Thursday, May 31, 2007

Random Thoughts

  • Some people get a neighbor like Matthew McConaughey playing bongos in his birthday suit. I sadly get ugly Aussie man sitting outside all morning long reading his paper in nothing but his underwear. Eeeewwww...where is the justice in that? (no, you pervs, I'm not taking a picture. Trust me, he's ugly and whether it is boxers or two sizes too small bike shorts, he shouldn't be a distraction from my lovely garden that my dad helped me get into its current glorious state).

  • How come my kids finally get into the groove this late in the school year? Somebody has taken my usually cranky kids, and swapped them with a pair of brotherly loving fellas who gasp...are currently upstairs playing school. Homer just finished a report and the principal (Thing Two) is reading it for him. I guess because Homer is a stuffed doll (um, I mean soft toy, my boys don't play with dolls). Anyways, they both helped each other with their homework and asked to go to the library as their reward for being so cooperative. Call the Alien Hot line as these Things surely aren't MINE?

  • I've had the past 2 days as pretty much wide open, free of obligation days. But where did the time go?Well, I'm caught up on laundry (Go ahead, call me a naughty name, I can handle it), I've filed months of backlogged invoices and even finished up the online continuing ed. class I need for my part time gig at the school. The floors are either swept/vacuumed/mopped or some combination of the above. 3 of the 4 bathrooms got a good scrubbing. The lawn got mowed and the bank deposits made. I finished one library book (I, Mona Lisa: worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction. Imagine the possibilities of who Mona Lisa really was?) and am well on my way to enjoying another book (Queen of the Big Time, it has been on my bedside table for months).

Oh forget about aliens taking over my children, I think I've been swapped out for a real Martha! Call the authorities if I start making pies from scratch, OK?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maybe I"m not so difficult to please after all..

I just got back from a meeting at the school. And for a change, I was the happy one. Maybe I'm still riding high on the truth that my oldest is certified proficient in his reading. Who knows: but come on ladies, lighten up! Our school is good, the teachers are excellent, the administration responds appropriately to legitimate concerns. Change takes time. Scores can be lower: and guess what, sometimes it is just that, a low score. Free/reduced lunch doesn't tell the whole story.

The way I see it, the teacher can do an awesome job of teaching. She can use every strategy in the world to inspire/motivate/ and encourage that child to learn. But if there isn't support at home, or at least respect for what goes on at school, then we really aren't going to see Johnny reach his fullest potential. It takes a team approach, and trust me, I've hung out with educators enough to realize, they aren't always the one dropping the ball. Now, why couldn't I tell that to the busy body women at the meeting?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Great Sand Dunes

We're home from our weekend adventure. Had a grand time. The dunes are something everyone in Colorado should take time to check out. Stuck in the middle of nowhere are the highest sand dunes in North America. And yes, they are nothing but huge piles of sand. And yes, we ended up with sand in places where it doesn't belong (Aimee, you might want to skip this destination for this fact alone). And although the idea of sledding down the dunes sounds like fun, it is impossible with the saucer like sleds we took. Instead, take one of those lightweight foamy things. Folks seemed to have better luck sledding with the lighter weight variety of sleds.
The older the boys get, the easier weekend trips get. They did great on the 4 hr drive down to Alamosa. At times they both really seemed to appreciate the greatness of these dunes. At least Thing Two tried hard. He and Hubby climbed up almost to the top. Thing One and I wimped out about half way up.
But now, here it is Monday evening (feels like Sunday, doesn't it?) and I'm wondering where did the long weekend fly to? Mountains of sandy laundry await me as I face the reality of school and work starting back up tomorrow. Yet again, I'm proving that there really is no making me happy is there? I take that back: spending time with the guys in my life made me pretty darn happy. There is always tomorrow to tend to the chores of the day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Before any nagging starts

I'm updating the blog. We're heading out of town tomorrow for a weekend away. Not sure if/when I'll update so here it is. A post about nothing.

