Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The dog ate my homework?

Macy was almost able to use this excuse last night. Her homework was to decorate a construction paper Christmas tree, so she was using glitter, markers, and glueing Cheerio's all around. I was keeping an eye on the dogs since food was on the table, as Kobe has been very aggressive as of late. She'll just take food right out of the girls hands as they are eating.

As Macy was working on the Christmas tree, Kobe just reached under her arm and grabbed the paper where the Cheerio's were concentrated and took off across the living room! I ran over and grabbed the paper away from her, gave her a spanking and sent her outside. She knew immediately she was in trouble.

I wonder what Mrs. Fischer would have said if Macy went back to school today and said she couldn't finish her homework because the dog ate it?

Below are a couple pictures of our beloved dogs. Ignore if you are not a dog lover. First is Kobe, the food stealer.

Next is Gabe, the underwear and sock stealer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving is over...ready for Christmas?

It was a great Thanksgiving...busy, but fun. Here's a recap.

On Wednesday, my mom, my sister Natalie and her daughter Hannah came over for lunch. It was spitting snow a little, but the girls decided they needed their hats, gloves and snow boots on to play in this "snow"

Thursday morning I took my usual picture of Macy watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. She says, "I am so lucky; I have a store AND a parade named after me!" She really seemed to enjoy the parade more this year then in the past.

Hannah's birthday was Friday, so on Thursday afternoon we had a mini-birthday party for her after we'd all stuffed ourselves full of turkey. We hung this pinata in the garage for the kids to hit. It took forever! I think Macy has a future in softball, because man she could hit that thing! This is Hannah's turn below.

My brother was in town from Atlanta, and it was great to have his family here. Kaylin liked to stand on my brother's feet, and he would push her up in the air. Luckily she's still light enough that it doesn't hurt that bad. She loves it! I thought this was a cool action shot that caught her right in the air.

My dad plays this "don't cross that line" game where he draws an imaginary line in the carpet, then when the kids run by, he reaches out and grabs them. He's done it for as long as I can remember; I can remember my twenty-year-old niece giggling as hard as she could. The kids all got into the game Thursday night, helping each other "escape" from Papa. It really seemed to help loosen up Josh a little.

Friday morning we went to get our Christmas tree. As soon as we step out of the car, there's Santa. Santa's suit looked better than last year's, so I asked him about it. He said Mrs. Clause found a great deal on ebay.

Bobby is very picky about our tree--takes him forever to find one. Then he starts second-guessing himself, then he forgets which trees he's seen and which ones he hasn't. But we finally found one, chopped it down and took it home.
Took a little effort to get it to stand just right, and on Saturday it actually fell over on top of the girls while we were putting up ornaments.

Saturday we took Josh to see Uncle Bobby at the fire station. As any 3-year-old would be, he was pretty excited about the fire truck, the ambulance, put on a helmet and all that. He didn't want to leave.

Uncle Bobby and Josh in front of the fire truck.

Saturday night was the huge MU/KU football game at Arrowhead. I decided to stay at my parents and watch it with my family. When I get nervous about a game like that, I can't keep my hands still. I can partially understand why people smoke--gives them something to do with their hands. I was pretty fidgety, and I'm sure I annoyed the family in the room with me. But our beloved MU Tigers won, and now are #1 in the nation in football. Now if they can just hang on for 2 more games...
Sunday we went to the MU basketball game in Columbia. Pretty uneventful, except the girls got to have their picture taken with Truman. They were beside themselves with excitement.

We came home to find our Christmas tree had fallen (again) and was stretched out across the living room with ornaments and lights everywhere.
Now we begin planning the big birthday party for Macy. We handed out invitations today. We invited 26 (yikes!!!!!!!!) and I hope no more than 24 come so I don't have to buy another dozen of everything.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Americans reading less...

As an English teacher, one who reads constantly, and one who teaches struggling readers, the following report is quite disturbing to me. http://www.kmbc.com/education/14640950/detail.html

A few quotes that I found especially bothersome:

  • "an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year."
  • "The percentage of high school graduates deemed by employers as "deficient" in writing in English (72 percent)"
  • "The number of adults with bachelor's degrees and "proficient in reading prose" dropped from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003."

The report says "We need to reconnect reading with pleasure and enlightenment." Very true, but something I struggle with daily. How do you make books relevant to compete with video games, ESPN, cell phone texting and email?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nighttime musical chairs and other thoughts

Bobby was at work last night, and I woke up about 2 to go to the bathroom. Kaylin had brought her pillow, her stuffed animal and was sound asleep next to me. I had no idea she'd gotten in bed with me. I went to the bathroom and went back to sleep. Something woke me up around 4, and I noticed Macy was now on the other side of me, sound asleep too. I had no idea she'd gotten in bed with me either. I also had no idea I was such a sound sleeper. After that, I couldn't fall back asleep because Kaylin is a cuddler--she throws her arm around my neck, snuggles up next to me. Normally I like that, but last night Macy was on the other side doing the same thing, there was a dog at the end of the bed, and I began feeling a little claustrophobic. So I moved to Macy's bed, and woke up with stuffed animals all around me.

