Monday, June 30, 2008

what was the best part

Around here, we often ask each other what the best part (and sometimes worst) of our day was. Tonight at dinner, Stephanie initiated the asking.

G: Coming home.

H: (nothing)

S: Should I come back to you? (Sounds like a teacher, don't you think?)

H: Yes.

Me: Coming home.

S: Playing dodge ball.

H: Playing with my balls.

At that moment I must have channeled Beavis and Butthead because I could not stop laughing. Could not. The kids didn't understand what was so gosh dang funny. Thank goodness for that! Just when I felt like I was in control of myself, Stephanie asked her to repeat herself ~ probably trying to see what was so hysterical. I lost it again. I nearly got heartburn from laughing so hard. 

i just now remembered

that I teased you by telling you about a project that I wouldn't show you. Well, here it is. It's a Dick & Jane book tote. 

Our principal accepted another assignment in our district. She LOVES Dick & Jane stuff and collects it. So the 2nd grade got together and scored a 1950s reader from ebay. I ordered fabric and made this book tote to go along with it. 

When I finished the tote, the kids announced they needed library totes too. How can I say no? Remember these? Sewing for the kids is always very rewarding because they are eternally grateful and compliment my work. 

Now that I've made three, I might be getting good at making them. 

I'm working on a skirt and t-shirt embellishment project for the kids. Almost done. I'll show you when I'm finished.

guess who's coming for dinner

Saturday night Suzanne and Dustin came over for dinner. Friday at school, Suzanne asked Heather if she could play in her room and mess it up. Being the compliant child she can be, Heather told her she could.

We had a Rachael Ray recipe for spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. About halfway through dinner I realized I forgot to put out the salad! Oh well. For dessert I subjected them to my favorite cake recipe ever. It's the birthday cake my mother always made when I was little. I didn't get it for my birthday this year, so I decided to make it. I say subjected, because Greg doesn't get what all the hype is about the cake. All I know is that I can eat this cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and have been known to do so). Charlotte made it for her dad one time. Now whenever she visits him he asks her to make multiple cakes and even has to make them for his friends and relatives. It's that good, people! 

You can't have dinner without entertainment. Greg and the girls, but mostly the girls, were happy to provide the entertainment with acrobatic feats. There were cartwheels, round offs, and Greg's special leg flips. Ah, but the highlight of this circus was the balancing act.

The kids sit on Greg's feet then he lifts his feet. It's their job to balance. Of course, it may be a little difficult to balance when it's like riding the bull at a cowboy bar. There might have been a some bucking and swaying involved. 

Let's raise the stakes a little higher. Greg started throwing them off and they landed on him. Naturally, they thought this was hilarious.

Here we have our willing and amused audience. You didn't know you were in for this kind of entertainment when you accepted our dinner invitation, did you?

It's all fun and games until someone gets a rug-burned face! Apparently at this time, the circus rodeo entertainment was over.

Thanks for coming to dinner. We had a good time. We hope you did too!

Friday, June 27, 2008

great day at school

This morning before school:

Me: Are you going to have a great day today? (Always assume the best!)

Heather: Yes!

Me: How much are you going to learn?

Heather: More than I know.

Yes. Yes, I guess that is absolutely true.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

dear old lady in the library check out line

For future reference, next time you see me (or any other person) in line behind you, please do not turn around and tell me there should be a limit on the number of movies a person is allowed to check out. Yes, I did see the lady at the self-check put a huge stack of movies in her library cart. I also saw the substantial amount of books as well. Did you? I think you were sufficiently shocked when I replied to you that there is a limit. I happen to know this piece of library trivia because I just so happened to be on the website this morning checking on how much I owed in fines (oops). You commented that they should charge to borrow movies. Hey, they already do that ~ it's called Blockbuster! Oh and yes, you may have detected attitude from me. I, after all, was behind a grumpy grouch (you) in a line and holding a stack of overdue books, that were hot from baking in the car all day, while other people were taking up the clerk's time checking out books that they have apparently already checked out! When it came your time to talk to the frustrated clerk, I heard you being Ms. Grumpy Fussypants and giving her a hard time about your account. Look, they have millions of books to keep track of. So they accidentally charged you some late fines. The clerk cleared them. Now let it go!

