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Month: May 2010

I am not going to worry …

I am not going to worry …

Today was Jacob’s kindergarten graduation.

And just because he didn’t sing the days of the week song or the months of the year song, I’m not going to worry.

He did sing the ABC song, although I think the fact that it was an echo following the teacher just might be considered cheating.

He waited on his name to be called:

Marched across the stage:

And shook hands with the principal:

And shaking hands with the principal means it’s a done deal.

First grade baby!

Please note the cute patootie sitting to the right of Jacob.  That is Jacob’s sweet friend Glen.  How cute is it that he put a tie on with his school t-shirt?!?  This is the same boy who wore a tie and button up vest to the Christmas party and a pink shirt and tie to the Valentine Party.  He wins “best dressed” award hands down.

After the ceremony … what else?!? 

Snacks!

Proud dad …


Fun friend …


Nope … I’m not worried.  

In fact, his teacher, Mrs. Timmreck, gave him a GREAT foundation with lots of love to boot!

Yep, I think all her kids are gonna do just fine!

I can’t wait to watch!

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Because not every day is your birthday …

Because not every day is your birthday …

Especially if it comes in the summer.
You kind of feel ripped off.

Take it from this July 23 birthday girl.

Every year I wanted Captain Vick to come to my birthday and every year ole Captain Vick went on vacation in July.

And I was always a little (or a lot) jealous of the kids who had their birthday during the school year.  They got all the perks like “line leader” and stuff.  Some years they even wore crowns.

Summer birthdays … we got nothing.

Not that I’m bitter.  ☺

But in this new era … well, we celebrate summer birthdays in May!!

Just ask my July 24 baby.

We had to squeeze in Jacob’s “school” celebration between all the other summer birthday babies whose mom’s waited until as close as possible to summer to celebrate.  

Here is my soon to be .. in the not so distant future … 7 year old.  I could not stop laughing when I was taking these pictures.  First because Jacob holds his hands in his pocket EXACTLY like Bill does … and that look on his face … well, I’ve seen it on Bill’s face a thousand times.

Jacob’s classmates sang “Happy Birthday” to him …

Followed by, everybody’s favorite, cookie cake!


Jacob even helped me cut it …

If you promise not to tell, I’ll let you in on another secret.  

Lean in …

I let him come home with me too!  It was 1:30 in the afternoon and he has asked me every other Wednesday this entire year when I volunteered in his classroom, if I would bring him home and I always said “no”.

Today it was easy to say “yes”!

Seeing how it was his birthday and all.   
*wink *wink.
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If you must know …

If you must know …

Last Friday was the 5th grade “Historical Wax Museum” at our elementary school.  Each student selected a historical figure to dress up as and when the visitors stepped on the “button” in front of them they came to life and gave a short speech about the life of their person.  All the costumes were so creative and the students did such a good job!

Brittany was given Phyllis Wheatley to depict.  Phyllis Wheatley was a slave who was highly educated, wrote poetry and was the first African American who was ever published.  Trust me … I know this because Brittany practiced her speech over and over for me.  She makes a cute slave girl, dontchathink?

My favorite part was watching her face light up when Savanah and her buddies came to listen …

and then when Jacob and his pals came by …

One of my favorite, favorite things is having 3 of my kids at the same school (for exactly 5 more days).  They do a good job of watching out for each other and I can’t even tell you how many times they’ve told me they had to go trade out lunches because I’d mistakenly given the “ham and cheese” child to the “peanut butter” sandwich child.

Ask them … it happens a lot.

I got so engrossed in all the characters and costumes like Ulysses Grant:

Queen Elizabeth:

Abraham Lincoln:

and Laura Ingalls Wilder:

that I forgot about the fact that I had put a GIANT Costco size bag of frozen chicken in the fridge.  I meant to just leave it there for a bit until I got home and made a place for it in the freezer.

I didn’t think about that chicken again until the next day … when it was completely thawed.

So in addition to all the chicken I used for the chicken fried rice, we also grilled and grilled and grilled chicken on Sunday.  The plan is to freeze it and pull it out as needed this summer.

It reminds me of those people who do the “cooking for a month all in one day” thing.  I have never been inclined to do that but now that I have done it without meaning to, I kind of think I like the idea.

I really don’t have any other choice!

