Friday, August 31, 2012

Justin is the New Carl Sagan

Since Lydia passionately hates Justin Beiber, and REALLY doesn't like Elvis Presley either, I've been having a lot of fun hiding Justin Beiber / Elvis pictures all over her things.  She has already discovered these, so they are safe to post.  Every time she finds one, she screams and rips it up.  She even screamed in the middle of Sunday School class, and ran to the trash can vigorously shredding the one I left in her scripture case.  Here were some of my hiding places:

Justin inside her bathroom cabinet.

 a morph of Justin and Elvis inside her scriptures.

 Inside her makeup case

 Inside her sketch book

 Inside her yet unused makeup case.

 shuffled inside a deck of her magic cards

 on her school binder

 inside her band music

 in her drawer

 decorating her room in general

 on her pillow

and a message from Justin himself on her facebook page.

P.S.  For anyone wondering about the Carl Sagan reference, here's a link.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Sister, The Bag Lady

     I am so proud of my sister, the bag lady.  Ashley is 25 years old and handicapped.  I am convinced that you couldn't find a sweeter girl anywhere.  A little over a year ago, someone from our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, got her interested in making satchels, filling them with school supplies, and then donating them to an organization within the church, who in turn distributes them to needy children, world-wide. 

     Last year, around this time, she succeeded in making about 125 bags, and filling them with supplies.  This year's haul was around the same number.  From the smile on her face and the excitement in her voice, as she shows me all of the bags she has painstakingly sewn together, it is clear that she just loves to help.  I am truly in awe of her accomplishments. 

     Ashley took it upon herself to beg for and gratefully accept many yards and yards of fabric and school supplies donated from friends, family, and church members.  What supplies were still needed to fill this massive load of bags, she and her parents paid for out of their own pockets, taking advantage of post back to school sales.  It is fun to see the gleam in her eyes as she describes her bargains.  "Trent and I bought 90 rulers today for just ten cents a piece!"  

     I can't imagine how many hours she has put into carefully cutting out and then sewing together close to two hundred fifty satchels.  "I was a lot faster this year than last year."  she told me.  I just love to picture kids all over the world carrying around the bags that my wonderful sister, Ashley, the bag lady, has lovingly put together, freely giving of her own time and resources.  Love you Kiddo!  You are just awesome!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Early Morning Seminary is GREAT, Even for Me!

This is going to sound crazy, but after fretting about the impending early morning seminary for the past couple of years, I'm actually REALLY loving this! I made my mind up years ago that my kids would attend early morning seminary (yes here in the mid-west, seminary is at 6:00 a.m., 20 minutes away from my house), no matter the sacrifice. But as long as I can afford the gas (the Lord will provide, somehow right.), I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. I have been going to the opposite side of the building, and practicing my piano for an hour every morning. 30 minutes of ghastly scales, but I'm DOING it! I'm actually going to miss EMS on my Tuesday / Thursday mornings that I run with my group, and someone else drives. I love music a million times more than even running or biking. It's nuts!


Okay, I've never heard this before! (And I've had 5 kids.) The 1 year old that I babysit is in my kitchen doing what I can only describe as a for real, maniacal laugh. Do I really want to know what THAT means?

Annoying School Outreach Program

Is it just me, or do any of you other folks get a little tired of the School Outreach phone calls 500 times a day.

"Hello Parents!

This is Mr. Fill In the Blank, Principal at Fill in the Blank School. It's been a wonderful day here at ______! Today was the second day, and boy was it a GREAT one! We celebrated back to school by having PIZZA in the cafeteria, and by making everyone smiley face


I just wanted to remind everyone about the Parent/Teacher night tonight at 6:00 pm. 50 fliers were sent home in your child's folders, but I wanted to make sure that you knew about this wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with our curriculum, and the many school rules.

Speaking of which, I wanted to remind all the parents out there that parking on the roof of the gymnasium is strictly prohibited. Also I wanted to ask you to not moon kids at the morning drop off.

Also I need to remind you that any parents wanting to pick up your child prior to the end of the school day will need to submit to a DNA test. Please allow 60 minutes for the results.

