Monday, September 30, 2013

The crazy week is over

Homecoming is finally over and life can return to normal.  Angel #4 gave me a report on the Friday afternoon school pep assembly.  It starts out with all the percussionists in the band getting their drums and beating a (very loud) cadence through the halls of the school.  #4 is a drummer and she said it was so fun just giving it all on the drums in the halls right in the middle of a school day.  As they go past each of the classrooms, the kids in the class get up and out of the room and follow the drummers down the hall.  Once the drummers have covered every hall in the school, they head outside and lead a parade of all the kids down the street to the football field.

Each of the sports coaches announce the kids on the fall sports teams.  The cross country coach announced all the kids on the team except for WE, then he was on a roll.  He said that WE was the reason he was a coach, not only that, he was the reason he got up in the morning and brushed his teeth.  He went on and on, ridiculously praising WE until he had everyone in stitches.  The coach later told me he couldn't pass by such a great opportunity to embarrass WE, I told him WE does a great job of that all by himself.

Which brings us to the announcement of homecoming court.  They announced each couple, who then proceeded to walk arm-in-arm past the kids in the bleachers...until they got to WE and Katie, the girl he stood up with.  Instead of walking past the crowd, those two did cartwheels.  I didn't even know WE could do a cartwheel, but Angel #4 said he did better ones than Katie.  Afterwards, WE told me that he's famous for his cartwheels and gets frequent cartwheel requests at school.  My kid is so weird.

The football team won their game, the first homecoming game they've won in 4 years.  They've now clinched their spot in the playoffs, so I guess I'll be hauling Angel #4 home from football practice for awhile yet.  Afterwards there was a big bonfire for the kids out behind the football field.

The kids had a great time at the Homecoming dance with one glitch.  I guess I should have stuck to my gut instinct on the Homecoming dance issue.  I was coming down with a cold, it was pouring rain and I really wanted to just be in bed, but I ended up going to the dance around 10pm to do the mother/son dance thing.  First off, I was shocked at how many parents were there, probably almost as many parents as kids.  Not just parents of kids on the court either, but people whose kids were younger and just at the dance to have a good time.  Why on earth would grown adults spend their Saturday nights at a high school dance creeping on their kids?  Really people, you should get a life and let your kids have theirs.  I have no problem with people being involved in their kids lives, they should be.  But, there comes a time when you have to keep your nose out of things, you had your chance to dance at homecoming 30 years ago, now you need to let your kids do the same without you hovering over them.  Which brings me to the parent/senior dance.  After the crowning, the DJ announced that the seniors should go out on the floor and be joined by their parent for a special dance.  Boy, you want to see a bunch of pissed off kids!  First off, the parent who decided to start this new tradition didn't bother telling all the senior parents about it because they assumed that everyone would already be at the dance because they were as obsessed about their kids lives as they were.  Secondly, on homecoming court alone, there were two kids whose parents were dead, in WE's girlfriend's case, only about 2 months had passed.  She walked off the floor in tears.  Fortunately, the principal had already swooped in and started dancing with her and another teacher danced with the boy whose mother had died, but he spent the dance in tears as well.  I'm not sure about the other kids with parents who had died, I know of one other one in the senior class for sure.  It just seems pretty selfish to me that some mother who wanted to dance at her son's homecoming managed to put a huge dark blot on so many other peoples party.  I guess it's no wonder the kids leave the dance right after the crowning to go to the afterparties.  They do it just to get out from under their parents eagle eyes.  The afterparties are nice.  The tradition is that each grade has a party at some kids house, the parents open up their basement or rec room and then fade off.  They're around to make sure bad stuff like drinking doesn't happen, but don't interfere in any other way.  The kids spend the night, either all like puppies lying all over the floor, or the split up in boy/girl groups and one group goes to someone else's house for their sleepover.  They all come staggering home Sunday morning.

Here are my kids totally thrilled to get to pose together:

Friday, September 27, 2013

wild and crazy girls night out

My friend Connie and I decided to go out tonight.  Wild women that we are, we first headed to the Amish school for the fundraising haystack supper and afterwards went to the homecoming game(we won 26-13, because I know you were dying to know).  We were told to be there early to see the introduction of the court before the game, since both our kids are on court.  Well, we were walking to the field from our cars when we heard them start announcing the court so we started running down the street, blowing past people standing in line waiting to get their hand stamped (fortunately, we're both school staff, so we don't have to pay to get into the games, or we probably would have gotten busted for not paying to get in).  We missed her daughter, but I got there just in time to hear WE's name get announced and see him and his partner, Katie walk across the field.  It was a little more low-key than the court announcement during the school pep assembly this afternoon, from what I heard.  That time, all the other court members nicely walked past the crowd of kids, until WE and Katie came through, instead of walking, those two did cartwheels past the crowd.  I wish I would have seen it since I didn't even know WE could DO a cartwheel.

