Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pumpkin pie, anyone?

According to souces who do not have Black Thumbs, little yellow flower in the previous post is a PUMPKIN plant.

My dear friend Sarah told me this morning she thought it was, so I had Bobby ask his captain (who owns a pumpkin patch!) what he thought. Robert's wife Amy confirmed we have a pumpkin plant growing in our front yard.

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

Pumpkin pie, anyone?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Black or Green Thumb?

I have a black thumb.

It's true. I can't keep plants alive. I once managed to keep a plant alive for a few years, but only because it was the kind that required water once a month or so. Yet eventually I still managed to kill that one too. Of course, the rest of my family grows gardens, have beautiful flower beds, and I kill things.

On another note, we have lived in this house for five years this month. Other than stripping the H I D E O U S wallpaper in the kitchen and painting the girls' rooms, we have done nothing, inside and outside. That's why I find it humorous that my house, the one with the Black Thumb, has the following flowers outside:

These beautiful roses have graced our kitchen window for five years. We've never pruned them, watered them, or touched them in anyway, and still they bloom on a vine outside my kitchen window. Like the screen in the picture? Nice touch, I know.

And this guy? He's just a small flower...

on this gigantic lilac bush on the side of the deck. Smells heavenly! Again--never touched the lilac bush. It's been there for five years.

This guy is new. He's popped up in the last few days by our front steps. Normally Bobby weed-eats around there, but since his weed-eater bit the dust, this guy has been left free to grow. There's three pretty yellow flowers on him.

So, apparently the trick for me is to not TRY to grow anything, and just let it happen on it's own.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Million Questions

We told Macy tonight! I couldn't keep the trip a secret a second longer, and she ran around in circles and screamed her little head off. Now it's all she can talk about. I mean non-stop. Every word out of her mouth is about D.C.

Could I pack her a lunchable for the flight? (um, a 6:00 am departure? No lunch necessary! )Where will she sleep? Can she take a blanket on the airplane? She wants to see her reflection in the Reflection Pool outside whatever monument that is. She wants to meet President Obama. Can she put her window down on the flight? Will I put Gatorade in her suitcase for her to drink in the hotel room? She will wear flipflops so she can go through security quickly. (In November? I don't think so.) If she had a DS or a Gameboy she could play it on the flight. But since she doesn't, she will bring two books and read. If she wants to talk to Carlie (her babysitter) on the plane, will I walk with her? It goes on and on and on...

And Kaylin handled it really well. Of course, I had to promise a special time at Grandma's house, and a similar trip in the future when she is old enough.

Is it time to go yet?

D.C. trip!

Twice a year I am lucky enough to take high school students on journalism conventions. We've been to San Fran (twice), Phoenix (twice), Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, and St.Louis. The trips are always a mix of educational and fun, and we always have a great time.

We purchased 28 tickets this morning for Washington, D.C. in November. We will be there over Veteran's Day, which should be neat.


I bought Macy a ticket. Haven't told her yet. I am going to take her out of school and let her go with us. All I have to pay for is her airfare, plus food while out there. She is going to be so excited. Her first airplane ride, and a trip with just her mom and not her little sister. Plus her favorite babysitter!

So...a 7-year-old, 24 high school students, and 3 teachers. What a trip!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank you Chicken Patty Day!

I HATE packing lunches for the girls, no idea why, and both girls like to take their lunch.

Wednesday is the Beloved Chicken Patty Day, and both girls are buying their lunch! Woo-hoo!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Considerate folk and kid-isms

Yesterday we witnessed examples of a considerate gentleman and a not so considerate gentleman. Because I have nothing else to write about today and because it is about 80 degrees in my classroom, I will tell you about them.

Capri Sun's were on sale at Walmart yesterday, so naturally the shelves were pretty empty of them. I did see one on the very top shelf, pushed way back. I tried to figure out how to get it, while Macy was standing on the cart about ready to scale the shelves. This nice older gentleman must have seen my predicament and reached up to get it for me. Both girls were very impressed that this stranger would help us not. I explained how it's important to help others less fortunate than you. Macy says, "Yeah, that guy was tall and you're short so he helped you out." Precisely, dear Macy.

We headed over to Target to get three things that were cheaper over there. After we checked out, the girls were getting a drink from the water fountain and I was contemplating leaving them in Target. A man with his two kids stopped, took his groceries out, and left the cart in the middle of the aisle. Not so considerate.

And while we are on the topic of not considerate people, how about people who mow their grass and leave the grass clippings all over the sidewalk? When people run early in the morning, it is dark and sometimes they are not quite awake. Sometimes those people are also not terribly coordinated, and they might slip on the grass clippings. Use a broom or a leaf blower to dust your sidewalk. Us early morning runners would appreciate it.

Kaylin-ism while outside Friday night
KK: I see the Milky Way!
Madelyn: What's the Milky Way?
KK: It's where the stars are shaped like a milk carton.

