Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween…The Big Reveal

Day #31 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Today is the BIG day.

Even though it is freezing

and raining.

It is Halloween.

It feels like we have been preparing for this for months.

I made this BOO out of orange and black
cupcake liners.
I did the craft for my last elementary school Halloween party this afternoon. 

This was my ninth straight year.

As much as I love Halloween

I won't miss the stress of making our costumes 
AND 
doing that party 
IN THE SAME DAY!

I had the kids make Glitter Slime and decorate baby
food jars. It was a colossal mess but they turned out
CUTE!
Then last night McDaniel gave me a, "Hey, Mom, could you…" 

AGAIN.

Her almost coach got engaged over the weekend and the girls trying out for her basketball team wanted to each make something to decorate her office with as a surprise.

She wanted me to "whip up" a bridal wreath of some sort.

It was after dinner and I was NOT going out for supplies.

So I made this.

I just tied tulle and ribbon on a wreath form--
literally whatever I had on hand.
The coach's last name is McBride.

Our neighbor's usually do a wonderful Spooky Supper party every year before Trick or Treating starts 

so we can eat, 
show off our costumes, 
visit, 
eat, 
show off our costumes 
and MOST IMPORTANTLY 

get our Christmas card picture perfect shot.

No Spooky Supper this year due to weather.

So we had a short window of when we could take our OWN picture 

(camera propped up on a big book of Shakespeare's plays, the Bible 
and a Kleenex box with the timer on) 

before McDaniel had basketball tryouts.

Here are some of the shots:

We dressed like Clue characters.

Miss Scarlett with the revolver, Mrs. White with the wrench,
 Colonel Mustard with the knife, Mrs. Peacock with
the candlestick.

We decided to have a little fun with it:



McDaniel came up with a great idea why we were shooting pictures for the Christmas card.

But I won't show you.

Until Christmas.

You know I can keep a secret.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Eve

Day #30 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Halloween is a big deal around here.

Every year we dress up as a family.

We discuss and vote on our ideas at least (sometimes more) a year ahead of time.

We have certain criteria that we follow:

•Nothing scary
•Nothing that my grandmother wouldn't recognize (which eliminates trendy characters)
•Nothing expensive (this is grass roots all the way)
•Nothing revealed until Halloween (not that people don't try to shake us down ALL THE TIME)

Here are a few of our past costumes:


Wizard of Oz
Monte had just had an emergency appendectomy the week before and was still in pain.

His Tin Man mask ended up a little scarier than we intended.

He limped and moaned a little towards the end of the night after all that walking.

He was carrying an ax.

He couldn't figure out why little kids were running away from him.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Oh my goodness, this makes me laugh.

Ellie as an Oompa Loompa and McDaniel blown up like a blueberry were just the best.
(If I do say so myself).

Charlie Brown and the Peanuts
You can't tell from the picture, but Ellie had yellow kitchen gloves on her shoes for Woodstock's feet. By the end of the night, the fingers toes were all gnarled and ripped from walking on the sidewalk.

Fast food characters.
I will let this picture speak for itself.

Yes, Monte was terrified of his own daughter dressed like Ronald McDonald.

Especially after eating a lot of candy and her make up got all smeary.

The Muppets
This was last year. People kept calling me Angry Elmo instead of Animal.

Come on, people! 
I had drumsticks in my hand and a collar around my neck!

Ellie was Miss Piggy and at her school's Halloween Parade, I over heard a mom
(who didn't know I was overhearing) 

say something to the effect of I never! 
And not BELIEVING 

that someone would let their child dress as a Playboy Bunny for a school Halloween Parade.

What?!

CLEARLY Ellie had on a snout and pig ears and, although you can't see it here, a curly piggy tail.

In the parade she was also holding a Kermit doll.

What Playboy was this chick used to looking through?!?

Sorry, I am still a little stung by this…!!!

It is going to be a COLD one tomorrow but I will reveal our costumes as soon as I can
which may be late.

McDaniel has basketball tryouts smack dab in the middle of Trick or Treat.

She tried to appeal to the coach but she didn't push it.

The coach still owes her a "pay back".

