Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear Mr Phy Ed Teacher,

I realize that this is just day 2 of the new school year but could you please excuse the boy from phy ed classes for, oh, let's start with the next 2 weeks and we'll see how that goes.  He has injured his ribs.  Although x-rays show no break, the Dr is having a radiologist review the x-ray this morning.  She confirmed that he had done something, whether a hairline fracture or possibly a tear of the muscle connecting ribs 7 and 8.  Regardless, the treatment would be the same: LOTS of ibuprofen, ice and heat alternately and NO strain to the body (luckily emptying the garbage does not fit into those categories).

HOW he injured it is still a mystery, but all evidence seems to be pointing to a golf outing with his father last Wednesday (pain began on Thursday), a frustrated hole and a full fledged "happy gilmore" fit.  Or two.

I'm sure it was entertaining, but not worth the pain he is in at present.

Thank-you for understanding.  I will let you know when he can resume activity in phy ed.


The Boy's Mother.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Silence.  Blissful, peaceful, heavenly silence.

I'd do the Snoopy Dance

but then I'd have to put on some music (I'm not THAT far gone that I would dance to music in my head....but I am closing in on it) and that would diminish my bliss.

The first day of school.  I believe that I may have been MORE excited for it than my children were (go figure).  I read until around 11pm last night, shooed my middle daughter back to bed when she came into our room at 1030 claiming to be scared (of what, I have no idea...I suspect it was more nerves of going to Middle School, something I CAN'T take away).  I did go right to sleep (as did she) but woke up  around 130am knowing I had to be up at 3am for the rolls.  And could I go back to sleep?  Uh...NO.  At 2 I went ahead and took out the rolls (an extra hour of warming wouldn't hurt them) thinking I would be able to THEN go back to sleep.  Uh...no.  At 330 I got up and read for about an hour, until my eyes hurt and I figured I MIGHT just be able to sleep for an hour.  I think I did sleep in there but not for more than 15 min or so.  I got up at 540, started the coffee (oh, boy, am I going to need coffee today), preheated the oven and got the rolls in.  

The rolls...yes, I go over and above for special occasions: Christmas morning, Easter, and the first day of school.  Seldom enough that it's a special treat for the kids.  They usually watch me do it and know that it's not something I throw together quickly so I HOPE they're a bit more appreciative of the effort.  Would you be?

Me too.

So, the older girls had a 707am bus.  We had one small melt down when I told my middle daughter that NO she wasn't wearing the jean shorts she had worn all week without having been washed and she informed me, that, after school clothes shopping last week, she had NOTHING to wear.  Funny...she seemed to find something pretty quick when I offered to "help" her find something.
At 7am...my older girls:
(if you would like to see the Forrest Gump version, click here)
Beanie attempted to get up with the girls and I promptly sent her fanny right back to bed.  She'll thank me for that in 5 years.  Maybe.
My son actually got up and cooperated with the annual first day of school ritual even though he didn't have to be at school until 11am.  AND I got a smile.  Today keeps on getting better!

Now, what would complete my bliss?

It's tomorrow...and the sun HAS come out.  I think I'll go bask in it's glory.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


tomorrow, I Iove you ...tomorrow you're only 12 hours 45 minutes and 38 seconds away....

First and foremost, let me state, you'll get NO tears from me tomorrow.  None.  Zero.  Nada.  Matter of fact, I may actually celebrate my freedom with a Bloody Mary in complete silence (I make a REALLY REALLY GOOD Bloody Mary.  If you're free, join me).  Go ahead...call CPS on me.  I look forward to tomorrow like most children anticipate Christmas, Halloween or their birthday:  With ZERO remorse.  I think they're ready too, they just would rather DIE than admit it...admit that they are as sick of me as I am of them.

There...I said it...go ahead, call CPS.

This past weekend we decided we would take the kids up to the ILs cabin for one last weekend on the lake.  Yes, we could have done that here too as there were a plethora of lakes to choose from, but the ILs had the "down south" cousins and the "close to us" cousins so heaven forbid we be the ones to separate the cousins.  It has the potential for being a GREAT weekend and turned out to be downgraded to a good weekend.  Here's why.

