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Snow Day #2!!!!!

January 10, 2011
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Snowing! I can’t believe it’s snowing here, two times in one winter.  If you missed it, here are some pictures from the snow we had the day after Christmas!  It was so pretty, but gone the next day.

We must be living right, cause we’ve got a beautiful one today!  That’s almost unheard of in our part of the world.  I think this is supposed to be the most snow we’ve had since I was a junior in high school.  In….wait for it….1988.  We’ve got something like 8 inches.

My guess is we won’t have school all week!  We were off today anyway. But, here in the south, we are so unequipped for the weather that the threat of flurries will cause delays and sometimes we’ll get snow days off.  This should close us down for a week or better.  Too many back roads around this part of the world.

I wrote a post about it a while back, but people in this part of the world go nuts stocking up on milk and bread each time there’s the threat of snow.  A friend posted the funniest pictures on facebook last night.  The bread aisles at Wal Mart were completely empty.  The coolers didn’t have a single carton of milk left.    And the Little Debbie aka Devil in the Blue Dress department took a pretty good beating as well.

I guess southerners everywhere are enjoying bread, milk and Swiss Cake Rolls this afternoon!

And though, I’ll hate it when we lose some of our spring break, I’m going to enjoy it right now.  Because, it is lovely and rare and fun!

Sadly, I forgot to charge my camera battery and only have a couple of pictures, but we had a great time playing in it.

(No children were injured in the making of these snow day photos!)

Hope it’s pretty where you are today!  Think I’ll have another bowl of snow cream!

Nothing is Easy for Us or Why My Son Will End Up Homeless and Alone or How Much Does it Cost to Get Out?

January 7, 2011

Let me preface this by saying, we’re the happiest dysfunctional family that I know.

Our main dysfunction is how unorganized we are.  We are a laid back bunch.  We follow all of the important rules and some of the not so important ones.  I drive safely.  Don’t ever litter.  We are polite to everyone.  We don’t run with scissors. When we go a penny over at the gas pump, we always run it in, even if it’s pouring rain.  We say the blessing, eat at the table, don’t put our elbows on the table, put our napkins in our lap, don’t watch TV during meals.  We  say “Yes ma’am” and “No Ma’am,”  “Please” and  “Thank you.”  We always wear seat belts.  We read together(if I can find my glasses).   We don’t make fun of anyone but ourselves.  We, in most ways, are doing okay.  In the ways that matter to us, I guess.

Now, when leave the confines of our little family and it’s a little different.  And we usually do pretty good, I wouldn’t say we’re always “thriving,” but we do okay.

AAA is a call I often make.  My keys have been locked in my car more times than I’d care to count.  At any given time, we may only be able to locate one debit card between us, though, we bank at a couple of banks and have several different accounts.  One or both of the adults is missing a cell phone 80% of the time.  If my kids make it to school in two shoes that match on the right feet, with book bags, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

And paperwork of ALL types, forget about it,  my eyes just glaze over.  It is too much for me!  I’m just getting Christmas cards this week, because I haven’t looked at the mail.   I always thought it was weird that my dad didn’t open half of his, but I’ve grown up and I’m the same way.  I go for the interesting stuff.

Sorry for all that info, you just kind of need to know who you’re dealing with for this story to make sense.

Adam had a strings concert tonight.  He’s playing the cello and really, really loves it.  It’s his first crack at an instrument and he’s doing great.  His teacher is great! He looks forward to the days he has her class.  It’s truly the highlight of his week!

He had to be there tonight at 6:15, the concert started at 6:30.  For once, we were right on time.  As we were pulling in, Adam remembers that admission is $3.  And the school is several miles from town.  And of course, we have no cash.  And the 6th grade strings group was slated to play first.  And it’s 6:15.  Yikes!  I think Adam picked up on my irritation.  I’m not even sure what I said,  but it wasn’t really hearts and flowers. (Why I was irritated, I couldn’t tell you, he’s learning this stuff from me!) He felt terrible and kept apologizing.  His dad kept telling him that it was no big deal and not to worry about it.  But, I kind of carped at him about being more responsible.  Because….I’m a hypocrite.

So, we shoved him out and hurried to the nearest store.  The whole way, the other two kids are giving me down the country for hurting Adam’s feelings.  Mind you, I didn’t say anything mean, but the boys didn’t like seeing him feeling bad and I was getting the blame.  Sensitive crowd I’ve got here.  I’m the toughest among us and that’s not saying much.

This fussy little drive took about 5 minutes.

