Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lessons learned (the hard way!)

Last night, Mike wanted to watch a movie.  I wanted to go for a bike ride.  I won.  Now, in much pain, these are the lessons I learned:
1.  Submit to your husband!
2.  Wear a helmet.
3.  Don't wear flippy floppy shoes on a bike.
That black spot on what's left of my tooth is where I scraped the paint off the generator I crashed into.  It won't come off, in spite of much brushing and scraping.The purple lip on the left is where I pulled a shard of tooth out. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

P.E. at the playground

Riding our bikes to the playground, Sarah had to stop to smell the flowers.

Playing the state game/doing geography

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

jungle battle

Building a diorama for his army guys kept him busy this afternoon.

Sniper in the bush.

He put lots of water in the bottom and said it was a swampy jungle now, but he's leaving it out in the sun for his next battle, which takes place in the desert.

respecting her elders...sort of

We were walking down the hall of the nursing home today and came to the beauty parlor.  There were several ladies in there with rollers in their hair.  Sarah stopped in the doorway, struck a pose, gave them a double thumbs-up, and called out, "Looking good, grannies!"

Monday, July 23, 2012


I was very discouraged and frustrated after Sarah turned in a lackluster performance in math this morning and had the worst quiz score she's ever had.  She said, "Your hair smells good, Mom.  That shirt looks really good on you.  I sure am lucky to have you for a mom.  I'll go clean out the litter box and sweep the floor."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coast Guard tour

Sarah volunteered to be the model for proper life jacket sizing.

Noah taking notes.  He was pretty interested in the whole thing.

Noah on the Coast Guard boat. 

Sarah getting off the boat.

Using fire extinguishers.

The Coast Guard was right next to Steak n Shake, and it was happy hour when we finished our tour, so we went through the drive thru to get cheap shakes. This weird bug landed on the windshield while we were waiting.  I didn't like the creepy way he looked at me.  
 When we got home, Noah built a Coast Guard ship out of Legos.

 Shadow wanted to play with it, so Noah pretended he was a giant terrorist attacking the ship. 

Nail fight

Sarah and I had a big fight this morning.  It was all about fingernails.  She wants me to take her to get a real professional manicure.  All her friends have done it, she tells me.  I tell her that I didn't even have a manicure for my wedding.  I said maybe we can do that for her birthday.  She can't, just CAN'T, wait that long!  She has to go today!  I remind her that some kids don't even have enough food to eat and explain that it's not that I don't want to spend the money; the issue is that I don't want her to be spoiled and entitled and get her every wish the moment she wishes it.  I also tell her that I don't want to waste our entire Saturday morning arguing.  Then she comes up with a great idea.  We can paint each other's nails today and she can get her first manicure on her Golden Gotcha Day, which is October 8.  So we struck a deal, and we all lived happily ever after. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


We finally got enough rain to fill the creek, so Mike and Noah took the kayak out, with a broom and a rake as paddles.

Right away, things started going wrong. The kayak took on a lot of water, and they spun around the wrong way.

going backwards

The capsizing was inevitable.

flailing around trying to recover

Noah thought it was super funny.

I drove to pick them up, and they pulled out in the middle of a field.

They're still smiling, so it was a successful adventure.

Making the kayak pee into the creek before loading it in the van.  Noah thought that was funny too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Epic failure

I'm feeling like a big fat failure right now, because I've been unsuccessful at teaching Sarah to play the piano.  I spent a whole year teaching her out of the first book, and at the end of the book, I realized that she didn't even know how to read music.  So I started over and taught her the entire book again.  About a year ago, after an extremely frustrating lesson for both of us, I realized I had to stop before one of us ended up dead.  I decided she must be too young, so I told her we would start again after her 8th birthday.  For the last few weeks, I've been having her do piano theory lessons, and she did ok, but today was the first lesson playing the actual piano.  She just doesn't get it.  Can't or won't do it.  She is the one who wanted to learn in the first place.  So today I admitted defeat.  I told her that I would pay someone else to teach her, because I don't know what else to do.  She said she doesn't want to learn anymore.  That makes me sad, because not only did I fail to teach her something she once wanted to learn, but I killed her desire to learn it at all.  Epic failure.


