Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Ribbon Week

Not sure who named the event, but it's all about educating our school-age students about the hazards of illegal drug use. Rachel told me about an interesting assignment she received today. Her "drug awareness person" instructed her class to google a specific illegal substance and report back on its side effects and common names.

She told us she is to tell her class about "MaryJo."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

See how the gourds and pumpkins are walking two-by-two into the ark? I thought it was almost as funny as the overalls Rachel stuffed with ears of corn from the maze.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1969 Dodge Charger

I wonder why my parents still have this car. It has taken up half of the garage space for about thirty years, but it does go fast.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quinn's Conference

His teacher spoke at length about his trouble listening in class and tendency to speak out of turn. I reminded her again about his four ear surgeries and auditory discrimination difficulties and how important it is to make sure he is looking at her when she speaks to him.

Then she gave me his fourth grade report card with straight "A"s. Above, the boy is pictured proudly wearing his "Straight A's" ribbon.

Hmmm . . .


I meant to ask Rachel's teacher if a particular student in class reacted negatively to Rachel's comment. What I actually said was, "When Rachel said that, did he bite?"

The teacher immediately gave me a shocked expression and said, "What?! Did he bite her?!"

I laughed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Use for Duct Tape #7,298

Quinn and Mike are portraying David and Goliath for the educational entertainment of the preschool Sunday school class in a couple weeks. Quinn decided to create three Goliath-sized rocks from - you guess it - duct tape. I've watched them practice. It looks like it hurts to take one of those things in the head.


Nazareth is the name of the comedian who entertained us tonight at church. We sat in the front row and quickly learned that part of his routine depended on audience participation. He learned I am a speech path, so whenever he crossed to my side of the stage, he stood up straight and spoke slowly and clearly. He asked many people about their professions - including Mike.

Mike looked at me before answering, "I am in sales." Nazareth pressed on, "What do you sell?" Mike looked at me again, then answered, "Agricultural products." Nazareth chided him for needing my permission to speak, when Quinn suddenly shouted, "Pig semen! My dad sells pig semen!" The crowd exploded in laughter as Nazareth said, "Oh! Well, at least someone in the family knows what you do!"

It was then obvious that this Christian comedian could think of no "clean" way to make fun of pig semen sales. Nazareth proceeded to walk in a circle around the stage, commenting on random items while the crowd continued to roar. Next to me sat Quinn who kept asking what was so funny.

If you ever have the chance, go see this man!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I held a very one-sided conversation with Rachel the other day about abstinence, STDs and the statistical effectiveness of c o n d o m s. I think I said it all in about three breaths. Mike was sitting next to her reading the newspaper held high enough to cover his face. I don't think he was breathing at all.

When it was all over, Rachel asked, "Mom, what exactly are condos?"

I told her they were places to live - similar to apartments.

With a quizzical look, again she asked. I hedged, then said, "You don't have to know what they are! You just have to know what I said. It will make sense to you in a couple of years!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007


While I was outside picking up sticks, my kids were inside stealth-watching The Simpsons. When I punished them by taking away all screen time for the rest of the evening, I was met with an angry threat, "You better give it back or else!"

Or else what?! Or else you won't pick up your bike from the middle of the street? Or else you won't put away the pile of clean clothes overflowing in your room?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Personification has been a difficult homework subject around here. Rachel was able to write sentences personifying frogs, hats and skateboards without difficulty. But she was stumped by "martian insect."

Rachel: "What the heck does a martian insect do, anyway?!"
Me: "Whatever it wants to do."
Rachel: "Then I can't write a sentence personifying the thing because if it really CAN do it, then that's not a personification!"
Me: "No one is going to be thinking that hard about it."

Not to be dissuaded, Rachel wrote a lengthy explanation to her teacher as to why the assignment cannot be completed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My poor math skills were highlighted in a previous post, reminding me of the fourth quarter of my senior math class. I think it was a mixture of trig, calculus and "imaginary number" equations that took my self-esteem in a nosedive into the depths of hell.

My parents reminded me of this during our last visit. I'm not sure why they keep bringing it up. Maybe they think my life is just too darn happy. I should cover by creating some more depressing posts.

Ah, Victory!

We were indeed the winners of the flimsy plastic bag stuffing contest! We were notified by phone that we should, "come in anytime to pick up [our] prize."

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I took my downtown Chicago sister to a favorite downstate thrift store Saturday. The "special" that day was the chance to fill a flimsy plastic bag with an unlimited number of items for $10. There were restrictions, of course - no tearing, stretching, breaking or exploding the bag. After the satisfying shopping experience, the clerk counted each item stuffed in the bag and congratulated us because we were the leaders so far that day for the most items in one bag.

Although I'm not sure what the winner will receive, I couldn't resist shouting to the other customers on the way out the door, "So long, losers!"

Let's see . . . 52 items for $10 = 5.2 cents per item. I've got Christmas whipped!

Math for Dummies update: Ten dollars divided by 52 is about 19 cents. Now I feel ripped off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


We were expecting some friends tonight, so I was busy making pumpkin bars, picking up the house and making sure there was toilet paper in each bathroom. You know - the necessities. As I'm wondering where Mike could be, I hear this scraping sound on the roof. Disbelief mounting, I look out the front door and sure enough - there is the ladder. Mike was on the roof sweeping the leaves from the gutters. You know - the necessities of having guests.

Men ARE from Mars.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I did it again. The last time I set my own hair on fire was while demonstrating fire safety tips to my children and nephews. This time was not so exciting. I guess I leaned over the grill too closely.

I suppose that multi-tasking is not a good thing when one task involves flammable items. It's a good thing I have a blog to track these lessons.

UPDATE: I only lost a couple hairs out of the deal. No worries. The sizzling sound and putrid smell were the worst of it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

No Picture Required

We Rellims learned a handy tip this evening. Back hair is not easily removed using packing tape. What amazed me most was the fairly willing participant tolerating the swarm of packing tape action.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Living History

We took the kids to this place to learn about life in the 1840s. Here you see Quinn having a grand ol' time playing a game with sticks and a ring. Whose idea was it to invent the Gameboy, anyway?

P.S. True confession time - as we pulled into the pasture to park the van, the people in the car next to us decided to open their doors and hold a family meeting, trapping me inside my vehicle. Forgetting my window was partially open I said to no one in particular (in a medium-loud voice), "What?! Do they think I'm not getting out today?"

Yeah, I'm pretty glad we haven't put that fish sticker on the car yet.


What's a surprise birthday party without a pick-up game of "Name That Tune" using party favors? These two are showing off the no-hands version of the game. Very complicated, yet highly entertaining.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007


How do I love thee? Let me count the number of CEUs I earned for FREE on your continuing education website just last night.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fine Print

I was trying to read the instructions on the packaging of my new reading glasses that I picked up at CVS pharmacy. The instructions explained how to remove the packaging from the glasses. But I couldn't read the fine print without the glasses. And I couldn't see the instructions while wearing the glasses.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hot Sauce

Mike has been working a lot lately, but that's a good thing. It means more business for the piggies.

Anyway, since he missed supper again, the kids and I were a little bored, so we found ourselves involved in a hot sauce eating contest. I was running a close second as the kids were both tied for first.

Genius struck as I picked up the bottle and shook it into my mouth to finish the game and earn the championship.

It's the little joys in life that make it worth all the hassle.