During that time, I explained that I just wanted him to be more responsible so that one day he could hold down a job and that his wife wouldn’t pack up their four kids and leave him for not being able to support them,  and that he’d probably  lose his home, cause he couldn’t find gainful employment  and being irresponsible would end in disaster.   He could end up old and alone eating the wild onions that grow, in the median of the interstate, near the overpass where he lives.  Divorce! Homelessness! Poorly written, run on string of consciousness type sentences.  And grandchildren who panhandled for crack money all because I didn’t have $12 for the strings concert.

And these two boogers in the back seat don’t even care about his upcoming homelessness. They just keep saying that it isn’t nice to hurt people’s feelings.

Enablers.

I only had the bad debit card.  (I know a divorce is inevitable, but I’m scared to kick it to the curb until I get a new one.)   I’d  left it in the car after it let me down, so we might be able to get money.  Since we were just going to a middle school strings concert, we didn’t think we’d need money.  And we’re not organized people that carry things with us, you know, like pocketbooks and wallets.

I wish I could say why, but alas, I cannot.

So, Wayne runs in the store with the faulty debit and it proves itself faulty once again.

Won’t work at the ATM.  Shoot!

Curses!

This isn’t looking good. The clock is ticking away.

We make it to our bank, get the money.

Cheer loudly.

I drive like a very careful mad woman and get back just in time.

Relief! But, I have no pictures, because I had to sit at the very back and could barely see Adam, much less get a decent picture.  And his cello had to stay at school last night, so I don’t even have a picture of him with it.  I’ll post some soon, because, the cello kind of makes people look smart and responsible.  Truly, it does.

And the kids did great!  I’m amazed at how much they’ve learned in such a short time.  And they played so well together.  They plucked a couple of songs, I’d heard the plucking at home, I couldn’t imagine what it would sound like, but as a group, it was really cool.  And they even got to use their bows on one song.  And that’s supposed to be a big deal for first semester.

We didn’t miss a thing, it was fine.

Thank goodness.  I guess, maybe, he won’t end up sleeping on a park bench after all.

Whew! Crisis avoided.

After his wonderful performance,  the kids all had to go back to the classroom and pack their instruments.  They were going to be coming back to the cafeteria afterwards.  Though others were walking out,  I didn’t get up right away.

Sam inched over to me with a concerned expression and asked, “How much is it going to cost to get out of here?”  God love him!  I guess he thought his loser family wasn’t going to be able to leave.

 

Half Days?

January 5, 2011
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Half days.

They make no sense to me.  Now, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth.  I’d rather the kids get out early than stay all day, especially on Fridays.  It does give us a little head start on the weekend.

But….

It still makes no sense to me.  What can be done in that time?  Is it seriously cost-effective to pay to run the place for half a day?  Though teachers are on salary, it still costs to operate buses, electricity, water, and feed everyone.  And the bus drivers, janitorial staff and kitchen staff have to be paid for this kind of day, right?

And if we hope to be environmentally friendly at all, it seems a bad idea.  All of the cars idling in the car rider line unnecessarily.  There has to be a lot of trash that’s generated throughout the day.  Because, they probably end up doing a fair amount of busy work, cause it is a half day and they’re all jacked up and my guess is, the  teachers are smart and know they aren’t there to learn a whole lot on that day.   And once again, there’s the trash that the cafeteria generates.

I cannot see the sense in it.

And I am not even a very practical person.  The practical among us must be driven nuts by this.

If anyone asked, and no one has, I’d vote for four-day weeks.  I think it would be so much better.  It doesn’t seem like they’d have to stay that much longer on those days.  After all, you’d be cutting out a lot of the “housekeeping.”  You wouldn’t have that fifth days lunch, recess, the time it takes to do the regular class room maintenance.  Would it not be cheaper too?  My whole half day argument would apply here.

Since I’m certainly not your committee kind of girl, and don’t ever see myself campaigning for change, I guess I’ll just pick my kid up at 10:30 on Friday and wonder what the point was.

Humiliation at the Harris Teeter

January 3, 2011

 

 

It was the day.

After two weeks at home with boys who grave from dusk til dawn, I had to go to the grocery store.

That, or feed the kids chamomile tea and canola oil for supper.  Our cupboards were bare.  In the freezer, I could have probably scrounged up black berries, edamame and okra, but those were looking like the only choices and I didn’t think I could sell that combo to my fellows no matter how charming I tried to be.   So, I trudged through the mud that is our driveway and set forth on the hour-long journey to a  grocery store with some variety.

It was one of those trips.  A business trip to the grocery store.  We needed EVERYTHING there.  It took me nearly three hours.  I filled two buggies slam full.   I had to park one of them up front while I filled the second with cold stuff.  I visited every single aisle and end cap, and got one of everything.

