~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's a Random Kind of Day

Funny I just mentioned to you about putting away the winter coats and getting them back out again.  Over the weekend, I wore mine to an outdoor graduation party.  I may have looked quite geeky, but I was the only warm one there.  On Monday, I donned my winter gloves for a Memorial Day bike ride.  Crazy weather!  Yesterday, it hit 80.


I am quite smitten by Crystal Light Raspberry Ice.  These skinny little packets can go anywhere with you and the final product is something highly to be desired...much like a grown up's Kool Aid.  The strawberry lemonade drops aren't too bad either.  It's definitely a healthy break from all the Diet Coke I've been drinking, trying to get rid of daily headaches. I think I actually need a new pillow.

The house across the street lost its renters, so it's getting that abandoned haunted house look.  When the grass hit a foot high, Hubby called the number on the rental sign and complained.  He explained that he mows grass for apartment complexes and would be happy to mow the yard, for a price.  They readily accepted.  So now, once a week, Hubby drives his little mower across the street, spends an hour or so there, and makes 50 bucks!  (The first time, he charged $80!)  He and Son #1 make about $400 a month mowing properties on Saturdays.  They're home by noon and he's banking all the money in savings.  There may be a pinhole of light at the end of our tunnel that we might get to build a home at some point in the future.  We're trying to save for that highly anticipated day.


My little cousin graduated over the weekend, Magna Cum Laude!  For his gift, I donated the photo booth for his party.  I set the booth up on their deck, against the house, and went home to get ready for the party.  I returned after 40 minutes or so and all was well.  Someone asked me to make a sign labeling the iced tea, so I turned by back for a moment.  Suddenly, a huge gust of wind knocked over the entire booth!  It fell toward me and I tried to catch it.  I can't remember if I heard it coming down, felt it, or what.  I just remember shouting, "I need some help!  I need some help!"  I had just been talking to Big Sis, but didn't realize she was still there.  Someone asked where she was and I tried looking around, still attempting to get the booth back up.  The booth fell against a picnic table, which stopped its fall.  Lucky for her, because she would have been the object stopping its fall.  She kind of fell down underneath the table and was fine.  The booth, however, did not fare quite as well.  I never did get it back up running.  So, my gift was a flop and my booth is broken.  I still cannot figure out how the wind could knock down something that heavy.  I can only lift two out of the three boxes that house the equipment.  So to think that the wind could knock over all three....it's amazing.


Our birthdays are coming up.  Hubby celebrates his on Thursday and mine is Sunday.  Big Sis has a tournament on Saturday, but I said I could not attend this month.  I was proud of myself for taking some personal time.  We're hoping to go on a really long bike ride, assuming the weather cooperates.  Riding is our new jam.  Maybe I'll get skinny from all this biking.


I really want to go to New York.  We actually found flights for $59, but they were Tuesday & Wednesday only.  Hubby has a hard time getting off work, so we were hoping to go over a weekend.  Unfortunately, they charge soooo much more to fly Fridays & Sundays.  Boo.  I would like to take my good camera and get some some unique architectural shots to frame for Son #1's room.


What totally random thing is going on in your life right now?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roughed Up on the Playground

Last Monday morning, I was pulling into the grocery store, as I do like clockwork every Monday morning.  (Have I ever mentioned that I'm obsessed with schedules?)  As I stepped out of the car, my phone rang, identifying the caller as the middle school.  Expecting one of those sent-out-far-too-often-parent-broadcasts, I answered and listened.  No bing, bong, bing was heard so I said Hello.  It was Son #1 and he had a somewhat nervous sounding voice with slight laughter.

"Um, mom....is there any way you can bring me a new shirt to school?"

OK, not to sound selfish or anything, but that's a huge request.  Number one, I'm already AT the grocery store and Baby Girl has already taken OFF her seat belt.  Number two, as mentioned above, I'm very strict with my grocery shopping schedule.  The kids watch at our store opens at 11:00, so I'm usually there no later than 11:05.  Number three, the middle school is all the way across town and takes ten minutes, with traffic. (Yes, that school wanted my boys to walk home, due to budget cuts, because 2.1 miles was right on the borderline of requiring bussing.  Jerks.)  Number four, and most importantly, this hiccup in my schedule means I'm not eating lunch until 1:00 and Baby Girl gets a late nap.

