Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Good Ol' Summertime

Rachel has a couple friends over right now.  They arrived just in time for supper - which is good because I made too much food.  The warm bacon dressing was a hit.  It's also a gift that will keep on giving because someone just spilled it onto my laptop keyboard.

One of the guys is staying home alone this week while his parents are on vacation.  It's storming, so I told him he could stay here tonight if he felt safer.  When I learned he had a basement at his house, I said, "Or you might be safer in your basement."  The other guy said, "Unless there is someone in your basement right now, waiting for you to get home."

Hmmm . . . we might have a house guest tonight.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome Stick

Rachel has had several informal gatherings in our two-car garage this summer, which we have converted into our poor man's patio by adding area rugs, a table, chairs, couch and many, many Christmas lights.  Tonight is one of those gatherings and Mike and I took a  quick walk around the block trying to catch the "supermoon."  No luck.  On the way back up our driveway, we were greeting by a screaming young man wielding a large two-by-four and running straight toward us.  As soon as he recognized us, he said, "Oh my gosh!  I'm sorry!  I thought you were Zara and Zoe."

Oh.  That makes it all better.  I'm sure Mrs. neighbor was just waiting for a reason to call 911.  No need.  He must just be the welcoming committee.


In our state, it is necessary to log at least 50 hours of driving with a parent before getting a driver's license.  Quinn's driving log is in a spiral notebook, with neat columns including:  line number, date, begin time, end time, mom/dad, weather condition, and total driving time.  Today's entry was line number 36, sunny weather, beginning at 10:18, ending at 11:32.

Contrast this with Rachel's driving log that she created approximately ten minutes before going to the DMV to get her license on the occasion of her 16th birthday.

Oh!  And today, while Quinn zoomed through Wal-Mart parking lot, I asked, "Hey!  Did you look to your right?"  He snarled back, "Quit distracting me while I'm driving!"

So . . . checking to his right is not part of his driving?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Today in church, Rachel abruptly grabbed my arm to say through clenched teeth, "MOM! You can't sing 'amayzing.'  You should always say, 'amehzing' when you are up there singing.  Your vowels are way too bright!" 

I just smiled, because if that's the best she could come up with to complain about this morning, then things must be going pretty darn well.

My sister sent me a picture of her two-year-old daughter, Evelyn.  Reminds me a lot of Rachel.  Sometimes I miss the days when the biggest problems involved trying to keep her from picking the flowers in the backyard.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Rachel's ACT scores arrived.  Unfortunately, she must have bubbled her name incorrectly on test day, because the scores are for "Rachel Qellim."  Now, this isn't necessarily a huge problem - I mean, a simple phone call was all it took to make the correction with the ACT testing service.  However, she is now getting college admission information addressed to Ms. Qellim.  And her test scores were also reported to her chosen universities under her new alias.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fair v. Equal

Am I the only person out there who is appalled by the idea that everyone should be given whatever is necessary to achieve equal outcomes?  Here is an example of what school children are being taught.
First of all, why are these people watching from the back fence instead of paying for entry into the stadium?
Secondly, whose idea was it to  place a small child atop two crates?  And where did the crates come from?

Teachers are being told to give each student whatever is necessary for him to "succeed."  In the photo above, success is measured by the ability to see over the fence.  In school, "success" is measured by grades.  And the students who are unable to achieve a "C" or above are given extra time to complete work, less homework, use of a calculator, preferential seating in the classroom, much extra help, and typically, unlimited "do-overs."  This is not real life.

I believe that schools should be trying to help students and parents identify intrinsic strengths/skills/abilities all the while holding high expectations of basic curricular studies.  Instead of giving unlimited advantages to students who aren't skilled academically, inadvertently misinforming them of their abilities,  how about helping them develop life skills?  How about schools teaching kids that everyone is NOT equal?  That everyone will NOT have similar life outcomes?  That perseverance and hard work and self-reliance will be rewarded and are necessary skills for success?

Friday, June 07, 2013

Great Lengths

My teenage son went to great (creative) lengths to ignore me yesterday.

A New Commercial for Verizon

Perhaps Verizon should change its commercial to something more like this .

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Their Turn

We have been audited by the IRS - twice.  The incredulousness of the experience was overshadowed only by anxiety.  Why was a family making less than 50K being scrutinized?  I wonder now if the generous donations to our church, politically conservative groups (Focus on the Family, Family Research Council) and Christian adoption sponsor (Show Hope) threw a flag.  And our CPA at the time suggested it was due to the number of miles we deducted for Mike's work expense.

I hope the entire agency has an overhaul!  Time for a flat tax.  And there is no way in hell that our government - especially the IRS - should have any sort of oversight regarding my healthcare.

I heard that certain IRS employees are stating that they can't find receipts of certain transactions that have been requested by the Weighs and Means Committee.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Goddess Award

Rachel made it to her soccer banquet tonight - riding high on hydrocodon! 

It is the tradition for the team captains to give each teammate a special award.  My favorite was to a slim girl with a big appetite.  She was recognized for "never finding a calorie she didn't like."

Rachel was recognized by her captains for "being in tune with nature  . . . ability to weave a splendid headband from nearby grass . . .  natural beauty . . . best hair on the team . . . " and given The Goddess Award.

Her coach gave her and another injured teammate trophies inscribed with "Fakin' It Award."  He said that these girls came to every practice and supported their teammates and cheered them at games - knowing they could not participate on the field.  He said that some people asked him if they were faking it.  "Well, they both had surgery last Wednesday," he said, "so I doubt it."  Some parents laughed at his story.  I just wanted to know who thought my daughter was faking an injury and punch them in the gut.

I'd probably get the Tanya Harding Award.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Taking Notes

During the sermon prayer this morning, Quinn leaned over to rest his head on the pew in front of us.  After the sermon prayer, his head remained in that position longer than necessary.  Long enough, in fact, for his father to grab a pew Bible and whack him on the side of the head.

The young expectant couple behind us was taking it all in.  But I'm not sure if the notes were a part of their Things Our Child Will NEVER do in Church or Great Parenting Tips:  The Art of Using Items from the Environment to Enhance Your Teen's Church Experience.