Saturday, September 26, 2009

Offense v. Defense

I may not know everything about football...but I typically can figure out when we are playing offense or defense. Seriously. Except, it seems, when 7 year olds are playing. Partly because I sit on the ground in front of the cheerleaders (not an optimal view of the field) and partly because 7 year olds take an extreme amount of time outs (in my opinion). So, at today's game the girls wanted to do cheers like "Hut, Hut" (we want a touchdown, gotta have a touchdown...) and "Hold That Line" (hold that line, defense, hold that line), and when questioned about this...

Me: Girls, I don't know if we're going to do those cheers today. I can't tell when we are playing offense and defense and those are pretty specific cheers to what is going on on the field.
Natalie: You could just go out there and talk to the football coach and find out if they're playing offense or defense.
Me: (chuckling) Yes, I could, but I really don't think the football coach wants to talk to the cheerleading coach about cheers in the middle of the game. And it would make me look, um, er, not so good.
Natalie: Well I could go out there and ask him.

This is what happens when the SUPER other coach, you know, the one that was actually a cheerleader, has to work on a Saturday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

R.I.P. Gia Sassafrass

Last Friday, as I was getting out of the shower, Chris came in the bathroom with this to say...

"So, Casey has a 102.9 fever and her hamster is dead. Good Morning. Can you handle that? It's your day to stay home with a sick kid."

I stood there, dumbfounded, not really processing at my usual warp speed, "What?"

Chris, shocked that I had no reply for this just repeated what he said to me.

"Right on," was the best I could do.

Casey started crying hysterically when I told her that her beloved Gia Sassafrass had died. 30 seconds into her wailing, she whimpered, "Can I get a new hamster this weekend?"

Um, no. We're going to hold out for something a little more substantial than a hamster. Chris claims to be allergic to cats and we have very strict dog guidelines, so I am sure that the addition of a new pet into the family is a long way off.

The reason for this story is that I had to change the banner on the blog, because I am no longer in the fast lane with 3 kids and a hamster. The hamster is in a box in the garage, waiting for her funeral and final resting place next to Chandler's Isabella and Rosabella. Hopefully, now that the sun is out, we can bury the little critter tonight.

As a side note, Chan woke up sick Wed night, so am at home with her today. :(

Monday, September 21, 2009

2nd Research Project

Chandler came home from school today with a rubric and directions for a research project that is due (written report, visual and presentation) next Friday. She is SUPER excited about it and is debating on researching the American flag or the bald eagle. Casey was not assigned this project since they are in different classes this year....and she is SUPER upset about this.

Casey: (whispering in my ear) Can I have a piece of cardboard?
Me: Cardboard?
Casey: You know, to make a poster...a visual with?
Me: Mom needs to get some at the store. Why do you need this?
Casey: I'm going to make it for Chandler for her project. I'm helping her.
Me: Honey, it doesn't work that way. She has to do her own project.
Casey: (pouting) But I don't have a project.
Me: I'm sure you will have plenty of projects to do this year.
Casey: So can I just do a project like Chandler for fun.
Me: Really?

So, we will now be completing two research projects in our house....one for a grade and one just for fun.

**Update - everyone was ON TIME this morning and came in this afternoon pulling out their stuff for me to sign and reporting on what homework they had left to finish. I love Daddy Dollars.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daddy Dollars

We have started a new reward system at home. I certainly cannot take all of the credit for it because I read about it in an article in a Family Fun magazine that I stole from the doctor's office on Friday (I figure that they paid for the subscription with my $30 copay, so therefore, I do not feel bad for lifting it). In the past, we have used a sticker chart and treasure box, a weekly allowance and most recently, a consequences only system. As teachers, we both knew that consequences only is truly negative for the soul, so we were anxious to try something new (especially something that doesn't cost anything with the economy the way it is).

It works like this...Chris used this website - http://www.festisite.com/money/ - to make Daddy Dollars...dollar bills that look like dollars, except instead of GW in the middle, its a picture of Chris. The girls earn their Daddy Dollars like this:
$1 - Ready on time in the morning (hair brushed, teeth brushed, etc.)
$1 - put clean laundry away
$1 - put dirty clothes in the hamper
$1 - homework finished and papers signed
$1 - clearing all of their dishes at each meal
$1 - cleaning the living room
$1 - hanging up their towels and letting the water out of the tub
$2 - at the end of the week for taking all of their stuff out of the van/car everyday
$5 - clean room Saturday morning

Then they get to spend their Daddy Dollars at the Mommy Market...
$2 - make a phone call
$2 - 30 minutes of Wii time or TV time (after homework and bath or weekends)
$3 - pick a dinner for the menu
$3 - a special dessert
$3 - 30 min later bedtime
$5 - Family Game Night
$5 - popcorn and a movie
$10 - 1 hour of scrapbook time with Mom
$10 - 1 hour bike riding or skateboarding with Dad
$10 - pick from the treasure box
$20 - invite a friend for a sleepover

So far, the girls are THRILLED with this plan...especially because they get to earn and spend throughout the day. They have each bought tv time and wii time, a movie and popcorn and Chandler made her first phone call today...to her best buddy Uncle Mike.

