Friday, October 31, 2008

Head Gear

Roxy wants to be an owl for Halloween. I made her a costume and she is getting excited, except for when she saw the hat I wanted to make for her. To me, she should have feathers and I wanted to make something to put on her head. I had the brilliant idea of using a pair of black tights, cutting off the legs, then attaching owl ears and feathers. Roxy, who is usually game for silly things, was horrified at the thought of putting pantyhose on her head. Where did she get so stiff? So, I modified my idea and will show you the results - if she is willing to go with my latest creation.

I am a little sad because I could not bring one of my all-time favorite movie lines into being: Raising Arizona, with Nicolas Cage, holding up the convenience store for money and a package of diapers, with the hick behind the counter saying, "Son you got a panty on your head." I will have to make some other favorite line come true...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Afternoon of Momming

I tell you what, I know how to fill up a day. I am leading the book club tonight at my house. Translation: I am cooking, cleaning, going up and down the stairs twenty times, setting tables, finding lost silverware, washing the guest towels. You name it, I did it. I also went to the grocery store twice and Due West Elementary once. With Darby on the yearbook staff and Roxy becoming an official brownie today, complete with photos, flowers, etc., I did not think I would get it all done. But here I am, ready and waiting for my group. Just don't open the master bedroom door - I can't say I got everything done.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roller Girl

I attempted to straighten the girls' hair this weekend. It is technically straight, but not in an ideal form. In an effort to salvage my hours of labor-intensive work, I instituted the use of hot rollers. My eldest spawn questioned my ability to roll up her hair. Babe, I lived through the 80's, I can rock-n-roll the rollers.

They helped (somewhat) and then she let me take her picture. There's nothing like getting embarrassed by your mom...
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Friday, October 24, 2008

A Very Redneck Retreat

Scott has gone to the men's retreat with our church members. The retreat is at a hunting resort in Alabama just outside Tuscaloosa and Scott can catch up with a friend who lives there while he enjoys the retreat. I say enjoy, but with Scott that might be a stretch. He decided at the last minute to take his laptop to get some work done. Isn't he supposed to be doing the male bonding thing? I mentioned that to him, then I let it alone. I guess the laptop is his blue security blanket, just like Linus in the Peanuts cartoon. He better not open that thing up...

The men have a great weekend of fun planned. People are hauling down their four wheelers, their shotguns, and enough ammo to start a Church of Christ armory. The list of required supplies for this trip was rather short: toiletries, bedding, and guns. I need more than three things just to go to the grocery store. Life is simple when you are a redneck man.

Another redneck anecdote I learned recently. In the city of Kennesaw (where I technically live), there is a law requiring ownership of a firearm for each household. I suggest you don't mess with Georgia.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Hard Day's Work

Today I was booked all day long with various things that I was not jazzed about. The role of Mom these days has caused me a lot of time, thought, and worry. I got Roxy's eyes checked because of concerns about how she is tracking when she is reading. She is tracking fine and the family curse of nearsightedness has not emerged in her (yet.) So, when she crosses her eyes as a joke and one of them starts randomly roaming around her eye socket, that is OK by the doc. Hmm...

And then there was a funeral. Scott has little funeral experience and I was anxious for him. I was also down because the lady that passed away was one of the gals I played cards with a couple of weeks ago. I will never get to eat Mildred's cheese straws again. I was just getting to know her. The funeral was touching, not the kind where you have to listen to people talk about death but the kind where her whole life was celebrated. She had a great funeral plan.

And then I had teacher's conferences. Not fun. Do not look forward to these. The teachers are good, the kids are good, but the learning curve (at a new school with different teaching methods and different tests) is a beast. Give me and my kids some credit, please. I think I'll go see what's on the tube now - I need a mental vacation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Darby on Patrol

Darby is a hall monitor this week. Darby is officially drunk with power now, with her badge and clip board and pen. She makes sure everyone comes in to school in an orderly way and she is allowed to write up anyone that gives her a hard time. Darby absolutely loves rules and expects everyone to live by the same rules she lives by, so this job may be interesting...