Monday, October 29, 2012

Middle School, Rocky and Apollo 13

Day #29 of 31 Days of Storytelling

After our movie venture down Rocky lane,

(I know, you MUST be sick of hearing about Rocky)

the girls were hankering for another movie recommendation from us.

I know!
We were shocked too.

So we scrambled to find something lest they change their minds and make us watch another Disney TV show about teens going to a special school because they are smart

or can dance.

Mind numbing.

So we came up with Apollo 13.

I don't think they realized what rock stars astronauts were considered.

More on that in a minute.

This past weekend was my daughter's middle school's fall musical production.

They performed Fame Jr.



There were two different casts so that as many kids could participate as possible.

My daughter does NOT participate. She would be great at it but doesn't want anyone watching her.

I went to two different shows and my daughter's went to three each.
So we could support as many of our friends as possible.

It was so fun to see the kids stepping outside of their comfort zones and shining with a confidence that I know firsthand,

does not NATURALLY come 

with being 12, 13 and 14.

I have known some of these kids since they were 4 years old.

My daughter cried after seeing the performance for the first time with her friends.

She said she was completely sucked in by the love story between two of her friends.
(That have NO love story, I need to add.)

She was BLOWN AWAY by the singing of a girl that she had been a bit scared of in the past.

McDaniel actually cried when she sang.

You know, those happy, inspired tears that make you whisper, "Thank You" to God for giving this girl 
this voice 
on this night 
for this role.

One of her friends sitting with her "took it to church" a bit
raising her hands and cheering this formally misunderstood girl on.

McDaniel came home just bursting with pride for these kids that she sees everyday.

The smart kids,
the dancers, 
the athletes, 
the cheerleaders,
the kids that haven't quite figured out where they belong…yet.

It is so High School Musical, isn't it?
(I know. That was cheesy. But tell me where I am wrong. I dare you.)

I watched them and felt all the protective love as if I gave birth to each of them myself.

Another mom watching said that these kids will be able to do anything because they did this first

as middle schoolers.

When they all just so desperately want to fit in.

Be vanilla.

Not stand out.

They were willing to stand out.
On stage.
With a lot of make up on.

It was a great lesson for both my girls.

Back to Apollo 13.

A little back story:  McDaniel had started to say the word "nerd" a lot. You know:

"Oh he is just a nerd."
or
"She is the nerdy girl in the back of the room."

I HATED that.

Think of that great scene in Apollo 13 when something goes wrong

you know, "Houston, we have a problem,"

and the astronauts don't know if they have enough power to get back to earth

but the engineers

those awesome glasses-wearing

formula-figuring
probably-sat-in-the-back-of-the-room

engineers
sat in a room 
until they
figured it out.

I told the girls that every single one of those engineers

were the smartest kids in their class.

They may have been picked last

for every kickball game.

They may or may not have had a date to the prom.
People probably called them nerds.

But they brought all those astronauts safely back to earth.

It was their Rocky beating Russia's Drago in Rocky IV moment.



Their misunderstood girl singing her talented heart out

for the first time

on stage in Fame Jr. moment.

It was brilliant.

After the musical, we went to congratulate the cast and found them all hugging each other crying.

Yep, these 13 and 14 year-old girls AND boys were just sobbing.
(It nearly broke McDaniel's heart.)

They didn't want it to be over.

They didn't want to go back to being vanilla after being 
so NOT vanilla
even for just a little while.

It is like why Rocky couldn't stay out of the ring even when everyone thought he was going to get slaughtered.
(Stay with me.)

It is why man went back to the moon after Apollo 13's near disaster.

We all want our "moment".

We all were made with the desire to want someone to whisper "Thank You" to God for us.

And when we get it.

We want it to last.





Sunday, October 28, 2012

Running For Political Office

Day #28 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Before you click off of this story at the fear of a political rant,

this is about 5th grade student council.

There are 4 different classes of 5th grade in Ellie's grade.

Two representatives are elected from each class.

There were specific rules to run:

•They had to write out their campaign "platform" and reasons why they wanted the position.

•They had to write a speech which they would give in front of their class.

•They could not "campaign" by giving out buttons or fliers or candy or bribes of any kind.

