The Mouse

(This was originally posted 10/16/2008)

Well, I was going to be all cute and tell you the name of this pumpkin/mouse that Peter made – but I can’t remember it! I want to say “Rumpelstiltskin,” but it’s more like “Somebody Stilton.”


This was a project Peter had to do for school, in addition to his first book report (which his teacher let him type! He was ecstatic!) The main character is this character (who shall remain nameless because, well, I can’t remember his name):

The peppermints are his glasses which sit on his nose. Peter would NOT let me use the glue gun to help him make this character, although I think hot glue might have been an improvement on the scotch tape.

And I’m not much of a fan of hot glue. I think it goes back to my growing up years (Will & Bethany, can you give a witness here?). Mom was all about the hot glue gun. Need a button sewn on? Why sew when you can just hot glue it? But in this case, I would have been willing to risk the inevitable smell of burning skin that happens when I heat up ye old glue gun. Because I’m nothing if not a self-sacrificing mother.

I heard that, children.

Now on to my other new pics – additional proof that I AM a self-sacrificing mother! Also, a stir-crazy, need-a-break-from-my-own-four-walls mother. I give you [imagine trumpet fanfare, please] PLANET PIZZA!

I think my favorite part was the bumper cars. As much as I love my own kids, you have to admit that little girlfriend K. looks like a rock star in her black bumper car!

Traveling Fun with Brad

This article was originally written and posted on May 29, 2019.  I’m reposting it here for your enjoyment!

My husband travels a lot.  A LOT a lot.  It is currently May, and he has already accrued 55,618 miles this year.  And that’s not including the flight he is currently on, which is coming from overseas and is scheduled to land in about an hour and a half.  We have over a million “award miles” just waiting to take our family somewhere exotic this summer (that is, if one of us gets her butt in gear and plans the trip!).

So when Brad got a phone call from American Airlines with the news that he had been granted the coveted “ConciergeKey” level by American Airlines, neither of us was surprised.  ConciergeKey is a secret level that AA doesn’t advertise, but reserves for the most frequent fliers.  We knew about it because several of Brad’s co-workers have achieved this status, but since they don’t advertise it, no one knows how to qualify.  One day, they just got the call.

There are supposedly a lot of perks for “CK” but Brad had not seen many of them – until yesterday, that is.  Yesterday, my husband and I learned there is another world that exists, and for a few brief hours, he was a part of it.

If you stand in the right place, you can see that the apartment walls don’t go to the ceiling.  I guess that’s probably a safety issue.

He had his own personal chef who wanted to make him something off the menu!

My mother had a saying when we were growing up.  When we were behaving in a way that was socially awkward, Mom would say, “We’re just country come to town!” with her best southern drawl.  Well, I’m afraid Brad was acting like “country come to town” last night, and I was experiencing it with him, virtually!

I could put more of his pictures here, but I think this video does a better job:


Does The Crazy Ever Stop???

I’ve always said that if someone were to observe some of what happens around here, they would not believe it.

For instance, this happened last week: 


Yes, that is indeed a mouse/rat floating on our pool cleaner, trying not to drown. In our pool. How does that happen? I mean, did the dogs chase it and it blindly ran into the pool, then managed to pull itself up onto the pool cleaner one tiny paw at a time?  Does it think it’s safe now???  Or did it just meander out onto the thing and realize too late that it was a BAD IDEA.  

Because I hate to be the one to say it, but there isn’t going to be a happily ever after for this creature.  In fact, shortly after I took this picture, Brad came out with the pool net and disposed of it.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.




An Ode To The Fourth Day Of School

An Ode To The Fourth Day Of School

This post was originally written and posted on my personal blog on August 27, 2009.  When I came across it today, it made me laugh so I thought I would repost it here.

I wish I were a poet because I have such random thoughts rolling around in my head and if I could fit them all together, they might make me rich and famous. But since they might make me a candidate for the funny farm instead, I will use someone else’s creativity.

I have seen this many times before, but for some reason, it just fits today perfectly: 

In case your kids are not school-aged yet (God bless you, the poopy diapers WILL END, I promise!) or are long past it, here’s a quick reminder of life in the school zone:

6:45 am – wake kids up, deal with the clothing drama (“Why can’t I wear my airplane sweater to school today? Just because it’s going to be 105 today? I’m ALWAYS cold!!!”). Deal with Nintendo drama (WHY can’t I play for 2 minutes? WHY is there a rule that we can’t play Nintendo before school?). Deal with hair drama. Deal with brushing your teeth drama. So on and so forth. Pack lunches. Remember backpacks. Drive carpool. Try not to be late on your first week of school. There will be plenty of time for that later.

8 am – drop kids off and come home to begin sorting through the MOUNDS of paperwork that has already come home from school, much of which requires my signature and sundry other information.

Spend the free time I have dealing with the four-year-old drama while constantly reminding myself of how sad I will be when he starts school.

During naptime, sit down and reply to some emails. But then remember that everyone is running out of clean clothes and so end up spending naptime dealing with the – I kid you not – 10 plus loads of laundry per week.

After school is a plethora of lessons, practices, and sibling drama. Everyone is tired and cranky, and so it becomes a survival of the fittest scene until bedtime, at which time the kitchen must be tackled.

Not that I’m bitter or anything. Just exhausted. And badly in need of a maid. And possibly an intervention from that gal from Super Nanny. 

May I just add that the little four-year-old in the picture is now a 17-year-old, 6′ tall, Junior in High School with feet that look like canoes?  The other two are in college and believe it or not, I really miss those days when they were little.  Maybe the next post I write will be about stopping to appreciate your particular stage of life because you will never be there again! 

