Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Annoying Classmate

Quinn told us about a student in his class who was "So annoying I had to give her the mouth at least five times today!"

"The mouth?" asked Rachel.

Quinn then turned his head toward her, snarled, and moved his mouth in a silent, "Nyay, nyah, nyah nyah!" Ah . . . How to win friends and love enemies.

Quinn then told us her name, which was obviously Asian-inspired and Rachel said, "Oh, she must be from Kansas."

(Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Said That

Rachel played an awesome basketball game tonight! I called Mr. Rellim about four minutes before the game started and said, "Mike, where are you? They just did the coin toss and are going to start the game any minute!"

He advised me to never talk about a coin toss at a basketball game again. I knew it must be a blog-able moment.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


During lunch today, Quinn shared the shocking story that his fifth grade teacher has a (gasp!) tattoo. I baited my son by saying, "Well, you know what they say about people who have a tattoo?" while glancing at the tattoo on the wrist of our lunch guest. Quinn thought for a couple seconds then said, "Oh! They're gay?"

Uh, no. Thankfully, we all got a good laugh out of it.

Note to self: Don't bait your son with a question that could possibly backfire.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Great Grandma Stash

Rachel received a card in the mail today from my mom. On the back of the envelope it said, "This card is from Great Grandma's stash." I understood that to mean it is one of the many all-occasion cards from my late great grandmother's collection. (We've taken to sending them now instead of just storing them.)

Rachel asked, "Mom, do you know this great grandma?" I said yes and explained who she was exactly. Rachel's eye's got bigger and she exclaimed, "Well, isn't she d e a d ?!" I said yes, since 1986. Then Rachel took a deep breath and wondered aloud, "How do you think she knew I was getting basketball shoes this week? And that I had a cold?"

It was at that moment I realized the problem. Rachel thought the card was from some Great Grandma Stash. We don't have one of those. We shared hearty laughs for many minutes, then reviewed the rules for possessive s ('s).


I noticed a third grader walk out of the school bathroom with his zipper down. Quietly, I whispered, "Zipper . . . zipper" to him. As all obedient speech/language students will do, the little boy whispered back, "Zippuh . . . zippuh" with the best /r/ sound he could muster.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's a Privilege

. . . and a duty. Please register to vote. If you aren't going to vote, you may be interested in this device which will make up excuses for you as to WHY you aren't going to vote.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More to Celebrate

1. Today is my Grandma's fourth wedding anniversary! After being widowed at the age of 35 and raising five children, she found the man of her dreams had been sitting at the other end of the church pew for 42 years! Happy Anniversary Grandma and Russ.

2. Today is Carson's fourth birthday! Hope you got to have your cake and eat it too.

3. Today was Rachel's first basketball game. Her team learned valuable lessons already - (a) Next year they will not wear new basketball shoes for the first time at a first game. (b) Only five players per team are allowed on the court during a game. (c) Hair accessories should not be adjusted during the game - especially when the ball is passed to you. (d) Never wear pink and blue striped underwear with white basketball shorts.

Angie W.

I'm sure angels sang as you were welcomed into Jesus' arms this morning. We were hoping for another chapter or two with you here, but your earthly story is complete. I can only imagine what the epilogue will bring. We celebrate your life and the legacy you leave.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Wet

Quinn came home from a friend's house yesterday with a wet head. I asked what he was doing and he excitedly told us about BOBBING FOR APPLES. WITH HIS FRIEND. AND HIS SIBLINGS. IN A BUCKET THAT HAD BEEN RINSED "REALLY GOOD" SINCE THE DOG TOOK A BATH IN IT.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too Much

My (call-the-cops) neighbor just commented that she noticed I wasn't at work this afternoon. She tried to fake concern or something. When I told her that I don't work Friday afternoons she said, "Well, things sure have changed since I worked over there!"

That lady better find something else to do besides monitor my life.

Can't wait to plant some more ugly things on her property line. I wonder where I could get my hands on a corpse flower or something . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Quinn went to work with Mike today and answered the phone when I called. At one point he asked, "Can you hold please?" I listened to hold music for about ten seconds and then Quinn clicked in to announce, "You're back now." I laughed. Aren't you supposed to say hello and "I'm back?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cell Phone Storage

I heard about a woman who stashed her cell phone under her bra strap during a stormy football game. When her phone rang/vibrated she jumped because she was certain that she had been struck by lightning.

The trouble I have with cell phone storage in that manner, is that I often find my cell phone falls into the bottom of my shirt or shifts toward my underarm.

Ha! I guess you won't be asking to use my phone anymore, huh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


As parents, Mr. Rellim and I strive to embarrass our children whenever possible. At least, that's what Rachel thinks. Today she may have a point.