Girl with Overdue Books

P.S. Go rent a movie and relax!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a moment of silence

Let us please pause for a moment of silence. During this moment of silence, feel free to feel sorry for me, bestow me with your sympathy & pity, and join in my sadness. Tomorrow they are forcing me to return to work. They are making me stand in front of seven-year-olds to impart knowledge, ask engaging questions, and generally be ignored. The district feels that I actually have to work in return for the paltry sums they deposit into my bank account twice a month. The nerve! I will be required to pee according a schedule, inhale my lunch in less than 20 minutes (don't know what happens to the other 10), and skip my nap. All this while smiling cheerfully and remembering not to swear. I will be exhausted tomorrow evening and don't think I should be expected to cook or be nice to anyone at home ~ afterall, I already have that Mother of the Year award in the bag. Right?

family in town

Brent, Kim, and Carter came this weekend for an all too short visit. I'm always excited to see them and each visit doesn't seem quite long enough. The boy with the easy smile sure has grown (Carter has grown, not my brother) in the past two months since we visited him! 

Carter and the girls have formed a Mutual Admiration  Society! The girls tickle, snuggle, and coo at him. Carter eats it up and rewards them with smiles and squeals. Stephanie can really get him going. 

Friday afternoon the kids talked us into taking them to Chuck E. Cheese. Heather says I am the best mom ever for taking them to see Chuck. I think she just might be laying on the sweet-talk. We amused ourselves by taking pictures of each other while the kids racked up the prize tickets. 

Kim played a couple rounds of skee ball. With her athletic proweress, she was too fast and pictures of that turned out too blurry. I'm sure she's heartbroken over that business. 

Carter just started eating cereal about a week ago, so when he ate it was like feeding time at the zoo ~ everyone crowded around to watch.

Kim said that Friday was the first time that he actually seemed to enjoy eating the cereal. I think he enjoyed the mess he made as well! He ended up with cereal on his knees and feet because he kept grabbing them after he tried to suck his thumb and eat cereal at the same time.

I snapped this picture of Greg just after he came home from work. He was hot, tired, and having his usual pepperoni (or other meat) snack. He told me not to post this because his hair looked bad. 

No more mamapaparattzi!

We went out for dinner and frozen custard on Friday night. When we got home I was bugging everyone by taking a million pictures. 

Since Greg didn't to to Brent & Kim's house with us in April, this trip was his first time meeting Carter. He loves him. Who wouldn't? Of course, Carter loves Greg too. Babies always find Greg amusing. 

We took them back to the airport Saturday afternoon, then moped all the way home. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Brent, Kim, and Carter will be here later this afternoon to stay with us for a few days. I've cleaned bathrooms, washed sheets, vacuumed, mopped (well, I will), dusted, done the dishes, and picked up 6,700 messes. There will be no peeing, pooping, showering, using dishes, wearing clothes, or running about wildly until further notice.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

apron swap

I've read about apron swaps on other blogs, but have always been too late to do anything about it. Here's one that you can still be a part of if you'd like.  Go on over to BloomingAprons for sign up details. Basically you sign up and get assigned a partner. Make the themed apron and send it off to your partner. The theme for this one is Halloween. Sounds like fun, huh? Go on over there now. You have until June 30 to sign up. What are you waiting for? Go!

the weather was hot and the water was cold

When Greg mowed the lawn this weekend, he turned off the sprinklers and forgot to turn them back on. We water in the early morning hours, so by the time Greg leaves for work at 5:30 the lawn has usually been watered a couple of times. Oops. So he told me to manually turn on the sprinklers several times. Then he called at about 8:00 or 9:00 to check on that progress. Uh, yeah, I'm all over it. I'd only turned them on once. You see, it was going to be 110 degrees yesterday the yard was gonna cook. He keeps telling me if the grass dies in the front yard we are going to desert landscape. I keep telling him to forget it and that he'd better make sure the grass doesn't die. So he told me to turn on the hoses and let the kids play in the water and to keep turning the sprinklers on manually. 

So there they are ~ spraying, running, squealing, splashing. The girls had a lovely time. We stayed outside until they got cold from the water and I got hot.

p.s. ~ There were going to be more pictures, but my battery died right after taking this one & it takes hours to charge.

little helper

Every once in a while I will ask one of the kids to take their plastic plates, bowls, and cups out of the dishwasher and put them away (in the low cupboard just for them). I've been asking for this to happen more and more. It seems one of the reasons I refuse to do dishes is because I hate unloading the dishwasher ~ don't know why exactly. If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes I can't very well fill it with dirty ones, now can I? Heather has started unloading the entire dishwasher for me. She stacks the plates, bowls, etc. on the counter because she's to short to reach the cupboard & they're too heavy. She puts the silverware away to the best of her knowledge. If she doesn't know where it goes, she leaves that on the counter too. She is careful to avoid the knives because she's been told not to touch them. The other day both Stephanie & Heather were emptying & putting away kid dishes. When it came to the rest of the dishes Heather told Stephanie she would do it & to go away. I tell you what, somehow putting dishes away from the counter is not nearly as bad as unloaded the dishwasher. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

perfect or not here i come

The Nester issued a challenge to show off our imperfect homes. She is a big believer in the idea that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I'm a perfectionist by nature, so sometimes if it can't be perfect I don't even give it a try. I'm trying to let go of that. Remember the things I hung on the wall, perfect or not?

