Some mornings it takes a little bit of extra coffee and sunshine to get my confidence going. Other mornings it takes an army of awesomeness to prove I can handle whatever the day has in store. Most mornings my mojo is inspired by the fact that I have to get my minions moving and on the bus.
Last week I ambitiously tried to open a new bottle of vitamins. The vitamins were recommended by my friend Emily and I was excited to see if they would help boost energy and assist in keeping focus as my exhausted brain faced another week of grading, parenting, and farming.
The problem was the cotton was stuck. I did not have the mental or physical dexterity to remove the stupid cotton ball from the bottle. As the sun had not risen yet and my coffee had not brewed, I was not sure I had the capacity to get to those vitamins. I was stuck in in my self-doubt (and cotton). In fact, I was so stuck; I video recorded myself trying to get the dumb old cotton out of the bottle.
With just a bit of persistence (and a fork), I was able to free the cottong and try out my new vitamins. Continue reading “Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt”
Elf Spotting and the Trouble that Follows (Reblogged from 2016)
Three years ago Chippy the elf showed up on our front porch. He made his magical appearance after my sweet daughter wrote a letter to Santa asking for one of his handy helpers to visit our home.
My husband and I were leery about this new holiday watchman but went with it. I mean how much trouble could one elf be???
After three years the magic of Chippy is alive and well, if you consider daily wrestling matches and crying fits over who found him first to be magical.
Seriously! Everyday there is a tremendous tumult over who finds Chippy first. It is so magical I need stronger coffee in the morning and extra melatonin at night to get past all the Christmas spirit his presence brings.
That silly elf has brought more trouble than I could have imagined, but he has also brought some humor to some pretty angry situations.
For example: In the middle of one of their daily brawls, my daughter yelled out, “Get off my hair. Chippy sees you and he is going to tell Santa.” My son replied, “Good! Maybe Santa will bring you a new brush for your messy hair,” and continued torturing my little girl’s curls. The elf just kept smiling. Continue reading “Elf Spotting …continued”
Teaching the art of joke-telling is a healthy and happy way to develop communication skills.
Every week I share a joke with the 1st and 2nd graders at our school library. The students keep a journal of the jokes and their answers. I also always invite the students to share jokes of their own.
The 2nd grade teacher recently thanked me for getting the kids excited about reading, in particular for their excitement about reading joke and riddle books. She said, “They just can’t get enough jokes or joke books. It’s fun to see them laugh and try to tell the jokes.” It is great to see my silly habit of sharing jokes is contagious.
When kids tell jokes, they are able to laugh at themselves and their message. Too often kids are hounded with seriousness. If we can use humor to educate and provide experience, we can inspire happier learners.
I have given speeches and had opportunities to be a public speaker for most of my life. When I started public speaking in 5th or 6th grade, I learned that the best trick for breaking the ice was to tell a joke first.
- If you can tell a joke, and tell it well, you can speak to anyone.
- If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, you can communicate a message.
- If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, AND make your audience laugh when you want them to, you can communicate anything.
Continue reading “Don’t Knock Jokes – Funny Friday”
All the cool kids are making slime (this according to my kids). Why do the “cool” things have to be disgusting?
So as to avoid social disgrace for my children, I decided we would make slime this summer. When searching my go-to source Pinterest, I found like 10,000 results (this may be an exaggeration) for “make slime.” That’s A LOT of slime.
After a failed attempt at purchasing the right contact solution, I purchased the correct
These are the ingredients for the solution that worked.
solution and we were off to the slimy races.
Because I refused to put much more money into slime creation, Dollar Tree was my source for white glue. They have two bottles for $1.00. (I bought 4 bottles.)
For fear of failing again, I memorized the four-ingredient recipe and laid out our slime supplies. It took my kids longer to fight over what color slime each would make than it did to create the concoction.
Step 1: I let each child pour 1/2 bottle of glue into a bowl. (recipe called for a full bottle)
Step 2: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into the glue. (My kids love leveling off the baking soda under the lid of the box.)
Step 3: Add and mix in desired food coloring (If you are me, this is where you add food coloring to your grocery list.) Continue reading “Slimy Sensation”
For Easter my son received a dino egg from his godparents. Within minutes of receiving the egg, it was in a bucket of water and surrounded by eight anxious children.
This particular egg was one that advertised to hatch within 12-24 hours so long as it remained fully covered in water. The directions advised to keep the water temperature below 99 degrees and above 32 degrees. No problem, right?
Well, the dinosaur hatched within the 24 hour time period (with only a little help from the kids) 😉
It was a beautiful triceratops. My son named her Peaches because of her peachy tone. She was our newest prized possession. Once the kids could no longer stand the torture of watching her grow in the bucket of water, out she came. (The directions suggested leaving the dinosaur in water for up to 36 hours for full growth.)
When we traveled to my grandmother’s to celebrate Easter, Peaches came along for the ride. Everything was great until it was time to hunt Easter eggs. As I stood up, my foot struck something under my chair and water sloshed onto the floor. What the heck?
