get stitches. Um, no, I took him to Chili's to get chicken crispers instead because that's what all Mother of the Year candidates would do.

Oh, and Dan thought I looked so cute in my scientist outfit that he took a picture of me before I left today:

Very nerdy huh? I'm too sexy for my lab coat, yeah baby.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's All Fun and Games 'til Someone Starts Bleeding from the Head

I forgot to tell you about Seven's head injury. No, really.

Today I was talking to my friend Cathy at church. We were getting ready to leave for the day and my kids were rough-housing. Someone tripped someone else (the kids were a wee bit fuzzy on the deets) and somehow Seven's head got slammed into the wall. Apparently the corner of the wall.

I heard it hit but didn't think much about it. They're boys after all. He teared up a little but he does that a lot so, again, I didn't worry overmuch. I sent the kids to separate corners and gave them the MOM EYE, and then continued my conversation with Cathy. On the way to the car I reminded the boys that that's WHY we shouldn't wrestle--because eventually someone is going to get hurt.

We were in the car on the way to Chili's for lunch when Ten said, "Uh, Mom? His head is bleeding."

Me: ~

Seven: I just rubbed my head and now there's blood on it. See?

I've never been one to faint at the sight of blood, but it's generally not coming out of my wee baby child's HEAD!

We went to Chili's anyway because he said he still wanted to go and I figured How bad can it be? Um, pretty bad. As in, hair matted with blood bad. As in, It's still bleeding bad. He started crying when I tried to clean it in the restaurant's bathroom but he didn't want to go home either. That boy does love his chicken crispers.

Man, this raising boys thing isn't for wimps.

So today I gave some kids leprosy...

No really. Okay, it was actually little red dot stickers. And it was actually yesterday. But yesterday I had a killer migraine and I was too busy moaning and holding an ice pack on my head to blog. Today I didn't give anybody leprosy but I did make some kids blind. But, hey, I spread mud on their faces and healed them afterword so cut me some slack.

Really it was oatmeal, which I cooked in extremely large quantities at home before going to church this morning. I made about one hundred times more oatmeal than we needed, but that's okay. Today's theme was "God gives us the power to help others," and we talked about Jesus giving the blind man sight. I got to be a nerdy scientist complete with a lab coat, taped-up glasses, pigtails, and a fake lab ID. We blindfolded the kids and made them walk around to get the feeling of being blind. Then I told them about Jesus scooping up some dirt, spitting in it, and putting it on the blind beggar's eyes to heal him. I totally had those kids convinced that I was rubbing Teble-spit-and-dirt in their eyes. Too much fun!

Yesterday's theme was thankfulness and we did the lesson about Jesus healing the ten lepers and only one of them came back to thank him. Seven went to a different group for the skit so he didn't get to see Mommy as a scientist but he totally GOT the lesson. When he came home he told me all about it and said, "Mommy, I want to be like the ONE, not like those NINE."

Sigh. I love vacation bible school.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best Quotes from our Trip

1) Seven and Dan (tie). The Scene--Seven and Ten were upstairs in the loft where they were supposed to be sleeping. Dan, Ted, Cathy, and their mom and I were gabbing away at the kitchen table when I heard laughter from the loft. I told the boys to be quiet and go to sleep.

Ten, laughing: But he bit me!

Me: Really? Wow. That's really a shame. So how did he taste?

Seven: He tasted......bitter.

All Adults: cracking up with laughter

Dan: With a dash of resentment?

2) Ted. (While bicycling in the rain with Cathy, Jean, and I): Great. This is the closest I'll ever come to attending a wet T-shirt contest and the contestants are my sister, her best friend, and my brother's wife. Perfect.

3) Seven. The scene: Dan and I were talking about cooties because I took a sip out of his water bottle and he said it was okay because we already passed germs when we kissed.

Seven: So you guys have already kissed on the lips?

Me: Yes, honey. We're married so we've kissed on the lips before.

Seven: (dreamily) What does it feel like?
(Look out, Sherry. You might want to lock Rachel up in the bell tower. For about two decades.)

4) Dan's mom. The scene: Dan's mom and dad were sharing cabin #4 with his sister Sandy, her husband, Fred, and their two boys. The boys decided to spend the night with their cousins in cabin #5.

Dan: So Mom, I guess you and Dad and Sandy and Fred will have the place to yourselves tonight, huh?

