Friday, April 30, 2010

Pond Slime

The kids and I recently made a mistake of epic proportion. We sent Bob to the grocery store with coupons.

Bob cannot resist buying something if he can save money with a coupon. (Love ya, honey and I do realize we’ll need that denture cream some day so thanks for stocking up). He returned from the grocery store with a carload of bargains which happened to include a can of cooked greens.

I don’t know where you find greens in nature, but I suspect it has something to do with the kind of green slime you find near really stinky ponds. The slimy consistency and noxious flavor of greens is increased ten-fold by canning them and letting them sit on a grocery shelf for months until some unsuspecting shopper with a coupon happens along.

I tried to keep my opinion to myself because my kids had never tried cooked greens and I didn’t think “disgusting pond slime” was the way to sell it. No sooner had we sat down to eat when the complaints started.

“Mom, this is really gross. Do you hate us?”

“If eating vegetables like this is what it takes to grow into a healthy adult, I’ll just die now, thank you very much.”

“Did Dad have a coupon for these?”

After tasting them himself, Bob swore he’d never buy them again even if lured to do so by a coupon.

He also had a coupon for children’s vitamins. Buy one, get one free. Good deal, huh? After the kids tasted them, they swore we were trying to poison them.

“But, Dad bought two bottles,” I said, ignoring their complaints. “Just eat them.”

Realizing, we weren’t going to budge, the kids hatched their own scheme.

So far, no vitamin burglar. But the kids did convince me to try one.  Let's just say these vitamins make canned greens sound like heaven.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Official

Lauren is now a Girl Scout.

We had our bridging ceremony where the girls left behind their days of being Brownie Scouts (or Baby Scouts as they liked to say because as third graders, they're much too mature to be toward the bottom level of scouting.)

They're now full-fledged scouts and I have about a hundred pictures to prove it.  Bob gave Chris the camera during the ceremony and because he's never been allowed to use the camera before, it was like letting a kid loose in a candy shop.  I'm surprised he didn't fill the memory card.

Below you can see Lauren in front of the giant cake my Mom decorated for the troop.  Apparently artistic skill skips a generation 'cause if I would have done the cake, it would have been covered with sprinkles.  Sprinkles and that's it!

Here we are getting ready to light the candles.  We practiced this about a dozen times because I didn't want to go down in Girl Scout history as the scout leader whose troop lit their hair on fire during the candle ceremony.

Here's Lauren anxiously waiting to take off the Brownie vest.

It's official. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Happy 11th Birthday, Chris.....A month late. I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and write your birthday tribute. Life has been going at warp speed lately for me. Warp speed is your favorite speed setting, so I’m betting you understand.

You go through life with the kind of energy people my age admire and envy. Actually many of your fellow fifth graders can’t even keep up with you. You’re the fastest kid in both the fifth and sixth grade. Your need for speed has served you well this year as you started competing in 5-ks. You didn’t always win, but by the time Mom or Dad crawled to the end you were at the finish line polishing off your third or fourth juice box, ready to go again.

I can’t believe another year has flown by as you rocket your way from being my little boy to being the man I can already see you becoming. I know that this man will be honest with a clear sense of justice. Already, your favorite words are “it’s the only fair way.”

Every year you watch the NCAA tournaments with great excitement. You insist we all fill out brackets for a friendly competition to see who will win. There are no great stakes (winner picks ice cream), but it’s the competition that draws you in.

This year, you looked over my shoulder as I flew through the brackets with no idea of what I was doing.

“How are you picking your teams so fast, Mom?”

“Alphabetical order,” I answered honestly only to receive one of your customary “that’s not a fair way.” I’d have picked based on toughness of mascots had I known any of that information. Though in hindsight, Butler’s Bulldog totally could have kicked butt against the Duke’s Blue Devil and Butler lost so maybe that wasn’t a good way of picking either..

Ironically alphabetical order carried the day after the first round of tournaments.

“Maybe that wasn’t such a bad way to pick after all,” you were able to concede because you’re always willing to try something new when your way doesn’t work.

You’ve been learning a lot of new things this year. Earlier this month, you cooked an entire dinner by yourself. I stood nearby, giving hints like “you probably shouldn’t put hot pepper sauce on grilled salmon” and “don’t reach inside a hot oven without a mitt.” Not only did you make the whole dinner without major injury, but it was delicious and you were rightfully proud of your efforts.

I’m not sure where this next year will take us. But wherever that is, I’m sure you’ll finish first. Be sure to save Mom a juice box because by the time I finally make it to the finish line they’re usually all gone.

Here you are with your first place win.

MY pumpkin!

This boy loves his Grandma!
It's never too cold for you to play basketball!
You lost a bet on the Superbowl (stupid Manning)!

Your battery is finally wearing down after a day at Epcot.