My children seem to take some perverse pleasure in demonstrating to their immediate family or their friends exactly how lacking in parenting skills my husband and I are.  Or they're teens.  Or both.  I will sorta give my son a pass on this one because, while he didn't really do anything that matched the girls' behavior, he was neither helpful in a way that would have made things easier on me nor did he put his phone down.  The girls...OY!  Beanie whined whenever she  wasn't allowed to do what the older girls were doing.  It got old.  Fast.  The middle daughter walked a fine line.  She took her brother's hat (and expensive one and well loved) and they made movies with it.  OK...not a "water boarding" offense, but after being warned not to touch it again, she didn't.  My older daughter...well, can I just say I do NOT like 14.  AT ALL.  She presses her boundaries and I get that that is typical for the age.  But she really does push it too far.  And even knowing she was on thin ice, she continued to skate.  We'll just say the ride home was VERY subdued.  Lots of new rules coming down the pike with the starting of school.  Rules that will undoubtedly earn me the well deserved title of "Momzilla".

Lest you think I am THAT mom, let me assure you, before I left for the cabin, I made a batch of homemade (scratch) cinnamon rolls for the first day of school (and I will be getting up at o'ungodly hour am to take them out of the fridge so they can rise before I put them in the oven for the first set of "off to schoolers" who catch the bus at 705am).  I thought about THEM.  I have plans for dinner (home made pizza) tomorrow night (assuming I'm still sober..go ahead..call CPS) that I'm sure they'll enjoy. So, it IS all about them.  But just once, I'd like for them to think..."I have it REALLY good...I wonder how many kids have this.  Maybe, instead of being wrapped up in me, I can think about someone else".

I just hope it's sometime before they turn 30. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Ah...we're down to less than a week.  And none too soon.  I am giving myself HUGE kudos this year for being more even-tempered this summer than I have ever been.  Oh, I'm sure some of those kudos can go to the kids for actually being more mature, but let's be clear, we STILL get those STUPID  arguments over nothing that escalate into "ugly" in a New York second and when I trace back how it all started I'm mad all over again.  Really?  We went "there" because...*insert unbelievably stupid reason here*?

So, what we have left on our agenda:
1. I managed  to get one into the dentist (and I'll just say I am in BIG trouble if just one year of not seeing the dentist has the same effect on the remaining 3 kids.  Big, BIG TROUBLE).  She has one of FOUR repeat visits scheduled for next week.  Beanie has her cleaning on Thursday morning before school starts next week.  The remaining 2 are scheduled out into mid Sept and late Oct.  I'm hoping I have put the boy's off long enough (late Oct) such that his braces will be gone as they are due to come off this fall.
2.  Beanie has her Open House tomorrow.  She has the same 4th grade teacher as the other 3 so I suspect we will be out of there fairly quickly (with of course a stop at the Culvers table for some custard).
3. State Fair. We plan to take the kids this year but with school starting as the fair starts, it's going to take some creative scheduling.   Plus, they have all been warned that when we go for the day, we go for the day.  We don't leave because you are "done".  Still, when given the option of going or not going, all voted for going.
4.  Middle daughter turns 12 on the 4th.  I have two kids whose birthdays land right as school is ending and as school is beginning and it is just too crazy.  They end up getting dogged with regard to the amount of time I can put into their parties.   I'm just grateful that they are getting to an age where a "party" is now more of a multi-child sleepover where I am only required to provide food and floorspace (and maybe a questionable movie...ahem).
5.  Since we have decided to put off above child's birthday til a week later (see?), we now have 2 open weekends.  The boat hasn't been out in a couple weekends, so we really want to get out on it and/or take it up to the cabin for the last summer hurrah.  My own thoughts run towards an afternoon adult trip ending at Captain JacksWe'll have to see if the weather cooperates.
6.  I DO have to start getting the kiddies to bed, IN THEIR OWN BEDS, at a reasonable hour.  My older 3 kids will be out of the house by 8 with the middle two actually riding the same bus at 7am.  Which means they'll need to be up by 6am.  Translated to how this affects me?  I see 3 very crabby children until they adjust to hours that are not similar to those of your average vampire.  Crabby children+non-caffeinated mom=not good.

All in all this has been a marvelous summer.  A few hiccups here and there but those hiccups only stand to accentuate how good the good has been.  And it's been GREAT.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm an excellent...EXCELLENT Driver...I'm an Excellent Driver

The boy, after 2 very patient months, took his road test today.  He passed.  We now have 3 licensed drivers in our household (I won't share how this will impact our car insurance except to say...OUCH).