Mom: Yeah and I better not hear any creaking coming from that bed upstairs.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mohican Adventures

We got back from our family reunion at about midnight last night and I'm on my fourth load of laundry. Bet you didn't even know we were gone, did you? I'm so sneaky because I pre-wrote some blog entries and dated them to appear while we were gone so all those pesky house thieves who follow the blog (snicker!) wouldn't know we were gone. Yep. That's how I roll.

We went to Mohican Adventures and stayed in a great log cabin and had a wonderful time. Between all the Brewers hanging around the place we occupied five SuperLog cabins and had our run of the lake, playgrounds, poolhouse, and beach. The fish were scared, let me tell you. Here are a few things we did during the week:

The boys learned how to ride Go Karts. Seven rode on the Kiddie Track by himself and on the Family Track as a passenger with his dad. Ten got to ride on the Family Track all by himself, much to the horror of the other drivers who tried to pass him. No one bothered to tell Ten that he was supposed to at least attempt to stay between the dotted lines. It's terrifying to think that child could be eligible for a driver's license in less than six years. Seven was a very cautious, if extremely SLOW driver, just like his Daddy.

They watched their cousins fish but weren't too keen on trying it themselves. They didn't have the heart to spear the live worms only to catch and release a fish. They preferred to just watch the fish swim from our private deck overlooking the water. Or feed the gigantic gaggle of geese wandering around between our cabins.

We swam in the indoor pool or at the beach (or both) every day. There were three playgrounds (including a pirate ship) so the boys had fun with their cousins Mitchell, Kyle, Christopher, Nathan, Johnny, and Becca. Not to mention all the new friends Ten made while we were there. He was such a little social director. They also caught tadpoles, had swordfights, played video games, watched cartoons, and ate ice cream each day--a boys' dream vacation.

The boys and I (and their Aunt Cathy and her friend, Jean) miniature golfed 18 holes. The water hazard on hole 10 snared all of us, but overall we did pretty well. I won't tell you who won, but she's the author of this blog. We hit a pizza buffet afterwards where Ten could have won a Guiness Book record for the number of bread sticks consumed by a human in fifteen minutes.

Dan golfed 18 holes also, but he golfed on a real course because he's a big chicken and didn't want to brave the sandstone cave or the windmill. No, really, he did a nine hole course two days in a row with his brothers. Dan and Ted hit from the men's tees because, well, they are men. Their brother, Jack, is the only person we know who can talk smack while hitting from the ladies' tees.

I went on a twelve-mile bike ride with Ted, Cathy, and Jean while Dan watched the kids--not because I had a burning desire to cycle but because it was the only way I could think of to get away from my children for a few hours. We rode at least three of those twelve miles in a pouring rain but none of us minded because that was the only time it rained during the day for the whole trip. We stopped at a nice little antiques store and ice cream shop to wait out the rain with a lovely hot cup of coffee. Oh yeah. True confession time. My seven weeks of being coffee-free came to a screeching halt on this trip. What can I say? Ted brought a giant bag of Starbucks and I woke to the sound of him grinding the coffee beans fresh each morning. No way was I going to pass that up.

We rented paddle boats to cruise our little lake. These things are harder than they look! Ten and I tried to race for a while but then we realized it was easier just to link up with Daddy and Seven's boat and float around. Here's a hint: if you ever decided to paddle boat, don't do it at the hottest part of the day on a boat with no shade in a very thick life jacket. I'm just saying...

The next day we canoed down the river for seven miles. Except for the fact that a certain ten-year-old sat right behind me and hummed the theme song from Johnny Test in my ear for the entire two hour trip, we had a good time. Dan and I proved to be a formidable paddling team, despite the dead weight splashing us from the center of our canoe. Seven was a great little rower (paddler? paddle operator?) from his spot in the back of the boat with Dan. I don't have any pictures of this, but I'm sure my wonderful sister-in-law Cathy will be quick to email me the pictures she and our nephew Christopher took. Because she's so organized and efficient. Ha!

We grilled out on our deck every night for dinner and played a music concert with the whole family in the pavilion each night. People from all over the campground came to listen, sing, or play along. Lots of fun! Our band: Dan on guitar, (we had to leave the mandolin at home to make room for golf clubs), Jack on guitar and banjo, Cathy on guitar and banjo, Ted on violin, everyone singing along. We had guest guitarists and banjo players from other campsites too.

We also soaked in our own little private hot tub before bed every night. A girl could get used to that.