I know nothing about hall monitors except for that Brady Bunch episode where Peter had to be the hall monitor and he ended up taking his job way too seriously and started writing up everyone at home and in the world outside school. My poor clueless husband has no background in Brady Bunch, so I could not share this random anecdote with him. He said to me, "Seriously? You think I remember the Brady Bunch?" Seriously, folks, who doesn't remember the Brady Bunch?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

She Cooks, She Sweeps, She Spells

My little RockStar is quite a girl. She has always been interested in cooking, which means I have an unavoidable companion in the kitchen. Roxy and Darby made me an edible breakfast on Saturday morning, which was all Roxy's plan. And when Roxy gets bored, she goes out and sweeps the porch. If she is still looking for something to do (aka Daddy is not home from work yet), she sweeps the driveway. Her huge pile, pictured here, was impressive. It freaked out her Daddy who thought it was a large, furry dead animal lying dead in the driveway. He got home from an elder's meeting at 10:30, so no wonder he was confused. Lastly, Roxy has developed a fondness for playing hangman. Her list of words that she can read is four times as long as the list of words she can spell. Hangman is generally played by her with words that are one or two letters long. Which makes for an adorable game with a six year old. Roxy, you rock.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Rebuttal

Hello, Blog World. This is Scott, writing as the guest blogger tonight. This is quite exciting for me. I've never blogged before. I was on Facebook once for about 10 minutes, but found it confusing and frightening. I'm about as hip as a rotary phone, so this is all new to me.

Let me say that I found Sheree's account of the concert quite generous towards me. Getting me to even go to a concert was a gamble for her, and I tried to be on my best behavior. However, I didn't do very well. The highlight of my evening was when Ryan Adams abruptly ended the concert because he was losing his voice due to the flu. Thank you flu!

Here's a few observations from my hour of audio hell:
  • The staging was composed of two neon roses and a cardinal symbol that looked like it was cut out of plywood by somebody in a high school shop class.
  • For the entire concert, nobody on stage moved more than three feet. There's more action in the robotron figures that sing to you at Chuck E. Cheese.
  • WHY SO LOUD????? The only thing worse than not being able to understand a single word of any song is not understanding words that are being blasted at you with the force of a jet engine. I tried to be subtle when I stuck my fingers in my ears, so as not to embarrass Sheree. Hopefully all the hip people around us just assumed that Sheree was a nice person taking her autistic older brother on an outing from the institution.
  • Sheree knows me so well, yet she keeps hoping that somewhere, somewhere deep in the small-town nerd she married, there is something that will surface in a concert, and I will be just like all the other head-bobbing normal people actually enjoying themselves. Sorry, babe. There's nothing cool in me, but it's very cool that you keep trying.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scottie's Rock Concert

My husband is not exactly a music guy. His radio station is tuned to NPR, mine is tuned to rock n roll. Because of this, plus the fact that for the last few years I have been momming it 24/7, I have attended very few concerts. But Friday, finally, I went to one that I have waited for almost 10 years - Ryan Adams. (Not to be confused with Bryan Adams, someone I would never spend a dime on.) And I took my clueless husband with me.

Scott, the poor soul, has experienced very little live music. He did not recognize the speakers at the amphitheater. He regretted not bringing earplugs. He focused on all the people there - are they real? What do they do in their real lives? Do they all go around wearing torn jeans? How come old people are here? How can you understand anything he is saying? Why do you want me to take a picture? His issues went on and on in a very Seinfeld kind of way. But I got to feel young again, watching an all-time favorite for my first time. I had a babysitter for the kids (first one in five months), I had dinner at La Madeleine and Starbucks after the concert, and Ryan played Shakedown on 9th avenue, which I have always liked. Plus a few other favorites I enjoyed and sang along with.

I am keeping a list of the concerts I would like to see. I would go back to Ryan, and I might even take Scott again. Hopefully he will remember his earplugs next time...
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Friday, October 17, 2008

How to Read a Report Card

Report cards came home today. I am a proud parent because both girls had compliments from their teachers. But reports cards here in Georgia are very different than the Oklahoma ones. Darby's report card used to provide lots of detail, including the number grade average with the letter grade. There were a lot of different areas of evaluation - a legal size sheet worth of boxes to fill in. This year Darby's report card has remarkably little info. It has good grades, but is practically a blank sheet of paper.

