Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why We Don't Send Holiday Photo Cards

I thought it would be fabulous to get a quick photo of the young herd on Thanksgiving. I asked them all to take a seat on the hearth and smile.

It seemed so simple.

Smile. That is not a smile, Tuna. 

Put your hand down, Rough Stuff. 

Son, really? 

No, that's not funny. 

Why are you doing that? 


Little people! Look at me! Smile!

This is not that hard. 

Look AT ME!

Yeah, now The Boy is bored. 

Look up, Son. Put the phone down. 

If y'all would cooperate...

NO! Sit down! 

Rough Stuff! Smile!

Little Bean, (sigh) sit up straight!

For reals? Bean?

Why was that so hard?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Party # 67: Under the Sea

With the youngest member of the herd turning 9, I can feel the cutesy theme parties slipping away. Maybe I'll get to do a few more...maybe. I wasn't taking any chances though. I was determined to make this party awesome.

I started a few weeks ago. I ordered party supplies. I made coral from dyed coffee filters. I covered suckers with tissue paper and twisted on little pipe cleaner legs; glued on wiggly eyes and made them into octopuses. Or octopi. Merriam Webster is undecided. I put together 24 adorable little party favor bags and tied them up with curling ribbon, a seashell strung from each one. I put all of the party supplies on the hearth.

And then...

We returned home one evening to a massacre. 

The dog sniffed out the fun-size candy bars tucked into each party favor and shredded the bags to retrieve them. He ate 20 candy bars, wrapper and all, and in the process he crunched the bubble containers and soaked everything in bubble solution and slobber. 

So, with just a few days before the party, we started over. It became a group effort. We picked up some ocean-themed favors and a new set of treat bags. I stuffed them Friday night and The Boy and his girlfriend tied them with ribbon just minutes before the party. All's well that ends well, right? (Shaking my fist at the dog.)  

We covered the dining room with water-print paper and hung crepe paper seaweed to set a very under-the-sea mood. 

Set out a few fishy thrift store finds...

The Big Guy made some jelly fish, a la dyed coffee filters and plastic table cloth strips...

And he painted a boat bottom to hang from the ceiling so we could truly feel under the sea 

I baked and frosted cupcakes (20 minutes before the party started) and we were all set!

Little Bean said it was the best birthday party ever. 

What more could a mother ask for?

(Shaking my fist at the dog.)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Shaking My Head

It goes without saying, I'm sure, that with 5 kids in the herd I often see things in the house that leave me shaking my head. Always, when I see such a sight, a little voice in my head says "don't ask." But then I do.

Twice this week I encountered such a scenario.

This was the first:

Why, yes. Yes. That is a pot full of rocks. I found it on the kitchen island after all of the kids had gone to school. 

The second scenario was much more disturbing:

I was somewhat mortified. "The child responsible for this might need some sort of therapy" I thought, as I stood shaking my head. 

These things were not cause for alarm with the children. Not at all. The Boy, it turns out, pilfered some rocks from the local creek. (I hear the distant echo of Leave No Trace camp lessons floating on the wind.) He boiled them for his fiddler crabs to hide under in the aquarium. Makes perfect sense. I was worried we were having stone soup for dinner. He even used an old, rusted pot. Sweet boy. 

And the unclothed doll strung up from a tree branch?

No worries. The girls were making a video production. That's Miley on her wrecking ball. 

Huh. That was not my first impression.

Shaking my head. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Polite Dinner Conversation

We sat down as a family at the dinner table and as we typically do, we started a round-table discussion where everyone takes a turn sharing. The Boy is in college and rarely joins us for dinner. I was anxious to hear what he would share. Big mistake. Huge.

The Big Guy: Hey! Let's talk about what you did at school today.

The Boy: I cut open a frog brain. It was epic. It looked like...

Everyone: Euww! Cough...gag...sputter...

New family rule: No talk about zoology class at the dinner table.