I survived my day with the kindergartners. They mature so much over the year, don't they? Like no other grade it seems. It was sort of a sad day as one of the tracks finished up for the year. I SOOOOO wanted to be done like they were. Oh well, the flip side is they start back up 3 weeks before we do so I guess it all works out in the end.

The neighborhood pool opens tomorrow which will make the homework routine all that more difficult. I'm done, Thing One is done, just wondering when his teacher will be done? Gotta love her for the consistency but at the same time...can't we just go into coast mode on the homework at least?

Whine Whine Whine...what I seem to do best.

The more I stay home..

the more I want to be home. These past couple of weeks, the enrollment at work has been low enough that I've not had to work. But today, I'm working with the kindergartners. Subbing for another person who had a "use or lose" day of vacation.

I'll be fine once I get there...but I really would rather stay home. Get ready for our weekend adventure. work on a couple projects stacked up in the craft room. Basically, stuff I could have/should have done all week but now that I can't do them today, I'm all grouchy about not being home.

Just another proof that there really is no making me happy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are we there yet?

I interrupt this regularly posting blog to whine...

Can you believe there are 4 plus weeks of school still left in the year?
I'm done, as are the Things. We're ready for some summer fun, letting go of the routine that comes with school days. I'm tired of asking "what do you want for breakfast?" immediately followed by the "who wants school lunch". I'd rather just savor that morning cup of joe and let the day unfold at a more leisurely pace. I'm tired of making sure that backpacks are where they should be, socks are on, and teeth brushed. I'm just plain tired of it all.

See, some things you just never outgrow...the need to holler "are we there yet?"

Now, back to Mommy mode "Oh shut up and eat your breakfast, you are going to be late!"

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Challenged to Love and Hate?

This week's challenge asks us to use our senses to love and hate. I made the mistake of reading someone else's responses before I did this which means I'm still thinking about her list and not mine. But, I'll give it a shot.

  • ....The sight of a thunderstorm rolling in from the west (assuming I'm tucked in safely in my own home).
  • ....The smell of Yankee Candle's Coming Home scent burning in the kitchen
  • ....The taste of perfectly made creme brule (it was initially my hubby's favorite dessert, now I share it as my favorite too)
  • .....The sound of my husband's laugh
  • .....The feel of grass on my bare feet
  • ....The sight of someone hurting a child, through words, actions or even just plain neglect
  • ....The smell of burnt microwaved popcorn (come on, if you can't pop it and watch it, then don't pop it. Spare us all the misery, ok?)
  • ....The taste of sadly many things (I'm told I am a picky eater) but if I had to pick one thing it would be coconut
  • .....The sound of my boys fighting with each other (which I hear a bit too often sometimes)
  • .....The feel of itchy, scratchy wool (and to think my dear grandmother made some beautiful woolen items but they would just itch like crazy)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Try not to blink

It all goes so fast sometimes. I've told this to new moms. Experienced moms told this to me when mine were little. And no truer words have been spoken. Slow down. Cherish the moment. Because it all does pass in the blink of an eye.

This evening we celebrated as our best friends middle daughter headed out for the prom. It is all but impossible to not play the "I remember when" game as you watch these young children morph into young ladies and before you know it, young adults.

Yep, try not to goes oh so quickly...

here's just a sampling of what events I might have missed this week alone. Photos, blogs, scrapbooking will all hopefully help me stay in the moment and cherish these very happy times. So that I'll always be able to remember when!

That's how rumors get started

Last night the coven convened for an evening of scrapbooking. Ok, so only one person scrapped while the rest of us yapped. Oh wait, another person made a more honest attempt at crafting. (but I can't hot link her because she doesn't blog, yet).

Over the course of the evening it was discovered that a family in the neighborhood is getting a divorce. For a change, I don't know these people. Recognize the name but if I were standing behind either one in line at the store, I'd not recognize them. This truth alone is upsetting to me, the one who likes to be in the know.

We theorized on why. One theory involved closets and repressed identities.
We cackled like the hens that we are. When non-blogging friend chimes in with a "but he's involved in scouts!"

