Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Precise Definition

Several weeks ago...


Middle: Mom, what does obstinate mean?

Hubby: Go look in the mirror.

Me: Stubborn and unmoving.

Middle grinned impishly and without apology.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Father's Day Vignettes

Father's Day is difficult for me. It's one of three hard days lumped very closely together—Dad's birthday, Father's Day, and the day of Dad's death. They usually fit into the span of less than a week. This year was no different. Even my mom elected to come join us on Father's Day in an effort to stay busy.

However, we needn't have worried too much. My kids provided all the distraction we needed from the day.

First, they performed their own version of a vaudeville show, singing and dancing to several songs. If you've never heard VeggieTales' Mr. Lunt covering Jars of Clay's "Flood," you haven't lived.

Then we sat down to play a rollicking game of Big Picture Apples to Apples.

In the course of the game, these happened:


Me [picking nail polish remnants off the table surface]: It's nail polish.

Middle: Speaking of nail polish, don't look at Kimo's foot.

I looked at Hubby, who looked at me, and I grabbed my phone...to go look at Kimo's foot. (Kimo happened to be conveniently snoozing in the dining room, where we were playing.)

Sure enough...


Blue sparkly nail polish. 

Poor Kimo.

*     *     *

Middle [seeing Koa]: Oh, look, it's a cat. Moo. Oh, wait, I mean, meow.

The rest of us: [Unrestrained laughter]

*     *     *

The cards in play:


Hubby [the judge]: There's all these things...and the armadillo. Somehow, I don't think he's useless.

Mom: When it costs you $700 to remove one, armadillos are useless!

(Mom had armadillo problems down in Florida earlier this year. Not a cheap proposition, as she discovered. I really thought my bendy bench—the card you can't see—should've won. Hubby thought it looked comfortable.)

*     *     *

Hubby [reading card]: Ugly. Not pretty, unpleasant, unattractive.

Middle [with snark]: Like you! [beat] Burn!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Ancient History

"Hey, Mom, look at this really old quarter I found!"


I peered at the thing.

1987.

I was twelve then.

"I'm older than the quarter!" I exclaimed.

"Whoa," Middle said.

Hubby asked to look at it, and then pointed out it's not so much that it's old as it is beat up.

At least he didn't laugh.

After all, he was older than twelve in 1987.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Amish Summertime

It's that time of year again.

My minions are out of school.

Thus, Amish Summer has come to reign in our house again, and the minions are likely going to be displeased at the changes to this year's regulations.

I realized after I printed the Amish Summer Rules earlier today that my munchkins had used up nearly all tape of every kind (except for my packing tape, which is MINE and is not to be used, under penalty of ... well ... something severe), including all of the blue painter's tape that we buy to keep the short people from ruining our walls with Scotch, Duct, and Packing.

I went to the store.

And I posted the signs (one in the kitchen and one in the den) as soon as I got back.

When I mentioned to a friend on Facebook who was considering a bonfire for her children's electronics that Amish Summer had come, she wanted pictures. Proof. Something. Anything to show what we were doing to cope with the electronics blackout.

I sent her this.



The principles of Amish Summer are pretty simple. We got it from a couple we knew at our last church, who happened to have two teenaged sons who would undoubtedly shrivel up under the flickering glow of the TV and/or games and/or phones without parental interference. The boys were allowed tech up until noon...and then none until the next morning.

So, what you see above is this summer's incarnation. After last summer and allowing chores to be put off until after lunch, and seeing them not get done, that got bumped to before TV time. We are eeeeeeebil parents who will not give our kids their own tablets or phones (hello, you are not-quite-12 and 10.5-times-two; you don't neeeeeeeeed them), so control the TV and that also controls the Wii. And the Atari Throwback.

Also different this summer is the specific TV shutoff time. I left it as a very vague "lunchtime" last year, which didn't work when the kids decided "lunch" would be at 2 p.m. Or whenever.

Don't say it.
Just get an idea out and go.
The 7-a.m. thing is because Oldest is our poptart child and will wake up whenever her body says, "Oh, look, there's sun; it must be morning," even if that hour is before 6.

It is summer vacation. I am not getting up before 7.

