Thursday, January 30, 2014


In order for you to appreciate my BEST MORNING EVER, I kinda need to share a little bit about the night before.

It was Wednesday, and that means the girls (and by girls, I mean Megan) only have me for 2 hours of homework time before I head to choir rehearsal.

Meg had forgotten to write out her spelling definitions Tuesday night (and while we're in this year's 3rd semester already, I still can't seem to remember that she has to do this task weekly AND BY WEDNESDAY, so I failed to check on it.) This irritated me because I knew that I only had 2 hours with her, and all of that time would most likely be consumed by her book report which was due on Friday. Then on top of THAT, there was her weekly memory verse, which was longer than most, so I really didn't want to save all that memorizing for Thursday night. Oh, and I guess spelling words should be studied as well. Ugh. TOO MUCH!!!

She got started on the book report rough draft, and the more I tried to help her, the more irritated she became. Why? Because book reports are HARD NOW. When I was a kid, we ...

1) Read the book.
2) Described the setting.
3) Wrote a summary including a beginning, middle and end.
4) Finished by writing our opinion.
5) Sometimes drew a picture for extra credit.

DONE. So straight forward and beautiful, it makes me wanna cry for what used to be.

NOW a book report is called a Response to Literature. Did you know that? Pretty fancy, right? Makes me want to have tea and crumpets before I whip out my quill and inkwell.

Anyway, there's all kinds of worksheets to fill out to help get your thoughts organized before you begin to actually write ...

1) Summary Map
2) Main Ideas Key Word Outline
3) Personal Opinion Map, which includes your position statement as well as reasons and references to back it up.
4) Author's Purpose Map

Overwhelming, in my humble 44 year old opinion.

So I had the brilliant idea of having Meg dictate to me what she wanted to write on all of these worksheets. THEN I'd have her sit down to write or type the final draft.


Why? Because I am OLD SCHOOL, and do NOT belong in this new advanced 5th grade writing vortex. 

Meg dictated her thoughts to me, and I succeeded in filling out every "Map" WRONG.

To say she was irritated with me, would not even BEGIN to do her utter disdain justice.

"Fine!" I said, "Here's another set of MAPS. Fill them out yourself!!" Which she did, in like 10 minutes.  Clearly these kids have been brainwashed taught well.

Real Quick Disclaimer:  Please know that I absolutely LOVE my kid's school and their teachers. So much so, that I WORK THERE. I would hate for anyone to mistake my sarcasm and momentary frustration, for me seriously venting some disapproval for such an amazing group of educators. I realize curriculum has evolved over the years, and that that is why I rarely feel smarter than a 5th grader.

After the Response to Literature was complete, I had 15 minutes to get to choir. That meant no time for me monitoring the completion of spelling definitions, or helping with the memorization of part of her verse.

Oh well. Guess the baton will have to be passed to Dad.

When I returned home, I asked Henry how it went. He said it went fine (Guess that means no heated banter between parent and child. Whatever.) and that Meg had finished her spelling word definitions. He also said that she had a surprise for me the next morning, but that he couldn't say anymore than that.

Alrighty then.

The next morning, I walked passed Meg's bedroom at 7:00 a.m. to find her STILL IN BED. No surprise THERE.

Me:  Are you eating breakfast or what?

Meg:  Uh, no. Where's Dad?

Me:  In the shower. Please get dressed.

Meg:  Okay.

I went to the kitchen to prepare my oatmeal, only to have Henry come in right after me and prepare the same thing for Meg. Hmm.

I took this to mean that Meg preferred the way Dad made oatmeal, which would normally bug, but I had big plans to actually SIT and eat breakfast if possible, before Meg started asking me to do things like flat iron her hair, or find a missing piece of clothing.

As I sat down to eat, Meg walked in with a huge grin on her face, fully dressed and hair in a ponytail.

Me:  So you ARE eating breakfast, you just didn't want ME to make it?

Meg:  Mom, this morning you didn't have to get my clothes. You didn't have to do my hair. You didn't have to make my breakfast. Aaaand 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:6-7.

Me:  Oh. My. WORD. You finished your definitions AND memorized your verse last night?!?!? And then got ready by yourself and had Dad make your breakfast?!

Meg:  Yep. Are you surprised?