On the way home from church today, we ran through Wendy's drive-thru. Macy asked me what french fries were made of. I said potatoes, and she said yuck and spit out her fries. Then Kaylin asked what chicken nuggets are made of, and Macy said "They take the chicken and roll it into balls, and then put turkey all over and cook it." Interesting idea...

I like to take a nap every Sunday afternoon. I told the girls not to bother me unless it was an emergency. They were pretty engrossed in Barbie's Island Princess. Here's Kaylin's "emergencies":
  1. "Macy said my face is dirty, but it's not" (and it really was)
  2. "Can you help me put on this Cinderella dress?"
  3. "Macy hit me in the back."
  4. "Where's my flip flops?"
  5. "Macy poured me some milk. Is that ok?"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Entertainment in study hall...

Every third day I have study hall, and today is my day. On Friday's we usually let them sit wherever, talk quietly, etc. We're in the auditorum, and there are about 110 kids in study hall. Today there is a strange group sitting on the floor in front of me. Three are actively playing chess with a 10X13 mat and actual chess pieces. One boy just got up and ran around the auditorum, not saying anything but punching his fist in the air. I asked the other kids what happened, and they said he had just lost. Apparently he is president of the chess club, and loses to this kid every day during study hall. Interesting...

Then we have the love triangle. Spiky Hair boy was sitting on the floor, Flat Hair Girl leaning up against him with his arms wrapped around her. They stayed like that for a long time, watching the chess match. Flat Hair Girl got up to go to the bathroom, and suddenly Spiky Hair Girl (who earlier was complaining that everyone is copying her haircut--trust me, no one would want to) is leaning up against Spiky Hair Boy with his arms wrapped around her. I can't wait for Flat Hair Girl to come back in, expecting fireworks, but she just sits down and starts playing chess.

Now I've done none of the work I've needed to during study hall today, but have been quite entertained in the meantime.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh, to be young...

What I wouldn't give for a camera right now. (I lost the memory card in mine while transferring some pictures. It's in a machine somewhere.)

The girls are playing in the backyard, and we have lots and lots of leaves. They started making "snow angels" in the leaves, and were just laughing and having a ball. It was so cute! Now they are trying to make a house of the leaves. Not sure that's going to work out all that well for them, but that's ok. They're playing together and not fighting.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Going home today...

When I talked with my mom yesterday, she asked if I'd had a good time in Philly. I said yes, why? She said all my posts were negative! I didn't intend for them to be; in fact, we had a great time! One adviser had her luggage lost, her computer locked and she needed something off the desktop, she had to sleep on a rollaway bed, and a bird pooped in her hair. SHE did not have a great time, but the rest of us did. But I'm ready to go home, and give my husband and girls a squeeze.

Yesterday we walked to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then ran up the steps, Rocky style. There were a ton of people doing the same thing. There's a Rocky stature at the bottom and we used that as a photo op, of course.

This morning three students and I got up early to watch a building in downtown be imploded. There were probably about 100 people watching. The building was about 2 blocks away from where we stood. They counted down to 10, there was a huge boom, pigeons flew all over the place, and then the building started coming down. It started down on the left side first, but then the right side caught up with it. The dust that came after was bad, and my contacts are burning even now. It was incredibly cool, and I'm glad we got up early to go watch it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Etiquette for a convention....

Rules of etiquette for a convention with 4000 high school students:

1. When the elevator door opens, please allow the people inside to get off first.
2. If you are only moving one floor, say from the 4th to the 5th floor, please don't take the elevator, but the escalator or stairs.
3. If the elevator is packed, please don't push your way in and say "Room for me?" No, there is not room for you.
4. When you're in a session, please don't be rude to the speaker by texting, answering your cell phone, or whispering loudly to the person next to you. And when a nearby adult pointedly looks at you, stop doing these things.
5. If they only have enough handouts for one per school, please only take one per school. The people in the back appreciate it.
6. When eating in a group of more than 8, the gratuity is added on. If your meal was $16, you need to pay more than that to cover the tax and tip. We're not trying to cheat you, but you have to pay more than $16.
7. If there are 17 people crammed in a 12 person van, please don't talk about how uncomfortable you are when the others are just as uncomfortable. Is complaining going to help? No.
8. If you get your hair pooped on by a bird, don't rub it on others. They don't appreciate it.
9. When your adviser tells you to check in after the dance, and it is midnight, and she sounds sleepy, please don't carry on a conversation and then say, "Are you sleeping?"