Ellie was excited and filled out her form with her platform with ease.

Her campaign promises included:

•Getting a microwave in the cafeteria that the students could use.

•Increasing the size of the sub sandwiches 
(this is a real hot topic with Ellie that caused her to make an appointment with the vice-principal last year. I guess the VP said she "appreciated Ellie's willingness to share her thoughts on the matter." But the sub sandwiches remained minuscule in size.)

•Bringing back the option of getting a salad for lunch.
(It became an "adult only" entree after years of allowing kids to buy it.)

Yep, Ellie's issues were all food related.

The night before the election, she wrote out her speech on index cards and asked if she could practice in front of Monte and I.

This is the kind of stuff Monte LIVES FOR!

He loves politics, government and debating the issues.

About 5 index cards into her speech, I eyed her stack and realized we probably had 15 more cards of points to listen to.

Monte stopped her and said something along the lines of:

We love you and we are bored to tears. 
What are the kids in your class going to think?

She received the information well and they began to work on rewrites of the speech.

The next day I picked Ellie up from school. 

I couldn't read her expression if she was a newly elected student council member or not.

She handed me a folded up piece of paper.

When I opened it, I saw a large version of a 20-dollar bill photocopied with the face of one of her classmate's replacing Andrew Jackson's.

Handwritten on top of the paper was, 
"Vote for Will. He fits the bill."

And there was a chocolate foil wrapped coin taped in the corner.

Whoa, the campaign trail is ugly even in the 5th grade!

"I didn't win, Mom," she said softly.

As I tried to encourage her, she admitted that she voted for Will too.

What?!

"He gave us chocolate, Mom."

She said that his speech consisted of one sentence:

"Please vote for me because I told my mom I already won."

Maybe Obama and Romney have it wrong.

Don't debate.

Or give endless speeches.

Give us chocolate.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Something About Christmas and a New Front Tooth

Day #27 of 31 Days of Storytelling

We have a tradition at our house Christmas morning that the girls wait at the top of the stairs while Monte and I go downstairs to turn on the tree lights, start the coffee and make sure that whatever family is staying under our roof and elsewhere, is up and ready to get the show on the road.

The show meaning

OPENING PRESENTS.

McDaniel and Ellie are good about the waiting.

I know they were up EARLY last year and didn't disturb us until the hour was more decent.

Ellie waiting in her room.

While we were downstairs preparing, they waited in our bed.

Not sure what is happening there. Let's just say they were
singing. Or howling at the moon.

Then half of Ellie's front tooth got knocked out.

Just like that. 

Happy giggles

turned to running feet 

and crying 

and McDaniel calling for us.

Ellie's lip was pretty chewed up inside and bleeding everywhere.

She kept crying, "I just want my toof back. I just want my toof back!"

McDaniel was giving me a sketchy retelling of the story of what happened.

Lots of rabbit trails. 

I told her to go look for the toof tooth.

My husband was sitting on the bottom of the stairs

(he's not so much with all the blood) 

calling our dentist, who is a friend and who lives on our street.

In between all the crying 

and bleeding 

and "I want my toof backs", 

Ellie realized her throat was really scratchy and we decided she probably swallowed the bottom half of her front tooth.

I called McDaniel off the search.

It was determined that Ellie would never be able to sit in a dentist's chair without opening her presents first.

We asked if she was in pain.

Her response:  "Only when I breathe." 

So we made an appointment to meet the dentist at 11:00 am.

Waiting with ice on what's left of her front tooth.
I can't believe I don't have this framed
and sitting on the piano.

My parents and grandmother walked into this hot mess with the cool reactions that only age and experience can bring.

I have so much to learn.

We opened presents and the high of the unwrapping and seeing others unwrap carried Ellie

for a little while. 

But mid-way through, her eyes started getting dark and I could tell she was in pain.

She couldn't eat or drink.

Eleven o'clock couldn't get here fast enough.

Monte took her to the dentist while we cleaned up and played games and started preparing lunch.

Two and a half hours, 
one phone call 
and two pictures sent via phone later, 
We love our dentist!


Ellie walked through the door with a new tooth. 

