Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fire and Ice

The weather was great - less than 90 degrees - so we decided to have a fire and roast marshmallows. Unfortunately, it was more like sending smoke signals to our neighbors.

Before the smoke-out, there was live entertainment on the roof. As a punishment to his sister for some crime unbeknownst to me, Quinn threw several pairs of her shoes, a couple rackets and large sticks on the roof.

To further entertain the neighbors, who have not yet called the cops on us, I allowed the kids to "defrost" the chest freezer using a hammer. Is that hard on the appliance?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Eight baby rabbits (called kits)
Seven batches of salsa
Six loads of laundry
Five work days
Four tired limbs
Three turning one-year-old tomorrow
Two homework-checkings
One car with "check engine" light blaring all day

One picture can make it all right again!

Monday, August 27, 2007


aka - "Birdie" at our house. It must be the funniest thing we do. Ours is a road less-traveled and it seems to make the difference between a good game of badminton and one that is frequently interrupted.

Tonight the four of us squared off on the street and played a couples match. I wonder how the game is scored when "whoosh," "whack," "thwump" and "OW! I just hit myself!" are the sounds heard in place of the racket (How do you spell that?) meeting the birdie? The Rellim Rules also allow for double hits and bank shots off trees, cars, players or other obstacles. Bounce plays are also acceptable strategies to confuse the opponent.

And like skilled trapeze artists, we don't use a net.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Parmesan Cheese

It's Rachel's favorite food - if you can call it a food. Today she was injured during the eating of spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese. It seems she slurped a bit too quickly and a fleck of the grated cheese flew into her eye.

The way she carried on you would have thought that it was somehow MY fault.

Oh wait - maybe it was my fault. I made the lunch.


Do you know what it means? Sticky, adhesive substance found in some plants. Weird.

What did I learn from this dictionary exercise? My daughter is afraid of dictionaries. Or else impatient with them. I believe she would prefer to SPEAK the word into a voice recognition device on the cover, then have the book tell her AUDIBLY what a word means.

How do I know this? She has spent the last ten minutes in a hysterical screaming fit, complaining about dictionaries and how they are "so stupid" and what a waste of time it is to look up words in dictionaries.

Did she like it when I pointed out that she has spent more time screaming than it would have taken her to look up the word in the first place? Well, then you can probably guess that she also didn't like that I insinuated that she may have trouble with dictionaries because she has not memorized alphabetical order and suggested that she just hum the tune to the ABCs while she looks up the words.


Quinn brought his Nintendo DS to our bed this morning to check the date (to make sure he really had to put on church clothes) and time. He excitedly pointed out that his DS tells him "digital time, clock time and Marines time." I told him that the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force all use "military" time. He said, "Whatever!"

This reminds me of his first week in Kindergarten when he got the gist, but not the main idea of the lesson on the letter A. He reported that afternoon a few years back, "We learned about the letter A and how it starts with apple, crocodile and jet." To my recollection, he could not be dissuaded that the crocodile was an alligator and the jet an airplane.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

All For the Love of Sea Turtles

I found my son in a neighbor's garage this evening. He was canvassing the neighborhood in search of aluminum cans for his class. They are saving money to send to the zoo to support the sea turtles. Not that I object to the project, but I am bothered by the fact that we don't know this particular neighbor. Quinn told me that's OK because "she was really nice and she told me to follow her into her garage." Oh, yeah - and now the large trash bag is filled mostly with beer cans.

I feel a note from his teacher will arrive this week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Quinn learned that his teacher, Mr. Johnson, is getting married next summer.

Quinn asked me what his new name will be.

I told him to ask Mr. Johnson tomorrow.

The funny thing is that I asked Mr. Johnson the same question at the open house.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


My friend picked up a poster for her daughter who is running for class secretary. The poster reads, "Vote Danielle - I will keep track of everything!"

Here's where the story gets better. After just three days of school, her daughter has misplaced her planner, forgotten her flute, AND misplaced her note that gives her permission to run for secretary. The permission slip was finally found under her dirty laundry that she sorted last night when she realized she had no clean clothes to wear because she hadn't brought the laundry downstairs yesterday to be washed.

I think I would vote for Danielle. She found the note!

New Most Embarrassing Moment

Guess what happened this afternoon? While I was in the doctor's office? During the annual exam?

My doctor picked up a small sparkling fleck of something (probably genuine rhinestone debris from my new necklace) from my right breast then said, "Oh! What's this? Kind of sparkly! You must be trying to make this appointment extra special!"

I wanted to die, but laughed instead. That was a better choice, I thought.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bambi's Babies

Bambi, the rabbit had her litter. EIGHT babies. We'll keep you updated.

More Quinnspressions

Me: Shouldn't you write your summary now?
Quinn: Don't worry, Mom. I know that book behind my hand.
Translation: He will write the summary later, but not to worry, because he knows that book like the back of his hand.

Me: Come sit down and eat your pork chop.
Quinn: I love chicken!
Me: It's pork not chicken.
Quinn: Whatever. Look out, cow! Here's my mouth!
Me: It's pork - from a pig.
Quinn: (chewing) Mmmmm! Good pig.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Call

Well, maybe not THE call, but an important one nonetheless. Rachel ditched her first band lesson this week because she wants to quit. Her band teacher noticed and gave her a personal phone call this afternoon inviting her back to sixth grade band.

Rachel says she will "try it for one week . . . because (her band director) called."

Hmmm . . . I might need to have that woman call here when it's time to wash the dishes, change the bedsheets and clean rooms. Just an idea . . .

Saturday, August 18, 2007


That was Quinn's favorite thing about his first full day of school. This could be a long year.