Friday, November 9, 2007

City of Brotherly Love 2...

More things I've learned on my Philly trip...

1. The people in the office building across the street will wave at you if you stare out the window long enough.
2. A giant fiberglass rat in the back of a truck is apparently necessary to help protest a labor organization at the bank across the street.
3. Amish people make the BEST bacon, egg and cheese roll-up, rolled in handmade pretzel dough.
4. Do you think it is against culture for a 15-year-old Amish girl in full Amish attire to be texting on a pretty pink sparkly cell phone?
5. If you had long arms, you could touch the Liberty Bell. No guards around it. A student quote: "It doesn't look real, that Bell."
6.Midwest Airlines only gives $25 a day on reimbursement of luggage, but they do call 4 times a day to tell you the luggage has not been found.
7. We ate Thomas Jefferson's favorite biscuits at the Tavern he, Ben Franklin and Sam Adams went for a drink.
8. Elfreth's alley is the oldest street where people have contintously lived. Someone has lived in those row houses since 1703. It is the cutest street. Students have no regard that people actually live there, and want to look in the windows or touch their pumpkins on the front step.
9. They need a neon sign announcing Ben Franklin's grave so people don't have to walk all over the graveyard trying to find it.
10. Chairs from the 18th century need a little refurishbing, but George Washington's chair has a neat rising sun on it.
11. Ben Franklin's grandchildren didn't want to maintain the upkeep on his house, so they raved it and built row houses. Unbelievable.
12. The streets of Philly are not safe. It is not the city of brotherly love. People are rude.
13. The mint in Philly had a bomb threat, and so we opted not to go.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

City of Brotherly Love?

My thoughts on our Philadelphia trip so far...

1.Overly cheerful flight attendants at 6:00 am really annoy me.
2. As soon as the wheels of a plane touch down, high school students whip out cell phones to text or call.
3. Midwest is not good with luggage, but has nice leather seats. No chocolate chip cookies on flights before 10 am.
4. The Marriott Downtown thinks it's okay to put four high school boys in a room with one king sized bed.
5. Philadelphia doesn't feel the need to start the Christmas season before Thanksgiving, as there is no hint Christmas is coming.
6. Homeless people are too aggressive.
7. Philly cheese steaks are pretty good.
8. The boy sitting next to me at dinner can name any song or band in the first five notes.
9. Declaring cell phone bans at the dinner table works. Students stay off their phones and actually talk to one another. And throw things across the table at each other.
10. High school girls love to shop, even if it is at the same stores they have at home.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Birthday weekend!

Friday was my birthday, so we went to Columbia for the weekend. We got there Saturday afternoon, and shopped around downtown Columbia. I finally got my Chase Daniel (quarterback for Mizzou) t-shirt I've been looking for! We then went to the first exhibition game that afternoon too, and MU won. It actually didn't look good the first half, but they played much better in the second half. None of our group was there, so we were kinda lonely. They had moved the starting time of the game to 3, so at 5:30 they could show the MU/Colorado football game on the big screen. Only about 100 people stayed. We watched a couple drives and then left. It would have been a neat experience if the place had been packed.

Obligatory picture of the girls at the game:

Sunday morning we went to the Rock Bridge State Park, and hiked around for a while. We found a couple caves; one is closed unless you have a permit, but the other you can explore. However, we lacked flashlights, appropriate shoes, and a hard hat for Bobby, so we didn't venture very far. It was cool though, and we will probably go back this summer. This first picture is me at the bottom, shooting up to Bobby and the girls at the top.

And this one is Bobby at the top, shooting down at the girls and I at the bottom. The cave we tried to explore is to the left of where we are.

Then we tried to find a giant sinkhole, but the girls tired out early. We ate lunch, then drove to Rocheport and walked on the Katy Trail for a while. There is a 250-feet tunnel that was gorgeous, and we yelled and made our voices echo. We climbed a steep, steep hill that didn't look all that bad at the bottom but gave us a beautiful view of the Missouri River and the surrounding countryside. It was a nice, relaxing weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Thank goodness Halloween is over! We had a busy day. Kaylin had a party from 8:30-11:30, then I picked her up at 2 to go to Macy's party at school. Then we went around the businesses in Kearney from 4-5, ate dinner, went around around neighborhood for a while, then headed home and they handed out candy for about an hour. At 8 Kaylin fell asleep on the floor in her room, exhausted. Macy stayed up a little while longer handing out candy, then she conked out too.

The firemen were handing out candy in downtown Kearney, so of course we had to stop there.

This is Kaylin, their cousin Hannah, their friend Emily, and Macy. Notice with Macy's wig they are all blond.

This is Macy and her kindergarten teacher Mrs. Fischer.

They're already talking about next year. Kaylin wants to be Cinderella again, and Macy wants to be a devil.