Not a crown, but a cap 
(thankfully her nerve had been exposed not damaged so no root canal needed!). 

It made her 9-year-old teeth look whiter than before. 

It was amazing. 

The dentist told her not to go biting into big apples right away, but other than that, to treat it like it has always been there.

And to think that in a matter of seconds half a tooth was gone 

and in a matter of hours, 

it was replaced. 

Not just replaced 

but IMPROVED.


Ellie got a new front tooth for Christmas.
And it was her greatest gift.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words…To Me Part 2

Day #26 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Maybe this is a bit of a cop out

showing a bunch of pictures 

and telling their story.

Rather than

telling a story

and showing some pictures.

But I had so much fun that I am going to do it again.

I do realize that it is like showing a slide show from a vacation to people who could care less and fall asleep.
Yep, that has actually happened to us.
And OF COURSE we were the ones showing the slide show
not falling asleep.
Excited yet?

Here we go:
That is pioneer woman me in the back left, my sister Kori next to me.
My brother Kyle as a happy Paul Revere
and brother Kwin as the quintessential 70s kid.
This is my brothers and sister and I during the Bicentennial in 1976.

Wait. I think we need to hum "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

I'm dead serious. Do it.

And boy, are we ever celebrating.
(My dressing up thing started early.)

Can't you see the excitement oozing out of the gingham from our handmade pioneer dresses?

Historic pride is just dripping from Kyle's 3-point hat.

Kwin is just ridiculous with patriotism.

Don't we all look so happy with one another?


Since we are already talking about dressing up:

Monte and one of his BFFs. Except we are not supposed to say
BFFs about his friends.
This was last Halloween. Monte was Gonzo from the muppets and his friend, Matt, ended up wearing a Tinky Winky head from the Teletubbies.

I love this picture because I imagine if Monte and Matt were 8 or 9 years old in the picture

it would look EXACTLY the same.
(Minus Monte's facial hair.)
But hang on to your hat:
Where do I start?
This is Monte being Monte. 

Which is why he can threaten the girls

effectively

with ways he could humiliate them.

Because they know he isn't bluffing.

He once screamed "FLASH MOB!"

in the middle of a grocery store 
and started dancing
by himself

because one of the girls was sporting a pretty negative attitude.
McDaniel's bible study.

So much to say.

This is McDaniel's bible study.
(Scared, yet?)

I love that you can see the PRAY sign that hangs above the couch.

Seems so appropriate.

The girls were here just minutes when we discovered one of the girls tracked in dog poop on her flip flop 

and they all walked into the living room dressed up like this.

I think it is very interesting what each girl chose to put on.

I can't stop staring at the quietest one in the bunch wearing that bright red Little Mermaid wig and Christmas elf hat.

Or maybe it is the way she is looking at the camera like she knows something

IMPORTANT

that she isn't sharing.

Ok, last one:

Look at my dad in the middle.
This CRACKS ME UP.

Because I am the one taking the picture

poorly

and causing my dad to reach out

and tell me what I am doing wrong.

Or he is threatening to strangle me.

I love that I caught it on film.

This one just might get framed and put on the piano.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words…To Me

Day #25 of 31 Days of Storytelling

I have to admit, I hit a wall today.

I did NOT know what to write.
(It's been 25 straight days, you know!)

I had tons of ideas but every time I sat down, I just couldn't bring myself to write any of them.

So I started looking at pictures.

For inspiration.

And it hit me.

They say so much.

The pictures.

They are stories in and of themselves.

So I spent WAY TOO MUCH time sifting through iPhoto and finally said,

"ENOUGH!" 

because there were too many that could speak volumes.

I need to begin by saying that I am not one of those picture perfect people. 

It took our wedding photographer 4,000 pictures to just get enough decent shots for an album.

I always have one or both eyes closed or my nostrils flared or my mouth hanging open.

I am completely used to people taking my picture and then saying,

"Ok, let's try one more," 
but they have to say it like 5 times.

I am the one that LOVES the pictures that don't get picked for the frame that will sit on the piano.

THOSE are the pictures that I blow up and frame and give as gifts.

You know, the "out take" pictures.

