Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools 2010

Last year Bryant and I pulled a joke on Ann Bennett and made "fish sticks and peas" for dinner. AB hates fish, and the prank worked fabulously! She pitched a fit about the fish, and she was convinced the cookies really were fish -- never mind I've never once made her fish sticks! Bryant thought it was hilarious, but AB was not so amused.

THIS year, Ann Bennett wanted to play a prank on Bryant, and she wanted to make sure it was with a food he hates. She decided we should trick him with chicken pot pie, which for some reason he does not like. So, we made a fake chicken pot pie today. We baked a pie shell, and I baked the top shell flat on a cookie sheet. For the filling, we used white chocolate pudding with bananas chopped up as chicken and chopped and shaped starburst jellybeans (green, orange, yellow) as peas, carrots and corn. We put the top shell on, and it really looked like a pot pie.

We went to pick up Bryant from basketball, and AB (oh so subtley) asks, "did you leave the pot pie out?" To which Bryant instantly responds, "We're having chicken pot pie again? We just had it. I don't like pot pie." Well, AB could not hold it together and starts smirking. Bryant at first just gets mad and says he's going to laugh at her next time with have tilapia (as if he doesn't already do this!). About that time, we get home, and he realizes it might be a joke. But, he just wasn't sure. He walked in the house and smelled the baked shell, and he kept going back and forth - it's a joke, we're really having pot pie, no we're not. AB got the reaction she wanted, and B was a pretty good sport about it. He of course is spinning it that he knew we weren't really having pot pie, but we had him for a while.

I am not very good at these kinds of things, so this might be the extent of my April Fools' jokes on my kids. But, I highly recommend it at this age. It's fun. The kids understand it, and I think they appreciate it. I hope you had a great day. I have a picture of our pie, and I'll try to add it tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dr. Suess Character Day

This week was Read Across America week at the kids' school. Today they dressed as a Dr. Suess character, and there was a school wide parade. They gave out books yesterday. They have had guest readers all week. I don't know if the teachers loved the chaos, but it was really nice for the children in our school to have a school-wide FUN event. Thank you to those who coordinated this week's activities.
Bryant was most excited about this event because it meant he did not have to wear a uniform! He is Butch, the boy who sits behind Daisy Head Maizy and sees the daisy growing out of her head. After seeing the mass of Thing 1s or Thing 2s in the 5th grade, I'm guessing he's going to come home wishing he had made that choice, but at least he was out of uniform.

In case you don't recognize her, this is Cindy Lou Who. Ann Bennett willingly got up 15 minutes early and stayed focused all morning to have her hair done like this. For once, the time I've spent at Sweet and Sassy and that place in Myrtle Beach that I can't remember paid off. I was able to figure out how to do that thing on the top of her head. I have to say, I was quite proud of myself. I can't wait to see if it stays together all day!
Look, here is Cindy Lou Who in school. Doesn't she look excited to be practicing her math facts?

This is Ann Bennett's class (a 1st/2nd combo) dressed and waiting for the parade. They made sure everyone had something. In the back row, there is Mr. Black (from Hop on Pop), Thing 1, Fox with Sox (I think that's it), Cindy Lou Who, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the rest of the gang. I don't have a picture of the Bryant's class. They went right to their block 1 and started working, so I did not want to interrupt.
Finally, this last picture looks the most like a Suess character to me. Her expression just made Carey laugh out loud. I hope it brings you a chuckle as well. Now go read a Dr. Suess book to a child.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Daddy Dollars

We are going to try a new system in our house. The kids are going to earn Daddy Dollars to spend in the Mommy Market for various things around the house. I had to share the dollar I created. I love this picture of Carey. It is the face that always makes me smile. It's his I'm happy and sharing that happiness with the world face. I hope it motivates the kids!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Halloween!

First off, it's been a little crazy around here the past couple of weeks, so we never made it to the pumpkin patch to get a pumpkin. But, I win the bad Halloween Mommy Award because I didn't even get one at the grocery store. So, on Halloween, AB was about to have a fit to carve our pumpkin, which of course meant we had to find a pumpkin. I wasn't really worried though. I was sure there would be a few at the grocery store, but you know what? There was not one anywhere! Nana and Pop were already planning to come over before we headed out for Trick-or-Treating, and Mandy is always festive and prepared. So, we called them, and Nana saved me! She had a pumpkin, and they brought it to carve with us.

It takes a lot of people to clean out a pumpkin.