During the parent meeting for Rachel's seventh grade basketball team, the coach spoke at length about respectful cell phone use and how he will "bench" a player for using her cell phone during practice or a game. Seemingly on cue, Mike's phone rang - loudly. I'm laughing now, but at the time it wasn't so funny.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I visited Quinn's classroom today and noticed two partially-full water bottles in his desk. I asked him what he was doing with them and he told me, "I drink out of them - duh! You told me not to use the water fountain."

You guessed it. He's been using the same water bottles all month.

Houston, we may have found our problem.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poetic Advice

Said Mr. Rellim this morning:

"Son, if you can find a woman who will wash your dishes and give you kisses, then you need to marry her."

I wonder what he's going to say to his daughter about this.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strep, strep, GO AWAY!

Is someone in the family a carrier? Is he drinking after friends? Does he wash his hands? Could he be re-infecting himself with his daily inhaler???!!!!

Today Quinn chose to take a mega dose oral antibiotic over one-stop penicillin shot. Next time - otolaryngology - where I will again make my case that kids with cleft palate (even submucus clefts) are not candidates for tonsillectomy. But, maybe there are newer techniques without the risk of permanent velopharyngeal incompetency. Maybe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago

On September 10, 2001 I drove to my last day of work at a local hospital. (I had previously given my two-week notice by fax while I was at home with my children, who were both recovering from e coli infections.) After work, I drove to my kids' childcare center and found Quinn (then 3 years old), sitting on the playground bench and having an asthma attack. I quickly gave him an albuterol treatment, but it did not help. I was able to contact Mr. Rellim (who was on his way to Des Moines) and he returned home to take care of Rachel so I could take Quinn to the ER. At the ER, the doctor patted us on the head and sent us home. Three hours later, Quinn and I were back at the ER, where he received the care he needed.

We got home a little before 1 am. I unloaded my car and wrote a lengthy letter to the childcare center. I then re-packed the car for the new job that I was starting - later that morning. I must have gotten a couple hours of sleep (in between giving Quinn breathing treatments every two hours), but I can't be sure. At 7 am, with Mr. Rellim on the home front, I began the 50 mile drive to my new job, turned on the radio, and heard about the terrorist attacks.

The day was a blur for many reasons. I do remember seeing gas for $5.50/gal at our local Hucks and thinking I had chosen a heck of a time to start commuting. I do remember wanting to go home, lock the door and begin my life as an agoraphobic. (I probably would have done that if I hadn't been working part-time.) I remember Rachel coming home from Kindergarten, asking about "bad guys who crashed planes into tall buildings." "Didn't they get hurt or hurt other people?" she wondered, "Why would anybody do that?" I remember assuring her that all those bad guys were gone. I remember physically restraining Quinn in order to get the liquid prednisone into his mouth. I do not remember falling asleep. I guess we were all hoping that it was a bad dream.

Looking back, though, I realize we gained a new appreciation for family, a greater love for the Lord, and a renewed sense of patriotism. And although these attacks threw some into a panic, I think it actually had the opposite affect on me. I was finally convinced that I was not in control. (Yes, I just said that!) I started to give up the idea that I could personally control everything and everyone around me or that I was solely responsible for doing so. The events of that month really drove me closer to the One who is in control.

She Made It!

Mr. Rellim has driven Rachel to basketball tryouts every day this week at 6:15 am. Yesterday we learned that she has secured a spot and will be playing on the 7th grade 's basketball team!! Hooray!

Tomorrow morning, Mr. Rellim will drive Rachel to basketball practice at 6:15 am.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


We tried a new recipe for slow-cooked ribs. It called for three cups of white wine. We put the ribs in at 8:30 before we left for church, but there was certainly more wine left in the bottle. The dilemma? I was scheduled to teach the preschool Sunday School lesson at 9:15.


Our neighbor let us pick a few plums from his tree. It must be a boy tree.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Who Didn't Smile?

Who didn't smile when Piper Palin licked her hand and fixed her baby brother's hair during their mother's speech at the RNC?

Just a Crush

Quinn thinks one of the characters in his favorite cartoons is "kinda cute." I thought this was strange until I was reminded of the time I told someone I had a crush on Chang, the Disney character playing opposite Mulan. Well, my new crush is Todd Palin. Anybody with me?

Now, I'm not saying I'll vote for that ticket just because of him, but if I were an undecided voter . . .

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Boy v. Man

Mr. Rellim said, "Quinn, you da man!"

Quinn said, "I'm a boy! You're a man. You're old. Like, you are over 25, right? That's how to tell if someone is a boy or a man."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fire & Fun

Light from the heat of a late-summer fire gave a l uster of midday to objects in the yard. And nothin' says "redneck" more than pitch fork twirling contests by firelight. Mr. Rellim was the grand champion.