My parents are visiting the Bay of Fundy, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  They're checking out the tides (highest in the world) and the puffins.  I'm educating vicariously through their travels.  We looked it up on the map, so geography is done.  Then we did some science experiments with tides.  We learned what makes tides and why they're so high in the Bay of Fundy. 
Making a tide in a small ocean

bigger ocean

even bigger ocean.  Sarah is timing the rate of oscillation.

Shiloh was curious about the tides too.

If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you'll see that she has an embarrassed look on her face.  :)

They couldn't resist getting in the biggest ocean and making huge tides and making Lego people surf.  They're still in there. 

Successful marketing

I was getting the dishwasher ready to start this morning, and Sarah was watching.  She said, "How can you use Cascade?"  I told her that I had tried switching to the cheap generic alternative, but it didn't get the dishes clean, so I went back to expensive Cascade.  She said, "You should be using Finish.  It doesn't leave the filmy residue that Cascade does."  I stopped in my tracks so I could study her.  I asked her how she could possibly know that, because we've never had Finish.  In fact, I haven't even heard of it.  She said, "I saw a commercial.  I can't believe you're still using Cascade.  You know, millions of people have made the switch from Cascade to Finish, and you should too." 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Swimsuit shopping

I've recently realized that both of Sarah's swimsuits have saggy baggy elephant syndrome.  I usually shop garage sales or thrift shops for clothes, but I'm very picky about swimsuits, so I don't mind buying them new.  So yesterday I took my girl shopping, and in the middle of the dressing room, I realized it's the first time I've ever taken her shopping.  It was actually kind of fun, because she was so excited, and of course everything looks great on her.  I was hanging up the rejects and making trips out to get different sizes, and I remembered my mom doing that for me many times while I tried on clothes.  She bought me way more new clothes than I buy for my deprived girl.  By the time we made a couple other stops, we ended up being gone for over two hours, so we didn't have much time for school. But the whole trip was an education.  Here's what I hope my students learned:

1.  Swimsuits go on sale after July 4.  (We bought two suits for less than $15 total).
2. It is possible to find relatively modest swimwear at Kmart. (I was proud of Sarah, because she breezed right past the 2-piece ones, saying, "I know I can't get bikinis").
3.  If you're patient while your sister is trying on swimsuit after swimsuit, Mom might reward you with an Icee.  (I was proud of Noah, because he didn't complain at all through the whole process, so I made an impulse buy on the way out and spent 99 cents on an Icee.  He was generous to share with me and Sarah too.  In all my 40 years of passing Icee machines, I've never had one before.  It was good!)

She's been wearing one of her new swimsuits ever since we bought it.  She even slept in it!

Risky cookies

Sarah is totally obsessed with baking.  Every single day she asks me if we can make cupcakes, cookies, etc.  I've been saying no lately because it's just too hot to turn the oven on.  The more I say no, the more determined she is.  Last night, this is how it went:
S: Can we make cupcakes tomorrow?
M: No.
S: Cookies?
M: No.  It's too hot. How about we just make cookie dough and eat it raw?
S: Yay!  I love you, Mommy!
Noah: Can't you get sick from eating raw cookie dough?
M: There's a tiny chance that you can get salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs, but I'm willing to take the risk.
Sarah goes to bed smiling.  Noah heads to his room looking worried. 

This morning Sarah made the dough.  She and I were lapping it up, and Noah was watching.
S: Want some, Noah?
N: it good?
S: Yup, really good.
N: Mom, can you die from that egg poisoning?
M: You'd probably just get really sick and wish you were dead.
N: How long does it last?
M: Just a day or two. I've been eating raw cookie dough my whole life, and I've never gotten sick, but if you don't want to risk it, don't. 
N: Are you guys going to eat it all today?
M: No.
N: If you're not sick by tomorrow, I'll have some. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feats of strength

The 1.5-pound kitten managed to empty the 3-pound bag of onions so she could play with the bag.

War and peace

The children were playing a game of war.  When the bickering started, I delivered a lovely lecture on peacemaking.  Noah said, "How can we be peacemakers?  We're playing WAR!"  Sarah agreed with him, and peace ensued.