I know there are all kind of cool carving kits, and we even have an inexpensive one. But, Pop is old school when it comes to pumpkin carving. Give him a giant knife and a little girl with a plan, and he can conquer the pumpkin!

Next, I had to get pictures of the kids in costume, just in case I didn't get a chance later. Bryant very wisely requested a picture by himself. I'm glad he did. It turned out much better than any of the pics of them together. Plus, he is not sure if he is going to trick-or-treat again. If this is the last one, I'm glad I have a pic. You might be thinking this picture looks a little familiar. If so, you're right. Bryant wore this same thing last year. I might not get a pumpkin, but I've had enough costume issues to know to be prepared. So, early in October I started asking him what he wanted to be. He said, he'd just wear one of his jerseys or something. He never changed his mind, and he was perfectly happy in this. Plus, we didn't spend 2 cents on it! I think he likes it because he can play football at the party/dinner before heading out.

Ann Bennett on the other hand, looked through every magazine that came our way. She decided she liked a "car hop" outfit. However, I thought it was entirely too short, so I made one. She picked out the materials, oh and Kristine -- who made the amazing costume AB wore last year -- made the hat for her. I've been amazed at the number of people who don't know what a car hop is! We never found the saddle oxfords she wanted, but when it came down to it, she was happy without them. I was happy not to have spent the money on shoes for one night!
For the past few years, we have gone to some friends' neighborhood and done Halloween together. We did this again this year. It starts with a party/dinner in the park. Ann Bennett was a little freaked out to see Anne Cathryn as this scary creature. It was a little better when blond headed AC lost her black wig. You can see AB's somewhat confused/apprehensive look on her face! I found it kind of funny that both Bryant and Mac's costumes were the same this year as last. Well, Mac adapted his. He had a new hat, and a different blanket I think. But, he was still a Carolina fan. Mac says he's going to be this for the rest of his life, so if B does dress up next year, I think he should be an obnoxious State fan!

I think Frances' costume was a little more comfortable for AB, and I know all the girls were happy to be together.

Not the best picture of AB, but she's with Lily - a friend from church. We lost her by the time we were trick-or-treating, but they had fun together before hand!

Last, heading out to get some treats. Griffith, Frances and AB. Somehow I missed getting a picture of AC and Mac's brother, Dean -- aka Michael Jackson. I also don't have any more pictures of the boys at the party because they were too busy chasing the girls and throwing the football to stand still for me.

Fall Fun?

A couple of weeks ago I was determined to get at least our front yard raked. For some reason, Ann Bennett thinks this is a fun job, and I certainly enjoy the help. Unfortunately, her passion does not last as long as the job, but hey, she's 7.

Bryant on the other hand, does not think this is a fun job at all! He was my not so willing participant, but I appreciated his help as well!

I could have done without his pre-adolescent drama, but at least he helped pick up the leaves and dead grass -- killed by the guys who we PAY to fertilize and kill weeds, but that's another story! I spared you the picture the kids took of me raking. Let's just say it wasn't pretty!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Far From Home

I have not felt so far from home since Mom's accident. At that point, I felt I was far from home no matter where I was. When I was here, home felt like GA. When I was there, home felt like NC. I essentially moved to NC in 1989! I went home for summers for a couple of years, and I was in school the first 3 years. Those years don't REALLY count, but still, I moved HERE in 1992. It was so hard to be away from home, and many times I wonder why in the world I stuck it out! In retrospect, I realize I could have found another job in GA. It might not have been the exact same thing, but really. Certainly wonderful things happened because I moved here. I would not be the woman I am today if I hadn't, and I would not have the honor of living this life I live. But, sometimes I just miss "home." And I wonder if this will ever BE home.