Not that I do things at the last minute or anything, but after school today, I took Angel #4 out shopping for a dress for tomorrow nights homecoming dance.  I kept hoping she'd find someone to borrow from, since I really hate spending money on a dress she'll probably never wear again.  But, since she's shaped like Mae West, she kind of was popping out of everything she tried, so I figured I'd have to pony up the big bucks to get a decent dress on the kid that wasn't in danger of wardrobe malfunctioning.  Fortunately, our local thrift store has a fairly decent selection of semi-formal dresses and we found one that's absolutely gorgeous on her and as an added benefit, she'll be able to dance without fear of popping out of her dress.  I'll have to post some pictures when I'm at the dance tomorrow night.  Yeah, apparently, they're trying to get all the Senior parents out to the dance for the crowning.  I'm not too crazy about that idea, first off because I'm not the kind of parent who hangs out at school dances, secondly, the crowning is at 10pm and I was planning on being all comfy cozy in my jammies at that time, not standing around a dark sweaty smelling gym waiting for my chance to do the special parent/senior dance with a kid who would probably rather cut off his leg rather than dance with his mother.  So yeah, that's gonna be fun.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

so busy I don't have 2 minutes to rub together

Man, it's been crazy around here.  Work has been busy, it's hard to get back into the swing of things after being gone for 3 months.  No wonder it takes kids so long to get in the school frame of mind after summer vacation.  I'm trying to get all the garden stuff dealt with.  My back porch looks like a farmer's market right now, I just keep sticking stuff in there until I get around to dealing with it.  Right now it's full of onions, bell peppers, chili peppers and a big head of cabbage.  There are bushel baskets of potatoes and carrots in the barn that also have to find a home before it gets too cold outside.  I made a few jars of sauerkraut today.  I tried to make it before, but it looked so gross that I just threw it away.  Now I've got a new way to try making it that hopefully will be more successful.

It's Homecoming this week and things got off to a wonderful start.  My front yard was TP'd by 7:30 last night already.  Someone also spray painted the words "I AM JV" on the lawn, a jab at WE who had to run JV at one of the cross country meets a few weeks ago.  He may never live that one down.

The kids are at the girls volleyball game tonight.  WE thinks they may be announcing homecoming king & queen during the game.  I think he's got more chance of becoming court jester than the king, but a lot of his friends are also on court and the whole king/queen naming thing is a huge deal when you're in high school.  I thing they're both also planning on 'studying' tonight after the game, which means that they're going to do their own toilet paper decorating in their friends yards tonight, probably while their friends are here, putting more tp in our trees.  I can't even imagine the time in my life when there isn't going to be toilet paper stuck in my trees during the month of September, but I'm sure empty nesting will be here before I know it and I'll wonder how the time went so fast.

Actually, I was already wondering about the speed of time this weekend.  We had a special event for church and we saw a lot of people we hadn't seen in a year or two.  I know my kids are growing up, but it always takes me by surprise when I see that other people's kids are doing the same thing.  It seems like only yesterday we were all in the nursery changing diapers together, and now we're watching our kids flirting with each other.  Before we know it, we'll be in the nursery changing grandkids diapers.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I'm happy to report that we had a very successful International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  There was lots of arghing, maties and threats to walk the plank while in the lunch line.  My job is so fun.

WE lucked out and hubs has some work for him this week so he won't have to resort to auctioning off his Homecoming Court spot.

Angel #4 is discovering the benefits of being one the managers of the football team.  The popular, mean girls in her class are all jealous of her close proximity to the team quarterback, an unattainable senior boy and claim she's "so lucky".  They also think she's lucky to be able to ride the team bus on the way home from games.  #4 just smiles and doesn't tell them how stinky a school bus full of tired sweaty teen aged boys actually is and just lets them imagine her life as one big glamorous football party.  A couple freshman girls also have a huge crush on WE's best friend and think #4's so lucky to have him hanging around our house - she didn't even tell them about the time he was wandering around upstairs wearing only his boxers, she's so used to her older brothers that stuff like that doesn't phase her, which is why she handles things with the football team so well.  I pointed out to her that I bet she never imagined the day when having WE for a brother would be an asset in her life, but now look, what (almost) 15 year old girl wouldn't love to be surrounded by upperclassmen.  I've got the feeling that all her friends who are lacking in the big brother department are going to be spending more time hanging around here this year.