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Belle of the Ball

Belle of the Ball

Saturday night was one of the milestones of middle school … the 8th grade dance.

I realize that I am biased, but I thought Caroline looked beautiful. 

 
It is so hard to imagine that my baby is going to high school in the fall. 

HIGH school.

There, I said it.  

Now I have 3 months to start believing it.

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Take that Benihana!

Take that Benihana!

Ever since we started going to Benihana for Bill’s birthday, my older two kids have LOVED chicken fried rice. Then a few years ago a Pei Wei opened just down the street and the kids discovered they liked their version too.


A LOT.

I mentioned this to a friend at the baseball park a few weeks ago and she said she had a recipe that her family loves and that she’d share it with me.  Turns out the recipe was from Paula Deen’s magazine.  She makes a good chicken fried rice.

Paula could give Benihana a run for their money.


Yesterday I decided to commence with the stir fying and made lots of chicken fried rice.

Lots and lots.

Like 3 batches of it.


The only thing my people didn’t care for in Paula Deen’s recipe is that it has mushrooms which they didn’t love and they wanted more than two eggs (like lots more) in it.  

If you would like the Paula Deen recipe, please email me.  I couldn’t find it online and scanned the recipe.  I know how to send attachments but can’t figure out how to add the attachment to the blog.  Because you know if I could do that it would mean I’m HIGH tech.  And I’m not.

I made a second batch and added four eggs instead of two.  I had enough of all the ingredients (carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.) that it seemed the best way to use it up.  I’m going to try freezing it to pull out for quick dinners.

One ingredient that Paula’s recipe called for was “Sesame Oil” which I found in the oriental section of Kroger (duh).  Anyway … when I was there buying umpteen ingredients for Paula’s recipe, I saw this little packet.  It cost 88 cents.  88 stinkin’ cents!!!!!

The clear winner for cost and, in my kids opinion, taste was “Sun Bird’s” seasoning mix recipe.  There’s also no dicing involved which renders me a huge fan!  

I used four eggs instead of two and this packet only called for peas and carrots which come sold in little packets in the frozen food section so it was super EASY.  

Afterwards, I had a DISASTER of a kitchen and was exhausted from chopping and slicing and dicing, but Caroline decided to look up the “official” recipe of Benihana’s.  You can find it here.  


I will have to save that recipe for another day.  


Or another month.


Or another year.


Because I have SO much chicken fried rice right now!  In fact, when we walked into the kitchen this morning the smell was still a bit overwhelming.  I mentioned it and Bill said … “well, you kind of had a stir fry festival yesterday.”


And yes, I guess you could say that I did.


The good news is that it’s going to be awhile before my kids ask for it again!



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The wild, wild west … (ok, it’s just Houston)

The wild, wild west … (ok, it’s just Houston)

This is my neighbor Joe. 

You know, Joe the neighbor.

Joe and I  live in a neighborhood in the 4th largest city in the United States.  Rumor has it Houston will be the 3rd largest city soon (beating out out Chicago) after the new census numbers are posted.  We live in a suburb with tree lined streets and nearby elementary schools.  There are large shopping areas all around us … everything we could possibly need is minutes away.  What I’m saying is that it’s an URBAN area.

Which is why yesterday … when I was driving Savannah to ballet and got a phone call from Brittany saying “there’s a snake in our house!” … well, I didn’t believe her.

I told her … “we don’t have a snake in our house.  I think it’s one of Jacob’s toys.”


And she said … “MOM, it’s moving.”


I ask you … WHY this year have I had a possum, gecko and now a SNAKE in or at my house?  

I have no idea.  It’s like I live in the wild kingdom or something.  One friend even said … “there’s gonna be a bear on your roof before we know it.”  (Which clearly, if that ever happens, will mean I need to move up my plans to retire in Hilton Head to right away.) 
 

We had a larger snake in our flower beds a few months ago … and perhaps this younger, smaller one came back for revenge.  Because Joe the neighbor came over and killed the first one for us.


Which is exactly why I didn’t even pull in my driveway, but drove straight to Joe’s … banged on the door … and declared .. “JOE, we have a snake IN the house.  COME QUICK.”


Joe doesn’t seem to mind when I get bossy.  He’s nice that way.


And so Joe the neighbor pulled a 2 x 4 board and a broom out of the back of his truck and came to my house.  