Roxy's report card is very lengthy. The amount of detail in it is cumbersome. And, to help out the parent as she reads it, there is a four page guide that goes in to even more detail than the report card. It includes many Darby-size words, like "phonemes" and "locomotor". Who knew that having a Bachelor's degree in Science would not be enough to make heads or tails out of a first grader's report card.

The Great Halloween Debate

My daughter Roxy does not know what to be for Halloween. Her brilliant idea was to be a baby cat and wear her cat suit and suck on a pacifier. Darby told her no, and I am grateful to have a 10 year old that refuses to be seen with that kind of character. It's crazy because we have many, many costumes made by my mother. Every princess in the Disney catalog, but Roxy is not the princess type. The diva crown was worn by Darby and the attitude did not pass down to Roxy. I tried to get Roxy to be a vet, like she dressed up for when she had her spring graduation from Sonshine School. But Roxy is not in to that one right now. I'm running out of time with her.

Darby has known for a year what she would like to be - Hermione Granger. Love it, love it, love it. If Roxy doesn't hurry up with a concept, she could end up with something odd and strange. Maybe even the cat suit with the pacifier...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stranger, Still...

Hokey photo ops at the orchard

Lunch at Poole's Barbecue with lots of lawn art - 3000 wooden pigs on a hill.
The barbecue delivery vehicle - not even a Shriner would drive it. Good barbecue, though. Love the pulled pork.
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A Walk on the Redneck Side

Odd signage

Sody Pop
Pumpkins that talk about Jesus
Creepy Caterpillars - they are everywhere
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So Many Pictures, So Little Blog Space

I have posted many pictures from our play-hooky-from-school day with Scott's folks. I can't really begin to explain how perfect the day was: crisp and clean fresh "are", just the right temperature, etc. We had a fabulous day exploring the north Georgia world, just about an hour from our house. I have a wheelbarrow load of pumpkins on my porch from our visit at the pumpkin patch. Conveniently enough, you can get your pumpkins, have a hayride, and hear the saving message of Christ all in one place. Plus pick up a bag of boiled peanuts. Garret was not impressed with those, but they really are good (think salty pinto beans, because that is what "balled" peanuts taste like to me.) I wish I could interpret all the phrases we heard in that lovely Southern accent, but you would not really get it unless you were actually there...

We paid a visit to the beginning of the Appalachian Trail - which is shown on the stone marker picture with an "A" in a circle. Hard to imagine walking and climbing the entire trail, all the way to Maine. I don't want to give Scott any ideas, but I predict that he will venture out on that thing one day. That man breaks into a run when he sees mountains and smells fresh running creeks.

More of the Perfect Day

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A Perfect Fall Day: North GA

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Must Have Done Something Good...

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The Games I Play

I have been playing some games the last few days. I have a weakness for the games on plus other websites, but I prefer to play with actual humans instead of the virtual kind.

I was graciously invited to play cards with some church ladies and it was fun. I played Hand and Foot, a version of canasta. I like this game, but the rules are a bit tedious for this crowd. I got to know some ladies, learn about their various ailments, and eat some homemade cheese straws spiked with tabasco. Those were made by Mildred and they were awesome. I also have the lowdown on the best places to go for early voting and I scored six hydrangea bushes. Those ladies rock. Thank you Margaret for the hydrangeas!

I played a game last night with Scott and his mom. It was the last night of hosting my in-laws and we were sad to see them go. We played Blockus, which I really love to play. I have figured out how to win most of the time, so maybe that has something to do with it. If only the others in my family liked to get beat as often as I like to play. I guess I'll play Wii when someone wants to beat me - I stink at most all of the Wii stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

Scott and I took his parents on the perfect walk yesterday. We headed to Allatoona Pass, which is a Civil War battlesite (big shocker there) and strolled around, catching all the markers, picking up turtles, listening to the hound dogs barking. This morning walk was perfect. It was beautiful because fall is starting to come on, and we were there in between the day's rainshowers. I can't wait to go back because of the beauty, the peace, the smell of the rain, the feel of fall.