Anyway, my craft area was a total mess. I didn't have enough room to store my supplies & projects. It was getting so out of control that I was beginning to not enjoy crafting. To be able to scrapbook I had to move stuff off the area to have a 1 foot square area to work in. To be able to paint I had to move all this paper over to the scrapbook area to have a small painting space.

For my birthday my mother-in-law helped us buy shelving and my sweet Greg put them up for me. I have always been intending to post pictures of this project, but the after area isn't quite perfect yet. Most of the stuff has been put away and organized. I have even been enjoying crafting in my new area. But I haven't thought it was picture ready. Well, perfect or not, here they are. Don't judge me with the before pictures. It took a long time for this disaster to happen!


Check out the floor. No room to roll. No room to paint on the table either.

The scrapbook area had already improved somewhat even without the shelves since I put away my oil painting that was not destined to be finished anytime in the near century.

I look at this now and wonder how I ever functioned in here! What a disaster. It gives me anxiety and makes me want to scream just looking at these pictures. 

Look at those lovely shelves! Like I said, this isn't perfect yet, but it's so much of an improvement! I actually have room to roll my chair around. I also have lots of room to do my many projects. You can see that I have a couple laid out and in progress. I have room to be in progress now!

Greg commented that the shelves aren't full. Well, two things: 1) Like I said, I still have a little more organizing to do. 2) I don't want them completely full or else I won't have room for anything else. What would I do with the bargain canvases I bought if I didn't have a little bit of room left on the shelves?

Tons of room to do scrapbook projects. 

So there you have it ~ not quite perfect, but working for me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

happy father's day

Happy Father's Day to all you dads and dads-to-be out there!

Greg instructed us all to not wake him up this morning. Whether or not we made it to church would just have to wait to be seen. We didn't. One by one, we all snuck out of the room (sleepover in our room last night). Finally I started Greg's favorite breakfast of bacon, biscuits, and gravy. I had to start it so we'd be finished in time to get ready for lunch. Huh?

We met the whole family gang at Macaroni Grill for a combination Father's Day & Wendy's birthday lunch. Greg and the kids announced they weren't very hungry so they all shared. I, however, paced myself during breakfast. Heather managed to con (wasn't very hard) Uncle Tony out of shrimp and lobster ravioli. We have all agreed that she will be an expensive date when she's older!

At lunch Stephanie asked if we could take naps when we got home. Ahhh, music to Daddy's ears. She looks kinda sleepy here, but I just got her mid-blink. We napped and poked around the house the rest of the day. Greg was on the computer...imagine that! Greg said he had a nice day.

plum tuckered out

Our neighbor buddy, Austin, came to play out in the back with the kids. Then they decided to come in and watch t.v. At one point he went home. When Greg came upstairs to do something I asked if Austin was still here. He told me that he went home. Greg went downstairs. When I was finished I went downstairs to find Greg & Austin on the couch watching t.v. "He came back," Greg said. Austin had let himself in and found sleeping girls who were apparently in no mood to play. When I took the picture Greg said the girls should have privacy. I rolled my eyes, took the picture, and made sure Austin got home safe. About half an hour later when we woke the kids to move them for the night Stephanie asked if Austin was going to come back. I had proof that he did come back to play, but they were unavailable.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

shining stars and cartwheels in the grass

They've practiced. They've fallen. They've cried a few times (when you can't get a move just right). They've laughed. They've had fun. They've worked hard.

Now, today is their big day. Today is the day they show what they've worked so tirelessly on since October. Dance classes usually start in August, but the studio was in the middle of a move, so class beginnings were postponed until October. That mean two less months of practice.

This morning the kids rode bikes outside while Daddy mowed the lawn until I made them come in and get showered. The primping  started off with curlers ~ squishy for Heather and hot for Stephanie. 

Add a sparkly outfit and they were all set for their hip hop number. Why can't you tell that I curled their hair??

I never get tired of looking at these wonderful faces. They had a great time doing their hip hop dance. Their recital is truly big time. It is held on the big stage of one of the performing arts centers at the university. There are two performing arts centers, the studio rents out the big one for this event. They love to dance on the big stage. They love the rehearsals at the university just days before the recital too.

There are two shows because there are so many classes at the studio. Their hip hop number was in the first show. Then we had a quick lunch and headed back to the university for the second show. Their combo (tap, ballet, & gym) classes had their numbers in the second show. Stephanie's class did a jazz routine with some gym tricks in the middle. Heather's class did a tap routine.