The ones that, if you are really quiet, speak to you.

Ok, that was creepy.

But I hope you know where I was going.

I thought about grouping pictures by theme but THAT TAKES TIME!

And I am hungry.

So this will be random.

Halloween is our thing. Here we are 2 years ago as fast food characters:
Burger King, Colonel Sanders, Ronald McDonald and Wendy.
This picture cracks me up not because we are dressed up but because we all look like we were 4 random people that showed up at a party dressed (coincidentally as fast food characters) and were forced to stand together (awkwardly) for a picture.

Look at McDaniel as Ronald McDonald--she looks lost.

Ellie as Wendy looks like she is looking for help.

Me as the Colonel looks about as happy as one can look right before they sneeze off their mustache (which is what I did right after this picture was taken).

I just KNOW Monte is smiling behind his Burger King mask.

That is just who he is.

LOVE this!
This was at Fripp Island a few years ago.

So much going on here with my brother's deadpan face, my mom's closed eyes, Ellie not bothering to stop eating her ice cream for one second and my dad looking at whoever he is looking at.

It is SOOO my family.

I blew that one up and framed it for my dad for his birthday.

Too many words.
This is one of those silly staged shots that we got the idea from Family Fun magazine.

This is our neighbor Claire but the legs are McDaniel's who is lying down (quite well tucked away, I might add) behind her.

Her expression is the best. It is like she is saying,

"Help!" 

or 

"Well, this ain't right."

I just noticed in the background that Claire's mom is walking across the street towards us.

I am sure she is saying, "What the…?!"

They must say that a lot when looking over at our house.

Look at my mom! Favorite picture of all time…so far.
This picture just takes the cake! 

We went out west 2 summers ago with my parents.

Drove over 5,000 miles.

SO.
MANY. 
STORIES.

This picture was taken fairly early in the trip in Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park. We decided to hike around Bear Lake.

But there was snow everywhere.

It was June.

We saw all these Park Rangers shoveling snow at the beginning of the trail saying,

"No, stop, don't go any further it is too treacherous," 

with as much interest and alarm as Willy Wonka (1970s version not creepy Johnny Depp version) to the naughty kids breaking all the rules touring his candy factory.

So we hiked right on by.

The snow increased as we went on and the path got confusing.

We all fell.

My mom fell a lot.

At one point, while on all fours, she said to go on without her. That she would "catch up."

Then we came upon this sign in the above picture.

Caution 
Ice 
Unsafe.

We were like, DUH! We've almost broken a leg on this stuff.

I love that my mom figured out why we kept seeing deep watery footprints along the trail RIGHT when we snapped this picture.

We were hiking ON BEAR LAKE.

In June!

We scrambled to get to real land.

When we finished the hike we saw some older ladies starting the trail.

One had a walker.

Mom said, with just this eloquence,
"I'm wet! Turn back. I'm wet!"

There is always falling with us.
This is at Fripp this year.

We were trying to watch the sunset when McDaniel hopped on the beachcomber bike I was riding. For some reason she didn't have the momentum to make it up a tiny little bridge and came back down it backwards and crashed in a pretty fascinating tangled up way.

I am looking like a prune face. 
Ellie is dancing in the background. 
Mom is just laughing. 
Dad seems to be the only one truly trying to help McDaniel up.

It was quite a scene.

More to come…


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Right In Front of My House

Day #24 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Ellie and I were out the door to go to school this morning when I saw the van parked in front of my house.

It looked like my neighbor's van.

And it looked like my neighbor bent over the curb.

I thought she was looking for something.

So I hollered, "Hey, what are you doing?"

The woman looked up.

It wasn't my neighbor.

"I'm pregnant. I am so sick."
She said in a weak, shaky voice.

Oh!

She isn't looking for something. 

She is VOMITING

in the street 

in front of my house.

I told Ellie to get in the car and I quickly ran to her.

I have never seen her before.

I offered her Perrier.

Actually, I first offered her Bubble Water, 
(because that is what we call it around here). 

Then I said mineral water 
(which isn't exactly it either).

Then I said Perrier.

I was nervous.
And anxious to help.