Friday, August 17, 2007

That Was Easy

I went to Staples today to purchase the new Norton Antivirus 2007. There was a $40 rebate for the $59 item. Then I used my $17 bonus bucks and brought in an inkjet cartridge to recycle, which gives me $3 to spend. I think my purchases were almost free.

I told the cashier that Staples is such a great place to shop and the only way to make it better would be to pay ME when I walk in the door. Her response? "I'll pay you if you take the manager outta here!"

HA! She doesn't know that I'm friends with her manager's wife.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life 201

Quinn and Rachel missed the bus this morning but were not late for school. Not so for me.

The brand new school building where I work was having a minor difficulty on our first day of school - the air conditioning did not work.

As dismissal began at my school, I received a phone call from the nurse at Quinn's school to tell me he was sick. I brought him home and fed him applesauce and a corn dog. Methinks he is nursing this a bit in order to avoid fourth grade.

The mechanic called to tell us what's wrong with the car. It needs a new computer. A new $900.00 computer. Yeah, well so do I, but now that will have to wait.

On the upside - as soon as this thunderstorm moves through the temps should be more tolerable. We have no debt except our mortgage. The refrigerator and freezer are full of food. We have beds in the house for five and could sleep three more on couches. The new neighbors haven't called the cops on us yet and I'm having a pretty decent hair day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life 101

Well, Quinn's fever is still 101 anyway.

The tow truck Found the car On the Road , even though it's a Nissan, not a FORD. Mike just got home. The mechanic thinks he might be able to find out what's wrong with it this time.

I think I annoyed some coworkers today as we were writing a list of "shared values" for the school year. They wanted to include, "We will listen to others' ideas without being judgmental." I said, "NO WAY! I'm all about being judgmental! That's what you teachers do all day! You judge the quality of work, you judge the content of responses and you judge the students' behavior. I most certainly judge the ideas I hear to decide if they are worthy of consideration." Now, I will give them a polite listen-to and fair evaluation, but JUDGING them, we MUST do.

I got no response except this one, "How about this value - We will respond to one another in a kind voice and in a non-threatening manner?"

Am I threatening? Unkind?

I prefer the label "decisive."


Watch what you wish for. I escaped the conference this morning, during which I would have had to sit for about four hours.

How? Quinn has a fever and a cough.

A friend of mine once wished that he had a job that only required driving to the office to pick up a paycheck every week. Soon thereafter he underwent re-constructive knee surgery and . . . well . . . you know.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not so Bad

Today was the second of three days of mandatory inservice. It's called a HOPE Summit. (Harnessing Optimism and Potential through Education) I HOPE tomorrow will be better. Today I had to form triads with people I did not know and tell them if I were a punctuation mark, what would I be? And if I were a weather pattern, what would I be?

I'll tell you that if I were a superhero I'd like the ability to be invisible. Then, I could sneak out of that place!!

Otherwise, the van has been bailed out of Midas, Quinn's fever has disappated? disapated? disaparated? (gone away for a while) and I only have about four more hours of sitting tomorrow before I can get to my room and think about getting back to work.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Real Life

Rachel has her alarm set for 6 am so that we can fix her hair for the first day of school. Her clothes are picked out, her backpack is ready and she may even have chosen her breakfast cereal. Mike has taken the day off, which happens to be a very good thing. Why? Let me count the ways:
1. My vehicle is at Midas.
2. Quinn has a fever.
3. I have to be at a conference all day.
4. Mike is fairly calm under stress.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Quinn told me it's not funny to make fun of people.

Sorry, Micheal.

Now what am I going to blog about?

Grocery Shopping

Mike volunteered to pick up a few items from the grocery store as long as I wrote them out on a list for him. I wrote: 3 red peppers, 3 sweet onions. He came back with three green peppers and a bunch of white onions.

He tried to make me feel sorry for him by saying that he couldn't concentrate on shopping because he had to go to the bathroom.

Now he's watching golf in his sleep on the couch. It's been a long day already.


Mike and I took the van to vacuum it at the local car wash a couple evenings ago. I put the three quarters in. I climbed in and around the vehicle at top speed, trying to remove all the State Fair gunk before the timer ran down. Mike shook out a few car mats and made sure the hose had enough slack, but mostly enjoyed standing behind me and watching me work.

After finishing the job, the vacuum was still running so I swung it over toward Mike (accidentally?) connecting with the inseam section of his khaki shorts. I've never seen his eyes get so big or heard his voice pitch so high. Where's candid camera when ya need it?

Good Morning, Sunshine!

What's worse than waking up early on Sunday when you could have slept in?

Being awakened by your husband's shrill screams as your son uses tweezers for the first time in an attempt to remove a stray hair from his father's back.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Days of Rage

My friend, Mrs. Bickerson, says she has about 2.5 days of rage per month. I wonder how many my husband would say I have . . . Unfortunately, these days will coincide with the beginning of school and the three day multi-million dollar obligatory conference. I don't like sitting still.

Nothing Funny

Nothing funny happened today. I have a theory that it's too hot for anything funny to happen. Speaking of unfunny . . . School begins next week. My husband said, "I thought you said you had 85 days off?!"

Well, yeah, I did. Now they're gone.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

EWWWW! That's Disgusting!

The boy's at camp during the hottest week of the year so far. You'd think his sister would be overjoyed with the quiet ride home (no one to touch or taunt her) - but no. You know how they say if someone is missing from a group that another person will take over the absent person's responsibilities?

I'm not sure if it was Rachel or Mike who initiated it, but they both started arguing and wrestling (in the van while I was driving). The next thing I knew, Rachel was being punished. Mike used her finger to clean wax out of his ear.

Is this creative punishment or is it punishable by DCFS?