I look forward to a great year here at _________ Elementary! I can't WAIT to meet you all at the Parent/Teacher night HERE TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m. Please remember to bring your wallet and be prepared to pay copious extra fees!

Thank you so much!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fun With a Hose

Apparently the activity of choice once the tv goes off (and Mom goes out to the back yard) is to spray a hose into Mom's piano room through the window. I've never been so close to murdering a couple of six year-olds before in my life. Water pouring through the floor into the basement. Luckily my piano seems to have somehow miraculously escaped the majority of the water. Only my sheet music appears to be damaged. Give me a year, and if my piano survives, I'll probably laugh.

 It is amazing how after screaming and yelling, and spanking and banishing kids to their rooms, and crying and fuming, once I surveyed the damage, forgave the little bugers, hugged them until they stopped crying, and told them that I love them, it's amazing how much better it feels to forgive than to fume.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nightmare Conference Call

You can only laugh at these things!  Oh the mortification!  So a little background information here:  I have a small at home job working for a court reporting company, in which I print, bind, and bill for depositions.  I work AT HOME, with five kids, a husband and a dog.  This is usually no big deal.  I do all my work on the computer via email and the post office.  I don't see or talk to any of our lawyer customers - EVER.  Until today.

Also of note is that about a week ago, Ross, my 12 year old son, changed my outgoing voicemail message to something like this:

"Hello? ...  Hello? ... What? ...What? ... I can't hear you... Oh wait!  I'm not HERE!  Please call back when I am."

I thought it was funny, and since pretty much nobody but my family ever calls me, it's no big deal.  It's not like any employer type people are going to be calling me, right?  I actually thought those words.

So one of the main law firms that we work for is changing their billing system.  In order to be able to submit bills I would need to attend an online class today to learn how it all is to work.  So at the appointed time, I followed the links to direct me to the said webinar.  I've never attended anything of the sort, so I didn't really know what to expect.  As it turns out, it was a giant conference call on the phone, and a shared computer screen.  I went to the website, and called the number that I was directed to call.  Easy.  I am immediately put into a conference call with about 20 different law firms all learning the new system.  Instead of seeing what they are talking about on my screen though, I see a pop-up window telling me to enter my phone number.  Thinking this is someway that I'm supposed to log on, I enter my phone number.  Now in addition to hearing (and being a part of the conversation), I am hearing their system calling my phone.  It doesn't really register what is happening until I can hear my own voicemail message through my phone.  "Hello?   .... Hello?  What?  What?...etc."  To my horror, I realize that all of these other professional type people are hearing my voicemail right along with me.  Horrified, I hang up.  I proceeded to call back and enter back into the conversation a minute later, only to realize that at my house, this is NOT going to work.

"Mom, can I have some ice cream?"

 "MOM!  He's using my toothbrush!"

"Mom, can I get on the computer after you?"

 knock at the door "WOOF WOOF!"   

'Oh crap!  Renae mute the phone, quick!'  I'm thinking.  Unfortunately, I don't actually know how to use that particular function.  I've only done it on accident a few times.  In my frenzied frame of mind, I push the button that I THINK makes the phone mute, only to realize that I was wrong.  I press another button.  Wrong again.  I am screaming at myself in my head, 'RENAE!!  They can HEAR you pressing these random buttons!'  Panicked, I hang up again.  Bruce suggested that I use his phone, since he knows how to mute his. Then ensues a frantic search for Bruce's phone, in which Bruce has to remind me that I can just call it to locate the thing.  (I was in such a frantic frame of mind by now, that it actually didn't occur to me.)  Just as I found his phone, I realized how to mute my own, but by the time I got back into the call, I had missed over half of the instructions, and was completely lost.  Fortunately I have written instructions, which I think will be just fine.  Sheesh!  What a morning.  LOL!!!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Clayton's Big Idea of the Day

Clayton: Mom, can we put Ally (dog) in the washing machine and shrink her back to a little doggie? Can we, pleeeaase?

Me: Um, no. That won't work.

Clayton: But I want to see Ally as a little puppy again, can we please put her in the washing machine?

Thursday, August 02, 2012