Friday, May 30, 2008

Letter of Resignation

Imagination, Inc.

Department of Human Resources

To Whomever This May Concern:

Since 2004, I have held the position of Toothfairy. Although I am honored to hold this position, I feel my resignation would be in the best interest of my clients. In the past, I found it easy to concentrate in full on the task at hand; however, lately, I have done a poor job of completing each project and completing it well. On the Michael Project my attention to detail was lacking, and my customer was forced to expend extra time and energy searching for his dividends only to find them hidden in the recesses of his pillow.

Although I did have a successful Jacob Project just last week, on my most recent job, the Alex Project, again my customer awoke to find no dividends. I suggested she search in the recesses of Jacob's pillow as perhaps I simply had my last project in mind while completing this one. She turned up nothing. Finally, I directed her to the guest quarters where she used to take up her residence. I suggested that perhaps in my rush to get the job completed, I simply forgot she had moved. Thankfully, she discovered her dividends there.

So, in conclusion, it is with much regret that I am submitting my resignation, but I'm sure you will have no trouble finding a replacement who will serve these wonderful customers with a dependable sharpness of mind. If, on the other hand, you find no capable replacement, please do call on me when projects arise as I have developed a special relationship with my customers. Thank you for the honor of serving for 3 1/2 years.



Thursday, May 29, 2008

Miss Priss

I've seen it before. I'll be at the park with the kids, and looking around, I notice all of the children: some playing in the sand, others on the playset, and still others just chasing each other around. They're all wearing clothes that can take a beating, that can get a little dirty. Then I'll see her: a bouncy little girl who comes zooming down the slide and lands in the pile of dirt at the bottom. She's not dressed in her romping clothes; rather, she is decked out in a frilly dress and fancy shoes. And I think to myself, Why did that mother dress that poor little girl in those clothes? How is she supposed to have any fun in that dress? That poor little girl.

I get it now. No longer will I worry about whether or not that little girl is having in fun in her fancy schmancy dress. Because, you see, it was most likely her choice to wear that fancy dress. In fact, it is probably her request each and every day to wear a fancy dress. When it comes time to get dressed in this household, the Princess' request is always the same: "I wear my new dress?" Now, two months ago, she actually did have a few new dresses; I bought them for church. For church! Of course, now that she's worn her Sunday dresses over and over, they are rather old and tired so that when I pull one out, she responds indignantly, "THAT'S not my new dress!" Well, excuuuuse me, Your Highness! New or not, she'll take the dress over shorts and a t-shirt any day. And the fancier the better. The look of absolute delight that takes over her face when she is given an opportunity to wear one of her "fancy dresses" is priceless.

Where did this little girl come from? I am all about simple and comfortable. What I'm not about is fancy! No frills, ruffles, or lace for me. But this little one? She is only happy when she's surrounded by fancy. And she's the first child I've ever known to be equally as happy over a gift of clothes as a new toy. Usually, the gift bags full of clothes from Grandma and Grandpa are the ones I ooh and aah over (because that's less money I have to spend to clothe these children), while the kids completely ignore them and turn their attention to new toys. The Princess? She looks at each new article of clothing very carefully and then wants to carry her new clothes around for the rest of the day.

All I can say is: If we move, the girl's gonna need a bigger closet!

Tag Team

I know every parent thinks they have the cutest, brightest, best kids in the world. But I really do. Yesterday I reluctantly promised the kids a pool day. Reluctantly because it's still a little chilly. I did finally make it in up to my waist, but I didn't last for long. So that left 4 children in the pool with me lifeguarding. I'm not sure how it came up, but Alex decided she wanted to teach Jacob how to swim. I watched with interest for over an hour as Alex very patiently worked with Jacob! "Watch me, Jacob, then you try." "First try it out of the water, then get in and give it a try." "You're OK. I'm right here if you need me." "Here, grab my hands. I've got you."