My Kids Are Real Comedians

My Kids Are Real Comedians

 Now that marching band season is over, Samuel and Matthew will be riding to school together.  

Every. Single. Morning.

Oh, Joy.

This morning, as I sat in the car waiting for Matthew with Samuel already enjoying his turn in the front seat, all I could think about was how badly my teeth are hurting.  It’s a long story, but suffice it to say I am doing Invisalign and that makes my teeth move, which hurts.

But that’s not the point.  The point is that as we made our way to school, I mentioned my teeth to the boys.  Matthew immediately responded with, “I’m really sorry to hear that.  I’m always happy to give you a hug if you want one.”

Samuel said, “And how do you plan on getting my permission to do that?”  (Samuel was in the front seat and Matthew was seated directly behind him.)

“I don’t need your permission,” was Matthew’s response.

“Well, to get to Mommy, you would have to lean over me and unless you want to start a major fight, you would need my permission to do that,” said Samuel.

I tried to interject by saying, “Come one, guys.  Why does this matter?” 

But I was too late.  Matthew’s response was to tell Samuel that an elbow to the face would take care of the problem.

(Here we go, thought I.)

“I’d like to see you try,” said Samuel.

“Okay, then let’s do it after school today.”

I looked at Samuel and said, “I’m sorry but your face is no match for Matthew’s elbow.”

To which Samuel replied, “You don’t know how strong my face is.”

(Come on!  Seriously?  Are we having this discussion for real?)

Trying to put a stop to the almost-argument, I replied, “What do you mean?”

To which Samuel replied, “I’ve been playing my horn a LOT.  I’ve got serious muscles in my face!”

This led to more bantering about his face muscles versus Matthew’s elbow, but in the end, Matthew was baiting Samuel by escalating it and again offering to test Samuel’s theory after school.

Samuel’s response was to point out the band director would kill him if he went to school unable to play his instrument with a football game on Friday!

To which Matthew responded by calling Samuel a coward.

I knew Matthew was really trying to bait Samuel now, so I interjected with “Matthew!  Why would you say that!”  I’ll admit, it was obvious and overdone, but I was working to just make it to the school without a fistfight in the car.

Samuel looked at me and said, “You’re the one doing this, you know.”

That stopped me in my tracks.  “What?  You’re blaming me now?”

“If you would stop reacting, he would stop saying stuff like that.  You’re egging him on.”

I sat without saying anything for several seconds, then as we pulled up in front of the school, I said to Samuel, “I thought it was funny.  I was just making fun of him.”  Samuel said, “Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re joking.”

Being the mature adult that I am, I shot back, “Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re trying to hurt me on purpose.”

“There is no world in which I would intentionally hurt you unless I was extremely mad at you, and then you would know it.”

Again, I just sat stunned.  Then I said, “Well, saying that I’m the one causing Matthew to say those things is hurtful.”

“Sometimes my words are too blatant but that’s not because I’m trying to hurt you.”

Matthew was getting out of the car by now, and his parting shot at Samuel was to say, “Better put down the shovel, Samuel.  You’re just digging your hole deeper.”  Samuel said to me, “Just run over him.” then got out of the car.  The two walked their separate ways while I started laughing hysterically at the wit and comedy I experienced during my 5 minutes drive to school.

We’re a regular comedy act around here.  At least I forgot about my teeth hurting for a minute!

How Did He Think Of That?

How Did He Think Of That?

(originally posted June 8, 2013)

It is with great personal sacrifice that I sit down and write this blog post for you today. I am suffering from a malady called “The Common Cold” or perhaps even “Sinus Infection”. I appreciate your deep concern.

However, despite my extreme exhaustion and plans to stay in bed all day, this morning as the sun rose and the first day of summer vacation dawned, my body woke up and nothing I could say would convince it to go back to sleep. I did, however, get to drink my hot cup of coffee in my pajamas, reveling in the fact that I have nowhere to be today. And that is why it is 12:47pm and I am STILL in my pajamas. That, and the aforementioned illness.

Glory be.

Most of the kids (meaning the older two) are content doing exactly nothing today, which is perfect, because those were my plans as well, but my youngest – well, he’s a mover and shaker and so he got dressed and asked if he could take the dog on a walk.

Who am I to argue when one of my kids offers to take the dog on a walk?

So he left with many instructions issued, and few heard, and came back in about 20-30 minutes. I was starting to wonder if maybe I should change out of my pajamas in case a police officer or ambulance driver or concerned neighbor showed up at my front doorstep with Samuel in tow, but I kept my imagination in check and sure enough, he came back unscathed.

The dog was a little worse for the wear, as I learned when Samuel mentioned rather casually that he took her to the park and tried to get her to slide down the slide with him.

Say WHAT???!!!!

Yeah. He walked her to the neighborhood park, coaxed her up the stairs and onto the rather tall playground, then essentially shoved her onto the slide (he admitted she was rather reluctant to go down, having never been down a slide before because SHE’S A DOG . So he pushed, and she scrambled and jumped off and landed on her back.

Samuel made sure to tell me several times how he was brought to tears over seeing her land on her back, as if to engender compassion towards him over his ordeal. But I just kept staring at him with bug eyes, asking him “WHY WHY WHY would you take the dog on the slide???” Of course, there is no answer to the question, except perhaps because he’s Samuel.

The good news is that the dog is fine. I have felt all over for broken bones and watched her walk to see if she limps (hey, I’m no vet okay?) and she’s not whining or anything, so I’m pronouncing her healthy.

But I’m never letting Samuel out of this house alone again.