August 23, 2009

The Writing on the Wall

There was a very joyous occasion at our house recently, one that I know many parents share in: School is BACK IN SESSION!!! Can I hear a big Whoop-Whoop?!!!!

I have vowed that this year is going to be different than all the previous years - namely, that THIS year will be the one where things run smoothly. You know: kids' chores will be done by the time I get home from work so that I can get dinner going sometime before midnight, homework will be done sooner rather than the now-familiar panic attack that usually hits around 11:15 P.M., kids will be IN bed by 9:30 (okay, 10:00 at the latest), and evening school events will not send the entire schedule into Titanic mode for two weeks after the event.

"Organization is key!" I said in my self-induced, euphorically organized dream-state. In preparation for this totally-awesome year that I'm so sure that we're going to have, I bought one of those large dry-erase boards that stick to your refrigerator. I bought the four-pack of colored markers with dreams of color-coding for each child, a neatly gridded day-by-day calendar smartly charted out for each one with chores, homework, and events right at hand. I'll never double-book or **cough cough ** forget a child for hours on end (see here) again.

Anyway, I bought the beautiful white board and colored markers, attached it to the fridge, drew my first week's worth of boxes for each child and went to bed, happy in the knowledge that I was WELL on my way to the goal. School was a few weeks away at that point, so I'd have plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles and get my "system" all worked out.

The next day, after coming home from work, I glanced lovingly at the board on my way in from work. Only now there were no longer clearly-defined boxes, but boxes with smudged lines. "Someone" had taken their finger and systematically erased small portions of each and every box, so now it looked more like a line of ants marching around each day.

"Oh well," I thought to myself. "I can deal with that."

The next day I came home to find new changes. This time the lines were back in totality, except now there were little men drawn on, some climbing staircases into the box above, poking their heads into their siblings box to see what was going on, some shooting bullets at their chore listing. I really wish I'd gotten a picture before it was erased, because it really was quite the work of art, in an ultra-modern, ADHDish sort-of way.

Day 3 brought a total erasing of all my carefully drawn quadrants and was replaced with a full-color rendition of the Utah Jazz basketball logo. While beautifully done, it really wasn't quite what I had in mind when I purchased the board.

Last Thursday school finally started, so I was excited to put it to actual use. I drew a big star around the date and gleefuly proclaimed"1st day of school!" That evening, I came home to see something now written on Friday in small letters: "Braden drops out of school."

Tonight, as I waited for dinner to cook, I readied myself to redo the calendar for the coming week. Only someone had beaten me to it, and there was already something scheduled for Monday. I knew this calendar would catch on! However, upon closer look, I found the following message:

"Braden unwillingly gets forced back into school. Ha-Ha."

It may not be entirely fulfilling the purpose to which I had hoped, but it has been quite the entertainment, and at least he's getting some creative writing practice in!

P.S. Savannah didn't finish the kitchen until after 7:00 p.m. tonight, and dinner wasn't served until 9:45 p.m. Insert deep sigh... The year's still young, right?

Aug. 23, 2009

August 14, 2009

Just for fun: 25 Random Things About Me

I was recently playing on Facebook, trying to figure out how to post a new "note" in response to one that I'd been tagged on, when I ran across something I'd responded to last year. Since I'm really, really trying to post more on this here blog, I decided I'd run this one, just for fun.

25 random things about me...Share Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

Drum roll, please:

1. All of my favorite restaurants end up going out of business. Not quite sure why.

2. I have worked at Utah State for almost 10 years, the longest I have ever worked anywhere.

3. My favorite job was working as an administrative assistant at a mental health clinic. Interesting doesn’t even begin to describe it! Some days I feel like I still work there ;-)

4. I’m a frustrated wanna-be English teacher: I earn extra money by editing theses and dissertations in my “spare” time. I love my red pen! And yes, I know I’m a nerd.
5. My first “real” job was recovering piano keys, a skill I was taught by my grandpa, a piano tuner. Each job took countless hours and covered my hands with blisters, but boy did they look pretty when they were done! Sadly, I probably only earned the equivalent of $1.50 an hour for my labors.

6. I got married one year after high school and later divorced after 4 years and 2 boys.

7. My husband and I got engaged on our first “real” date and both of us later admitted that we asked ourselves “what did I just say?” immediately after. We have been married 14 years this July and still going strong, although we do have our ups and downs like any couple.

8. We have 5 kids between us: His 2 boys, my 2 boys, and FINALLY a girl together. She’s now 10 and totally has him wrapped around her finger.