I was very proud of him.

Now, I am dreading the inevitable push for a vehicle of his own now that he has passed his test.  Is it wrong that I SORTA hoped he wouldn't pass it so we could wait another 2 months (that was how long it took to get him into the schedule) before having to deal with said push?  Yeah...I thought so too.

OK, must look at the pluses:
1. designated driver (IF NEEDED)
2.  "go pick up your sister at XXXX"
3.  ?

Hmmm...2 pluses.  Feel free to help me out with some pluses.  Surely there are more than 2.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Just 10 more days.  Like Gloria Gaynor, I WILL Survive.

I though this week would be a bit of a down week but HOLY CRAP, I think it may have been our busiest yet.  This was the boys last week of work (more on that later) and wouldn't you know, the last day (Wed) he over slept so I was gently awakened by him asking me to drive him to work.  No time for coffee, teeth brush, hair comb, clothes putting on, just jump in the car in my PJs and go.  No, I chose not to record that event for prosperity.

Mon-Thurs my oldest daughter and Beanie had dance camp for an hour each day and Wed all 3 girls had a 2 hour workshop where they learn a dance they will dance at halftime at the high school's first home football game.  Since Beanie was on the cusp of 2 different groups, she did both the 5-8 yo workshop (California Girls) and the 9-12 yo workshop (OMG).  That's about 4 hours of straight dancing.  In a hot gym.  

Wednesday, the day of dance workshops, I also had to fit in orientation at both the Jr HS and the Middle School.  Since the orientations didn't start until after their workshops started, AND since they were also taking school pictures at the orientations, the girls needed to go home shower change and get "pretty".  The HS orientation and the elementary open house are next week.  Same day.  Yeah me!

My middle daughter then attended a free basketball camp for 2 of the 4 evenings, playing up from her age for the competitive edge. (she played 6-8 grade vs 4-6 grade).  Some arm twisting was involved in getting her there but on picking her up each time, she was happy she went.  If only I could do it without the arm twisting.

My oldest daughter had planned to try out for the 9th grade volleyball team and decided at the last minute NOT to.  I'm having a tough time accepting this decision (and it IS over and done so it should be a non issue) because I really think she has made a big mistake.  But, at 14, they know everything right?  This will be one she will have to live and learn and I will do my best NOT to throw out those 4 words teens hate..."I told you so".

She did, however, try out for the church Christmas play...LEAD.  While she has always been in choir, she has never done any acting so this was a bit of a surprise for me that she was willing to do this.  I wasn't allowed in the room for the audition but heard most of it from outside and I will say this, although her reading was a little monotone (not really understanding the need to exaggerate, especially on stage, for effect), she sang Defying Gravity a capella and did GREAT.  It was her choice and it is not an easy song to sing without music but I was impressed (and I AM a tough critic).  We find out the results today.  Regardless of how she does, I was very proud that she put herself out there and tried (had she only done that with volleyball...ahem...)

Yesterday, the boy didn't work.  Instead the company had an all day picnic which started with about 45 of the employees going out and playing paintball for a couple hours.  He had a BALL.  He's covered in welts but I think he's wearing them as badges of honor.  Then there was a picnic at a local park on a lake and every employee won something.  My son...he came home the winner of a 32" HD Vizio TV.  We can't get the silly grin off his face, not that we'd want to...it's been too long since he's worn it for any length of time. 

So at 530, as I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner, we get a call from a friend who has made a huge pot of chicken enchilada soup and if we're not busy can he bring it over (his wife had relatives arriving and was busy cleaning) for dinner?  HELLS yes!  I did throw together a quick (but yummy) home made mac-n-cheese for the kids.  His soup was awesome, topped with fresh cilantro, crisped strips of corn tortillas and mexican cheddar cheese.

Yes, the days are flying by, but in a good way.  My kids are happy, engaging, and ready to go back to school (or maybe that is me projecting that they are ready to go back to school...not sure)...might I add that I will have 4 children in 4 different schools this year?  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bad to the Bone

We had the opportunity last night to go see George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Minnesota Zoo last night.  OMG did we ever have fun.  Small venue, beautiful night, outside concert.  It was a BALL!