While Alex was working with Jacob, Audrey was floating around in her wings and ring. Michael decided to take her under his wing by leading her around, each of them holding on to the end of a noodle. She just ate up the attention from her big brother, and he was so gentle as he took her on an imaginary trip and communicated with her. " Now we're going to just pull over here for some gas, OK?" "Alright, all filled up. Let's go!"

It was so sweet to watch all four of them. Michael shone as a sweet big brother. Alex did such a great job and was a wonderful teacher. And...Jacob learned a lot! He's so close to swimming now and will venture into the deep end with just his wings rather than his wings AND his floatie ring. At one point, Alex asked me if we could go out for ice cream once Jacob has learned to swim. I said of course we could, or maybe we could even go to Chuck E. Cheese. That incentive got them so excited, I'm quite sure they're going to be begging for another pool day today.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Diapers are behind us. And, really, the Princess doesn't use a sippy cup much anymore either. So the diaper bags have been left behind as well. And as of last Tuesday, the 20th, I've got my little stair steps back: my older three are ages 6, 7, and 8. My baby boy is 6! My baby boy is 6. Just letting that sink in.

I was thinking last night about another sort of milestone we've passed. I was pondering this milestone around 10:30 last night when all 7 of the children were finally asleep. Yes, I said 7 children. Jacob had his birthday sleepover last night and invited three of his buddies over. We have always been proponents of the somtimes controversial "Babywise", so our children have always been driven by schedules. Throw off the schedule? You end up with a grumpy baby and a bad day for everyone. I realized last night, though, that we're finally past that as well: our children can have the occasional really late night and then be up early (early!) the next morning, and they'll be OK. Even my littlest one survives pretty well the next day. It's another milestone. Kind of a strange one to say I've passed, but just a reminder that they're all growing up very quickly.

Seeing Jacob interact with all of his friends last night was a reminder to us of how much he's grown over the past year--how brave and confident he's become. All of the boys had fun just being boys. I had nothing really planned, so they just enjoyed one another's company. I also didn't make the cake. Had I taken the time to make it, I imagine it would have been a little more masculine than the Care Bears rainbow cake I ordered from Publix. I removed the Care Bears and replaced them with Webkinz figurines since my boy had requested a Webkinz party. I think he'll need a manly construction or motorcyle-themed party next year to make up for the rainbows.

Rainbows or not, my boy has officially said good-bye to all things toddler, preschool, and kindergarten. Just another milestone. And I know if we blink too long, we'll be staring Pomp and Circumstance in the face. Better savor the moments while we can!

Friday, May 23, 2008

If we don't sell the house...

The kids are a lot more warm-blooded than I. That's why they were able to dive into a 74 degree pool on an 80 degree overcast day. I watched from the patio. If we don't sell the house, we're putting in a heater!

The boy moves too quickly to get a focused picture of him!

"If we don't sell the house." That's been the quote of the day around here. If we don't sell the house, let's put in some shrubs there. If we don't sell the house, let's paint this. If we don't sell the house, let's move that here. With the housing market down, we aren't holding our breath that we're going to sell this house.

If we don't sell the house, we will have the opportunity to enjoy more perfect days like today: splashing in the pool and then lunch out on the patio...featuring ribs from the grill, sweet potato fries and regular fries, baked beans, corn salad. You can't ask for time more well-spent with the family.

Of course, if we DO sell the house, there will be new moments to capture, new perfect days to create with each other. And if we DO sell the house, the best thing is that the only really important things from our current residence will move with us: one sweet, cuddly, adorable princess; one tender-hearted, affectionate, sweet-loving boy, one mischievous engineer with a fantastic sense of humor; one compassionate, thoughtful academic; and the love of my life who also happens to the be the gourmet chef of this household!

So whether we do or don't sell the house, the things that really matter are known. And together.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cookie Man

For the past couple of days, the Princess has had the same request: "I watch Cookie Man show?"


I finally figured out today: she wants to watch Cookie Monster on Sesame Street!

How cute is that?

