Monday, December 12, 2016

Winner, Winner, Robot Dinner

Each month at my school we have a team building meeting with all the teachers and support staff.  I know that doesn't sound super fun, but I have to admit that they are usually very entertaining. On Thursday of last week we had our meeting and we split into teams and basically played an Escape Room type game.  I happened to be on the winning team, so I scored a Dunkin' Donuts gift card. Cha-ching! And THEN they were raffling off an Amazon Echo Dot, which I also happened to win.  Double CHA-CHING!  I guess it really was my lucky day! The dot is pretty darn cool- it plays music on command, gives me the weather, let's me Google things about Grumpy Cat, tells me jokes and even lets me order things from Amazon, which I did for the first time yesterday.  Who can pass up the Garth Brooks Ultimate Collection double CD for $1.69?  I couldn't say no and lose money on the deal.  But seriously, is this not the future??!! When I was a kid, I had to write things down on paper and mail them to people to communicate long distance.  Now there is a named robot in my kitchen that instantly connects me to ESPN radio broadcasting live from the other side of the country. Exciting times, friends.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Rosa 2.0

Well, I put it off and dragged my feet as long as I could, I guess.  But Cindy now has a bunny. Again. A sweet member of our ward raises Rex rabbits and he graciously decided that Cindy could have one for free.  So now we got this guy (or girl- Cindy has yet to try and really figure out what we're dealing with here):  

Yes, tiny. Yes, crazy soft. Yes, adorable. And Yes, completely at the mercy of Cindy the 12 year old because this is not my pet.  It lives and dies by her hand, I cannot get involved.  Cindy has not named it yet, but has been taking suggestions on Facebook.  She wants something that is kind of Christmasy so she will always remember when she got it.  So far Tinsel and Ginger (a.ka. Gingerbread) are winning.  Personally, I'm pulling for Vixen.  Or maybe Grinchy McGrinchface. (Wait, that's my nickname.)  At any rate, good luck little fur face!  May the odds be ever in your favor :)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Recital Time

Luke had another official piano recital last week! After taking the summer off from piano I was worried that he was not going to have the interest (or the memory) to get back into the swing of things with piano lessons, but once again he continues to impress me with his pleasant disposition and willing attitude.  He worked very hard on his recital pieces- let's be honest, I still hear "Shadow Chase" in my sleep and probably will for a few months- and he turned in an impressive performance. Spring recital, here we come!

Luke: Piano player, artist, ladies man. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Officially Christmas

This year's Choctaw ornament finally arrived!  This makes #11 in my little collection and I think Cindy and Luke are finally getting as excited about these as I have always been.  This year's ornament features the Choctaw Nation's official chapel, which oddly enough reminds us all of a Mormon chapel.  It's not a 3-D, color raccoon with a wagging tail, but it's still pretty nice. Christmas may now begin.

Monday, December 5, 2016


I finally figured out what the Florida equivalent of snow is.
It's acorns.  
Holy crap, is it acorns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Brian Quickie

Brian called me today so we could catch up on things.  Eventually the conversation turned to Liverpool, our shared favorite English Premier League soccer team, which is currently ranked #1. In years past we've ended the season ranked about #7, so this surge to the top has been quite thrilling to watch.  I expressed a little reservation about finishing at the top by saying, "I'm not sure we can actually hold on to win the championship, but for right now, I am enjoying every minute of it."  Brian immediately cut me off.  "Whoa, whoa, just hold on there! We live in a new world.  Donald.Trump. just got elected president, so CLEARLY any thing that you think has absolutely no chance of happening, totally has a chance. Dream big, Jess."  Well, in that case, let's talk about the Bucs...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Everything Else That Happened In October 2016

What about everything else that happened in October?

Cindy got inducted into the National Junior Honor Society....

I made a giant fire in my backyard that almost burned down our entire property...

We took secret pictures of Luke because he was sleeping with his eyes open again...

I found Salted Caramel flavored cheese at Aldi...

Luke earned a bunch of scout awards and refused to hug his leader...

I won free entry into a local 5K from Orange Theory fitness.  And I won my age group! AND, Jacob came to watch me race, which, let's be honest, was way better than the medal :)

Cucuface totally betrayed me on National Cat Day...

 Luke had some soccer games and Cindy came to "watch"...

One of Jacob's former soccer players at the high school got baptized!....

We finally went to the outdoor movie for South McKeel!!!  Too bad it was the latest Ice Age...

Luke played some more soccer games and Cindy came to "watch"... (i.e. find a dog to kidnap and love forever...)

And we spent some time at 2Infinity trampoline park, where Luke finally mastered the taller warped wall and fell into foam pits and could barely get out.  Oh wait, that last one may have been me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween officially started with the Bartow Halloween parade, that I did not go to for the first time in 10 years.  Too much going on for me, but luckily Davina had mercy on my children's poor souls and took them with her kids for me.  

Here is living proof that Cindy once ate a piece of fruit.

The next day was the church Fall Festival, my fourth as Primary President and I would say that I think I finally figured out how to do things right!  So, I guess it's time to be released? Isn't that how things work?

Let's see, what is a costume that is super cheap and super easy?
Oddly symmetrical grapes, yes, perfect.