Lessons learned: Chardonnay is a delicious way to wind down from a cranky day, but it does get in the way of creative scrapbooking. However, it does not impact the ability to start rumors with absolutely no merit.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Get a life

That's my new mantra. I've always been quick to fling this comment at others. But this time, it is me that needs to take my own advice. Find real things to fret and obsess about. Not worry about whether Sarah on CSI will be alive when they finally find her or applaud Dr. Burke for his wedding day actions. While wondering where did he go and are he and George going off together? (wouldn't that be quite the Desperate Housewife-style twist...send both of them into the closet together?)

Oh well, at least with all these Season finales airing, maybe I"ll be able to find some motivation to get some reading done. Or chores. Or scrapbooking

Pretty much anything other than obsessing and fretting about the little things in life that really are rather little..


Thursday, May 17, 2007

He's proficient!

And I've got the document from the state to prove it! We received Thing One's first official state mandated CSAP score in reading today. He scored in the proficient range which thrills me to no end! Oh sure, that little bit of competitive mommy that we all harbor hoped to see a higher score. I mean come on, he's always been a good reader.

But given his nature and his disinterest in standardized tests, I'm very pleased with the results. This is the kid that would get 1/2 way through something and say "I'm outta here" and leave the rest blank because he knows the rest of the test is just more of the same. Or, he'd announce he's too tired to finish and would just scribble in whatever bubble he thought looked the most in need of some pencil attention.

These results show me that he's starting to understand the importance of doing your best. And that alone is a HUGE change for him.

Way to go dude! We're so proud of you...even before the state told us you were average.

Happy Syttende Mai!

any guesses on what this day is?

No fair Laura, you can't play along..

Not ours, but theirs. We celebrate ours in July.
In a land where royalty is a class act! I mean come on, they named their princess after me! (seriously, she was born after I was, and her first and middle name is the same as mine!).
Are we getting any closer?
Give up? Norwegian Independence Day! So, go eat some lefse, but pass on the Lutefisk!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Closet confession

Can I just say how much I hate cleaning out closets? And the problem (yes, it is a problem) is that this house has too many of them. It is just way too easy to shove stuff in the ultra-organized closet system that the previous owners installed. Today I decided it was time to tackle the craft room black hole. 5 hours and 3 full trash bags later, I feel like I've done nothing.


Oh well, let's see if I can find a picture to add to this post so we don't have to look at the Hoff any longer. Oh yes, much better. This little Thing is much easier on the eyes.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A little photoshop funny

I'm not good at photoshoping pictures. Which given my twisted sense of humor, me thinks this is probably a good thing. A very good thing indeed. Imagine the trouble I could get in if I knew how to create such totally tasteless and truly goofy pictures as this?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Power of Words

After a brief hiatus, my source for blog challenges, Cowtown Stacy, challenged us with this:
  • Words can be powerful. Think of an occasion when someone blessed you with their words. (Conversely, words can be powerfully hurtful, too. Write about one of those instances if you must, but try to think of a positive memory instead.) Describe the circumstances surrounding the words that were powerful to you. Who said it? How did you react? How does it afffect you today?

12..14.01: Thing One is starting to use his own name. It doesn't sound like I'd expected it to, but oh my, to hear him say it just melts my heart.

I found this in one of Thing One's old school journals (a back and forth book for special ed. students and their parents). Yep, go ahead, do the math. He was 3.5yrs old when he first started to speak his own name. A few months later he was working on stringing three words together. Dune-Beaches-Boardwalk. Who cares that is was "story speak" and he was copying dialogue from Dora the Explorer. I didn't. I was just thrilled to hear him string those three words together.

Pretty much most of our circle of friends know the chatty version of Thing One. It is hard to imagine his voice was once a heart breaking silent nothing. With endless worries of whether he'd speak, and once he started to speak, was this just a fluke, would he stop suddenly or even regress.

I have to remind myself on the days where he is talking non-stop, that this was once (and actually still is) a blessing. Words are indeed powerful and such a welcome sound! May I always be open to hearing the beauty of his voice: whether it be in joyful excitement or a foul mood pout. He's using his words to communicate and that indeed is something to celebrate!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Blog It Blog It Blog It...