I looked in the plastic bucket and saw what looked like Peaches, but not really. When I touched “Peaches,” she disintegrated between my fingers. It was really, really gross. The water was hot and the dinosaur was not. Continue reading “Hatching Dinosaurs”
Walking Between the Drops
The ability to walk between rain drops was a mystery explained to me in the 5th grade. Only angels can walk between the drops.
Between the church and elementary school I attended, there was a parking lot. On Tuesday and Friday mornings, all of the school children attended mass. On rainy days we would dash across that parking lot from school to church and back again.
From underneath the overhang of the rectory, Msgr. Huels used to taunt us with, “Only angels can walk between the drops.”
I never understood the meaning behind this jeer, but I knew I really wanted to be able to walk between those rain drops. I was secretly scared of Monsignor. His gravely voice and demeanor intimidated me.
In the spring of my 5th grade year, one of my classmates (who was not afraid) returned Monsignor’s taunt with, “Nobody can walk between the drops!”
I didn’t want to get wet, but I was also too scared to move away from the scene.
The growlly voice of the old priest snapped, “Those rain drops tell me who the little devils are.” Continue reading “Walking Between the Drops”
Tick Stuck – Something Special from My Son
Upon entering the house Monday after school, my son threw down his backpack, rummaged around for two small pieces of paper, and promptly waved them very closely to my face.
“Mom, look! One of them is really special.”
Here is what was on the two slips of papers:
Slip #1: A treasure chest full of stickers for making good choices
Slip #2: A note from the school nurse with a tick taped to it; The note stated, “Removed tick from head, sent back to class; tick attached”
Can you see my conundrum? Which of these slips of paper was the “really special one” in the eyes of my six year old?
In my infinite mommy wisdom, I said, “Wow, buddy, that is so much awesomeness! Which one do you think is more special?”
His reply, “The treasure chest. The tick was just stuck in my head, so the 8th grade teacher helped me get it out, and then they taped it to the paper. Can I go outside?”
Well, there you have it.
My son valued his success in making good choices over a parasite. I am Mom of the Year! Continue reading “Tick Stuck – Something Special from My Son”
Whatever Blows Your Bubble
Walking through the home improvement store this morning, my son and I passed two ladies discussing what flowers one of them should plant in her flower bed. When the first lady had made her choice, the second lady commented, “Whatever Blows Your Bubble.”
My son laughed. I was inspired.
Frequently I have heard, “Whatever floats your boat,” or, “Whatever suits your fancy,” but I don’t remember ever hearing, “Whatever Blows Your Bubble.”
It was a gorgeous spring day. I had the privilege of having a “Mommy Day” with my six year old and I accomplished a great many things on my to-do list. My happiness bubble was feeling quite full.
When I was five, I remember learning how to blow a bubble and how the excitement grew as the bubbles got bigger. (I also remember peeling bubble gum out of my hair, but that is for another post.) Blowing bubbles was one of those things the “big kids” did, and, when I could finally blow a bubble, I felt like I was something special. Continue reading “Whatever Blows Your Bubble”
Why is it “easy as pie”? Pies are stressful!
Pies are easy to eat…they are not as easy to make.
With spring comes the start of church picnic season. My small, country parish has our spring chicken dinner this weekend. Each family is asked to bring homemade bread and baked goods for the meal and to sell at the Country Store. I enjoy baking and eating the desserts, but sometimes making them takes away from their sweetness.
Making the crust is a great stress reliever. First you kneed and roll the dough and get out all your frustrations, but then you have to get that beautiful crust into the pan with out making any holes in it. (Stupid holes!) Once the crust is filled with fruity goodness, you have to make your top crust look just right, because you know the ladies working the dessert table are going to judge you on your crust designing skills. (Judge lest ye be judged, ladies!)
The dessert table ladies aren’t the biggest concern though. What if your pie isn’t pretty enough for anyone to buy at the Country Store? Continue reading “Why is it “easy as pie”? Pies are stressful!”
So I accidentally ate some chocolate…
I have established clear and determined intent to abstain from chocolate. It is Lent and I LOVE chocolate so it is the one thing I purposefully give up each year.
TWICE! TWICE! I have inadvertently eaten chocolate in the first 7 days of Lent. Aaauuuggghhhh!
My first infraction came with lunch on Ash Wednesday (of all the days!). I opened my yogurt while checking emails and scarfed it down. (I was really hungry from abstaining.) Then I turned to eat my peanut butter sandwich and realized that, I, in my state of “starvation,” ate a yogurt with chocolate and coconut. I felt so guilty! I didn’t even allow myself to each chocolate on the following Sunday (The one day a week that we are allowed to indulge during Lent) because of my guilt.
My second mistaken consumption occurred this Wednesday. Hubby and a crew of guys were pouring concrete for our new porch steps. I thought it would be nice to make lunch and treat them with cookies. I opened a tub of cookie dough and started scooping. Before placing the first dough ball on the cookie sheet, I did what I always do for “quality control;” I tasted the cookie dough. IT WAS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH!
My guilt was unbearable! I was supposed to be sacrificing. Jesus DIED for us and I can’t go 7 days without chocolate. Oh my goodness! Continue reading “So I accidentally ate some chocolate…”