I was starting the new year off right: with a stocked pantry.  And oh, how I love, love, love an overflowing pantry and full freezer.

After spending my entire afternoon at the grocery store, I was ready to see the damage at the cash register.  I knew it was going to be enough to pay off the national debt.  But, that’s the cost of having toilet paper, tea bags and tortellini at the same time.

Damaging it was.  And so I gave the cashier Irene’s number so she could chink away at the bill with her VIC club member discount.  ‘Cause you know I couldn’t find that card if my life depended on it and I don’t even really know if I have one.  But, I know Irene will.  She’s prepared like that. (It knocked a good $60 off of my bill, so I’m glad she is.)

A line was forming behind me and out of the corner of my eye, I could tell I was getting some “She must have a family the size of the “Duggars” glances.”

Sorry,  the photo above wasn’t one left on my camera from Christmas, but one I borrowed from Google Images!

 

There were three or four people in line behind me.  Probably all cursing the day I was born.  And cursing the births of my family of 19 who all have names beginning with the letter “J.”

After all the groceries were bagged.  The two carts were brimming over with all sorts of fresh and yummy goodness. My grocery getting excursion was halfway done.  Now, I only had an hour drive home and then the unloading and putting away would begin.  By bedtime, I’d be done!

So, I ran my debit card through the little machine thingy.

And it was declined.  Seriously?

And, I ran it again.  And again.

Soon, the lights went down in the store and a giant spotlight dropped down from the ceiling and the cashier took the mike and said.  “Can I get some management over here?   This chic is trying to scam the good people of the Teeter.  And she’s a nuisance too, with her two buggies”

Or something like that.

“Well, I I I know there’s money in there.”  I stuttered as beads of sweat gathered on my beet red face. “And seriously, if there was no money, why would I have spent my day loading groceries into two carts only to be humiliated later?”  I wanted to say.

The manager came over and took my card and tried to run it through again herself.

Nothing.

She tried it a couple more times.

Still nothing.

There seemed to be a lot of huffy breaths and eye rolling behind me, but I was too embarrassed to look back and see who I was annoying.

After all,  I was awful busy apologizing to the Harris Teeter management, the cashier and the nice older man who’d bagged all those groceries and chatted with me up until the point that I couldn’t pay for my food.

{{{{Horrible.}}}}<This is supposed to symbolize me cringing.  Work with me folks, no one else will.

I tried to use the ATM there at the store and I got a message that said something like, “We aren’t able to process your request at this time.”

What the heck? This same card gave me problems while Christmas shopping.

I’m divorcing it.  My trust is gone.  I have been let me down one time too many.  I’m ending it.

So, then I went back and talked to the manager,(while feeling like a shoplifter) and asked her if I could pick up my chuck wagon groceries in the morning.   She was very sweet and told me that I’d have to check out again, but that she’d keep them for me.  Sadly and humiliating-ly, the frozen/refrigerated stuff was all mixed up.  Keeping it for me was a lot of trouble.

I’m pretty certain that I will not be winning the “Harris Teeter VIC Club’s Most Appreciated Shopper Award.”

I may be asked to go to Food Lion next time.

I’d understand.

Pushing Every Button But the Easy Button

December 31, 2010

Sam knows where all of the buttons are located.

(Stinker Sam)

 

The ones that really make his brothers nuts.

And yesterday, he spent the day pushing them.

He pushed and pushed.

And pushed and pushed.

I tried to let them deal with it themselves, but finally decided that I had better step in before someone throttled him.

So,  I sent him to his room for a time out.

I told him to come out when he could behave himself.

A long, long, long time passed.

Adam and Mack peacefully worked on a puzzle with their dad.

More time passed.

Peace and quiet.

All was right with the world.

Eventually, little Mr. Mischief strolled out of his room.

And I asked,  “Well?  Are you sweet now?”

He answered while nodding and wrinkling his little nose, “Yes, ma’am.  Took a long time, didn’t it?”

(Sweet Sam)

Some days it does.  Some days it does.

Hope y’all are behaving this New Years Eve!

The Most Lame Christmas Pajamas Ever

December 28, 2010

Every year, on Christmas eve, the kids get to open one gift.  And it’s always a pair of Christmas pajamas.

This year, on Christmas eve morning, it occurred to me that I had forgotten the pjs!

So, I took off to the closest store, 30 minutes away.  Pickings were pretty slim.  And after an early morning dead battery and an impending trip to the grocery store, I had to grab something quick.

And I like for their pjs to match or at least coordinate.