I think the Things are starting to catch on to this blog. They've noticed when Mommy laughs at something they've said or done, chances are she'll be blogging it.

And today, I'm not sure what was funnier...the initial exchange or their chanting afterwards "Blog It Blog It Blog It".

We'd headed out to the airport this morning to pick up my dad. We'd made one loop, no signs of him. (we were a few minutes early). We make our second loop, when Thing Two says "is that him?"

"Nope," replies Thing One "That's Business Grandpa!" (it was an older gentleman but wearing a suit coat and talking on a cell phone).

"And Besides, he's missing the belly!" he finished his thought. (yes, my dad carries some extra weight around his mid-section).

I started to laugh because was funny.
And that was their cue to start in on the Blog It Blog It chant...

But, first we had to make one more loop to find OUR grandpa (which we did on the next loop)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Appearance of Clean

Thing Two comes downstairs, dressed and ready to start the day. Now I know he likes his brown t-shirts, but the one he had on this morning looked suspiciously familiar. Like maybe he'd worn it recently, maybe even as recent as yesterday. So, I asked him "Son, isn't that the shirt you wore yesterday?" He pulls it to his nose, sniffs it and remarks "Yeah, but it looked clean sitting on the floor!"

Dude...followed by a motherly heavy sigh.

You see, I've spent the better part of the last couple of days getting the house in tip-top Martha shape. Why? Of course, I haven't turned to the neat-freak side of the world, but instead my dad is arriving tomorrow morning. I want the house to look perfect. Or as close to perfect as possible when there are kids around. And me for that matter! Consistent neatness is not my forte! And yet, I ask myself, why bother? Dad of all people is well aware of my very messy nature. I guess I just want to show him that I am indeed all grown up now..

But you know, what, he probably knows that whether the house is clean or not!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ask a stupid question..

Expect either an honest or stupid answer.

We'd just finished dancing to some tune on the radio (don't ask, remember, I"m challenged when it comes to knowing who sings what, but it had a fun beat to it).

I asked Thing Two: Who are you going to take to the prom?
"Well, Not you Mom!"

Ok, I deserved that one.

Thing One chimes in "But I'll take you Mom!"

Yes, son, sadly that is my worry.

I ended up getting a fair amount done. The teacher appreciation cards are made and I even went ahead and made a little 5x7 brag book for the first grade teacher. The room mom is making some other crafty item from the class and I thought it would make a nice compliment to that project. Funny how a random conversation here and there can start to change one's opinion about the person educating your child. Recently, I've found myself realizing that just maybe she knows my child better than I gave her credit for. Yikes...don't go letting that one get around, ok? I mean come on, she's got that reputation. I don't want to be the one that ruins those rumors!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The source of it all

I borrowed this coaster making kit from school. Yes, it is only on loan. I'm way to much of a "Martha" to deal with my family room being converted into coaster city indefinitely. Play with it all you want, on Monday it goes back to school.

But it is the reason for

  • Thing Two wanting to know Pony Girl's name. The boys were naming their marbles. First there was Mrs. S &S (the principal and assistant principal), Mrs. G and D (their teachers) and then they starting naming families. Yep, they even had some girl marbles, and thus the need to know the girls names.
  • It is also the reason for Thing One being sent to his room. He misplaced one of his marbles and wanted to steal (under the disguise of borrow with no intention of returning) his brother's. He got caught, got angry and got sent to time out.

    All hubby heard was me hollering at Thing One. He made the mistake of asking Thing Two "what made your brother so angry?".

    Oh Dad, he just lost his marbles and wanted mine!
    *yep, classic Thing Two.
    What a thought: we lose our marbles and we could borrow someone else's? First I'd ask Bill Gates for some of his. Then a couple extra Martha marbles wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I'd round it out by asking for some from Oprah. Most people like Oprah, right?

    So, if you could, whose marbles would you want to borrow?

What's her name?

