Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 Things I Learned In Georgia

I took the kids up to Georgia the weekend before last to visit my brother Dave and his daughter Addie.  It was a great weekend filled with cats, foliage, cool temperatures and lots of hiking around. But it wasn't all just fun and games, it was also educational.  Here is what I learned...

1. No one beats Dave in naming cats.  

May I introduce you to Frisky Two Times (left cat) and Cherries Waffles Tennis (right cat). 

Growing up we always thought the name "Spatula" was just about as creative as you could get. Clearly, we were ignorant fools.

2. For fear of extreme embarrassment I will not elaborate too much on this, but no one, and I mean NO ONE, is capable of passing more disgusting gas than Luke.  If you are going to be traveling with him in an enclosed space of any kind, you should probably make sure you have a living will, just in case.

3.  Going to a pumpkin patch in actual cool, fall weather makes it 71% more pumpkiny.  I won't lie, if you are lucky enough to get to do this every year, I'm a little jealous.

4.  It takes Luke a long time to get over you NOT buying him a balloon animal from a creepy homeless street vendor.

5.  Dave works for an amazing company.  It's true.  It's all true.  The Nerf gun wars, the flying monkeys, the free beverages, the free food, the free candy, the ping pong table- it's all true.  We got the tour of his "workplace" and even bumped into the CEO while we were there  (who so graciously offered me any of the "libations" that were located in the company fridges).  It's a sweet gig and he is dang lucky. 

6.  People will make jerky out of anything.

7. The word "beach" in north Georgia means something completely different than it does in Florida.

However, it was still amazingly beautiful at this little "beach."  It's like Dave said, sometimes kids just need some time to stand on a dock and throw acorns into abandoned canoes.

And here is a terribly average picture taken with my camera phone's panorama setting:

8.  And speaking of acorns, Georgia acorns are obviously on some kind of steroids.

Wussie FL acorn on left, Incredible Hulk GA acorn on the right

And I thought my car was in danger under the oak trees here!  Good grief, those things could take out my entire front windshield.

9.  If Luke ever wants a pet horse, I will buy him a Great Dane instead because they are practically the same thing.  

In Luke's hand you will also notice his souvenir, which is a pencil made from a real stick, with the bark still on.  It's so naturey!

10. I need a DSLR camera.  I am now going to post the rest of the pictures from our trip and  I am sure you can pick out which ones were taken with Dave's fancypants camera....

Horses in Georgia wear hats.  Who knew?

Easy.  It's Kinetic sand, not the litter box.

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochie

The Three Musketeers

It did get down to 48 degrees at night, so the fireplace had to come on or my children could have died

Do they look like cousins?

Anna Ruby Falls.  Cindy was SO excited about getting her picture taken.

Hoodies! In October!

What a stud.

On to the Falls!

Look at this nature, man!

And though she be young, she be fierce

Great job, Georgia.  So beautiful.


We found another dog! Imagine that!

Helen,GA.  During Octoberfest.  Been there, done it.

Carving up the pumpkins

This was about 4 minutes from Dave's apartment

Here are a few pictures that Cindy took completely by herself:

Nice eyebrow action, Luke!

Not too shabby for a rookie!

And here is one last picture that a very nice man at the falls offered to take for us :)

Cindy? Oh she was already hiking back.  Yeah, yeah, it's a waterfall. Wow.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Luke Quickie

Today Cindy's friend from next door came over to play.  They were holed up in her room playing and Luke, with nothing to do, started to try his hand at joining in.  It eventually turned into Luke passing notes under Cindy's door asking them if he could come in and play.  The paper Luke was using happened to be scrap paper that sits next to our printer and on the back side was a list of ice breaker questions that I had printed out for Jacob to use at his first soccer practice with his new competitive players about four weeks ago.  Cindy had written to Luke on the note that if he answered all those questions on the back, he could come in.  Luke made it through four of them before giving up.  But his Q&A went like this:

Q: What makes you happy?
A: Candy
Q: What makes you sad?
A: Fighting
Q: What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
A: I got sick.
Q: What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
A:  I ate pie.

If the greatest thing that ever happened to you involves food, you might be related to me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Cindy Quickie

Just because I didn't have enough to do this week and had tons of time on my hands apparently, it was perfect timing for Cindy to be assigned the homework of building a replica of a native american home. Ay carumba!  Since she is Choctaw (and proud of it!) we got permission to make a "chukka."  As she started building it and I saw how all of our ideas of how to make it look authentic were starting to come together, I couldn't help but be impressed.  I said, "Wow! This looks it was made by a real Indian!"  And Cindy looked at me and said, "What do you mean?  It WAS."  And then she gave me the eel face:

Get it?

HA!  That was a great one, Cindy :)

And just for reference, here is the chukka in all its glory.  Be jealous, Pinterest.  I didn't even need you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Luke Quickies

While I continue working on my recap of our trip up to Georgia to see my brother Dave over the past weekend, I thought I would blog two Luke Quickies for you.

Let me preface this first one by saying that our race for Florida governor is between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist...

One day out of the blue Luke asked me, "Mom, do you like Charlie Crist or Rick Scott?  Because Charlie Crist has made college more expensive and he doesn't even care about education." Well, I guess those ads are working on somebody!