I've got my garden about half cleaned out for the year.  The other day I pulled up all the dead corn stalks and pulled most of the onions. The tomatoes are all picked and canned, I did 54 quarts, not as many as other years, but I've still got jars dated from 2011, so I think I'm good on the tomato thing for quite awhile.  Today I pulled weeds, picked about half of the bell peppers (a 5 gal bucketful) and one of the cabbages.  Tomorrow is only half a day of school, so I've recruited Angel #4 to help me dig potatoes, it'll be nice to have those out of the garden.  Then all I've got left is to pull the carrots, pick the rest of the peppers, both bell and chili, pick the rest of the cabbages, pumpkins & squash and figure out what to do with the rest of the kohlrabi and the brussels sprouts.  As much as I"m not looking forward to winter, I AM looking forward to a break from the gardening.  As much as I love doing it, things start getting exhausting this time of year and I'm ready to focus my life on something other than pulling weeds and putting up butchering up all those filthy broiler chickens that are stinking up my barn.  Raising laying hens is so much nicer than raising the meat birds, thankfully, the whole meat bird thing only takes 3 months, then it's back to just me and my ladies in the barn.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I don't have time for all this stuff

I'm finally taking a little break to catch up here, I've been busy busy busy.  That's the problem with going on vacation, it takes forever to get things back in order once you get home.

We did some great stuff when we were in Florida.  We were there for hubs for business, so on Tuesday night, we met all the business partners at a Cuban restaurant at Downtown Disney for dinner.  I'd never had Cuban food before, it was pretty good stuff.  The next day was meetings followed by the 6pm show of La Nouba, Circe Du Soleil is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend any of the Circe shows if you ever get a chance to get to one.  Thursday was more meeting, it was held in one of the meeting rooms in a Downtown Disney restaurant, so we were right in the thick of things, though I can live a very very long time without ever hearing another Disney song.  Thursday night we let Angel #4 pick a dinner show to go to and she picked Medieval Times.  The three of us went with 2 of hubs business partners and we all had a great time.  #4 and Peter (one of the partners) were having a super time harassing the opposing knights and really getting into it.  #4 was thrilled to have our knight toss her a flower during the show and she made sure she got her picture taken with him afterwards.

Friday was our first day to ourselves and Angel #4 got to live out her dream to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  She was practically floating down the streets of Hogsmeade she was so happy and when she ordered a butterbeer, I thought she was going to burst out into song.  Saturday we went to Ybor City in Tampa, but spent most of the day just chilling.  On our way home on Sunday, we got to spend a few hours with Angel #2.  We met her boyfriend, her roommate, her/my friend Amanda and got to see where she lives and works.  It was great seeing what a great life she's made for herself down there.  It gives me such a feeling of satisfaction as a mother to see my kids out in the world, taking care of themselves and living a happy life.  What more could a mother ask for?

WE made it onto Homecoming court, which is kind of a big deal around here.  You get on the court with a combination of your accumulated sports letters and your GPA.  But, WE's phone died yesterday and he doesn't have the money to replace it, so he was wondering how to go about auctioning off his place on homecoming court so he could raise the money for a new phone.  I told him I didn't think he'd get away with doing something like that and he might have to do something even more drastic, like......get a job!!  We'll see where the homecoming drama takes us.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

getting ready to head out

We all survived the first week of school.  It was nice to see the kids in the lunch line again and help the kindergartners adjust to eating lunch in the cafeteria.  But, after only a week, I guess it's time for a break and on Tuesday morning Angel #4, hubs and I are on our way to Florida for a working vacation.  Hubs has business meetings to go to and #4 and I have some sun soaking up to do.  I've been informed by #4 that we're also going to Harry Potter World to load up on butterbeer and beanies bots or whatever those things are called.  WE is staying home, he's got too much going his senior year to intentionally miss school.  I told him that I didn't know if we trusted him since last time we left him home alone, the garage blew over - it must have been one heck of a party!  On the flight home, hubs arranged it so we have a super long layover in Houston so we can spend some time with Angel #2.  She's excited to have us meet her boyfriend and I'm looking forward to meeting Amanda, who was her first roommate when she moved down there.  Amanda is one of my internet friends, we've know each other for probably 7 or 8 years but never meet in real life.  She opened her home to #2 when she moved down there and they became good friends.  Now, I finally get to see the woman for reals!  It should be a fun time.

