Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Trip Highlights

In which I share more random highlights from our trip as I continue to unpack.

Why oh why do toy manufacturers have to make the packaging so impossible to penetrate? If only they could make airplanes out of this same material. No more crashes or hijackings.

My MIL bought all three of her sons matching ski caps (or toboggan hats, as Dan calls them). Well, not exactly matching. Ted's is brown--the other two are blue--so you know who the favorite is. Dan and Jack opened theirs first so when Ted arrived they both said, "Hey man, you need to open your present from Mom. You're going to love it." I'm pretty sure everyone there pulled a
stomach muscle laughing so hard.

Here they are...Larry, Darryl, and Darryl.

Through some sort of weird cosmic fluke, the cousins in attendance were Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, and Eleven.

I'm now officially hooked on the Twilight series. I bought the first two books before we left so I could read them on the trip. Not only do my kids have the best aunt in the world, I have the best sister-in-law. When I finished New Moon and starting jonesing for a trip to the bookstore to get Eclipse, Cathy called out of the blue and said, "I'm going to pass right by Borders on my way to Mom's house. Can I pick up a book for you?" Am I loved or what? I finished it last night and now I'm thinking about running down to B&N to get Breaking Dawn. But I know once I start reading it that I won't get anything else done today. Sigh. It sucks being so responsible.

I don't know what my mom fed my dog while we were gone, but she is the most flatulent creature ever created. The dog, not my mom. Just to clarify.

My new favorite toy that my kids received (but Dan and I promptly commandeered--which is totally within our rights as parents): Nerf N-Strike Maverick.

Ew, I just had a presidential debate flashback when I typed the word Maverick. I feel like I should be doing shots of something. Oh yeah, speaking of shooting...

Who needs expensive toys like the Wii system we can't afford because we had to buy new tires and actuarial manuals? Not that I'm bitter. Nope, not me. Dan created this game which involves propping an action figure on a box in the kitchen and trying to shoot him off his perch from a designated spot in the foyer. I don't want to brag or anything (yeah, right) but I'm the uncontested champion. If this whole teaching thing doesn't work out, I may have a promising future career as a sharpshooter.

Okay, enough playing around. I have to go remind Dan that he promised to paint the bedroom with me while I'm off work. And I have to convince him that I actually meant painting the bedroom and not whatever euphemism he thought he was agreeing to. Yep, being responsible is no fun.

Here are the rest of the trip photos:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trip Highlights

We just got home a few hours ago from a six-day visit with the in-laws. Eight-to-ten-ish hours on the road (thank the good LORD and Grama for the portable DVD player), two cars of Christmas gifts to unload, and four loads of laundry (so far) later and I've finally reunited with my beloved computer. C'mon, you know you're singing it. I love my computer because all my friends live in there.

Anyway, I'm exhausted and still have more laundry waiting, so I'll just give you a quick SportsCenter highlights version of the trip:

  • My kids have the greatest aunt in the whole, wide world. If there were an Olympic event for "aunting," she'd be a quadruple gold medalist.
  • I'm finally completely addicted to the Twilight series, just like Trish told me ages ago I would be--if I'd just give it a chance. And I said that "teeny-bopper vampire romances" just weren't my thing. HA!
  • I might have reached the saturation point for Tripoley and Skipbo, if it hadn't been for that awesome straight royal flush of HEARTS that I dealt myself. Aw, that was sw-eeet.
  • My mother-in-law should have her name legally changed to Sneaky McCheaterpants. Really.
  • The snake I found in the middle of the road was not real. At least I'm going to continue to tell myself that.
  • After almost eighteen years of marriage I thought I knew all Dan's crazy rock band stories, but his former bandmates told me a couple of new ones at dinner last night.
  • My father-in-law acts tough, but he's a big old softie. But don't tell him I told you so.

Okay, that's it for now--the dryer just buzzed. More tomorrow...with pictures.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my friends, both IRL and the ones who live in my computer. Hope your holiday is filled with food, fun, friends, and fairy dust (because we could all use a little magic at this time of year).

Dan, Teble, Grumpy Eleven, Dimpled Eight--Just trying to get one decent flippin' picture to put in the Christmas cards! :-)

Lily and Izzy chilling on Grama's couch--they had no trouble posing for a picture.

Lily doesn't let the stress of the holidays get to her--and you shouldn't either. Have a wonderful, blessed holiday, from my family to yours.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eleven's Weird Slide Show

Eleven has become obsessed with photography lately. If only we could get him to STAND STILL long enough to get a non-blurry photo!!! Here's a slide show of his latest weird photographs--both self-portraits and shots of his family. Luckily I was spared the indignity of being one of his subjects.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Updated News

Just a quick update on my third observation:

I had my review today and the words "awesome job" were used again. There was also a "great job" thrown in--just for good measure. It was my early Christmas present! YAY!

In other news, Dan's store will only be open for four more days. Then he'll have a lot more time free to devote to spoiling the princess in the manner in which she'd like to become accustomed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Word

My friend Shelly sent me this a while back. I sent it back to her that day, but I've forgotten all my answers since then so I redid it. The idea is to answer all the questions using one word and ONLY one word. It's harder than it looks!