More trip info later, but here are a few of the pictures I took:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is it time for school to start yet?

Children's Conversations Overheard During Summer Break:

Seven: Be still so I can hit you again.
Ten: No!
Seven: C'mon, it's harder to hit you when you're moving!
Ten: Well that's kind of the point!

Seven: Don't you think Lily (our labrador/boxer mix) would look cute in a dress?

Ten: Mom, can we please go to the hospital? (Which sounds really funny taken out of context, but I knew that they wanted to go run in the fountains at Stonecrest.)

Ten: Euuuw. I just stepped in something wet. Well, since it's cold it must not be dog pee.
Seven: Should we clean it up?
Ten: No, Mom will find it later.

Ten: Man, I've got a Frank Sinatra song in my head and I can't get it out.
Seven: I know, just sing the Power Rangers theme song and that will get rid of it.
Ten: Great idea.

Both boys: We have the best Mom in the whole wide world.

Okay, so I didn't really overhear that last one, but I know they were thinking it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Five Senses

Here are a few of my favorite things from each of the five senses:

1) The smell of Brown Sugar & Fig scented products from Bath & Body Works

2) The sound of my dog when she's playful. She sounds just like Chewbacca sometimes. I love the way she can be sound asleep but the minute she hears me pick up her leash she goes completely bonkers in anticipation of a walk.

3) The sight of my kids' neatly made beds every morning since the house went on the market. Although, honestly, I suspect that Ten is just sleeping on top of the comforter so he won't have to actually make the bed each morning. Whatever. The bed looks nice and I didn't have to make it.

4) The taste of fresh, cold grapefruit first thing in the morning on a hot summer day.

5) The feel of Dan's breath on my neck when he gives me a kiss. We've been married seventeen years and he still makes my heart race.

What are your favorite sensory experiences?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Beauty Treatment

My friend Sanna tagged me with this one. I'm not much of a fashion plate, but I'll give this one a try...

My Foundation: Bare Minerals Light and Fairly Light mixed together

My Blush: Bare Minerals Warmth and/or Glee

My Day Cream: Nivea Visage Q10 Advanced Wrinkle Reducer Eye Creme for under my eyes and Clean & Clear advantage oil-free acne moisturizer for the rest of my face.

My Lipstick: L'Oreal Fawn Fatale and another one that I can't remember the name of, but it's rolling around the floor of my car right now because some idiot pulled out in front of me yesterday and I slammed on the brakes and my purse fell off the seat and spilled its contents all over the passenger side of the car.

My Essential Beauty Product: water-proof mascara

My favorite Make-up product: I guess Bare Minerals. I don't really have a favorite.

My Perfume: None. I love scented lotions from Bath & Body Works

My Nails: completely plain

My Feet: My toenails are currently deep purple with white butterflies on my big toes. Very cute. I have a Ped Egg but I keep forgetting to use it.

My hands: whatever lotion is closest. Grace has a B&BW Brown Sugar and Fig lotion/hand sanitizer that she kept in our classroom's cabinet. I love that stuff. I'll have to get some to keep in my desk at school.

Three Products to bring on a deserted island: sunscreen, chapstick, and what does it matter what I look like if I'm on a deserted island? No one can see me!

Women I admire for their beauty: Heidi Klum

Women with the best Sense of Style: Heidi Klum, although I'm giving her a run for her money right now in my baggy navy-blue T-shirt with white deodorant stripes on it, no make-up, and wet hair.

My ultimate dream: When it comes to beauty? Something that will make my forehead wrinkles disappear. Oh, and for the acne to disappear some time before the wrinkles appear because it's not fair to have both at the same time.

My favorite fashion Publication: Unless Ranger Rick and National Geographic for Kids start a fashion section, then I'm out of luck here.

So what are your beauty secrets? Share them in the comments or post on your own blog and link back to me.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More Play Pictures

I finally installed the software for my new camera and uploaded more pictures from the boys' musicals at school. I know, I know, what took me so long?

Oh, just the little matter of trying to sell a house, find a house, have a yard sale, and get ready for a new job, that's all.

So, here they are. Enjoy...