Macy-ism yesterday morning:
Me: Did you have fun last night bowling?
Macy: No.
Me: Yes you did too!
Macy: You're right, I did. I just lied.

Well, then. At least she's honest.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tidbits from the girls first week of school

For two years, Macy has complained of how mean Ana is. She lives around the corner, and has a reputation for not being a nice person amongst parents and kids. She has been told to go home numerous times after messing up the house where she was playing, and once she told a girl her cousin had died while they were at school. Girl was devastated, and it wasn't true. When she was in kindergarten, Macy got off the bus many times in tears because of something Ana had said. Ana has been the source of many conversations about mean girls.

First day of school? Macy hops off the bus and says, "Ana and I are best friends now! She's not going to be mean anymore!"

Oh, boy. It's going to be a long year!

Kaylin hasn't said much about school. She eats and plays with a girl named Kaitlyn, I know that much. But last night when I was reading to her, she showed me the jumping jacks, push ups and sit ups they did during PE. And today she told me she got skittles because she didn't get in trouble. She's starting to remember things to tell us. :)

The first day of school Kaylin says she didn't eat lunch because she had to go to the bathroom, and when she came out, they were throwing away their lunch. Knowing her, she was in there playing. My guess is she will figure out quickly that they won't wait for her.

Macy forgot her lunch at home on Thursday and Bobby had to take it to her.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My unexciting first days

School started for me as well yesterday. I left my 1st and 2nd hour in the capable hands of my favorite co-worker to take the girls to school, and then came back to school. It's been a relatively uneventful two days. Yesterday we handed out the first day of school issue of the newspaper, which the students are always excited to get.

It's amazing how quickly you fall back into a pattern. It's only been two days, but it feels so comfortable and natural.

Next year I hope to move to the new high school in my district, so the first day of school next year should be more exciting.

Remember my exciting first day a couple years ago? Luckily it wasn't anything hardcore.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First day of school 09

Waking up is sooo hard to do...

What a beautiful 2nd grader...ready to take on the world. Ate no breakfast, though, which is normal for first day of school for her, but not normal for the rest of the year. She picked out her outfit and was so proud of herself.

Beautiful kindergartner--very nervous, but trying to hide it. Ate no breakfast, which is very normal for her every day of the year. She also picked out her outfit, and was very excited that I let her wear this shirt with a vest attached, ala 1982.

Sweet sisters... We usually take pictures out on the back deck, but it was raining cats and dogs so we opted for the staircase.

Look at Macy's face--Kaylin was getting too close to her.

Bobby came home, and we headed up to school. Macy did not want to wear a rain jacket for fear it would mess up her outfit. :)

Kaylin at her door--her room number is 101, which is my room number at the high school. She was pretty excited to see that. She loves her kindergarten teacher--her name is Mrs. Hanssen, and she was Kaylin's Sunday School teacher for a while. Very sweet lady!

At this point, Kaylin is still smiling and excited. Summer school helped sooooo much in getting her ready and prepared, and I know she felt more comfortable because of that.

But when we went in, she began to freeze a little. There were only boys in her room, and only boys at her table. That freaked her out a little. We got her to sit down, took a picture, and high-tailed it out of there. Bobby did say his standard line--"Don't eat the glue!" She called me back for a hug, and we slipped out.

Macy has Mrs. Watts, another very nice lady who used to live in Alaska--Macy thought that was pretty cool. All of her close friends are in another class, but once we got in her room, she knew plenty of people. Parker's desk is across from hers, for those of you who know who Parker is, and he is now sporting a mohawk.

Macy with Mrs. Watts

The difference with getting Macy to stay versus with Kaylin was amazing. Even though Macy was nervous, she handled it very well. Here's a blog post aboutMacy's first day of kindergarten

Feels good to be back into a routine. It was nice staying up late, sleeping in, doing nothing all day, but it also nice to get back to a routine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

70 years young

Yesterday was my wonderful father's 70th birthday. The stop was put on the big party we were planning, so instead we took him out to dinner. His choice--Smokehouse BBQ, where I had my first job at age 16. Yum, Yum. Good pick, Dad!

Here we are at dinner, courtesy of our waiter.

And Macy had ahold of the camera. Enough said.

Kaylin's "silly" face

Hannah's "silly" face

Macy's "silly" face

Who said an old dog can't learn new tricks? Dad wanted an iPod for his birthday!

The girls got Dad a pen set that looks like little golf clubs. It's cute.

"Can I write on your head?" Grandpa says

"Why, yes you can!"

Dad truly looked shocked when the waiters and waitresses came out singing, carrying a piece of cheesecake. I don't know if he really was, but he seemed to be!

Grandpa needed (or wanted) some help eating his cheesecake. Two little girls were more than happy to help.

Dad with his lovely two daughters.

Mom and Dad with three of their six grandkids.

