Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In School Today:

Sometimes, you know you are doing something right!

The Zoo Keeper, telling whether verbs are past, present, or future:

"A woodpecker drilled these holes...Past."

"Wolves travel in packs...Present."

"Last year we studied flowers...Past."

"Jesus loves me....Past, Present, and Future!"

Other times, even when it sounds wrong, you know it's right:

The Horse Whisperer: "I wish I didn't have to do Algebra today. *sigh*"

Me: Okay, don't do it.

The Horse Whisperer: "REALLY?!" accompanied by a beaming face and near tears of joy

Of course, it will have to be caught up tomorrow, but sometimes a kid just needs an unexpected break.

Works for Me Wednesday

This isn't exactly a tip to make life easier for YOU, but it could make Thanksgiving nice for a couple of soldiers near you!

Last year we invited 3 soldiers from a nearby Army post to share our Thanksgiving meal with us. Thanksgiving for us is a Big Deal. The Cowboy builds a fire in an underground pit and cooks 2 or 3 turkeys along with a beef brisket or two.

There is always plenty of food and we are truly thankful for God's numerous blessings on our lives.

Right now you have be be pretty darn brave to join the military, not only during a war, but right before a Presidential election. The soldiers that came to share our meal last year were fresh out of boot camp and it was the first time any of them had been away from home for a holiday. They were all "country kids", and enjoyed coming to our little place in the boonies to celebrate Thanksgiving.

If you want to invite some soldiers, you have to act fast because they are already putting together the lists to match soldiers with families. I don't know how other military bases do it, but for ours we had to call the base chaplain. I couldn't find anything online about it this morning, but if you call the general information number in your phone book for the military base near you, someone will direct you to whom you need to talk to.

Last year was the first year we did it, and for sure it's going to be a yearly occurrence for us. They don't send one soldier to a house full of strangers by him/herself. Be prepared to take two. We offered a place for four since we cook such a mountain of food, but one of ours got sick at the last minute last year so we ended up with three. We sent a PILE of leftovers back for her though!

About a week before Thanksgiving they had a "meet and greet" on the fort. The families and soldiers gathered in the gym, where they had tables set up. Each family sat at a table, and the solders just came and sat with a family they liked the looks of. That's where we met the four that were going to come to us, and made arrangements to pick them up on Thanksgiving morning. Most of them don't have cars, so you have to be prepared to pick them up and take them home.

It's just a nice way to share a little bit of your bounty with someone who appreciates it. It's a little awkward at first, and be prepared to graciously accept being called "ma'am" every time you talk to them. Don't give them a hard time about it, okay? They are trained to be respectful, and it's not nice to tell them they make you feel old.

That's what we do. Check out a plethora of other WFMW tips at Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gotta Love a Good Disaster Movie

Last night we watched The High and the Mighty with John Wayne. It was more story than special effects, and took place when people dressed up to fly. All these women in evening gowns. Can you imagine flying in an evening gown? All the way to San Francisco from Hawaii?! When the kids and I flew back from Hawaii, it took 5 1/2 hours on a jet. It was a LONG 5 1/2 hours. When this movie took place, they were flying on a propeller plane and it was going to take 13 hours and 16 minutes...and that was BEFORE one of the engines caught on fire and punctured one of the fuel tanks and they had to slow down to try and conserve fuel to get them as close to San Francisco as possible before they had to ditch into the ocean.

One of the things they did to save fuel was throw all the unnecessary weight out the door. No one whined one bit about throwing out all their luggage...well one woman was very sad about throwing her mink coat to the mercy of the Pacific, but she sucked it up and did it. Personally, if I were wearing a strapless evening gown and I knew within a few hours I was going to be floating around in a life boat at night (provided all went as planned), I would have hung onto that sucker. I mean, really, how much does a mink coat weigh?

It was so funny to see the difference in air travel in the 50s and our post 9-11 world. It wasn't just the dressing up part, though I imagine if you had asked any of those passengers to remove their shoes and submit to a full body pat down they would have slugged you.

EVERYONE smoked. On the plane, in the cockpit, on the flight line, in the airport... Ever notice in John Wayne movies, one of his signature moves is to light a cigarette, take two puffs then throw it in the dirt? (Bet he wouldn't do that at $5. a pack!) Well, when we started watching this movie, I thought, "He's on a plane...he can't take two puffs and throw it down." (Yeah, my mind goes through all kinds of things when I'm watching movies. I keep this inner dialog going that is highly entertaining to me, but I try not to say anything out loud and annoy my fellow viewers) BUT HE DID! On the PLANE! I actually laughed out loud and had to explain what was funny. The kids thought it was funny...they have noticed the two puff phenomenon too since we watch a LOT of John Wayne around here. The Cowboy just rolled his eyes.