The location, plus the barking dogs, reminded me of Where the Red Fern Grows. Darby has not read that book yet, but I know she would cry her eyes out with it. How is it that all of these battlefield locations are so pretty? The pictures they show at these sites have dead bodies everywhere, horrible destruction and pain, but you go there today and it is a memorial to such a beautiful place. My husband keeps finding more battlesites to check out, and the more places he finds the more he wants to find more of them. If he starts donning a uniform and carrying an antique rifle, I will be staging an intervention.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Darby's Final Performance

Last night marked the end of an era for Darby. No more school music programs. I have always been the doting parent, arriving early for a good seat. I felt so sad about last night being the last one. The good thing is that at Darby's school they are not very intense about it. In Edmond they rehearsed every program to death and there were twice as many students and twice the pressure. Darby looked like she was having fun last night, line dancing and doing the conga and other movements. And now, I have other events to look forward to, like piano recitals. I am still hoping that Darby will stick with the singing thing in middle school. She doesn't know about all the trips and contests that get you out of school - that is what made middle school slightly less irritating in my memories.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Who Da Man?

This is what Roxy chants, over and over, when she defeats her Grandpa at Wii Boxing. She kind of growls it, with her deepest voice. Poor Grandpa never had a chance. Wii for Grandparents has been very educational for Garret and Sheila. Getting beat and taunted by their six year old granddaughter is quite humiliating. I think that Grandpa like Mario Kart best, because when I was cooking dinner I could hear him giggling with it. Unfortunately, he was driving backwards on the racetrack. Good thing he has a six year old helper to straighten him out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We're Back!

We took Grandma to the American Girl store today. Grandma had never seen all the wonder and splendor of over-caffeinated little girls drooling over adorable products made in China. What she had been missing! The store is beautiful, of course, and busy with hair stylists, clerks, and made-up southern belles. I even saw a girl shopping dressed up in the Kit outfit, which is way too cute. But perhaps the biggest event of the day was me, the driver, taking three fast and furious interstates to get to the store in Alpharetta, Georgia. It truly is not very far away, but this cautious gal has done a remarkable job of avoiding unnecessary brushes with death (aka Atlanta traffic.) All went well, my mental navigation system was right on, and I decided that I will venture out again in a couple of weeks when I hit the Ryan Adams concert in Fulton County. Go Mom!
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Friday Night Firelight

This is what it looks like to relax on a Friday night on our back porch. The pictures were taken by Darby and Roxy. We had smores (again) because we had plenty of leftovers - yum.

Somehow Darby managed to make her Grandma appear to be Satan. This image could not be further from the truth. Grandma the Angel has been with us daily.
This is how Roxy views big people from her perspective - she can't quite see everything as clearly as we do.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

We've Got Grandparents!

Grandpa and Grandma Franks made it to Atlanta today. Roxy wanted to see them but she was getting very sleepy. I was afraid she was not going to make it until they got in, but within one minute she had Garret wrapped around her little finger, and within 10 minutes they were snuggled up in the recliner. That girl has some very persuasive skills.

Darby latched on to Sheila and proceeded to give her every detail about every item in every room in the house. The walking encyclopedia, thesaurus, and dictionary all in one.

The girls are going to be so sad about going to school in the morning. What can we do without Roxy? She is the family cruise director, thinking about all our activities, getting people to come together and do things fun. And without Darby? A day without mulitple random thoughts and memorized Calvin and Hobbes cartoons. I think we will survive until 2:30, when the girls get back from school...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Video Proof That My Daughter Is a Nut

Darby likes to surprise me with strange images on my camera. It is just one of those things that happens when she sees a camera left out on the desk. Thanks for the memories, Dar.

The Serenity Prayer for Brownie Meetings

God, grant me the serenity to accept the 6 year olds I can not change, to change the things that I can, like the girls that talk back to adults and demand to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes, and the wisdom to know that I am not the mom of those girls but my child is by far the best behaved and respectful of the bunch.