In case you missed it, 
there was someone 
VOMITING 
right in front of my house.

"I will try anything."
she said barely audibly.

I ran back into the house remembering.

Remembering being so sick that I didn't think I could get out of bed.

Remembering being so sick that I couldn't make it inside 
and vomited 

RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE

in the driveway
in our little house in Atlanta. 

Poor thing.

She took the Perrier with shaky hands and thanked me and said she couldn't find the right thing to settle her stomach.

I just said, "You will."

And she left.

I kicked myself for not giving her some of the advice that helped me when I suffered through terrible morning sickness with 2 pregnancies. 

I called Monte and confessed my guilt.

He told me that if I mentioned anything food related the poor woman would've puked on my shoes.

He's probably right.

Then I thought

REALLY thought

about what I could've said.

Pregnancy is so personal.

Every craving.

Every remedy.

It isn't for everybody.

You have to find your own way.

For McDaniel:

I wore sea bands on my wrists when I drove 
(I felt so car sick even in the driver's seat).

I could only stomach tater tots

and Dilly Bars from DQ.

For Ellie:

I could only eat ham salad

and pimiento salad

and deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwiches 
(from a bowling alley in Indiana--long story)

and root beer.

I know, I'm surprised I didn't weigh 400 pounds.

But I was sick for MONTHS

I actually lost weight with each of them in the beginning and end. 

I never was one of those go hug Mother Earth, I-am-glowing-with-the-beauty-of-life-growing-inside-me. 

No.

I felt like an alien was implanted to suck the very life out of me 

one 

painful 

hour 

at a time.

We wanted 4 kids.

Monte and I are each 1 of 4 kids.

After my second sick pregnancy 

and McDaniel drawing me pictures of her "fun Mommy" 
and then the "not fun Mommy" laying on the couch,

I decided I couldn't be a "not fun Mommy" to 2 little ones.

They could team up at that point.

And formally protest.

No, Monte was right.
(Is that really the 2nd time I've said that in this post?)

I could not have said anything to the poor woman vomiting right in front of my house.

I certainly have prayed for her.

Monte did ask if it was an appropriate time to thank him for getting a vasectomy.

But THAT is an ENTIRELY different, 
very involved, 
cautionary tale 
that may or may not get told in the confines of this blog.

But you know I am going to ask permission.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clowns Are Everywhere

Day #23 of 31 Days of Storytelling

My husband does NOT like clowns.

At all.

I won't say he is afraid of them.

I would say he doesn't trust them.

He always questions the presence of a clown.

Like, did someone really hire them for this festival?

Or did they just show up?

That kind of thing.

And we won't even get into Stephen King's book.

I might have a nightmare tonight.
That's an entirely different level of not trusting clowns.

Recently, we have encountered several clowns.

Unexpectedly.

Everyone that knows Monte knows of his "clown thing" so usually a big deal is made of one being around.

A few weeks ago we went to my daughter's school festival.

We have been going to this festival for 8 years and never encountered a clown.

Get this, it is called CLOWN AROUND.

Isn't that ironic?

Don't cha think?

Well, this year, we stepped inside to find 
this monstrosity waiting for us.

He looks angry. And like he is pointing. At Monte.



Ellie and her friends posed with
Creepy Giant Clown.
Then the next week we had a Harvest Fest at church (yes, the very one where Monte whacked the hangy-down thing on my car with the hunk of wood).

There were members of our youth group painting faces.

Ellie wanted hers painted.

At first, it looked like they were going to paint a "make-up" look on her.

Which would have scared Monte plenty.


Yes, that is a Gator head on her face.

Then things quickly got out of hand.

Oh my. At least she didn't make her a sad clown.


Not staged at all.

Then when we were in church the VERY next day, we watched a promo video for the Samaritan's Purse ministry (yes, the same one that featured Scotty McCreery) and

BOOM

there was a clown in a boat 

rowing 

a bunch of the Samaritan's Purse shoe boxes on some body of water.

Everyone turned to look at Monte.

Or just pointed and laughed.

He looked at the screen and whispered,

"Why was the clown in a boat?"

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.