A little boy, flying alone, had a TOY GUN! It didn't even have the little orange cap on the end of the barrel to indicate that it's a toy! He even *gasp* Pointed it at the pilot of the plane and pretended to SHOOT him! No one gave it a second thought.

Even MORE shocking, a passenger had a REAL GUN that he had decided to shoot another passenger with. The other passengers wrestled the gun away from him and told him to go cool off. He did, said he was sorry, and they gave him his gun back. The flight crew wasn't involved at all.

The men flirted shamelessly with the stewardess (not flight attendant) and she took it in stride, and even flirted back a bit. It was all in fun and not crass at all.

I guess one of the things that made it so funny is that I had just read this post from Crazy Aunt Purl about her "Mascara of Mass Destruction" and all the responses to it. Man, flying used to be FUN! Except for that whole evening gown thing. I STILL wouldn't want to fly for 13 hours in a girdle and heels in a cabin full of second-hand smoke.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What's Become of the Jack-o-Lantern...

I baked the pumpkin for over an hour at 350, but it never really got soft. It should still be edible, but I'm betting the consistency is weird. I think from now on, I'll make pie out of canned pumpkin and enjoy our "pumpkin lanterns" until they get shriveled and buggy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Grandma's Things

This is a little display I made of a few things that belonged to my dad's mother. I never knew her...she died when my dad was a young man. Look at the cool metal compact and lipstick tube! They still have makeup in them. Goodness knows what bacteria is flourishing in there! She made the doilies and doll dress, and I'm not sure about the handkerchief. It looks more like something store-bought. Maybe my dad bought it for her for a gift? I love the little brownie camera. Boy, have we come a long way from those things!

I wish I could have known her here, but I know that I will meet her someday, and she will laugh at me for displaying her old stuff!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two Things Challenge

This is last week's challenge:



This is our first ever pumpkin carving experience. We don't really do the whole Halloween thing, but every year it's SO hard for me to resist piles and piles of big orange pumpkins! The Zoo Keeper has ALWAYS wanted to carve one, so today we did it. Tomorrow, we are making pumpkin pie!

To see more talented people's Two Things, clicket here.

Works for Me Wednesday

Okay, I know it's October, and people are doing more wintery things than summery things, but we happen to live near an indoor swimming pool, so my WWFW tip is about modest swimwear for my little girls. I personally think girls ought to be able to play in the water without worrying about what they are going to expose, and without having to constantly pull their suits up in front or down in the back as the case may be. Well, several years ago I ran across one of these in a grocery store of all places. They only had sizes to fit my youngest, but since she was the daughter that didn't care if her suit was creating the Biggest Wedgie Of All Time, she wasn't going to take the time to pull it out, I bought her one. The tag had a web site address, so I went online and quickly ordered one for my other daughter. She was the daughter who would wear shorts and a shirt OVER her normal bathing suit...and then wrap up in a towel. Here's the web site: Radicool Australia

The suits look like wet suits, and they are designed to protect from the sun. Now that my girls are getting bigger, they are sizing out of the one piece suits and have to go with the shorts and rash guards. It's a good solution for kids that want to be modest, but want to look a little more modern than this:

It's a pretty picture, and though my old fashioned heart would love to see my darlings frolicking in the waves in such a lovely ensemble, it's a tough sell for my highly practical teen and tween.
I know lots of girls just buy boy's swimming trunks and a tankini top, which works too, and is probably cheaper, but this is our solution. Works for Me!

Check out more Works For Me Wendesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wanna Buy A Ghost?

This cracked me up. It could be disturbing to little kids though, so PARENTS PLEASE PREVIEW!

Time to Be a Mama Again

Well. I have made a foray into the world of the workforce. I gotta say, it's pretty fun wearing nice clothes, doing a job that you ROCK at, and getting kudos from some Very Important People for it. Meeting tons of really nice people from all over the country, going out to dinner and trying new types of food, and learning about new things can be very seductive. Never mind the moo-lah, which got us almost completely out of debt AND bought us a full tank of propane to get us through another year.

It's been fun. REALLY fun. But, I can see that my family still needs me here. I will probably still do a short job here and there, but no more months long marathons for me. In 8 years or so I'll be in a position to work full time, and I look forward to that. Now, however, I'm going to enjoy my wonderful children while they still ARE children. They are growing up so fast!

SO, watch this space. I'm back in the blogosphere, and will be boring you with all kinds of little tidbits of silly things.

Hey, check out this hawk I saw while I was at "work":