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Significant other? schmoopie

3. Your hair? growing

4. Your mother? knitting

5. Your father? garage

6. Your favorite thing? husband

7. Your dream last night? work

8. Your drink? diet

9. Your dream goal? happiness

10. The room you're in? mom's

11. Your fear? loss

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? employed

13. Where were you last night? here

14. What you're not? skinny

15. Muffins? sure

16. One of your wish list items? employment

17. Where you grew up? Hendersonville

18. The last thing you did? television

19. What are you wearing? pajamas

20. Your TV? on

21. Your pet/pets? Lily

22. Your computer? friends

23. Your life? busy

24. Your mood? content

25. Missing someone? Grace

26. Your car? Camry

27. Something you're not wearing? shoes

28. Favorite Store? Goodwill

29. Your summer? hot

30. Your favorite color? pink

31. When is the last time you laughed? today

32. Last time you cried? yesterday

See if you can do it!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I was reminded tonight, as I snuggled on the couch under a down comforter with my HEALTHY kids watching Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, that I'm pretty darn lucky. Even if the economy has tanked and my husband is losing his job in ten days and I'm splitting my time between two counties and going in to work on a snow day and all that stuff, I still have it pretty good. At least I have a job, even if it is an hour from my house. At least I can stay with my parents up there so I don't have to commute that hour's drive every day. At least my husband will get a few weeks of severance pay so he can study for his math exam. And, most important, my kids are healthy. When they're driving me crazy and I really need a break from them I need to stop and just be grateful for them--hyperactivity and all.

We were right in the middle of the show and a commercial for St. Jude's Children's Hospital came on. Jennifer Aniston (who is way too pretty to be the same age as me, BTW) was hugging a little bald-headed girl who has been battling brain cancer. Here's this cute little girl, fighting for her life, and I'm fussing at my kids for getting mud and snow on the carpet.

Wow, I have nothing to complain about.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lily's latest photos

Eleven is going on a field trip tomorrow to J.A. Biztown. This is a great program in which kids get to interview and train to do real-life jobs. Eleven desperately wanted to be a photographer, but since he's such a math genius he was chosen to be a bank teller. He was a little bummed about it, so I told him he could have my old camera and take pictures whenever he wants.

His favorite subject is our dog Lily. Since Lily's status has been recently upgraded to Couch Dog, this creates many a photo op for our budding young Peter Parker. He had a blast today taking pictures of her sound asleep with her head hanging upside-down off the couch. He took some of them upside down so that Lily's face looks right-side up when she's hanging. They're SO funny! See for yourself...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eight--the tattle-tale

Eight is the Star of the Week in his second grade class, a fact which he has not let us forget since the minute he found out last week that his turn in the spotlight was approaching. He loves being the center of attention. I can't imagine where he gets that from.

Ever since last Monday afternoon, Eight has been planning this week. He started working on his poster about five minutes after he was dismissed from school and started selecting photographs to share with the class. By Tuesday night he had each day planned out: the Guessing Jar, the Surprise Box, the snack he'd share with his friends, the book he'd read to them...everything. The boy was SO unbelievably excited. One might even call him obsessed.

Today was the Surprise Box day. He got to take a box to school and the class had to guess what was in it. He filled it with his "puppets." These are lunch bag puppets that he makes with markers and decorates to look like characters from Star Wars (or members of his family). He only has about two hundred of them, so clearly his collection is not quite complete yet. May I just mention that the $1.99 I spent on brown paper lunch bags was the best money I ever spent. The child stays busy for HOURS!

Anyway, today he was sharing the puppets with his class. His teacher said, "That one looks kinda like a worn-out Santa." Eight looked at her and said, "Um, that one is my dad."

Poor Mrs. Jones. She said, "Oh, don't tell your daddy I said that." So, of course he did.

And of course I had to blog about it. :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A NO SNOW Snow Day

Well, yesterday's other shoe fell today--along with a bunch of sleet up in the hills of our county, so schools are closed. Naturally, because I was SO prepared this week. And because I had a mom scheduled to come help me. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the week trying to figure out how to get my reading centers caught up. But this, my friends, is a good problem to have.

There's not a drop of snow outside, so it's lucky I even bothered to check the news. Eleven and I just stared at the screen when they announced our county was closed. We looked at each other and I said, "Holy Cow! Are you kidding me?" Luckily I brought home my reading book so I can plan next week's literacy centers.

The kids and I are going to drink cocoa and help Grama put up her Christmas tree and just stay inside and be warm today. I was thinking about driving back to Smyrna to see my friends who still have school today, but it's awfully nice and toasty sitting here in my PJs. :-)

To my Rutherford County, na, na, na na! You ha-aave school.

:-) I'm so mature!

Monday, December 1, 2008

OCD and Me

I had a really great day at work today. In fact, today went so well I 'm sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop and wondering what's going to go wrong next. And aren't I just a little ray of sunshine?

I spent a lot of time over the Thanksgiving break trying to plan out my literacy centers and get the rotations working smoothly. I've been trying to do this since September, but I've been so bogged down with other paperwork that I haven't been able to do it. I broke down and asked some moms of kids in my class to help me out one day a week with filing, paperwork, copies, bulletin boards, and stuff like that. I've been trying to be SuperTeacher and do everything myself, but it's just not possible. Today I had a mom do all that stuff for me for about two hours, which freed me up to catch up on my reading record-keeping. What a great feeling--being CAUGHT UP!

I have another mom coming tomorrow to work on organizing my class library. I'm separating the Accelerated Reader books from the non-AR books, then dividing then into Reading Levels and genres. Everything is color-coded and neatly labeled into little plastic (also color-coded) baskets. It just makes my little OCD heart go pitter-pat. I can't even express how happy it makes me to gaze at my pretty little bookshelves and see all that tidiness going on.

Yes, I realize there's probably medication I should take for this.