"Do you really need it right now?"  All of the above reasons are playing out in my mind and I'm irritated about whatever the event was that caused him to ask for a new shirt.

"Well, yeah, I can't exactly wear this one...it's almost ripped in half."  (Slight nervous laughter.)

"What happened?"  (I guess now would be a good time to inquire about the safety of my firstborn.

"Um, some kid got mad and tackled me and ripped my shirt."  (More of the nervousness.)

"Lovely.  I'll be there as soon as I can."

Back in the car, carseat buckled again, and back home.  I can't even begin to describe to you the monstrosity that was my sons' closet.  The pile of crap on the floor could have housed a family of raccoons or easily hidden two small orphans.  I was nervous to approach it without one of these on:

I eventually found a shirt, which needed ironed, and set off toward the school.  I called Hubby on the way to attempt to fill him in on what I knew.  "I'm mad!" I told him.  "I'm not sure at whom, but I'm mad at someone!"

I finally made it to the school, holding a pressed shirt and Baby Girl hand, and walked in to see my son sitting in the office.  When he stood, I could see that his nice American Eagle shirt was ripped from nipple to hip.  There were red scratches all over the side of his stomach.

"What in the world happened?"  My anger at the unidentified person was growing into rage.

"We were playing basketball outside.  There were like 80 people and only 10 balls.  This one kid was just standing there holding a ball, not moving.  I hit it out of his hand to take a shot.  He screamed, "I'm gonna 'F' you up!" and tackled me.  He scratched and clawed at me with his nails.

My eyes grew wide and my jaw dropped open.  Never before has a child of mine been involved in any physical altercation.  "What did you do?!?"

"I was shocked!  I just layed there, staring at him.  He just took the ball and walked away."

At that point, the secretary, who knows me well, called my name.  I walked to her desk with a look of surprise on my face.  She explained that she was attempting to contact the assistant principal, whose line was busy.  "This needs to be reported," she said.  "That's ridiculous!"  My boy is known as a good kid.  He's honest, gets straight As, and is well liked by all the staff.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, I chose not to hang around.  #1 is 14 now and able to handle himself in an adult conversation.

When he got home, he said that the assistant principal had him write down the story on paper.  I asked if he included the part about hitting the ball away from the kid.  He did.  

I got a phone call the next day from this principal who asked the value of the shirt that was ruined.  He said he spoke to the other parents and explained that they should cover the cost of that shirt.

"Don't worry about it," I said.  I try to teach my children to be the bigger person, to turn the other cheek, and forgive others when they've been wronged."  That was difficult to say because I really wanted to say, "THEY SURE BETTER BUY HIM A NEW SHIRT!  PUNK KID!"  Instead, I held my tongue.  The principal was impressed and said he would let the other family know.  He told me disciplinary action had been taken, but he couldn't discuss it with me.  

I was no longer mad.  I'm not even sure why.  I think it was one of those love, joy, peace, longsuffering things, or something.  I felt good after I hung up.  Hopefully, that kid will realize that my boy is a cool, stand-up guy.  He won't be labeled as a wimp, a tattletale, or a goody two-shoes and that kid shouldn't be out  to "get him".  I'm thankful the event wasn't worse that in was, that #1 didn't get seriously injured, and that he wasn't the cause of the problem.

That's my little ray of sunshine for the day!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Appreciation of Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week was the first week of May, and even though I was about ready to pull my hair out, I still participated.  Our school used to make this celebration a big deal and had daily themes of ways to show appreciation.  The last two PTA presidents have really dropped the ball, if you ask me.  I think they prepared a luncheon for the teachers one day, but they didn't get the students involved at all.  Most of the parents had no clue it was teacher appreciation week, and probably would have participated, had they known.

Anyway, I took matters into my own hands and spent some time on Pinterest.  What was life like before Pinterest?  I highly regret procrastinating joining for so long!  Each day, I chose a small item to send in for Big Sis' awesomely wonderful teacher.  Here's what I came up with for Monday.