9. I love road trips, either alone or with my husband. No kids allowed at this point! I lovingly refer to them as the “fun-suckers,” at least when we’re in the car. They call me "Momster." We're a loving family, but a bigger bunch of smart-alecks you've never seen!

10. I’m a sucker for historical sites and drive my hubby nuts because I want to stop at every one. Over the years he’s finally gotten to like them too, but he still won’t stop for all of them.

11. Another favorite thing to do is attend estate auctions. A few years ago I got a collectable music box for $25 that I later found for sale on the internet for $750. AND I haven't sold it because I really love it.

12. In the last 3 years I have been close to death twice.

13. I am the world’s most patient mother. I must be, because my mom would NEVER have put up with the “stuff” my 16-year old dishes out!

14. I collect rocks, Christmas villages, and salt and pepper shakers.

15. I am a sophomore in college (almost a junior!) but I only take 1-2 classes a year, so I will probably be 50 by the time I finally graduate.

16. I figure time is passing by whether I take the classes or not, so I might as well get ahead while I can.

17. I took hunter’s education last year for the first time in my life, AND I did better on the target shooting than either of my boys’ when they took it! But I won’t go hunting because I know I’d cry if I ever shot and killed anything.

18. My aunt and I went on a vacation to Mexico City when I was 16 where I got my tennis shoes polished, drank Pepsi out of a sandwich baggie, and was almost bitten by a donkey near the Aztec pyramids. My mom cried as she watched us board the plane.

19. After 5 years of having very short hair, I am trying to grow it out long again. Each day I have to give myself a pep talk to not make an appointment, THAT DAY, to get it cut short again so that I won’t continue to look like I’m homeless.

20. I must have a boring life, because I’m finding it extremely hard to come up with 25 facts.

21. I went snow-skiing for the very first time this last year, even though I’ve lived in Utah for the last 22 years. And I'd sworn I would never try it.

22. I love to read, anything from non-fiction, adventure, romance, history, etc. Pretty much anything but horror.

23. I believe that the power of forgiveness is both one of my best and worst traits.

24. The Oregon Coast is my favorite place on earth, followed closely by Glacier National Park.

25. After only ever having white walls in any of my houses, this last year I’ve gone crazy and painted *gasp* color in almost every room. And I have plans for the others…

Pretty darned exciting, aren't I? And it's a Friday night and this is what I am doing for fun. Watch out world - you've got a wild one on hand!

August 14, 2009

August 13, 2009

Enterprising Young Thing...

This past week, Savannah got bored and decided to do the typical lemonade stand to make some money. The only problem was that we didn't have any lemonade or kool-aid, so she decided to sell cups of tap-water.

Braden, home supervising her at the time, gave her his blunt opinion of the idea.

"Savannah, that's a stupid idea. Everybody has their own tap-water. You might as well sell rocks!"

So that's what she did: an hour later she called to let me know she'd earned about a dollar selling gravel she'd scooped out of the driveway.

This girl will go far!

August 4, 2009

I shoulda gotten the insurance...

Several months ago we got rid of the landline house phone and switched to a cell phone for the kids' home use (one way of controlling phone calls for a certain older child who is, more often than not, grounded!). When Braden's birthday rolled around last month, the ONLY thing he wanted, more than life itself, please, please, pretty PLEASE, was his own cell phone. For lack of any better gift ideas, I finally relented and got him his own. This meant that now we all had a cell phone and Savannah got to keep the uncool house phone for herself.

Two weeks ago at work my cell phone rang. I could see it was Savannah's phone, and I said "hello...hello...hello..." but there was never any answer. Then, finally, a click. Then she called on my work line.

Me: "hello... hello...hello?"

Click again.

I tried calling her, she tried calling me, and then FINALLY, when I'd about given up all hope, she emailed me on my work email.

"Mom, I can hear you but nobody can hear me." Luckily we had just gotten Tom a new phone, so we had his old one as a spare. I walked her through the SIM-card transfer over email and pretty soon she called me. Voila!

So what was wrong with her phone, you may be asking yourself?!

She had dropped it in the toilet. Let me just tell you, in case you were wondering, that never does any electronic gadget any good...

Fast forward two weeks to today. See me, sitting behind my desk at work. Hear the cell phone ring. Hear Savannah gaily telling me about her day.

Savannah: "Hi mom! Guess where I am?!!"

Me: "Uh... home?"

Savannah: "I'm calling from in the swimming pool!" as if that were the coolest thing in the world.

So we then had to revisit toilet-gate and the fact that maybe, just maybe, taking the phone IN the pool probably wasn't the greatest idea...

If anyone has any old T-mobile phones, please save them for me. I have the feeling I'll be needing them...

August 4, 2009