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Mommy

5 Ways I've Been a Bad Mom This Week:
  1. Waited until the kids were asleep and then threw away a bunch of their precious, priceless artwork. Read: pages and pages of scribble drawings on lined notebook paper ripped from a spiral notebook.
  2. Actually told Ten to "shut up" after my ears started to bleed from listening to his non-stop talking, humming, and sound effects.
  3. Ten minutes later put him in time-out for telling his brother to "shut up."
  4. Slightly burned the bacon I made for them because I was unloading the dryer and forgot about it. (But they scarfed it down without a complaint.)
  5. Yelled, "WHAAAAT?!" in a very frustrated tone after the ten millionth time I heard them say, "Hey MOM?"
5 Ways I've Been a Good Mom This Week:
  1. Managed to ignore most of the arguing (even though they drove me crazy) so that they could learn to work it out on their own.
  2. Fed them healthy meals, despite their complaints and the fact that it would've been easier to let them eat junk food.
  3. Helped them clean out the playroom closet (one tiny little piece at a time) rather than dump out the toybox into the trash.
  4. Let them play with squirt guns in the back yard, even though I knew they would track in mud and wet grass and I'd have to mop the floor again.
  5. Gave them each a dollar out of the blue when I caught them being good and helping me keep the house clean.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Girl Up

Conversation Overheard while making the bed this morning:

Me: Whining about all the things I have to do today, "I have to vacuum the whole house, dust the whole house, clean all three bathrooms again, buy groceries," (etc, etc, really you guys don't want to hear all this).

Dan; Oh, just Girl Up.

Me: Excuse me?

Dan: You heard me. Girl Up. You know, like "Man Up" only you're a girl.

Me: "Girl Up" huh?

Dan: Well "Chick Up" doesn't sound right.

Me: Neither does "Girl Up." "Girl up" is what I do when I put on something cute and girly and fix my hair and makeup and stuff.

Dan: (thinking about it for a minute) Yeah, I like yours better.

What makes this extra funny is that, at the time, I was wearing a white swim team T-shirt with knee length camouflage cargo pants, no makeup, and my hair twisted into a messy pile at the top of my head--Pebbles style. Definitely the antithesis of "Girled Up."

Dan looked at me and said, "So, where's the rest of your squadron?"

I think I'll "Girl Up" and kick his butt. Me and the rest of my squadron.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Monday night I went out to eat with my First Grade Mommy friends: Shelly, Christy, and Marian. Our kids were in the same class two years in a row so we've gotten really close. Shelly was Seven's preschool teacher when he was two years old. Christy's daughter was also in preschool with Seven. Marian's son was in the Cinderella play with Seven and played Rooster to his Chicken Little in the first grade play. I LOVE these ladies. Moving away from them is going to be so hard.

We met at 6:30 and FINALLY tore ourselves away from each other at about 11:30 to go home. We talked and talked and talked the entire five hours and were still talking as we walked to our cars. Second grade won't be the same without them.

Then Tuesday night I talked on the phone with my critique partner, good friend, and know-it-all, Kathy for--I don't know--about an hour and a half? Two hours? When I say Kathy is a know-it-all, I don't mean that she acts like she knows everything. She really and truly does know EVERYTHING. Any subject I need information about, I can call or email her and within a few minutes she'll send me fifteen jillion links to sites with information about the topic. Good ones, not tangentially related garbage that I have to weed through to find anything useful. She's nothing short of amazing. I'm lucky to know her. And I won't have to leave her behind when I move because she already lives far away from me.

Then, tonight, I went for a walk with Grace and talked through all my house-hunting woes. Leaving her is going to be the hardest part about moving. I have to stop there because if I type any more about this I'm going to cry and short-circuit my keyboard.

I'm so lucky to have such great girlfriends in my life. If I can find friends in my new town who are half as great as these ladies...I'll be a lucky girl.

But even if I do make new friends, I'm going to be burning up some interstate miles to come visit my buddies down here. Count on it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An open letter to the owners of the house I looked at yesterday:

Look here, people. My house is currently on the market too, so I know what you're going through. But here's a little advice for you: when people make an appointment to see your house, they don't want to look at your bras hanging in the laundry room, your nasty hairball in the bathtub, your dirty, milky, cereal bowls in the sink, and your kids' toys all over the house.

That's free of charge. You're welcome.