While driving home from Georgia, there was a point when the car was completely quiet and we all seemed to be lost in our own thoughts.  Finally, Luke broke the silence by asking, "Mom, I don't get it.  They say you can add up to four lines for only 100 bucks, but what even is a 'line'?" I guess I have learned that a penny for Luke's thoughts is a great value :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rise and Shout!

The BYU football team only comes to Florida every once in a while, so when they finally do come this way, I have to take advantage.  Me, my dad, and my brother Chris made the trek to Orlando to watch them play the University of Central Florida last Thursday.  Even though the ending was not what I wanted, (and we got completely ROBBED on the non pass interference call on the last play of the game) it turned out to be one of the more entertaining sporting events I have ever been to. Interceptions, turnovers, missed field goals, blocked kicks, sitting by my family, jockey jokes, cats and dogs living together, overtime- it really was quite a game to witness in person!  Although , the best part had to be getting to sing the BYU fight song three times, which is something I haven't legitimately gotten to do even once in a very long time.  Singing it after I get my paycheck each month doesn't really count. And a big thank you goes out to the BYU football team for scoring three touchdowns in a row, right in front of where we were sitting. It was a beautiful thing :)

Exhibit A of why I never take any kind of selfie. But, great face, Chris.

During the game my dad and I were reminiscing about going to the games at LaVell Edwards Stadium back when we were students at the Y.  And that got me thinking about something else...


10.  Crowd doesn't have to sustain substitutions
9.  Referees not allowed to home teach each other until after the game is over
8.  No intermediate hymn sung at halftime
7.  Open exercises for The Cougars are actual exercises
6.  Cheerleaders can't wear their maternity outfits
5.  Way more concession choices than just green jello and tots
4.  Elder Packer refuses to do the worm after field goals
3.  ESPN commentator never begins his call of the game by saying, "When the Bishop asked me to give this commentary, I was a little nervous..."
2.  Last timeout not used for closing prayer
1.  Cosmo not allowed to bring his two counselors

And now for 750 bonus points, please pick out which of the following I did NOT see while attending the BYU v. UCF football game:

a.  A 70 year old man dressed exactly like Waldo (of Where's Waldo fame)
b.  A UCF fan dressed as a Mormon missionary
c.  A guy wearing a cowboy hat he made out of a Bud Light container and duct tape
d.  Someone pay $18 for 3 lemonades
e.  An official numbered stadium bleacher seat designed for one (miles away from any other seat)
f.  A tiny UCF fan and a gigantic Tongan BYU fan being removed from the game for fighting
g.  A four foot tall referee
h.  A traffic cop being useful

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Speed Racer

Lest you think that Cindy is having all of the running fun around this place, here is proof that Luke is getting in on the act. Over the weekend he ran his first official race, the Pumpkin Fun Run in Bartow.  It was a half mile race for ages 7 to 12 and it took place around a lake behind my old high school.  (Wow, if anyone had told me during my senior year of high school that one day I was gonna bring back my own son for a race around what was then the underclassmen parking lot, I would have said, Do I know you?)  I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Luke seemed neither excited nor terrified. Which, when you think about it, is a very Luke way to feel.   

The calm before the storm

Surprise! Ben (and Nathan) showed up!

I dare you to find Luke in this picture at the starting line...

After a little walking and stopping to help a kid who fell down (twice), Luke made it home!

After it was over I asked Luke, "How was it?"  He replied, "Boring."  
Yes, he is my child. But he wore his race shirt and his medal the rest of the day :)

Nice photobomb, Dad

Monday, October 13, 2014

Have you seen my soapbox? Oh, wait, here it is!

Thursday night I went to the BYU football game over in Orlando and did not get home until about 2am.  Needless to say I was not exactly moving at lightning speed on Friday morning.  In fact, I decided to sleep in a little and make everyone's life a whole lot easier by checking my kids in to school about 30 minutes late. The policy at McKeel is that if your child is tardy, meaning, they come to school any time after 8:35am, they get a "fine." (They work on an economy system at McKeel where they earn fake "money" for coming to school every day and then they have to write checks and are given fines for infractions of the rules. Yeah, whatever.) Here is the issue: on Friday when I checked them in late, Cindy received a fine, right there in front of me at the front office desk (by a very smug office lady) after I signed her in. Why?  Because my explanation of "I wasn't feeling good and needed more time this morning" is not an APPROVED reason for her to be tardy. According to the handbook, having a note from a doctor's office is the only reason a tardy will be excused.  On what planet does this makes sense?  First of all, my child is ten.  They know that, right?  She has no control over my decisions.  She also has no control over whether I lose my keys, get a flat tire or even whether or not she might need a little extra time in the bathroom one morning. Things happen. But secondly, and more importantly, I AM THE PARENT, you buffoons!  Do not tell me what I can and cannot do with my child or what is and is not acceptable as an excuse to be tardy.  I. don't. owe. you. an. explanation.  I can take my child out of school at any time, for any reason or be late at any time for any reason. You don't get to be a part of that discussion. Furthermore, this policy also essentially means that at McKeel it is better to miss and ENTIRE day of school and NOT receive a fine, than it is to come to school 30 minutes late and be penalized. This makes absolutely no sense. Almost as much sense as a car line that crosses itself twice and feeds back into....itself.  I mean, who in the world would come up with something like tha- oh, right.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

You Know Why I Love Florida?

Because here you buy a trampoline in October to "get ready" for Winter. 

Let the wild rumpus start!