The kid's pumpkins turned out great this year!!! (And not just because we got them pre-hollowed out and for FREE from the Middle School at McKeel.)  Cindy went with the classic black cat and Luke had me really worried with this tiny, intricate design he drew by hand with thick black marker.

But you know what? I will shut my doubting pumpkin hole because he completely pulled it off!

Behold the Grumpster!

The kids are pretty good at knowing what they want to be for Halloween with at least some time for me to figure out how to pull it off, but Cindy left it down to the wire this year.  Luke was easy.  He knew he wanted to be The Flash, and after convincing him that I would somehow make it so the lightning bolts on his head did NOT look like bug antennae, he was happy as a clam with this Amazon special.  Cindy was "Hyper Kyle" from the Studio C sketch but finding adult footie pajamas was not a good last minute plan.  Thankfully Wal-Mart had something to work with and there wasn't really much left for me to do after that.  I'll take it!

We Trick-or-Treated with our usual group over in the Bailey's neighborhood. 
 One quarter mile loop and we were done :)

Candy angel, anyone?

This had to be my favorite single piece of candy.  Literally.

A sealed mini bag filled with ONE single candy corn that was broken in half.  Careful, Brach's, that serving size is getting a little out of hand.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Lunchroom Quickie

I know, I know. The last post I wrote was about the lunchroom, but it continues to be the greatest source of simultaneous horror and entertainment I have ever stumbled upon.  In particular, I get to enjoy the daily tattle tale reports from my dear sweet second graders.  And usually I respond to these reports in one of two ways: 1. I completely ignore them and say "Just eat your food."  OR 2. I make a confused squinty face and silently walk away.  This covers everything from "He told me to shut up" to "She's irritating me with her pickle." However, I wasn't sure how to react today when one of my repeat offenders called me over to his table to say that his friend, "Keeps telling the lunch lady that I like her and want to take her to Applebee's." Neither of my standard reactions covered this one because I looked at that kid in total shock and said, "Is Applebee's still open?"

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Hitchhikers Guide to The Lunchroom

Just in case it has been a long time since you ate food in a school cafeteria, I am here to give you the heads up on how things work in there now a days.  My 55 minutes per day of observing child lunchroom behavior allows me to save you the embarrassment the next time you show up to eat with your child at school.  I mean, you wouldn't want to pick up an apple and just take a regular bite like a moron, would you?  I didn't think so.  When in Rome, people.

How to Eat....

1.  A whole orange:  Mangle the entire fruit to shreds trying to open it, then take half the orange and squeeze the juice out into one of the empty foam compartments in your lunch tray.  Suck up the juice with a straw.  Throw the other half of the orange in the garbage.

2.  Pizza:  Pull the entire cheese topping off in one single, slimy sheet.  Roll up said cheese layer into a big cheese cigar.  Eat cigar, then throw the rest of the pizza in the garbage.  

3.  A corn dog: (There are MULTIPLE options with this one, this is just one suggestion) First, take the corn dog off of the stick.  Next, remove the outer corn dog jacket and break it up in to small pieces.  Eat the hot dog with lots of ketchup and airplane noises.  Finally, take the corn dog jacket scraps and mash them up into one giant ball.  Place the whole ball in your mouth and then torment your neighbor with the remaining stick. Throw the rest of your food in the garbage. 

4.  Grapes (or grape tomatoes):  Place cup of grapes on your tray.  Walk to your seat with said tray. Look back at your friend who is walking behind you and miss the table when you go to set your tray on it.  Enjoy the superior rolling motion of grapes as they scatter in all directions.  Ask the lunch lady for replacement grapes. Repeat process.  

5.  Pringles- Open the small container.  Take pointer finger and insert into the stack of chips and poke them repeatedly until they all break into pieces the size of confetti.  Accidentally knock the container over with your elbow.  Wait until the fifth time of being told to pick it up to place in garbage.

6.  Chicken drummies- Hold chicken by the bone.  Squeeze ketchup all over the drummie and eat it, making sure to get ketchup on both cheeks and forehead.  Throw the rest of your food in the garbage.  
7.  Chocolate chocolate chip muffin-  Struggle for 4 minutes trying to open the muffin.  Once a cafeteria worker has opened it for you, proceed to crumble up the entire muffin until it looks like a pile of ground beef.  Eat with spork.  Throw the rest of your food in the garbage.

8.  Vegetables: (this includes broccoli, corn, baked beans, carrots, succotash, sweet potatoes, red peppers, cauliflower, salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and/or brussel sprouts) -  Take from lunch lady and place directly in garbage.

9.  Pulled pork-  Use spork to "frost" the pile of pork with a healthy coating of butter.  Eat with a look that says, "That's not as good as I thought it would be."  Throw the rest of the pork in the garbage.

10.  Chocolate milk-  Struggle unsuccessfully to open the milk container and finally get so upset that you rip it open all the way down to the milk level.  Pour directly in lap.  

11.  On-the-go juice powders:  Open the packet poorly, so as to make the powder come out both sides of the opening.  Tilt the opened packet upside down one inch to the left of the opening of the water bottle, making sure that none of the powder gets inside the water bottle, but that all of it lands on the table, your shirt and your face.  Wait until given a wet paper towel to clean it up for the real magic to happen. Throw everything within a 20 foot radius in the garbage.