At 60 years old, that man can sing AND MOVE!  He mixed it up quite a bit...saving Bad to the Bone for his first encore.  His second I got to hear You Talk Too Much.  We had a great crowd, got to "picnic" in the grassy areas (because, you know, there is no tailgating in the parking lot...no, we did NOT tailgate...ahem) before the concert.

This was the first concert we have ever seen at the Zoo.  It was wonderful.  All thanks to Wylie!

The Frog Whisperer

This past weekend we ended up at a cabin of friends up on Sand Lake.  A little different direction (N) from where we normally head (NW) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The cabin had this neat little "frog pond" in between the cabin and garage/loft, and lo and behold it was actually FILLED with frogs.  At one point, I counted 14 of them but you could see many MANY tadpoles in various states of development swimming around so I have no doubt that there will be a swift increase in population.

My youngest is quite the chameleon.  I've commented  on this facet of her personality...being all girly one moment and down in the dirt dirty the next.  And she held true to form.  She saw that frog pond and she was in it (on it) like white on rice.  And she really had a knack.  Where as normally the child will go charging into any given situation like a bull in a china shop, she seemed to inherently KNOW that such a tact would NOT be fruitful.  Instead she approached the pond with a quiet confidence I really had no idea she possessed (must get it from me).
 No, it wasn't a one time occurrence, she did this several times.  Then she took an altogether different tact:
Now she's just showing off.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Something Wicked this Way Comes

Isn't it funny how you sometimes put things together after the fact?  Earlier this year I found out that Wicked was going to be back in town late summer/early fall.  I thought since my oldest daughter is going into HS, but not really going into HS (JHS here is 8-9 grade) that I would see about arranging something fun to commemorate the year.  Originally, I had planned to make it a surprise...for ALL the girls, but, ahem...trying to surprise 10 14 year old girls with the same surprise at the same time is next to impossible.  So I told her my plan and enlisted her help.  All things considering, it was MUCH easier that way.  It took some doing but I ended up with 12 girls and 8 moms including myself.  Now, we just needed a date.  Since school activities seem to kick in pretty early, we figured the earlier the better, and for all concerned, Aug 13 seemed to work for everyone.  Yes, that would be Friday the 13th.

I arranged for dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery (for 15 of us) as it was 1. close to the Orpheum and 2. had enough variety at a reasonable price to befit the tastes of 9 14 year olds.  Who knew my 14 year old would decide that THIS night she would have a craving for steak and fries...and eat the entire thing???  So, those of us who could met there and had a lovely dinner...moms at one end of the table, cute 14 year olds at the other.  Can you tell which is which?
Not keeping close check on the time, we grabbed the bill and paid to realize we had about 5 minutes til curtain so we hustled it over to the Orpheum and headed to our seats with about 1 minute before the curtain went up.  WHEW!

This was my third time seeing Wicked.  The first time, I had read about 3/4 of the book and was trying to figure out how on earth they could make a political book into a musical comedy.  They did.  The second time I took my husband.  BIG MISTAKE.  For those of you who DESPERATELY yearn to introduce your spouse to culture...take my advice.  DON'T.  They don't want culture.  Really.  They want beer and farting and stupid comedies.  I give him credit for making it through the first act.  Barely.  He ruined the second act completely by fidgeting and sighing heavily and making it known to me, through his body language, that he had had enough.  Regardless of whether the play was over.  I could stick a fork in him cause he was DONE.  But this time...this was THE BEST!  My daughter LOVED it.  And I got a chance to sit and not worry about anyone else but immerse myself in the lyrics:

Woes are fleeting
Blows are glancing
When you're dancing
Through life

Gotta love Dancing Through Life.  But I think For Good is what really touched my soul:

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you  

So...play ended.  Girls LOVED it.  We got this parting shot:
No, our little adventure did not end there.  We bid adieu to most of our friends.  I drove my SIL and niece to their car.  Then the four of us that remained headed up to fun filled weekend of frivolity.  Don't believe me?  Here is what greeted us as we arrived:
I think this was my last time seeing Wicked.  I really want to end our "relationship" on a high note.  Not sure if it could get any higher.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

19 Days...they're back...and part 2 of the school supplies whine

Monday was an up and back trip to Grand Lake to drop off the girls and their friends at the ILs cabin for a couple nights (and make a quick stop to Cold Spring Bakery where I picked up a dozen peanut balls...technically, peanut holes but given the size of the sweet nectar of the gods treats, we choose to call the balls), came home and did the attempt at school supply shopping (see previous day).