My dear friend Katrina lost her father last night. And, every nerve in my body wants to be with her. I want to cook something, take it the family, hold her hand, go to the visitation, go to the funeral, hug her mom, hug her sisters and brothers. She is such a good friend, and Doc was such an amazing man. I did not always agree with him, but what parent does a child always understand? One thing I always understood about him, even as a teenager, was his love. He loved in such a big way! His big hugs, his big laughs, his big talks, his big discipline -- they all were models of a loving father, so in a way a picture of God for me. For some reason the thing that is sticking out right now is when Linda, Katrina and I were sophmores, I think, we wanted to take a bus from Marietta to St. Petersburg to visit our friend Patricia who had recently moved. We were all good girls, and Linda and I managed to convince our parents it was OK. Katrina tried, I tried, I even think my mom tried to talk to Doc, but he was having nothing of it. He did not trust what others might do to us. At the time, it felt like an excuse to me and that he didnt' trust us, but he was the boss and Katrina stayed home. Linda and I got on a bus to FL. When I think about that trip, I understand his fears and persistence. That was the first time I ever saw the mentally ill. At the time I didn't know it, but I clearly remember a person talking to door knobs. We made it there and back safely -- except for a sunburn that will probably one day soon turn into skin cancer, but at this point in my life, I think Doc was right. Boy, would he like to hear that! He liked to be right and have others know it. But, at the same time, he was so down to earth. He was a dentist in Cobb county, but he basically managed to live and raise his family on a "farm" - at least by Cobb county standards. Only at Kat's house did I get close enough to a cow to understand just how big they were! And, oh, could he sing with a sparkle in his eye, heart and voice. He loved music and loved sharing it. He passed on that love to his family, and I have been lucky enough to recieve the gift of that music. Karen played for us on many BSU trips in college. Kristy played the violin/fiddle when I didn't even know about the instrument. The two brightest and most recent memories of this music occurred when Mom was in the hospital. The first was when Kat came to to visit at Windy Hill and sang hymns with Mom. It was beautiful. Mom sang along with Kat's beautiful, loving, gentle voice, and I will never forget it. It was a miraculous gift and picture that Mom was in that body somewhere. Then, the Easter Mom was at Kennestone, they were looking for someone to come lead a group on the rehab floor in song. I called Katrina, and she and Doc came and sang. It was the last time I saw him, and he was singing and ministering with his daughter at the very hospital where he took his last breath in this life. I love that man and the legacy he leaves behind. I can't imagine how his children and Kathy must be feeling. What a joy it is to know that he is in heaven rejoicing, singing and not worrying about his health, but oh the hole he left behind!

Remembering this man and knowing my friend is hurting, makes me feel very far from home! I want to be there to celebrate his life, but I really do not know if I am going to be able to make it happen or not. My heart hurts to think about missing it, but my head just can't see a way. Anyway, I'm feeling very far from home and wondering if THIS will ever be home. I know it is home for my children, and it is where I will live my life. If we moved, I'd miss this life and all the friends we have. When I am logical, I can't really imagine living back in GA, but then this homesickness comes along. I guess that is why you should just never leave home. That is what I'm telling my children -- go off to school, go travel, but come home to have children and live your life!

Monday, September 21, 2009

How Did He Get Old Enough for This?

Yesterday was the first day of Junior Cotillion for Bryant and many of his friends from school. He actually missed baseball practice for this. Doesn't he look handsome? It was the first time he's worn a coat and tie, escorted and seated a lady, danced with a girl. It was also the first time I tied a tie. (Carey still went to practice since he's the coach, but we figured it out! You really can find anything on google.) ANYWAY, I did not do cotillion as a child, but my cousins did. I guess it might be something you do in smaller towns. As it turned out, I was asked to chaperone this week, and I am really glad I was there. We both learned a lot. In this first class, Bryant learned:

* He should offer a lady his right arm to escort her. He is responsible for choosing where they are going to sit. But, she went ahead and told the boys that even though they are officially in charge, it is nice and polite to ask the lady where she would like to sit. So, really, the lady decides. I thought that was probably a good lesson to go ahead and learn when you are 10!

* He learned to button his coat when standing, unbutton when seated.

* He learned to place his nametag on his right side.

* He learned the electric slide, the fox trot and the shag.
This is just a list of a few of the things he learned. I was so impressed with how well everyone behaved, and I was super impressed with how clearly the teacher taught the children. I'm glad I was there to learn the fox trot! There were basically two schools represented in this session of cotillion, and many of the moms from the other school stayed and watched. I would never have thought that was an option, and Bryant did not want me to stay anyway. We talked ahead of time about what I should not do to embarass him, and he told me not to get mad at him and not to take pictures. I told him the only thing I would be upset with him was if he was mean or rude or in some way made a girl feel bad when he was told to dance with her. He did a pretty good job with this. I only saw him cringe or roll his eyes once. We've already talked about how this can be very hurtful. I held true to my promise and did not take pics, but another mom there snapped a few for me. If I get them I just might post them as well.
Anyway, now I can dance with my son. It isn't fancy, but we can do it. How in the world did he get old enough for this? As you can see by this last picture, he's not quite sure what he thinks about this just yet.