I am hopeful that this reward system doesn't lose its appeal anytime soon. We're already thinking of new job and new rewards for when they become complacent. Tonight we are spending some time discussing budgeting their money and planning ahead. Good times and big fun at the Pendley household!

Friday, September 18, 2009

There are many reasons why I don't cook...

...and this is one of them. I stayed home with Casey today because she had a fever (too high to go to school, but nothing serious enough for the doctor to medicate her for) and on our way home from the doctor, we stopped by the grocery store. I found this wonderful looking roast in the meat section, prepared by Publix, with potatoes, onions, carrots...the whole nine yards. Just add water and put in the oven. Easy, right? Um, not so much. The directions read, "Add small amount of liquid. Cover tightly. Simmer gently over low heat 325 oven, for 2-3 hours." So, I added the liquid and then stumbled on the "cover tightly" part. Cover tightly with what? A glass lid wouldn't fit the baking dish. Foil? Would that be tight enough? It didn't say foil. If they wanted me to use foil, they would say, "Cover tightly with foil." Right? The lid it came with fit tightly and you're supposed to cook it in the pan it came in, so that must be what they mean. So, I made sure the lid clicked back on, tightly, slid it in the oven and set the timer for 2.5 hours. Chris and the other kids came home. It was a lovely evening knowing that dinner would be ready soon and Chris didn't have to cook. The timer went off. I open the oven. And there it was...this enormous piece of meat, blackened, and uncovered.

Me: Um, Chris...did you take the cover off?
Chris: Nooooooo.
Me: Um, well, there was a lid on it and now there is no lid. Are you sure you didn't take it off?
Chris: No, I did not take the lid off. What happened to the lid?
Me: Oh. Oh. There it is. That can't be good.

At this point, Chris came over to stare into the oven with me. The plastic lid that I had used to "tightly cover" the pot roast with, had apparently exploded off the roast and was in the process of melting onto the oven rack. Chris got out tongs and plucked the shrivled up, melting lid, from the 325 degree metal, and then proceeded to make chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for dinner.


In other news, Q received his first drive by hair cut a couple of weeks ago. Chris and I did this to him ourselves...with the clippers...while he was playing in the bathroom. We swiped him whenever we had the chance. My brother Joe thinks that we could find people to place advertisements on his forehead. If he's lucky, the long, swoopy bang will still be in when he grows up. Or he could be like his dad and his pop pop and just go bald and then the forehead won't matter so much.

This is him, wildly trying to climb up my skirt to get to the camera. It is a good picture to show just how many different lengths his hair really is.

Chan had cheerleading pictures and their first football game this week. Very exciting stuff. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Santa and a book talk

I may have to put the kabosh on Santa this year. Seriously. This is how I came to this conclusion...

The American Girl catalog arrived this week. I made the girls finish their homework and eat dinner before they could look at it. Then they each took a turn looking through it, pen in hand, circling the items they coveted the most. Each girls circled around 83 items in the catalog, so I sat on the couch with them and we ranked their top 5 wanted items. Chandler's list was most impressive and looked like this...
1. Rebecca's costume chest...$100
2. Julie's banana seat bike...$80
3. scooter....$49
4. Julie's calico dress...$28
5. Heeley's (for the doll!)...$18
So then we had a conversation that went a little something like this....

Me: You know, Chan, that dress up trunk is, like, $100. That might be all that you get.
Chan: *seriously alarmed* From who? From you? From Santa? My only present?
Me: Well, I don't know. But a $100 is a lot of money...especially for one thing.
Chan: Mama, don't worry, I know its a lot of money. I'll just ask Santa for it. Santa can really make ANY toy.
(Casey is nodding her head furiously in agreement, Chandler is relaxed...problem solved.)

I had to send the girls up for a bath before I told them about the furlough days and the 2.4% pay cut that Santa and Mrs. Claus had to take this year.

On a completely different note...

I was teaching a class of 3rd graders about choosing a "just right book" a couple of weeks ago in the library. We were talking about the 5 finger rule and being like Goldilocks and finding a book that was not too hard and not too easy. One thing led to another and we started talking about how the length of a book does not matter when it comes to the level that the book is written on. The phrase that I chose to describe this was, "size doesn't matter." Oops.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm glad we don't live near the Vanilla Triangle

Chandler: I sure am glad we don't live near the Vanilla Triangle.
Chris: Do you mean the Bermuda Triangle?
Chandler: (without missing a beat) Yes, that's another name for it.