Hubs just got in from Hawaii today, he'll be home just long enough to unpack, do a few things around the house, then pack up again for Tuesday.  That poor guy never to stay home.  I've got some things to do before leaving as well.  The garden is just about done, but there's a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes waiting to get canned up.  There are probably some beans that need my attention as well.  I also have to make up a daily to-do list for WE.  My egg chickens are easy to take care of - let them out in the morning and at night feed them, lock them back up and collect the eggs.  The meat chickens are a little more high maintenance and at the moment they need feeding 2 or 3 times a day and their pen should get mucked out every couple days because they're disgusting.  WE really isn't going to be around enough to do all the feedings so I was a little concerned about what we're going to do.  But now hubs said he's going to make me a big feeder that can hold enough feed to keep the fat pigs happy for awhile. Also, our friend Nancy is here visiting from Pennsylvania.  She was going to go back home Tuesday, but threw out her back and isn't up to the drive.  So she might just stay here for the week and be around to take care of the critters during the day.  That should make Diesel doggy happy, because otherwise, he'd have to spend 10 hours a day in his pen and that would just make him sad.  He's used to having run of the house/yard all day.  It sure would be easier to travel if I didn't have stupid animals to worry about.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Boyfriend Win

I swear, I don't know what I"m going to write about when WE moves out next summer, he's given me so much material over the years.  The Marines better appreciate him is all I can say.

Tomorrow is WE's girlfriend's birthday.  Apparently, he really screwed up on the 1st anniversary things last month, so he had to redeem himself and boy, did he ever.  First off, he took her out to dinner at a nice place - extra points for me when the people in front of them in the restaurant line asked for a table by a window and they were told they were all reserved.  Who told WE to make reservations ahead of time??  Me, that's who!  Yay mom!!  After they were done eating, he took her out to the car and blindfolded her so she wouldn't know where they were going next.  He possibly could have been pulled over as a kidnapping suspect, so another yay for unobservant bystanders!  He took a roundabout route to the beach, which had to be a bit of a challenge since the restaurant they ate at was called Water's Edge so it's not like they had a long way to go.  Once they arrived at the beach, he kept the blindfold on while he got things set up then led the GF out to the beach where she was surprised with a blanket on the beach surrounded by candles and a chocolate fondue as the centerpiece.  He even had her gift wrapped, thanks to Angel #4 who did it for him after he attempted to wrap it using duct tape and superglue.  He gets his wrapping skills from his mother.  He even had light up balloons and glow sticks to play with once it was really dark.  He's going to have a tough act to follow for her next birthday - organizing this event pretty much drove him insane with all the planning.  But, come to think of it, he's going to be in basic training at this time next year, so he'll probably be off the hook.

I got the blame the other day for something, and for once, I was completely innocent.  I was over at WE's GF's house the other day - her mom and I are friends - and I'm not sure how we got on the subject, but I was telling her how hypersensitive WE is to noise.  His bedroom is next to the bathroom and if you brush your teeth without closing the bathroom door, he has an utter fit about the noise.  Well, a couple days later, WE blames me for a video he got on snap chat.  His friend Mitch and his girlfriend Bailey, sent him a video of them brushing their teeth.  He complained about it to everyone and said that his GF heard what I said and so arranged for them to drive him nuts with the toothbrushing video.  The next day he got another video of a different friend brushing his teeth, after that, a couple more.  I happened to be standing next to Mitch and Bailey in the concession stand line at Friday night's football game and mentioned it to them.  They said the funny thing was they were just horsing around and sent the video to about 10 people just for laughs, but when WE had such a conniption  about it, they spread the word so more people would send him their own tooth brushing videos.  So, instead of it being MY fault like he claimed, he actually set his own self up.  Then I told them that another noise that really drives him crazy is the sound of people eating corn on the cob, so now they're going to work on a new video...and that one just may be my fault.  ;)   I kid you not, the last time our family all had corn on the cob, WE wore one of those sets of ear muffs that construction guys wear when they're working a jackhammer.  It was hilarious.

Tomorrow it's back to school.  I don't think the kids are quite ready to go back yet, but I think it's about time.  It's been such a cold crappy summer (it's 63 degrees right now, labor day afternoon) that we might as well be doing something inside since it's so cruddy outside.  I'll be back at work as well, torturing elementary school children for another year.  Life is good.