Monday, October 22, 2012

My Dreams In Pictures

Day #22 of 31 Days of Storytelling

Ok.

So I told Ellie this morning at breakfast that I'd like to draw one of my dreams.

So she drew it.

Then I drew it.

She has heard this dream before.

It is pretty well known around here.

And with friends.

And maybe a few people who could care less

but we told anyway.

I think I will show the pictures first to see what you can deduce from them.

Kind of like that game we have called The New Yorker. You see one of those classic New Yorker one-panel cartoons and then write your own caption.

We love that game.

Such a great outlet for our creativity.

And someone usually laughs until they cry.

Or wets their pants.

Fun stuff.

Here goes:

This is Ellie's drawing. Sorry, can't figure out how to flip it without
making it look all bitmappy. Sorry to go all techy on you. Check out
the draw string pants she put me in. Is that how she sees me?
I might as well be at a Golden Corral or Old Country Buffet.

Here is my pic. I know, I am not the artist in the family. Those are my hands not catcher's mitts.



Can you tell what is going on?

Look again.

Monte has no arms.

More specifically, he has no arms in a dress shirt that has had the sleeves pinned up.

And I am mad.

Yes, I am mad about the no arms thing.

Like, "So you are just NOT going to have arms now," kind of mad.

Again, with the technical problems--sorry! This is my attempt at a car.
A bit Fred Flintstonish, I know.
What do you think this picture means?

Do you feel like you are in therapy?


Do you feel like now you need therapy?

In all my madness at Monte having no arms

keep in mind I NEVER, NOT ONCE asked him how his no-arms situation came to be.

I told him scornfully,

"I am NOT taking you to work!"

The End.

So when I had this dream, I woke up all of a sudden in the breathy gaspy way people do when they have just come out of a nightmare.

It woke Monte up 
(or maybe I shook him awake, I can't remember).

When I recounted the dream to him, he squeezed me into a hug,

"Aww, I couldn't hug you if I didn't have arms."

I know. A real sweetheart.

But I was still mad.

"Seriously, I would NOT take you to work everyday. What a pain!"

I know. I am so NOT a sweetheart.

Did I mention I was about Day 3 into a no-sugar diet?

Does that help you in your judgement of me a little teensy bit?

I am better with candy corn.

Or jelly beans.

That's just a fact.

Here is another dream I had fairly recently:

Does your neck hurt yet? Don't say anything about my hippo.


Yes, Ellie and I were on a jet ski and there was a hippo chasing us. I was really scared. 
(Even though I, for some strange reason, drew a smile on myself in the picture).

I was scared because during one of Ellie's "Fun Facts'" at dinner, she told us that a hippo could snap an alligator in half with the strength of its jaws.

Yeouch!

So I woke up Monte with that one too.

And I told Carisa about it.

So she sent me this. 
 With this:

"Remind you of anything? I think his jet ski stalled."

It made me laugh and gave me the shudder shakes a little too.

Check out the meanish look in that hippo's eyes!

So now I want to see someone else's dreams in pictures.

Try it and send them to me!




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ellie's Dream

Day #21 of 31 Days of Storytelling

My youngest daughter Ellie, had a dream this summer about my mom.

It was so vivid that she drew it out so we could email it to my mom, Mimi, to the girls.

In her dream, my mom was on one of those tall diving platforms.

I should mention that this was during the Olympics. 

My girls really got into the diving events because a local girl, Abby Johnston, won the silver medal in synchronized diving.

Abby is on the right.

Back to the dream.

Not only was Mimi on one of those tall diving platforms, she was in a circular machine that spins you around and upside down.

I am not sure which way is up.

Mimi is, obviously, dizzy.

Don't you love her dizzy symbols?

But Mimi presses on and dives.

Good form, Mimes!

She goes for the tuck and flip.



Not sure why, but there is an ending pose. 
Isn't that more gymnastics than diving?
You know, because of the water?

Mimi sticking her ending pose…on top of the water.

But it isn't my dream.


Recap:




My mom loved the ambitious confidence Ellie had in her physical abilities.

I loved seeing a dream drawn out.

I want to do it now.

I have some good ones.

I can just see them on paper.

Stay tuned.