On the ride home from school yesterday...

Casey: I really loved when we went to the museum this summer and I got to wear a white coat and play pet doctor. My favorite guest was Ginger.
Me: When you are a doctor, they are called "patients" not "guests".
Chandler: I am definitely NOT going to be a doctor.
Me: What are you going to be?
Chan: I am leaning towards a lifeguard.
Casey: You know, you could be a news writer.
Chan: Oh, I could DEFINITELY do that! I am a great writer. The only problem with that job is that my hand gets really tired when I write a lot.

Good to know.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Busy Weekend...check!

We had early release on Friday and this is how I spent mmy afternoon...I dropped off the hair bow orders, dropped off the spirit wear orders, dropped off the coke fundraiser orders, went to Lowe's to get paint, went to Wal-Mart to buy the damn cheerleading shoes (and they only had one pair left, size 13, which I bought even though Chandler wears a 1.5), then over to Payless to buy a pair there, then to Target for normal errands. It was 5 o'clock by the time I got home. Friday night I convinced Chris to paint the wall in the living room deep turquoise. Saturday morning, he painted a wall in the upstairs hallway for me, I took the girls to their friend Elizabeth's b-day party...at a very cute place in downtown Watkinsville where the girls dressed up like princesses and had a tea party and danced for an hour. Pictures below...

Casey, Lucy, Chandler and Elizabeth


Chandler, Casey, Elizabeth, Belle, Lucy and Mackenzie

After the party I had to take the girls with me to run errands - buying more paint, returning shoes at Wal-Mart, Target and Payless. We got the paint, ran into Wal-Mart and called it a day. Saturday night I talked Chris into painting the rest of the living room. Sunday morning we headed off to church, the girls had a playdate with Lucy, I rehung pictures up the stairs, Q refused to take a nap and I did some grocery shopping. We had Dea and Gonzo and their 3 kids over along with Drew, CB and Loralai, Nick and Liz. It was a highly entertaining evening, complete with a broken vase. Which is what happens when you throw a ball over the railing at the top of the stairs.


The new look for the living room.


My downstairs gallery of Frankie...and the vase that is no more.


The continuation of Frankie's work up the stairs.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I am my mother

First of, sorry that there haven't been any pictures lately. I despise the version of iphoto on this computer (it is a billion years old of course) and I am not entirely thrilled with my new camera or my old camera, so it pains me to take pictures and then load pictures.

I turned into my mother tonight. It happens in spurts with me...or I should say that I notice it in spurts. I did something that has scarred me for life to my own children...I picked 80% of what was on their floor into a trash bag (in front of them) and hauled the trash bag away. It is in the corner of my closet, but they don't need to know that right now. The problem is this - we have done charts, we have done allowance, we have taken away privileges, we have modeled cleaning with them and even taken pictures of what it should look like when it is done, and nothing seems to actually stick with them. We even rearranged their whole room a couple of weeks ago (which took Chris and I the ENTIRE weekend) taking down the bunk and taping off one side for each girl. Their room looks like a bomb went off in it. I am ok with most of the mess (normal, playing with things type mess), but what kills me (and I mean really, really kills me) are these two things....

1. dirty laundry all over the floor.
2. towels balled up on the bathroom floor.

For the love of God, just pick it up already. I did laundry today and there was at least another loads worth strewn about on both sides of the floor. I asked the girls how many times have I asked them to pick up the towels and Chan replied, "Um, I'd say, probably 14." Ugh!

So, I did what was done to me as a child and I bagged it all up. They will get it back at some point, but I need them to feel my frustration. Then I talked to my mother and she defended them! The queen of "I have a bone to pick with you, young lady!" defended THEM!! What??? I had a walk in closet (a small one) as a child and that was where my toys were...and where they stayed. If they came out, my room had to be spotless before dinner...otherwise it got bagged up. My bed was made even before I went to the bathroom...every single morning! We laugh now that our house was ready to show everyday even when we weren't trying to sell it. Mind you, my house is NOT like that, I just want the dirty clothes and towels picked up. Is that really too much to ask???

I just don't know what to do about it. Big sigh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thought

So my thought on the way home from practice tonight was that I really need to step it up with my cheerleading because not only do I have to cheer in front of the 10 seven year olds and the 9 other parents, but I will also have to lead the girls with their cheers at the games. In front of plenty of people. Lots and lots of people. I have no rhythm. I am screwed.

On the plus side, I passed out spirit wear order forms and hair bow order forms tonight. Go me!