The girls playing on the giant pig outside Smokehouse

Mom and Dad...sweet picture

Happy birthday, Dad!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I tend to stay up late on the days Bobby is at the fire station, and always have. I have a hard time falling asleep. So Saturday night I stayed up late, piddling around, doing nothing in particular. About midnight (or 11:51, to be exact) I decided to blow dry my hair and go to bed.

I plugged in the dryer, turned it on, and immediately dropped it as black smoke came pouring out, sparks shot out the back end, and the handle got extremely hot. I quickly unplugged it, and stood staring at it as black smoke filled my bedroom. I called Bobby, as Mr. Fireman would know what to do with smoking blow dryer, but he was in bed and didn't answer.

Side note:One of my pet peeves--he doesn't leave his cell phone where he can hear it at night, so if a crazy ax murderer came in to kill us, or the house caught on fire, or I was having a heart attack, or one of the girls fell out of bed and broke her leg, I couldn't reach him at the fire station after he went to bed.

And Bobby, I did not tell you this portion of the story.

I was very freaked out, and absolutely did not want this blow dryer in my house. So I took it outside (yes, at 11:53 pm) and threw it in the yard between our house and the neighbors. I figured it was nice and safe out there, not touching any wood, and it would be fine until he came home.

But then I was laying in bed watching the lightning outside my window, and I began to freak out about lightning hitting the blow dryer and it catching the grass on fire. So I went back outside at 12:05, brought the blow dryer inside, and put it in the kitchen sink. There it stayed, and I had a peaceful night sleep, waking every hour to check on it in case it caught fire in the kitchen sink.

There is my Ode to a Blow Dryer, along with everyone in the world knowing of my fear of catching our house on fire and what a freak I am. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The problem with toads

The problem with a toad for a pet is how to feed them.

They eat crickets.

The girls and I don't want to touch the crickets to feed the toad.

The girls and I don't want to catch the crickets either.

Poor Jackson the Toad is going to starve on the days when Bobby is at the fire station.

There are 3 in a jar next to me (thanks to my dad!) and every time one moves, I see it out of the corner of my eye and it freaks me out. I'm going to move the jar, and hope the crickets stay alive until Bobby makes it home tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Elk, buffalo and toads...oh my!

For the last day of summer vacation (for me, anyway) the girls and I plus my mom, my sister and my niece traveled to a nearby lake that has a native animal area, with buffalo and elk.

When we first got there, we couldn't find any animals and we were very disappointed. We ate our lunch at a picnic table, and as we were eating, some others arrived. Obviusly, they knew where the animals were. They stood at the fence and shook their bags of apples and carrots to interest the animals, and here came the buffalo!

We fed the elk first. The girls all lined up at the fence yelling "Elkie! Come here, Elkie!" and "Hey, Big Horn! Come here!" Here came one--oh, which carrot to pick?

He picked Macy's first.

He gobbled the whole carrot!

Macy said, "The carrot went up his nose!!" I could see his tag--#4704, and his name was Kicker!

Ever wondered what an elk tongue looks like? Here it is licking an apple slice.

We moved over to the buffalo side. Here's the girls up next to him--what a big guy!

My niece feeding the buffalo. I didn't get any pictures of the baby buffalo, and I was sad about that.

After leaving, we went for ice cream and to visit a friend who was one of the 100 people camping at the brand-new Chik-fil-a. What an experience that was!!

And today while fishing with Grandpa, the girls caught a toad. My animal-loving children wanted to bring it home, so now we have 5 pets. His name is Jackson, and he has eaten four crickets today. He's in a vase right now, and we're looking for a tank to put him in.

Strange for me...

Here I am at work today.

And for the first time in five years, I do not have a child next door at Blue Jay Junction. I dropped both off at Mom's, and didn't bring one in with me. I just stuck my head in, and I only know four of the kids.

This is strange.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daddy Day!

Tuesday I had to work, so the girls had a "Daddy Day." Rarely do they spend any time with just him, so I think they had a good time. Guess where they wanted to go? You got it. And with no prompting from me at all, they brought along the camera!

No amount of begging or pleading would convince Bobby to write about these pictures, so I offer you the next best thing: Macy narrating.

"We were about to go in to Worlds of Fun."

"Me and Kaylin before we went in, in the parking lot. I went like this (held out arms) and took it."

"Me and Kaylin on the log ride after the big hill. It was so fun riding by ourselves."

"We were about to go on the Scrambler and about to move and it was so much fun. It swirls and it looks like you are going to hit somebody."

"Me and Kaylin on the Wacky Worm. We saw in the Apple on the ground the sunglasses Kaylin lost."

"That's us on the Flying Dutchman. It is awesome!"

"Daddy was pouting because he was a single rider on the Octupus."

"That's us on the Sea Dragon when it was going up on our side. It goes back and forth and it tickles my tummy."

"Daddy was sitting in front of us and we were sitting behind him on the Sea Dragon."

Sounds like they had a fun day on their Daddy Day!