Oh. The Jar. You were wondering about that? It's lovely. It keeps me from hearing the three words which are guaranteed to sent me legging it trippingly to crazy faster than anything else. Filled with about 40-odd ideas to un-bored my kids, they consult The Jar to keep them out of mischief and allow me to keep hold of my milligram of sanity. Best thing I did last summer.

We also had a riveting one-sided conversation tonight about exactly what "getting dressed" entails. There has been some confusion, and I wanted to be sure we all understood what has to be worn daily around here.

Our Amish Summer usually lasts until after supper, since the girls are still young. As they get older, we'll get meaner, and the tech ban will persist past bedtime.

We'll see how well this year's iteration of Amish Summer progresses.

I am hopeful.

Possibly also incredibly naive, but hopeful.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In Which We Go Out To Dinner

We got our tax refund back this week, and decided to celebrate a little. Our budget has been so tight that it's squeaked, and little things like dining out have gone the way of the dodo as a result. Well, no longer. At least for tonight.

Hubby and I decided we were all going to go out to dinner!

I was a huge fan of this idea as it meant I did not have to cook, he did not have to cook, and we didn't have to clean up.

Off to the restaurant we went.

We chose one of those buffet-style places, and Hubby immediately regretted ordering an entree because the buffet was jam-packed with good stuff tonight. Oh, well...take the entree home and eat it later; enjoy the buffet now.

Which is what we did.

I made the discovery, at dessert time, that there was peanut butter fudge among the dessert offerings. Now, I love peanut butter fudge, and probably a little too much. My mother-in-law has a great recipe and she makes it every time we come to visit, and even freezing the extra fudge does not keep the short people in this house (I am still taller than the children) from kiping pieces. It melts in your mouth.

Daring to confess to near-blasphemy, I informed Hubby upon my return to the table that the restaurant's peanut butter fudge was just nearly as good as his mother's.

Hubby went to find out for himself.

...And found himself forced to admit that I was right. It was a close second to his mom's.

Meanwhile, after claiming to have pigged out on the buffet, Middle suddenly found more room in a mysterious second "dessert stomach"...

Middle: Daddy, can I have a piece of fudge?

Hubby: Yes.

Middle promptly reached over and swiped the largest piece of fudge from Hubby's plate.

Hubby: Not MY fudge!

Middle [taking a bite]: It's mine now; can't do nothin' about it!

Hubby [grabbing it back]: It's wet!

Middle [gleefully]: I licked it.

These are my people. This is how they behave in public.

I'm glad the sweet old lady who gave Middle $2 because Middle had jumped up and helped the woman clean up a spill had already left and didn't see this part of our evening.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In Which We Feature Special Edition

Special Edition has been making the circuit between here and home with Mr. Nurse on a fairly regular basis the last few months, and we (quite frankly) have been loving having her around.

Not the least of which is because we have some ... interesting ... conversations when we do.

Take, for instance, the latest craze to hit Facebook sponsored posts:

Romphims.

I would not have known there was such a thing, as I have a lovely add-on to my browser that takes care of the Things I'd Rather Not Have To See, but one of my college buddies (known to be a class-A weird one, bless 'im, and the reason he's my friend) was tagged in a post about Romphims as a potential candidate for wearing them.

I could see him doing it. Totally.

But I digress.

I mentioned this tomfoolery of fashion to Special Edition when it was just her and me in the car, and the conversation exploded from there.

Mind you, neither of us could fathom why these were suddenly haute couture.

Nor could Mr. Nurse, and I was advised I should most definitely not ask him for his thoughts on the fashionable matter.

"I think you have to ask yourself," Special Edition opined, "'Would Richard Simmons wear this?' If the answer is yes, then you shouldn't. Unless, of course, you're Richard Simmons."

Wise words, my girl. Wise words.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Vocabulary Lesson

Middle dashed through the kitchen, collapsing in faux exhaustion at the foot of the stairs, gripping the end of the railing.

"I just ran 300 miles!" she gasped.

I looked at her dubiously. "You did not just run 300 miles." I walked up the stairs past her.

She followed me up to the foyer and turned to continue further up, pausing on the second stair. "Hyperbole. Have you heard of it?"

"Yes, I've heard of it."

But I'm a little surprised that you have.