Thing Two, shouting across the family room..asks me What's Katie's sister's name?
NO, the other Katie? (he's getting annoyed with his mom)
*she doesn't have a sister, just two brothers, Austin and Matthew
NO, mom, the one in my class.. (we're past annoyed in the tone, now we're at impatient, about to cross over into total disgust)
*Oh, Abbie?
NO, mom, that's Pony Girl...yeah Katie's sister's name is Pony Girl. Thanks Mom. (my status is restored to pretty smart mom after all)

(technically the last Katie is spelled different. And to think, we would have added to this Katie Conspiracy had Thing Two been born with girl parts!)

I should be...

* unloading the dishwasher
*putting away laundry from 3 days ago
*starting new loads 1, 2, and 3
* sweeping the kitchen floor
*mopping the kitchen floor
*run the vacuum over pretty much every carpeted service in this 2200 sq. ft. house
*finish up some craft projects I started last week
*fix some breakfast for my loving family
*take a shower
*work on some cards for Teacher Appreciation Week (grateful that technically it runs Wed.-Wed. which annoys some people, but since I'm so behind on all sorts of tasks, it works for me)
*collect all the library books, scattered throughout the house that were due yesterday
*file away business paperwork
*balance the check book
*hit the party store for birthday supplies for friend 40th birthday next week
*look some more for the perfect book case for the family room. Kind of hard since I haven't really decided which book case style I want.
*wipe down some bathrooms
*windex some windows
*pull a few weeds in the garden
*clean out the Mystery Van

And yet instead, what am I doing? Sitting here, sipping coffee, watching my boys play with the roller coaster kit I borrowed from work.

Maybe tomorrow I"ll get serious about this to do list!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Open Letter time

Dear Mr. Wind:
You are driving me insane with all your huffing and puffing. Go away. All you do is stir up pollen and make it all but impossible for me to do my job.

Dear Missionaries:
Please, when I say not interested, that is your key to leave. Yes, leave. If I need a book of Mormon, I can get one from one of the numerous families I know who practice your faith but surprisingly enough leave me alone. (Heck, Thing Two attended a birthday party at one of the up and coming leaders of the local stake house. And that goodie bag did not contain a book Mormon.) But just like I don't buy magazines from scruffy looking types trying to earn a scholarship (or pay off their drug debt), I don't really care to buy your religion because you took the time to ring my doorbell.

Neighbor Boys:
Yeah, I know we've got the motherload of a Nerf arsenal. But, today my boys are playing nicely inside with each other. Come back another day. ANOTHER DAY. Not, wait 10 minutes and ring the bell again. Because if you do, trust me, next time them lovely latter day saint chickies come calling , I"ll give them your Momma's phone number (home, work and cell) along with your home address.

Creative yet chaotic types:
Much as I appreciate your easy going attitude towards life, once in awhile, can you meet me half way and be a little bit ready for 18 tracked off kids we've got coming to class? Especially if the class involves mud, paint and my nemesis Mr. Wind?

And finally, Nielson Survey Creators:
Are you high? Do you really expect me to fill out the page that says "List all channels your system receives". Hello, we have like a 300 station satellite dish. And then you want me to note whether I'm watching something from TiVo or regular TV and you want me to note what I am watching in a separate journal for each TV in the house? Forgettabout it! For the week of May 3-10th: we watched The Weather Chanel (so I can know exactly how much Mr. Wind is blowing) over and over and over, pausing only to tune into the Mormon News because man we are so becoming latter day saints thanks to the door to door approach that I'm sure converts millions of us heathens ever stinking day!

Meet the Nielsens

About a month ago, I got a phone call, asking if we would be a Nielsen rating family. So starting tonight, we will log what shows we watch for the next week. Having a written record of exactly how much tv we watch might just earn us the award for America's most boring family. Now accepting kickbacks to ensure that your favorite show gets listed on OUR log. Ah, feel that ego trip taking off.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Eye Exam and Glasses: $129.99
The Simpsons Graphic Novel: $7.50 (for those not familiar, it is newest trend in comic books)
Having Thing Two, my reluctant reader, ask to keep reading for just a few more minutes...