Today, I did the reverse.  First I stopped at the Super Target where I DID locate the package of folders as I expected, however, even though EVERY.ELEMENTARY.SCHOOL in the south metro area requires ALL.ELEMENTARY STUDENTS to have wide ruled notebooks, there was not ONE wide ruled (basic) notebook to be found at Super Target.  Oh, there were some college ruled ones, but not one wide ruled one.  I was told they had been out of them for several days.  So, I picked up a few of the college ruled ones and the folders AND that obscenely expensive calculator and dropped another $100.  I guess I will be making yet ANOTHER run to Target. *sigh*

I then headed up to TJ as my kids are scarfing down their pita breads (pizza pitas) at an alarming rate, so I picked up another 4 packages.  It MIGHT last through the weekend.  Then, off to Cold Spring, where they had another TWO dozen peanut goodnesses awating me (love the call ahead feature).  And finally to Grand Lake where, my girls were packed and ready to go!  May wonders never cease.

Trip back was uneventful.  Actually, it WAS eventful in that it took less time than it usually does, minus the stop at DQ.

I've put all the school supplies thus far on their own receipts and have them in a safe place.  Mr. Accountant is going to be SO happy with me come April!

Monday, August 9, 2010

21 Days...

I'd say 3 short weeks but you know what will happen right?  The weeks will ddrraaaggggggg and it will feel like we redid the whole summer but in 21 days.  Uh...no.

Today I went supply shopping for the kids.
/insert whine
Who are these people who make the lists?  Someone please tell me.  Do they ever bother to talk to those people who MAKE THE SUPPLIES?????  Do the stores even LOOK at the supply lists to see if they have the supplies in stock?  I.DON'T.THINK.SO. 

OK, I'll be fair here and all you Squal-mart* haters...well, you can put your hands over your ears and do the LA LA LA thing.  I did find almost everything I needed at Squal-mart and reasonably priced.

@sidebar...with 4 kids in school, I do NOT take the easy way out and buy the little packages the school will make for the kids (and makes money on) because by November, their crayons are all broken, the  black, blue and red in their marker boxes are dry and of course, "someone" left the top of the glue stick and it's completely dry and someone "borrowed" their colored pencils and never gave them back.  So, then I'm going to head to Target and buy new....at 4x the current price.  Uh....no.

So, back to Squal-mart, I got all the crayons, markers, pens, pencils, protractors, rulers, scissors (yes, I bought new scissors...AGAIN, but for the last time...she loses these I'm sending her to school with a butter knife.  She'll keep track of it then), pencil pouch (because, c'mon, the pencil boxes are SO 3rd grade), glue sticks,  a few book covers (let the fights over who gets what color begin), graph paper, loose leaf paper (both wide AND college ruled) and composition books.

What I did NOT get, hence my whine are notebooks and folders. Most of the teachers want the kids having matching notebooks and folders for each subject but in different colors:  red for math, blue for language arts (that's ENGLISH to us old folks), yellow for science, etc...  Every year I have ended up at Target because they always have packages of 5 different colored notebooks (either wide OR college ruled) and the corresponding folder of the same 5 colors.  The package has ALWAYS cost $1 each and I usually end up buying about 10.  This year, Squal-mart had single notebooks for  $.50 each.  And Target, or at least our Target...

@sidebar...our Target added a small grocery section to it these past 2 months and the store now SUCKS.  They rarely have anything I am looking for.  The school supplies section this year is about half the size it usually is. If that...

had NOTHING.  Oh, wait...they did have "something".  However I wasn't willing to spend $3/notebook  and $2/folder(when I need at least 5/child) of the matching unicorn pooping a rainbow notebook and folder "set".

I figured, OK...I'll go to Office Max because every now and then (like when the "odd" teacher decides that THIS year they want ORANGE notebooks and there is not an ORANGE notebook to be found in our town, unless you're willing to pay $5 for it at Office Max) I have to buy that odd supply there.  Oh, I found the notebooks...in a variety of colors.  All for $1 each.  And no matching folders.