(Sorry, had to blur out her name for anonymity.)

On Tuesday....

Wednesday's gift was for a "Tea-rrific" Teacher:

Thursday was, by far, my favorite.  The teacher wasn't going to be there on Friday, so I scrapped my Thursday idea and went right for the best idea.  It was a bento box filled with candy bars, gum, and mints.  I bought one sheet of black scrapbook paper and cut it to fit the top.  Then, I printed a slightly smaller piece of paper with the teacher's name and the word "Stash."  I thought about spelling it "Stache," but decided against it.  Then with the same piece of black paper, I traced one of my photo booth mustaches and glued it in the center.  She specifically mentioned how much she liked the stash!

Sadly, my daughter was the only one in the class the entire week that gave any kind of recognition.  Boo.  Teachers work hard and deserve to be appreciated.  I didn't spend all that much, but coming in to a surprise every day was fun for her, I'm sure.

So, mark your calendars for next year and celebrate the first week of May - Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just MIA, not DOA

Wow, it's been a long time that I've been MIA!  I sincerely apologize for that.  Every year in the Spring, my blog gets neglected.  Fortunately, the craziest part of my year is finally over!  It was a busier "crazy" than usual and I made some decisions so that it will never get that bad again.

Let's see, where do I start to fill you in on Life?  I put away our winter coats.  Then, I got them back out.  I put them away again, and got them back out.  It's been a fickle Spring.  Lately, we've been in the 80s, but tomorrow is supposed to cool down again.

Son #1 turned 14 and #2 turned 12.  Yikes!  For some reason, I always pictured myself being a mom of these little kids.  I never really expected them to grow up.  I'm too young for that.

The photo booth was very slow, which I was extremely thankful for.  I couldn't have handled that on top of everything else.  It's picking up now with wedding season, graduation time, and end of the school year events.  I still love it.

Hubby & I celebrated 17 years of marriage, actually ON a photo booth job.  I was pretty bummed about that, as my hired help fell through, but that's life.  There are way worse things to complain about.

We chose an alternate anniversary and went on a long bike ride, just the two of us.  We rode to the nearest big city's downtown, found some foul baseballs outside the stadium, ate a slice, and just thoroughly enjoyed the weather and each other.

Our children's department at church recorded our second curriculum DVD.  My aunt writes and directs it, and all the kids star in it.  I have made friends with the videographer we have used over the past few years.  His assistant wasn't available the second day of recording, so he was going to set the second camera on a tripod.   When I arrived and asked if anything needed done, he asked me to help film!  It was very fun for me, even though video is not my forte.  I hope I gave him some useful footage, but mostly, I really enjoyed the $5K camera I held in my hands!

I've had quite a few photo shoots lately too.  I've got Seniors for next year coming up, as well as several families.

Most importantly- my big event was successful!  We decided to host our annual banquet at the church this year, rather than going to the big restaurant that keeps raising its prices.  People thought that was awesome.  I highly underestimated the amount of work that switch would involve.  Our theme was Peculiar Princesses, and the script I wrote was my best ever.  Each of the girls in my youth group picked their character, a princess with a unique character flaw.  Then I wrote the script based on their personality and ability.  We had the close talking princess, the body odor princess, and the sings everything princess.  It was quite funny.  It turned out, I subconsciously stole a few things from the princess cartoon Baby Girl watches, and didn't even realize.  Oops!  We had 210 in attendance, our highest since I've been involved.

On Mother's Day, our church showed a video of some of our children being interviewed.  One was my son (#2).  The question was, "What makes your mom powerful?"  He answered that I'm powerful because I'm going to run a half marathon!  Yikes!  I'm feeling so unprepared at this point, and he decided to announce it to the entire church!  Guess I'm committed for sure now!  My Nike app said I hadn't run in 28 days.  Boo!  I made it 2 1/2 miles with just a tad of intermittent walking.  Fortunately, I wasn't too sore afterward.  I think those 12 mile bike rides are helping out too.

That's probably enough info to keep you entertained for now.  I'll be back to chat later.  Missed you all!