Meanwhile, I’m on the phone with Brittany saying things like … “Keep your eye on it.”  “Don’t let it go down the hall.”  


At some point I realized two of my babies were in danger and I was standing in the front yard talking on my cell phone like I was negotiating a hostage situation.


Brittany and Jacob … I’m really sorry about that.  I’m quite sure the best plan would have been to actually come inside and keep an eye on the snake myself.  


But that sounded so scary.  


Seriously … I mean here is the snake.  Again, it was … INSIDE MY HOUSE:



We took this picture after Joe smashed his (or her?) head and put it in the street … you know … so Bill could see what he missed when he got home … from downtown … because you know, I mentioned … we live in the BIG CITY.


And just so you know … this is not my first encounter with a snake being inside my house.  The other time was when I was in high school and I went out on a date one night.  My date was a total gentleman and walked me to the front door.  We said good night and he walked towards his car and I walked into the house. 


ONLY TO HAVE A SNAKE STARING ME IN THE EYES.  (Well, not exactly in the eyes seeing how it was on the ground, but you get the idea.)


I SCREAMED.  OH PEOPLE I SCREAMED MY FOOL HEAD OFF.


And my dad came running.  I had woken him out of a dead sleep and yet he was running full speed ahead towards the front door.


I mean can you blame him?!?  His daughter was on a date and suddenly she’s screaming bloody murder.


There was a brief second when I thought he was going to kill my date.


He did not but I can assure you … when I told him it was a snake (and I wasn’t referring to my date), he wasn’t very happy with me.


I think he might have thought I overreacted.


You’re shocked, I know.


Anyway … that slimy snake slithered underneath the piano and I’m not sure my dad even believed there was actually a snake.


But eventually we found it and my dad disposed of it.


And I don’t think that guy ever asked me out again.


The end.

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When art imitates life … (or at least a video does) ….

When art imitates life … (or at least a video does) ….

OK, so last week I considered Looper, my dog, to be in hospice care.  I moped around and told people we’d probably have to put her down later in the week.  Bill had been in New York and came straight home so he (aka the grim reaper) could take her to the vet.

And let me just say here … dogs must have a sixth sense … because when Bill got home Looper “picked up her bed and walked”.

The same dog that had practically been carried around for one week walked outside wagging her tail as if to say … “I’m good.  No worries”.

And today … well, she looks better than ever.

I think that has something to do with the fact that she is eating like a human now.

It started with lunch meat … she devoured it.

Then we had fajitas and Looper ate all the leftover chicken.

And tonight … yes, tonight she ate some hamburger hotdish (Bill’s favorite) right off a plate.

A PLATE!

Bill saw it happen and said something about having to draw the line on the dog eating off a plate.

My neighbor compared Looper to the energizer bunny … she keeps going and going.

If you remember, the vet once told me that Looper manipulates me.  Which comes as no surprise since my children are prone to this same behavior.  It seems I can’t catch a break!

In summary, Looper has spoken and Looper has said … “your food is my food”.

So when my mom sent me this video, I laughed out loud.

Because it’s just so very real in my house right now.

Happy Thursday!

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It’s not whether you win or lose …

It’s not whether you win or lose …

Because people … Savannah’s “Aces” softball team never won.

Not even once.  

It was like watching “The Bad News Bears” except without the part in the movie where the team starts winning at the end of the season.

One might think this would bring some people down but those girls went out there like they thought they could win it …. every. single. time.
There were 10 girls from 10 different schools on the team.  
They only really practiced just before the game.
They had several factors working against them, but …

they had a really good time together.

I thought they had the best uniforms … because who wouldn’t want to be the pink team?!  Perhaps I should have sensed trouble brewing when several of the girls said they wouldn’t play if they had to wear pink.  Now that I think about it … maybe that is what happened!
One Saturday Savannah had another conflict with softball.  We tried to guide her towards going to the other event … but she said “no”.  She said “we have a 90% chance of winning today so I can’t miss!”  

Turns out what the coach had actually said was …. “I will bring items from the 99 cents store and if we win you can pick something out.”
90% … 99 cents.  I thought that was hilarious. 

We also had THE funniest team mom ever.

Except he was a dad.