So, I came home notebook/folderless.  I'm hoping our town Target is just "under stocked" (that's politically correct right)  and I'll be able to find it at a different Target or Super Target.

OH, I do also need to purchase a new calculator for my oldest daughter.  School has recommended the TI-84.  Yes that would be the one that runs about $100 (although I saw it for $80 at Squal-mart).

I wonder if the schools get a kick-back from Texas Instruments?

/ end whine

*Don't everyone get your panties in a knot over Squal-mart.  I actually shop there frequently but hate doing so with my own children (Mom...can I have this...staple remover?  luckily there was only one with me today but sadly, she was voted by a jury of her siblings, most likely to ask mom to buy her the store), but it was made worse today because EVERYONE seems to turn this into a family affair and there had to be 50 kids all running and grabbing stuff.  It was like Chuck E. Cheese with crayons. *shudder*

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Derby Day Madness

It should really be Derby DayS madness, as it started on Thursday (for us) and continued through today.  It is an action packed weekend but one we relish.

Thursday is the Taste of Shakopee.  A chance to taste the foods from the local restaurants around our charming little metropolis.  We met some friends and took our kids down to the Taste and allowed them spend some of our hard earned money.  I was lucky enough to snag some things for us...some toothbrushes (can you really ever have enough?), some samples of Bare Minerals (our luck...Bare Escentuals has a roving truck doing makeovers and giving samples.  I've been using BE for about 6 years now and LOVE it).

Friday we had Butter Burgers (home made...along with onion rings...both of which were YUMMY) with friends.

Saturday, the husband and friend went running in the early morning.  I got a phone call around 10 am from him telling me to grab the friend's wife and come out to where they stopped.  Luckily, I took his advice.   Because it was fruitful.  We brought our youngest children and they spent several hours riding 4 wheelers while we drank Bloody Mary's.  We also got permission to "farm" a lovely little plot on the  friends 5 acre lot next year.  We were both really excited to have the opportunity to expand our knowledge of growing our own foods.  We came home and I made my chicken pasta salad and had it with bread and wine on the deck.

We then headed back down town to watch the fireworks.  Every year we think that there is no way they can outdo the fireworks they did the year before and every year we are proven wrong. l This year was no exception.  We had about 30 minutes of straight fireworks that looked like this:

And this:

The kids were tired so we came home earlier than we have in years past.  Good thing as Beanie woke us up at 3am by crawling into bed with us...only to discover she was sporting a 104 fever.  We got her some tylenol and figured that her chances in dancing in the parade today went out the window.  Her fever broke but I wasn't going to risk sending her out to walk a 2 mile route, while dancing, in 90+ degree heat after having a temp that high.  I'm weird that way and LUCKILY, I got no argument.
We got up and went to set out our chairs on the parade route at ungodly o'clock this morning before we headed to church.  Afterwards I made the older two girls (who were still dancing in the parade) drink big bottles of powerade so that they would have the electrolytes needed to make it through the 2 mile parade in 97 degree temperatures (very unusual for here)Unfortunately we didn't get to see them dance (but that's ok...we've seen them dance before), but here they are walking in the parade.  My oldest daughter...on the far left:
My middle daughter on the right:

At this point they were about 3 blocks from the end of the parade.  So they were pretty hot and tired.  My husband, however, was not.  He seems to make friends where ever he goes.  The Dominoes pizza guy:
I think he made some new friends among the Vulcans.  What do you think?
 Now this is the funny part.  Beanie, had her bag and was collecting candy.  For the first time in parade history, these kids got PICKY!  Seriously.  The first 20 minutes or so, they were all over ALL candy that was thrown like white on rice, acting like little scavangers.  Mid-way through the parade, they decided to become "choosy" as to what candy they would pick up.  Apparently, most of them had determined that they did indeed have enough Laffy Taffy and they didn't need to pick up the taffy that was being thrown towards the end of the parade.  I can't tell you the number of soft (hot sticky weather) sticky pieces of laffy taffy, double bubble and tootsie rolls I stepped in on my way back to the car.  Beanie did luck out however and the Von Hansons guy threw a stuffed dog straight at her.  Here is her haul:

No, that wasn't the end of the fun filled day.  We rounded the day off by ordering pizza for the kids and supplying them with movies while we adults went to see "The Other Guys" then came home and grilled some steaks, home fries and caesar salad.
 Derby Day Madness...best one EVAH!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wake Surfing

A couple weeks ago I posted about learning to  wake surf hereMy son got up and did great.  My oldest daughter and  I got up but  both of us had issues getting over the wake.  This past weekend my husband decided to give it a go and he did GREAT!  First time trying and he looked like this:

Give him some time to figure out the wake and he'll be tossing the rope back into the boat.  OH, yes, the boat is pretty close.  Close enough to do this:

Because even on a surfboard, behind a boat...
it's still Miller Time!

And just in case you were wondering, YES, I did make it over the wake and stayed up.  At least for a good 20 seconds or so.  I know that was keeping y'all up late at night, so now you can rest easy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Or can also be titled...A Two-fer.

Yesterday was NNO.  National Neighbor's Night Out.  I seriously wish our neighborhood was involved, but alas, we're not.  So, we've gone looking for "fun" and luckily seem to have been adopted by the development behind us.  Well...maybe...until they got a look at my husband.

Friends of ours sponsor the NNO for their neighborhood and we usually (for 2 years anyhow) have crashed it.  This year it was on a day where we were especially busy and I was running our girls and the friends girls to Derby Days parade dance practice.  So, I ran them there and came home an ate dinner.  I went and picked up about half of them (the other half having been invited to partake in other activities) and was going to just stay at NNO when I dropped off.  My husband had intended on "scooting" over and my oldest daughter NEEDED to change before attending a social event (14 year olds ya know) so I ended up running her home.  Only to find my husband had a special plan.  

A couple years ago, at our annual fall ball (the first one that we did costumes) my husband was part of the Village People as his costume, specifically the biker.  He had a lot of fun with his costume (maybe too much fun?).  Well, he found pieces of the costume and decided to "surprise" our host (the construction worker of the Village People...it was hard to figure out which of the two had gone to the biggest extreme to make his point) by arriving at NNO in costume.

I helped him apply his "ink" (see...I know the lingo) and saw his costume and left, without said 14 year old, knowing her options were to: arrive with her father on the back of the scooter with him dressed as a g@y biker, or walk.  She's 14 and as we all know, she'll choose humiliation (or the threat...there was nothing saying that anyone would actually SEE her on the scooter so it was a risk, one she took) over walking any day.   That's the joy of tagging in facebook.  Ahem.

That's where the two-fer comes in.  You know it's going to be a good day when you can: entertain the neighbors (most of which you don't know and of course you leave the impression of...either they WANT to know us, or they do NOT want to be within taser reach of these bozos) AND humiliate your children in one swell foop!  As our son caught a glimpse of my husband as he left, he was looking up numbers to witness protection program (and he calls the girls drama queens)

Still, most of the neighbors took his costume as intended and enjoyed a good chuckle.  Those that didn't...well, we didn't want to hang with them anyway.

Pictures...they always say a thousand words...

  This is what keeps them grounded.

Let's say that I think the bar has been raised.  Expectations will be high for Fall Ball 2010!

Citrus Shrimp Salad

I usually like trying out recipes on just the family but this one was a leap of faith.  I had watched Robin Miller make it while on the treadmill (I get so many good recipes this way...or maybe it's just I'm really hungry and everything looks good)I did read the reviews and decided that I needed to put my own spin on it.  She makes a dressing and spits it, using half for a marinade and half for a dressing.  I liked the idea but like the reviewers, I found that it did need to be kicked up.  So, I tried it out on friends and they loved it (although...my husband's response was...it just needed a strip steak to accompany it.  Spoken like a true carnivore.)

Believe it or not, I actually wrote down what I did the first time and WHEW...am I ever glad I did.  I decided today to give it another try and see if it was as good as I thought it was.  FYI...it was.

Need proof?

The marinade for the shrimp (and basis for the dressing), was orange juice, lime juice and zest, olive oil, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, dijon mustard,  sesame oil and salt and pepper.  I divided it up and to the dressing, I added shallots, more thyme, a jalapeno and rice wine vinegar.   The salad was romaine, orange and yellow peppers, julienned carrots roma tomatoes, cucumber and avocado.  I marinated the shrimp and skewered them.  OH, YEAH...I split a lime and grilled it with the shrimp (flesh side down).  Unskewered the shrimp on the salad, squeezed with the roasted lime and topped with dressing.