Me:  Totally surprised!! BEST MORNING EVER!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Meg:  You're welcome.

Okay. RIGHT?!? Does this mean I'm mothering at a decent level? Or that I gripe and complain so much that Meg decided to go an extra 10 miles just to see me happy for once??? Don't answer that. Just know that this little spitfire blessed me beyond measure the morning of January 30, 2014.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Scary Lesson About Bananas

It was morning.

That really says it all.  I mean, that statement could be a blog post in and of itself, am I right? Hate mornings.

So yeah, it was morning, aaaand {shocker} we were running LATE. Which makes it the perfect setting for Megan to not be able to find something. This time it was her sweat jacket.

Meg:  I can't find my jacket.

Me:  Did you check your backpack?

Meg:  It's not there.

This is when I should have asked, "Did you MOVE STUFF AROUND?!" But I figured, what's the point? So I opened her backpack, and WHAT do you suppose I found? BINGO. The jacket. So I pulled it out and laid it on a chair for her to grab on her way out the door ... should we ever get that far.

As I was putting the finishing touches on the girl's lunches, I called out to Meg ...

Me:  Do you want a banana in your lunch?

Meg:  No thanks. Besides, I think there's still one in my backpack.

Hmmm. Now when was the last time I sent a banana with Meg to school? One week ago? Two weeks? Nope ... pretty sure it's been longer than that.

Me:  There's STILL a banana IN YOUR BACKPACK?!

Meg: Yeah. It's all black and stuff.

You don't say.

I ran over to the backpack, hoping against all hope, that this dead and gone banana had not split open and gushed it's insides out onto everything.

I opened the backpack, where I had found a JACKET only moments earlier, and there on the bottom, camouflaged against the dark purple fabric was a super-duper-blackity-black-black banana ... STILL IN TACT, PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Me:  Megan, what a WASTE. If you don't want bananas in your lunch, just say so.

Meg:  Sorry, but it fell out of my lunch accidentally and then I forgot about it.

I reached in the backpack, and gingerly pulled out the forgotten fruit.

What happened next is something only seen in horror films or missionary jungle footage ...

As soon as my hand was clear of the backpack, a very large grey spider started to slowly crawl from the bottom where the banana (AND MY HAND) had just been, to the pack's opening at the top!!!


I turned it upside down to shake it out onto the ground and cried, "Megan, LOOK!!"


Me:  Don't be ridiculous. 

Meg:  I'm NOT taking that one to school after a SPIDER'S been in it!!

So I went to the closet and pulled out her backpack from last year, which was still in fine shape, and more importantly, SPIDER-FREE.

I returned to the scene just in time to hear ...

Henry:  So now you know what happens when you don't eat your banana!


She'll probably have nightmares for weeks, but some lessons are harsh like that.

Oh, and fellow moms ... feel free to share this story with anyone in YOUR house who doesn't eat the fruit YOU send to school with them. You're welcome. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Responsibility anyone? Anyone?

At what point does a child take responsibility for their bedtime (or anything for that matter?) My girls are 10 and 13. They have experienced what happens when they stay up late, and have to get up early the following morning. Yet they continue to dilly-dally at bedtime, for which I have ZERO patience. I suppose if mornings went more smoothly, I'd have a little more tolerance for the evening shenanigans. Oh brother. Who am I kidding? I look longingly at my bed around 6:30 p.m., and it's a fight to stay awake from that point forward. Ugh. It's every mom's curse.

So this morning was not only icky because the girls went to bed later than usual, but because it was the morning after a 3-day weekend. That's a morning just begging for trouble.

It started with Megan asking where her favorite lime green pants were. Now mind you, this was at 7:20 a.m., when she finally rolled out of bed and realized that pajamas weren't gonna cut it. Never mind that yours truly is supposed to be at work at 7:30 a.m.  Rant within a rant: If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that Mom's schedule means NOTHING. If one of THEM has to be at school early for a drama rehearsal or something, you better believe the entire family rallies around to make it happen.  If MOM has a morning commitment (like singing in the church choir on Sunday mornings), no one gives a royal rip!! And yes, I AM BITTER!!!