I Saw It in the Movies

Alex told this joke at lunch today: "What do you call an elephant in a phone booth?" Michael finally gave up and asked, "What?" "Stuck!" Alex exclaimed. Michael thought for a minute. "I don't get it," he said. "What's a phone booth?" Alex explained, "It's this small box that has a phone, and you can go in and make a phone call." "Oh!" Michael replied. "I saw one of those in a movie once."

I feel old. Really, really old.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Family Heritage

Alex: Mom, am I from your side of the family or Daddy's side of the family?

Me: What do you mean?

Alex: Well, I came from your belly, so I'm from your side of the family, right?

Me: Well...not exactly...

We've already read "How Boys and Girls Are Different"; I think it's time to move on to Volume 2!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Foxfire Museum

It was definitely time to take a break from the chores and take the kids on a field trip. So, after a mini-roadtrip carpool-style with my friend Marianna and her kids, we arrived at the Foxfire Museum . Nestled in the North Georgia mountains, the museum consists of several buildings which perfectly capture the Appalachian lifestyle of the early 1800s. The kids had a great time, and we enjoyed having the whole place to ourselves.

All of the kids in front of the Savannah House - the one-room building

which, at times, housed as many as 12!

From the second floor of the grist mill

The water wheel at the grist mill

Alex in front of the above ground root cellar

In front of the Zuraw Wagon, the only documented wagon known to

have traveled to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears

Having fun ringing the bell at the Chapel

Preach it, Rev. Michael!

Banned to the "pews"

The weaving loom

Learning how to spin

Although we were ill-prepared for the chilly weather in the mountains, we had a great time--a welcome break from the monotony of our recent tasks!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To-Do List

It's been a million miles long over the last week. And I'm learning to juggle more tasks than ever. And I'm trying not to drop the ball. Cliches aside, the For Sale sign went up yesterday! Admittedly and thankfully, our to-do list has been whittled away to almost nothing, though there still are a few tasks to complete. We're not expecting the buyers to be lining up outside the door anyway--especially in this market--so I think we'll have time to get to everything!

I can't even begin to imagine how we accumulated so much junk in three short years, nor how we could have let some of these projects slide so long that their enormity grew to unmanageable proportions. But that is the way of the busy life we lead. The house certainly looks mighty pretty now: the delight of living in a clean, repaired house will lessen the disappointment should we be unable to turn it over to someone else.

And so, while the to-do list is all but completed, the juggling doesn't end. Last week presented the kids with sort of a pre-summer vacation. We resumed today and will have to go into June because of our lapse last week. But it will all work out. And my dear husband who took a few days off last week must also get back to work and traveling. So life will resume as normal except that I have the near impossible task of keeping the house clean. The older three have actually done a fabulous job at keeping their rooms clean; it's the little Princess who has turned into quite a tornado, leaving game pieces, Polly Pockets, and Little Pet Shop Pets in her wake. So there is that plus I must resume work on my classes that I'm teaching, and I'm also taking a class to keep up my certification.

Life is never dull or boring. Or relaxing. Maybe in 18 years I'll be able to relax. Of course, then my to-do list will consist of catching up with 18 years x 4 children of scrapbooking!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Minutes from Annual Meeting

Present: My better half and me

Annual Topic: Let's sell the house and move

Notes: Yes, I know we've only been in this house for 3 years, but we built it as an investment. Really, if you know me, you know it's just because I get a little antsy being in one place too long (by too long, I mean more than 2 years). But every year around this time, for some reason, it always comes up. And another recurring topic: Let's move to Florida. The vote was unanimous once again, however, to nix the idea because it really would just be too much work. The fact that our reason for making a move south is based solely on the weather does weaken the option a bit as well.

So we really are serious enough right now that we're having a realtor in tomorrow to assess the house and see what he thinks.

Action items: Because we love to pull off a good first impressions with our realtors who visit once a year, this past week has been a major spring cleaning week for me (with a little school in between the scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting!). And, if selling doesn't seem like a good idea after the realtor stops in, well, at least the house will be clean for a few weeks!