Twenty Six and Counting

I am finally there.  There=ready for my children to go back to school.  Cruel, vicious mother that I am, I'm done.  Go ahead, tar and feather me.  Turn me into child protection for REVELING in the fact that my summer sentence is almost over.  And really, I did good this year.  *I* am usually whining within 3 weeks of school ending that I can't wait for school to start, so, really this is a record for me.  Maybe you can sympathize...

I'm tired of my kids staying up until ungodly hour o'clock at night only to roll out of bed AFTER the sun hits its zenith.  And then look at me as if I'm nuts because I have expectations of them helping me to accomplish SOMETHING around the house.

Then come the complaints of "we don't have anything GOOD to eat in the house".  Oh, the drawer stuffed full of cheeses and lunch meats, the fresh breads, the bagels I purchase fresh weekly, the fruit, the yogurt...none of that qualifies as GOOD.  The GOOD items that I might happen to purchase while shopping, well, they rarely make it to getting put away.  Did you know that 4 children can devour an 8 count box of pop-tarts within 7 minutes of bringing it into the house.  And it takes them 5 minutes to make it to the bottom of the bag to FIND the pop tarts.  I'm just sayin'.

Yesterday, we put an end to sleepovers for my oldest two girls.  Wanna guess the number of times they have slept in their own beds in the past 2 weeks?  Even if they happened to be home, one/both may have had a friend over here, which meant that we lost our family room to their nocturnal activities (no, they don't sleep in their rooms...the rooms with queen beds in them).  If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say they maybe have slept in their own rooms MAYBE 2x in the past 2 weeks.  The problem is that now they just EXPECT that if they ask for a sleepover, they get one.  Squashed that sentiment in a heartbeat last night.

Then there is my son, who, yes is still working.  And I am very proud of him as he gets himself up at 515AM, gets ready and packs his own lunch before he catches a ride to work.  He then works anywhere between 8-12 hours in HEAT (it has been a hot summer...and I am NOT complaining) either on the trimming crew or mowing crew.  If he is on the mowing crew, he is carrying around a 35 lb blower for the majority if the time.  So, yes, I am very proud of him.  When he gets home...OY!  He has taken a twin mattress (that was part of a twin over full bunkbed that we took apart and just kept the full bed) that is typically stored under his bed for friend sleepovers and moved it to the family room where he sorta cocoons himself with the TV and whatever GOOD snacks he has managed to pilfer and hide from his sisters...kinda like his own teenage bachelor pad.

We haven't even delved into the summer activities in  which my children have partaken.  The boy has been to see a couple movies and went to a Twins game with his father so I really can't complain about him.  The job has him focused on saving money to buy a vehicle.  My oldest daughter did a volleyball camp, she has an intensive dance camp next week, she has been to Valleyfair! twice, seen Eclipse (twice...don't ask), Toy Story 3 and I'm sure a couple other movies.  She (and her next oldest sister) spent 4 full days up at her cousin's cabin, they are spending 3 days at her grandma's cabin with 2 friends (each) next week.  She (and her sisters) did an Apple River Tubing (no not done on a weekend) and I currently have tickets to take her and 7 of her friends (and their moms) to a broadway production of  WickedAll 3 girls are also dancing in the Derby Day Parade on SundayMy next daughter played softball and attended a basketball camp.  She also spent a full week at FROG (fully rely on God) camp through church (it was from 3-9 with one sleepover and a day at MOA Nickelodean Universe).  She has a dance workshop next week.  Beanie had a week of golf (which she loved) and has an intensive tap dance workshop next week.  She had a week at VBS and a few sleepovers (but not even close to the siblings).  All the girls have has several trips to the local pool and we have tried to get out on the boat every weekend (and have been pretty successful).

So, if they're not tired having DONE all that, I'm exhausted having just written it down.  In addition to Derby Days festivities this weekend, we still have a weekend at friends cabin, a weekend at Fr Dicks and a weekend at Grandma's cabin (with family, not just friends...that's a separate trip) AND the State Fair before school starts.

I suspect, if you were me, you'd be counting too.