Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Week Down, How Many More to Go?

We completed our first week of summer vacation. No more pencils, no more books, you know the saying.

Guess which kid is already bored? I'm giving her a new agenda: whenever she is bored, she has to hand wash dishes. We did it three times one day, but she still liked it. She had to stop and tell me that as we worked together. So cute, and yet so close to madness (in my opinion!) I chose the hand-wash route because she can't put away all the dishwasher dishes yet, but this girl sure can wash and dry. She has started asking Darby is she can take on her chores. Darby has to pay her, of course, but Darby will end up with very little and Roxy will be rich. Oh goody! More trips to Target for even more little pets...

Guess which kid is back on her technological cocaine of computer games? I think this may be the week she creates her own blog, because we have to find a way to get her thinking and not just clicking. We have a friend's Guitar Hero for a while and she is mastering it rapidly. She is also reading a couple of enormous books. And the cooking - she wants to cook now, whenever I pull her off the computer. The other day, when preparing a meal of steak and potatoes, she was thinking out loud: "I wish we had a magical thawing machine." Yes, Princess, we have one and it is called a microwave. At least the cooking makes dirty dishes for the other kid to wash...

My goal is to save money, save money, and get a light tan. And not go crazy with the girls.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Darby's Special Fans

My daughter Darby became a famous television legend at her school. For a month, she reported on various health and nutrition topics. Roxy was quite popular in her first grade class because everyone in there loved her. They clapped for her for an entire month.

Another teacher of a class approached Darby's teacher and told her that Darby was their favorite student on television and they would like for her to come and read to their class. Darby was stunned and honored and today was her day for reading.

One boy, Skyler, hugged her three times and talked to her about all his personal events. The other students loved her, too, but Skyler definitely stood out as her future stalker. It just so happens that this class is a "special" class (short school bus riders as opposed to the idiots from the long school bus.) It seems that Darby has found her people...

The teacher told Darby that since she has left the broadcast, they won't even watch it anymore because she is gone. I am grateful that Darby has made Skyler's dreams come true. Isn't that special?

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Dry County, My House

The week ahead of me is full of parties - end of school, birthday, 5th grade graduation, small group - I can hardly count them all.

I must be feeling festive, because over the weekend we went to a neighborhood party. Our neighbors are very friendly and we wanted to meet more people that live here. I found myself in a social situation where I knew no one but two people AND no one went to my church. Pretty weird for me.

Somehow I was under the impression that while there would be alcohol there, the entire focus of the party would not be alcohol. But I was wrong.

I now have a new definition for "fish out of water": preacher husband and preacher wife having to duck the thrown bottles of Jim Beam that fell out of the deer head pinata. I was silly enough to think pinatas were for candy, but no, you can cram them full of alcohol.

Thanks to all my neighbors and I enjoyed meeting you. I must pass on the Jim Beam, though. I'm a fish out of water...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life in this Crazy Town

I am always amused by the things that happen in Atlanta. I am clueless as to most worldly ways, having grown up in an Oklahoma Church of Christ bubble. My fascination with famous people and what they do sometimes gets the better of me. I might occasionally buy a People magazine, for example. But I want to see famous people - whenever possible. Yesterday I found out that Pearl Jam is here in Atlanta recording an album, so now I know where the studio is and would like to see Eddie Vedder and remember my first Pearl Jam concert way back in college. But I think they have increased security, because yesterday Jeff Ament was mugged outside the studio and lost about $3000 and his passport. I want to go down and see all the Ding Dongs that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore left Ted Turner down at the CNN headquarters yesterday, because he was Ding Dong Ditching Ted because of a Punk'd challenge.

You don't have to wonder if I get out much - obviously I don't. But I'll keep on submitting applications to be a movie extra. I will meet someone famous (someday)...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Redneck Festival Season

Hooray for summer! We are closing in on the end of the school year, which means it is time for lots of quirky summer festivals. I will never forget the first festival I attended - The Strawberry Festival in Dayton, TN. Years ago, I experienced great food, live music, a scary parade where people walked around holding posters with images of people burning in hell...lots of good ol' redneck fun. We picked up a magazine that was specifically dedicated to southern mountain festivals in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. A few must see events that I have to attend:

-the Machine Gun Shootout in Knob Creek, Kentucky draws 35,000 people over three days. You can rent machine guns or bring your own, you can use flame throwers and M-50s - and just blow stuff away. This event sounds a little like the church Men's Retreat last fall.

-The Summer Redneck Games in East Dublin, Georgia includes hubcap hurling, bobbing for pig's feet, "Dixie" playing with various body parts, and belly flops into a giant mud hole. I think I'll take the kids to this one.

-Gauleyfest in Summersville W. Va includes a Rock Scissors Paper tournament with over 1,000 people, late night boxing tournaments, portable stripper poles, and thousands of oars for massive river rafts.

I have left out all the food festivals (strawberry, peach, buckwheat) and the bluegrass festivals (more than I can count) and a dirty dancing festival, but all of it fills me with anticipation. Music, food, rednecks in wifebeaters...hooray for summer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Frog Funerals in the Fifth Grade

Darby has notched a new achievement into her educational belt - her first animal dissection. Numerous froggies were autopsied by Darby's gifted education class. Darby was very excited and had a great time, particularly when she cut open the frog and was able to actually know what she was seeing, naming everything she found. She even found poo in the frog - there must be bonus points for that one.

