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Showing posts from October, 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 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!
Then last night McDaniel gave me a, "Hey, Mom, could you…" 
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.
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 costum…

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:

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.
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).
You can't te…

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 steppin…

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."…

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

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.

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

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…

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: 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 dress…

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,

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 f…

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.
She isn't looking for something. 
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 …

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.
That's an entirely different level of not trusting clowns.
Recently, we have encountered several clowns.

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.

Then the next week we had a Harvest Fest at church (yes, the very one where Monte whacked the hangy-down thing on m…

My Dreams In Pictures

Day #22 of 31 Days of Storytelling


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:

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.

What do you think this picture means?

Do you feel like y…

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.

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.

Mimi is, obviously, dizzy.
But Mimi presses on and dives.

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?
But it isn't my dream.


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.