Grandma & Grandpa Smith brought roses for the girls. 

I took some pictures during dress rehearsals, but they are so hard to get because they move so fast. Here's Heather doing her tap routine.

Here's Stephanie in the final moments of her jazz routine.

Both kids did such a wonderful job. Stephanie is always on the mark with her moves and leads her class. Heather really shone in her tap routine and was the obvious leader of her class. It's so nice to see their hard work is paying off.

The day ended up being a long day. Getting ready (and the screaming mother) plus the two long shows took pretty much the whole day. But they've worked so hard all year, the least we can give them is an entire day devoted to them. To watching them. To praising them. To showing them they are talented and valued. I'm happy to do it.

Today, Stephanie thanked me for taking them to dance every week, paying for dance, and paying for their costumes. I may or may not have complained a few times about how far dance class is nowdays. The thing is this ~ as long as they are having a good time, working hard, and are appreciative of the effort and money spent, we will continue paying, driving, and waiting. We have seen how this has boosted their self-confidence and their physical skills. We are willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary for this to continue for as long as they want. We both are hoping they will want to be involved in dance well into high school.

Funny story ~ one day recently we were trying to get the girls to do their hip hop routine for Grandma & Papa at the house. Stephanie was willing, but Heather got all shy and refused. After they were gone I asked Heather what was the big deal. She said they were going to look at her. I pointed out that many, many people would be looking at her on the stage at the university. To which she replied, "Yeah, but I can't see them." 

Stephanie and Heather would like to thank the following people for coming to see them perform: Grandma, Papa, Wendy, Tony, Grandma & Grandpa Smith, Grandma Tona, Papa Robinson, Suzanne, and Dustin. It means a lot to them that you came to support them. 

After the second show we stopped for ice cream. A good performance always deserves ice cream as far as I'm concerned. Well, there are many reasons deserving of ice cream in my book. Driving home Greg said that watching all the dancing and gymnastics (and there were very awesome & scary tricks done by the older kids) he was feeling like he wanted to do cartwheels. So he did. Stephanie even encouraged him to do a one-handed cartwheel. He did. Notice,  you don't see me out there doing that crazy stuff. Although I did tell Suzanne I was working on a handspring and splits number. Then again, maybe a banana split is the closest I should come to any kind of splits number in the near future.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

under pressure

Earlier this year the kids and I were driving somewhere (the most profound conversations happen in the car ~ captive audience, I guess) and Heather told me that if she has a boy baby when she grows up she will name him Clinton James Jones. Ok. I guess I'd better focus on helping her find that boy with the last name of Jones. 


Today, in the car again ~

H: When I have a baby if he, or she, has curly hair, I'm going to name don't know. Maybe I'll just wait and see what it looks like.

S: You have to figure out the name before you go to the hospital.

Me: No, you don't. You can wait until the baby is born. You should have a name before you take the baby home, though.

H: Why?

Me: For the birth certificate.

H: Oh! I just don't know. I'd better hurry up. There's not enough time. I've got to get this figured out. Mom, do you have a book with names in it?

Me: No, I gave it away.  You have plenty of time.

What's the rush????


The other day she says to me (uh, yes, that'd be in the car ~ again) ~ 

H: Mommy, when I grow up I'm going to meet a nice boy and marry him.

Me: That's good.

H: It's going to be Daddy.

Me: You can't marry Daddy. I already did.

H: Well, can't you just find somebody else?

Me: Nope, I got him first. 

a place for everything

I bought these new bins to organize the girls' ever growing supply of hair stuff. Greg said I have an addiction to baskets, buckets, bins and other supplies for organizing. He's right. I don't know what he's talking about.

for the fashion minded

Are you wondering about the latest summer fashions? Are you dying to know what's hot this year? I know. So were we. Luckily the kids put on a fabulous fashion show for us Tuesday evening. 

The show started out with handmade invitations. Then they spent time getting their outfits coordinated and even practiced coming down the stairs in that runway model sort of way. They presented me with a list of songs for Daddy to make into a playlist for them, ranging from Rihanna to ABBA. Stephanie informed me they had 16 changes each and wanted to know if 4 songs was enough. I laughed and told her she better add two more songs.

The show commenced after dinner.

Stephanie had "the walk" down and graciously stopped to pose for the camera. What a diva! This girl is definitely a performer. 

Heather was all about movement and had to be asked to slow down for the camera. She, of course, was willing to do so. Heather came down a few times half-dressed and giggling. Apparently she was having a tough time with the quick changes.

At one point, each member of the audience received a pair of these nifty glasses. I even got a feather boa out of the deal. I love a fashion show with giveaways! 

They didn't do their 16 changes each. They ran out of tunes. But they had a wonderful time planning and putting on their fashion show.