He would send emails saying things like …    I’m sure some of you are wondering … “Why are we having the party now?  What will we do if we go on a 4 game winning streak and win the silver division?”   If it happens, I will cheer along with the rest of you … and prepare for the swarm of locusts which will consume all heaven and earth. From a statistical perspective, I think we are safe from the 4 game winning streak. 

He bought the entire team trophies at the end of the season … just because he wanted to do it.

Going home from the last game in defeat, out of the back seat I heard … “Mom, I can’t wait for next year.”  

Lord help me.  

I’m not sure there will be a “next year” of softball for us … but I loved Savannah’s “not gonna quit” attitude.


For the team party, one of the moms (who had already made softball pants for the entire team) made these cute t-shirts for all the girls.  She told them they may not have won, but they had the best stuff!


And I was disappointed that several parents didn’t bring their children to the party.  I think the frustration of the season caught up with them. 

But I’ll tell you this … those little girls deserved to celebrate. 

Because, like the old saying goes, it’s not whether you win or lose ….

It’s how you play the game.


Way to play “Aces”!


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Field Day Follies

Field Day Follies

I told you I’m catching up.  SO many end of the year things! So many pictures to post.

A few weeks ago Brittany had her 7th and final Field Day at Rummel Creek Elementary.  It won’t be long before she is walking across the stage and heading straight to graduate and heading to middle school.   Please don’t talk about it … I’m trying to pretend it’s not really happening.

Since Pre-k Brittany has loved Field Day.  This year’s theme was “Surfin’ RCE”.  There was water involved which was good because it was really hot!


There were indoor games:


And outdoor games:


And popsicles to cool them off!

They don’t look like they are having any fun, do they?

Savannah and Jacob also had a big time!


And as if that wasn’t enough field action, a few days later Brittany was chosen to go the the district wide track meet for 5th graders.  She and her friend Blake and two boys ran the 4 x 100 and came in first place.


Luckily our first swim team practice was that afternoon … I felt like jumping in myself!

Won’t be long now til we are trading in the running shoes for flip flops!

Can’t wait!
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Updates ….

Updates ….

1.  Reports of Looper’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

Maybe.

I don’t know.  
Looper seems to have one foot in the grave and one foot ready to ramble around the neighborhood.  

What I do know is this …. she won’t eat out of her food bowl.  She’ll drink … but dog food?
Forgetaboutit.  
I put all her favorites in the dog bowl and she wouldn’t touch it.  But when I set a hamburger down in front of the bowl and she gobbled it down faster than you can imagine.   Currently lunch meat is her meal of choice.  Any kind … anywhere …. except in the bowl.

She is the funniest dog I know.

2.  Brittany has healed up great from her trampoline injury!  All the scabs are off her face.  There is a bit of a “scar” but I think over time it will go away.  Here is her face now:


3.  Speaking of her injuries, she won the “what’s broken this week” award at the end of the year choir party.  It seemed every week she came in limping, or had ice on a jammed finger from basketball .. or something.  I never realized how banged up she was on Wednesday nights until they “honored” her this way.  She, Savannah and Jacob sang in their end of the year a few weeks ago.  Brittany’s choir did a “mini-musical” called “Roamin’ thru Romans”. I always enjoy their program.
4.  Brittany and Savannah also had their piano recital last weekend.  The teacher just has a handful of students come at a time so it’s small and not too intimidating.
A really fun thing is that lots of kids from our school and neighborhood and church played … so we knew almost everyone there.  That’s Mrs. Collins, their teacher, on the left.  She deserves a “bravo” herself!

5.  Caroline made it home from D.C. late on Mother’s Day.  That was a nice present to have all my babies back under our roof.  Even though she wasn’t here the rest of us made our traditional trek to Hungry’s restaurant.  Such, such a sweet time.

Lots of love …

Lots and lots of love …

Sometimes they act normal …

And always … always, always … we share dessert!

6.  Lastly, this is probably the most boring post of all time.  Sorry … just so many things I don’t want to forget.  And seeing how today I, for the first time ever, put on “readers” because I couldn’t make out the words on the newspaper I feel it’s very important to write these things down!  Don’t tell anyone I wore readers, it’s our secret.

7.  And very, very lastly … if you are still here …. which you probably aren’t, I just wanted to thank you for reading along.  I always enjoy when people tell me they read the blog.  I love when you comment on the blog.  So thanks … thanks for coming along on the ride!

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