Okay, so Meg asks where those pants are, and I explain that I didn't get to that particular load of laundry the night before, but there are two other pairs of pants that are clean and ready for the wearing. She does NOT take this news well, and proceeds to blame me for all of her wardrobe woes.

Then Amanda comes asking about an article of clothing that she hasn't seen in a while, and expects me to know where it is.

Me:  How am I supposed to know? Did you look in your closet?

Amanda sarcastically:  Uh, yes.

Me:  Really.

Amanda with even more sarcasm:  Yes, and it would be NICE if I could wear it AGAIN someday.

I know I should have sent her back to her room to thoroughly search her closet after such a remark, but there was no time for that!! Besides, I now had a point to prove. 

I don't know about you, but when MY girls say they've "looked" in their room for something, and have come up empty handed, 9 times out of 10 it's because they haven't actually MOVED anything. They've roughly scanned the area with their eyes, and if it doesn't literally JUMP out at them, it's lost.

This reminds me of an episode from The Middle where everyone is yelling at the mom to stop what she's doing and come help them find something. And every time she yells back, "Move stuff around!!"  Can I get an "AMEN!!" from the moms out there?! Seriously people, MOVE STUFF AROUND!!! It's there, I promise you, but you HAVE to MOVE STUFF AROUND!!!

So this probably goes without saying, but I marched stomped into Amanda's bedroom closet, MOVED STUFF AROUND, and whataya know? There it was. BURN!!

I left from there to go wait in the car for my soon-to-be RESPONSIBLE {Oh Lord, let it be!} offspring, whom I love more than anything.

It's always good to type that last part out loud from time to time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Blister

A few weeks ago, I had an itch on the top of my left foot near the base of my toes. I had socks on, and assuming it was a bug bite or something, I just went to town scratching my little heart out for about 10 seconds. The itch finally subsided, and I went about my business.

Later that evening, I noticed that the same area where I had scratched earlier was extremely sore. "Now what?" I wondered. So I removed my sock to investigate.


What my eyes beheld was dis-GUH-sting. Somehow a blister had developed during the day between two of my toes. REALLY?!

Okay, what to do? WHAT. TO. DO?! 

Do you pop a blister like that to relieve the pressure, or leave it alone in hopes that it just seeps back into your skin?

I wasn't sure, so I googled "blister care", or something like that, and made a very interesting discovery. One of the websites said that there are two main reasons a blister develops on a foot:

1) Poor-fitting shoes. (The shoes I wore that day fit fine.)

2) Scratching an already infected area. (Who knew?!)

So I knew why it developed, but still wasn't sure how to care for it, because several of the websites contradicted each other when it came to blister care. I finally decided to leave it in tact, and just cover it with a bandage containing Neosporin.

Anyone still reading this blog post? Did I lose you with the photo? TMI right? Well there IS a punch line coming, I promise. Gosh ... I'm looking at that blister photo and getting grossed out all over again. I may have crossed the line this time. But hey, now y'all know that I have a freckle on one of my toes, so that's cool, right? And WOW my toes are WRINK-LAY!!! Sheesh!! I got me some old-lady toes!

Alright, back to the blister. After 4-5 days, the blister popped. It didn't hurt, but when I dried the area with a towel after showering, I found it to be VERY sensitive. (Mental note: Only DAB freshly popped blisters with towels, never RUB them, because RUBBING will make you wince big time, as well as scream a little.)

A few weeks after the poppage, the girls and I were sitting at Taco Bell enjoying a lovely carb-filled lunch when Megan starts looking through the photos on my phone. It didn't take long for her to arrive at "The Blister" photo.

Meg:  Eww!! What ever happened to that anyway?

Me:  It popped.

Meg:  Did it hurt?

Me:  Not the popping part, but something I did after that hurt.

Meg:  Did it bleed?

Me:  No.

Meg:  Did it ooze stuff?

Me:  No.

Meg:  Did you suck it?

Okay. Read that again. 

Megan asked if I SUCKED IT!!!!  REALLY?!?!?  All I could do in response was throw my head back and LAUGH MY GUTS OUT.

THIS, sad to say, is EXACTLY the kind of scenario that makes me so happy that I procreated. To know that I had something to do with the world gaining another human with the same twisted sense of humor as myself.

Life is beautiful (and at the moment, blister-free.)