See, because here's what we've done to get our house ready to show:

  • painted my bathroom (very, very well) and re-caulked everything
  • cleaned all the baseboards
  • organized every cabinet, drawer, and closet
  • re-painted the kitchen baseboards
  • touched up any scratches or gouges in the walls
  • replaced all the loose tiles in the kitchen
  • weeded and mulched all the landscaping
  • planted $100 worth of bushes since I let the old ones die in last year's drought
  • fixed the ice-maker, the dryer, the closet doors, and the top stair spindle
  • painted the fence
  • stained the deck
  • removed all the crappy plastic toys from our backyard
  • trimmed the trees
  • power-washed the siding
  • had a yard sale to get rid of clutter
  • replaced the toilet seats (because I have boys. Enough said.)
  • washed the windows
  • fixed the nail pops in the ceiling
  • removed the dead bugs from the fluorescent light in the kitchen
  • polished my front door, put up a new wreath, and put new flowers in the window box
  • cleaned out the oven, microwave, and refrigerator
  • spot-cleaned the carpet (I still need to steam clean it)
  • paid a contractor to replace the rotten wood around the garage door (He's doing that right now.)
  • convinced my kids to get rid of some toys
  • convinced my husband to organize his music room
You don't appear to have done any of those things, yet you're getting showings. Your house is dirty, ugly, and smells of cat pee. Yet, I looked at it and tried to keep an open mind.

And do you know how many people have come to see my house? Zero. Zip. Nada.

I hate you.

But I'm not bitter.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Photo ID


I went up to Gallatin today (because it's where the county seat is for Sumner County, doncha know?) to fill out all my new hire paperwork and get fingerprinted.

Digression: Do you know I have to pay $48 freaking dollars to get fingerprinted?! Luckily I didn't have to pay it today because they'll deduct it from my first paycheck, but still. I asked the tech who was doing it if she couldn't just take my word for it that I've never committed a felony. I was JUST fingerprinted last summer for the preschool job--why is it necessary to do this again? Even though it's a new county all that info just goes to the state where I'm already on file. Twice! Grrr...

Anyway, they took my picture so now I have a shiny new photo ID with my name and the name of my school on it. Squeee! Then I went to the Parent Teacher Store and spent half an hour ogling all the pretty pretty new teacher resource books and bulletin board stuff and posters and erasers and pencil grips and pens and SHARPIES and...I'm so excited.

My kids went with me for all of this and were perfect little angels. No, I'm serious. They really were. REALLY. They sat at the table with me while I signed fifty jillion pieces of paper (good practice for our house closing, right?) and colored in their Ninja Turtle coloring books. The women in the office just gushed over them. One lady said, "I've never seen such well-mannered children." I wanted to invite her to come over tonight about 8:30 when the cranky arguing kicks in, but I refrained. Instead I smiled serenely and said, "Yes, they're very good boys," because they are. Mostly.

They must get that from their father.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

You're humming that Monty Python song now, aren't you? Me too.

We haven't had any calls to show this house yet. So much for my dream of selling in a week and not letting the door hit us in the butt on the way out of town. I know, I know, it's a crappy market and the house has only been officially listed for four days, blah, blah, blah, but I hate this waiting around mode.

Every time I turn around I'm picking something off the floor, dusting, sweeping, mopping, just in case someone calls and wants to show it in fifteen minutes. Every night before we go to bed we're all straightening up and putting things away. I've been caught up on the laundry for a week. And you know what?

I secretly love it! This is the cleanest my house has been since we moved in! This is the lifestyle I've dreamed of for the last seventeen years. Dan and the boys are cleaning up after themselves for the first time ever. Mostly. With reminders. The kids make their bed every morning. Dan puts his stuff away in the bathroom and kitchen every morning. Before, when I came downstairs after he'd left for work early in the morning I would play "forensic homemaking," guessing what he had for breakfast based on the evidence left on the counter:

Hmm, from the tea bag wrapper and sugar granules I know he had a cup of sweet, hot tea. Yep, here's the mug and spoon on the counter--which is still sticky from all the sugar. Oh, and he must've had toast because here's the dirty butter knife in the sink. Nope, it must've been cornbread, because he left the empty, crumb-filled tin by the stove and crumbs all over the counter.

This week? The dishes are in the dishwasher as they should be. The cornbread is returned to the pantry after he cuts his piece. Crumbs? Not on the counter, that's for sure. Dan has even been heard correcting the children and reminding them to put things away. Quite frankly, it's been a little slice of heaven in Casa de Princess this week.

So maybe if the house takes a little bit longer than a week to sell that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's that silver lining I'm always looking for.

Just call me Pollyanna.

Even so, I want this thing sold and I mean NOW!