I had warned her about the smell. How can you forget that stench? But she did not mind it too much. These modern kids are totally pampered - they get peppermints to suck on to counteract the stench, they get rubber gloves to wear so they don't actually touch any frog guts with their skin, they have plastic protectors covering their face so nothing squirts up into any open orifice.

And after cutting open the froggies, they get to show off their work to the entire fifth grade, so now all the other kids can be jealous. Score for Darby - she was completely fascinated and wants to cut open more things now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fresh From Facebook

I am without cognitive skills today due to intense sinus issues. It will take all I have to read to Roxy's class in about an hour. So, I thought I would reduce, reuse, recycle my latest Facebook note. It is almost like a singalong, but for only those that know a lot about The Boss.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. Enjoy!

Pick Your Artist: Bruce Springsteen

Are you male or female: Jersey Girl

Describe yourself: Sherry Darling

How do you feel about yourself: Tougher Than the Rest

Describe where you currently live: Jungleland

If you could go anywhere you wanted to go: Atlantic City

Your favorite form of transportation: Tunnel of Love

Your best friend is: Girls in Summer Clothes

Your favorite color is: Pink Cadillac

Favorite time of day: The Rising

If your life were a tv show, what would it be called: Glory Days

What is life to you: Badlands

What is the best advice you have to give: No Surrender

If you could change your name, what would it be: Sandy

Thought for the Day: Prove It All Night

How I would like to die: Racing in the Street

My soul's present condition: I'm a Rocker

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Fair Police

Roxy was born with an incredible sense of right and wrong. She has very specific ideas about what is fair and how to make things equal, at least on her terms. A Facebook friend referred to a Whine Flu epidemic at her house, and I think Roxy is a victim of it.

I am getting tired of the Fair Policewoman. Here is a summary list of grievances from the last 24 hours:

It is not fair that Daddy has to go to a conference. He should only go to conferences here so she will not lose her basketball partner, wrestling champion, and night-time snuggler. And how come Daddy gets to go somewhere I we don't? We have to go to school every day and it is boring. I don't get to go anywhere fun.

It is not fair that Darby got to have Field Day on Tuesday and she has to wait until Thursday. Don't they know that the little kids always go first? And it is not fair that Mom went to Darby's field day and she did not come to my class. When Roxy has field day, Mom has to stay the exact same amount of time and do the exact same things with her.

It is not fair that Roxy has to go to the store after school. Why couldn't Mom go to the store when she is home alone? I think that Mom should have to buy me something when we go to the store, because that is the only way to make up for this major inconvenience.

It is not fair that I have to wait 15 minutes to eat breakfast when I'm hungry now. Mom should wake up and have breakfast ready when I wake up so I don't have to wait.

ANNOUNCEMENT: for Mother's Day, I would like the Fair Police Relief package and a vaccination against the Whine Flu that has overtaken my precious daughter.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Feeling Old - The Sheree Franks Version

I have been collecting some old moments lately and I don't like it one bit. I can make a few suggestions on how to avoid these moments:

-Stop taking stairs and you won't hear your knees creak. I blame osteoarthritis and all those years in college when I stood at a cash register at Sam's Club, sifting through shopper's groceries, car batteries, 40 lb. bags of dog food, etc.

-Stop opening your mail and you won't notice the graduation announcement from the adorable girl who scattered rose petals at your wedding.

-Don't go to Old Navy, American Eagle, etc. I remember buying clothes at American Eagle over 20 years ago - they do not clothe old people there. Just don't go there.

-Stop accepting Facebook friends that remind you of your 20th high school reunion. Yikes.

-Avoid all mirrors with light over them - you will see the gray hair you inherited from your mother. My mother had a silver crown of locks, but I am getting skunk girl patches that will not obey my flat iron.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Top 5 Tribute

Recently my brother completed his "25 Things" list on Facebook. By Darrel completing his list, my husband completed his list of "25 Things", which is quite remarkable because my husband is just not like that (doing things just because everyone else does it, too.)

So thank you, Darrel, for giving my husband a reason to reveal some things about himself and making him conform. I will now pay you a tribute with a...

Top 5 list of Things I Learned from my Brother:

1. I learned how to pop towels from my brother. I had never popped my daughters with a towel until this past week, when I realized I learned that because I had a brother that had to do the dishes with me for about a year when the dishwasher was broken and my parents saw that as an opportunity for us to learn an important skill together. I got popped with towels while learning said skill.

2. I learned how to lose at games because of my brother. He always won - Rummy, Yahtzee, Clue, Life, you name it. He also always rubbed it in. Along the way, I learned how to shuffle cards and do the bridge at the end. My daughters are very impressed with this skill.

3. I learned the names of all the members of Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rush, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the list goes on and on. Darrel introduced me to Prince. My knowledge of music was started by him. He took me to my first concert - Journey. I am grateful that he has good taste in music.

4. I never had to learn to mow the lawn because I had a brother that did it. I remember one time when I attempted to mow the lawn and daddy just stopped me and I never had to do it again. A hopeless lawn girl I am.

5. The Bean Report, as literature, was introduced to me by my brother. He was commonly referred to as Fred, which was heavily influenced by his fascination with all things flatulent. As a parent of daughters, I do not believe it is in the nature of girls to become fixated with gas, but I have quite a vast knowledge of gas, thanks to my big brother Fred.

Happy Birthday, Darrel! My world would have smaller and sadder without you.