I finally dug around until I found three pairs of Christmas pajamas, ugly, but Christmas-y all the same.  And seriously at this point, all the normal people had the cute ones wrapped and under their tree.  So, I’d found their sizes and was on my way to finalizing this most important decision.

And this lady, who wasn’t even standing at the same rack that I was, speaks to me in a LOUD voice.  I’d go as far as to say, hostile voice.

“I WAS LOOKING AT THOSE, BEFORE YOU PUT THEM IN YOUR BUGGY.”<—-southernease for shopping cart

“Ma’am?” I said.

“I WAS LOOKING AT THOSE, BEFORE YOU PUT THEM IN YOUR BUGGY.”

“Which ones were you looking at?(Seriously? There were three pairs left that matched in the entire store and she was going to take one of them.  Seriously?)

“WELL, WHAT SIZE DO YOU HAVE IN THERE?”

“Which ones did you need?”

“WHAT SIZE DO YOU HAVE?”

And I said, “YOU WEREN’T EVEN NEAR THE RACK AND DON’T KNOW WHAT SIZE I HAVE IN THIS CART AND YOU’RE STILL GOING TO TRY TO TAKE THEM?  HUH-UH.  NO WAY.  NOT HAPPENING.  MY KIDS ARE GOING TO HAVE THESE UGLY PAJAMAS TONIGHT AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT.  YOU AREN’T BULLYING ME INTO TAKING THE UGLY JOE BOXER PAJAMAS.  NO SIRREE.”

Well, that’s what I was thinking anyway.

I actually said, something like, “I have a 4/5, 6/7 and a 10/12.  Which one did you need?”

She decided on the 6/7.  And then started talking about how stupid it was to buy Christmas pajamas because they couldn’t wear them afterwards.  I pointed out the santa hats on the ugly smiley faces and she quick gave them back to me.  I left before she decided she wanted them back.

And here they are.  My three kids in the not so cute, hard won, Christmas pajamas.  And they didn’t even complain about looking lame.  I love those kids!

 

Next year, they’re going to have the cutest ones ever and I’m ordering them online so I don’t have to fight for them!

 

 

White Day After Christmas!!!!!!!

December 27, 2010

I don’t know about your part of the world.  But in mine, snow is as rare as kids cleaning up their Christmas toys without being asked.  I think the last recorded white Christmas was in something like 1889.  I can hardly remember it.

We are  thrilled when we get flurries. Even when snow is predicted, it rarely happens.   So, late Christmas night, after dropping into the sleep of the slam out exhausted, Sam woke up with an SHR episode.

And for once, it was a good thing.  As he griped and stomped, we flipped on the flood lights and snow was coming down in beautiful, giant flakes.  Even though it was 2:45am, Wayne and I went into the den to watch the snow.   It was sticking!   It was one of those times that I really appreciated living in the country.  So pretty.  And even as I type this and it’s melting, the white in the trees is so pretty against the bright blue sky.  I’d take a picture and show you,  but I’m kinda comfy and lazy.  You’ll just have to trust me.

There are quite a few rocks in my yard, but that black one down front is actually Mack’s hiney.

We took a long, long, long walk in the woods.

Our driveway was all iced up.   I do so love having an excuse to stay at home!

There was wrestling.  As a mom, I’m obligated to yell things like,  “Watch out, someone’s going to fall on a limb and put out an eye!”

“Be careful up there!”

“DO NOT get in the pond.  You aren’t wearing bathing suits!”

“Don’t get too close to the road!”

I yelled other motherly things too.  Like, “Get him!!!”

A snowman with big 80s hair sprung into exsistence.

We were so excited about the snow that I didn’t make breakfast.  This child only had snow to eat.

Our very own “A Christmas Story” moment.

Sam and Adam decided after walking many miles that they’d take the short cut home.

Sam finally succumbed to his hunger and exhaustion.

Surely the other two are hardier.  They can cowboy up and make it on snow alone, right?

I don’t know, Adam’s looking ghostly pale.  Is he that hungry or simply overexposed?

They apparently were all that hungry and tired.

Or were they just making snow angels?

I’m going with snow angels, cause it doesn’t make me sound like an unfit mother!

After all, we have leftovers.  Lots and lots and lots of leftovers. And as soon as everyone made it home, I made them plates.  And nice hot chocolate with those gingerbread shaped marshmallows and homemade whipped cream.  That makes up for nearly starving them, doesn’t it?

Hope you had a great Christmas! White or otherwise!

I’m enjoying this holiday so much and hope you are too! Having all my fellows at home with me is my very favorite thing!