Friday, January 29, 2010

Brag Time

One of the joys of parenting is the right to brag.  Is it right to brag?  I don't know.  Is it fun to brag...heck yeah!  So here is my brag session.

First up is Emily....she is a very creative young lady.  Like us bloggers, she gets writing prompts.  Except she gets graded on hers.  The latest prompt she had to do was using descriptive powers.  The first paragraph originally started like this: The girl looked out.  She could tell she was not on earth.  She saw stuff.  The paragraph continues in that fashion.  Her job is to dress it up.  And so she did...

Arlene looked out at the moon.  She could tell that she was not on earth.  She saw toys, video games, papers, pencils.  She even saw the Statue of Liberty.  Everything on earth was floating by.  Every statue was making faces and every doll was dressing itself up.  Arlene could smell something very stinky.  She could hear a voice calling Kayla.  Kayla!  The voice made her think about what was probably happening at her house, was her mom calling for her sister to dinner?  Then she felt a tap on her shoulder.  Suddenly she realized that she was not alone.  Her mom was there with her telling her to wake up.  Arlene woke up and was back in her room.

How is that for descriptive power?  It kind of makes you wonder what I have been putting in her food doesn't it?    She has made lots of progress in a very short amount of time.  I am very pleased with all of her efforts!

Which brings me to my next bit of bragging rights....for the third semester in a row, Kristin has made honor roll!!!!  We are so very pleased with her as well.  This year has been a big struggle for her, academically and socially.  She is still finding her ground, but I believe in the end she will land gracefully and firmly where she wants to be! 
Congrats to you both!!  You rock my world!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Lady Evelyn sat next to her husband.  He lie in the bed, weak, thin and ashen.  It wouldn't be long now.  She took his hand.  His eyes opened.  He looked at her, but she couldn't see him anymore.  He was gone.  He searched her eyes trying to remember who she was.

"Evelyn" he whispered.  A tear trickled down her cheek.
"Yes, my dear." she whispered back.  He looked at her.  She saw him.  He was there.  He knew her.  He was safe.  He was gone.   She turned away as if it would make it all go away.  In the door way stood her two young girls;  Zel and Ana.  Ana cradled the family cat in her arms.  They knew.  Evelyn rose to her full height, pulled up her shoulders and drew in a breath.  She took one step.  Zel and Ana came crashing into her.  She dropped to her knees and wept with them.

One Year Later

Evelyn met and married a widower.  He was a lot like her late husband.  He was kind, generous, and very handsome.  He had a single daughter.  Her name was Cinderella.  She was her mother in miniature he would say.  Beautiful blonde hair, that curled loosely about her shoulders.  Bright blue eyes and a smile that made him weak.

"You give in too easily" she would scold.  Her own daughters were not without his favor.  Zel shared his love of books,  and Ana was as tough as they come.  It didn't matter that she was nearly half the size of Zel and Cinderella she had all that much more spunk.  Both Zel and Ana were beautiful too.  And like their father they were kind.  Like their mother they were strong.

Cinderella was kind, as long as Daddy or "Step"mother, as she called her, were around.  She gave extra emphasis to the word "Step" as if to imply that Evelyn wasn't worthy of any other title.  She would lock Leonardo, the family cat, up in the cupboard.  She hated him.  She called him Lucifer.  After all, he was 'the devil himself."  She would give the girls sour looks whenever she could.  She would steal their best dresses.  She would make them clean her room and make her bed.  She told them if they tattled her father would lock THEM in the cupboard.  And if Zel and Ana ever did manage to get her back, it usually landed all three of them being punished.  Which left them in worse trouble with Cinderella.  It was just easier to let her be mean and bossy.

Over the course of the next three years, Cinderella's demands and torment became worse and worse.  All the while, Zel and Ana smiling and remaining ever kind and gracious just as their mother and father had always taught them.

It was when Cinderella's father died, that things began to change.  Cinderella had to help with all the chores.  Cinderella, just like Zel and Ana, had to wear old and repaired dresses because money was scarce.  She complained and lamented on and on about having to do any kind of work.  She would dirty extra dishes when it was not her turn to do them, track mud in the house after one of her "step" sisters had cleaned.  And she would take great pleasure in making clothes extras dirty whenever it was their turn to wash.

One day an announcement was made.  An announcement for all young maidens to attend the Princes Ball.  Ana and Zel worked tirelessly on their dresses.  Cinderella also worked on a dress for herself.  She had one that belonged to her mother.  Her mother had taught her to sew.  She pulled out the gown.  It was a stunning silver and blue gown.  It just needed some minor repairs and alterations.  She found her mother's jewels and shoes to match the dress.

"Too bad your dresses aren't really fit for a ball." she sneered at Zel and Ana.  Ana still being small in stature, stood on her tip toes and wasn't eye level even then to Cinderella.
"My dress is just as fit as any and more.  It is that way, because I made it from nothing.  Yours is a hand-me-down!" She spat.  Zel tried to look as if she didn't approve, but she couldn't stop the smile that stole ever so slightly across her lips.

Cinderella's eyes blazed with fury.  This was no hand me down.  It was an heirloom.  A treasure.  Her breathing became shallow and her cheeks flamed up.  In an instant she grabbed Ana's dress and tore it straight down the front; making it impossible to repair before the ball.
"You're right,"she said in cool voice.  "Your dress IS made from nothing." with that she turned on her heal and left.

Ana tried to stop the hot stinging tears from coming, but she couldn't.  Zel gathered her up in her arms.  "Don't worry Ana,"she soothed.  "I'll repair it.  You can still go."
"No Zel,"Ana sobbed.  "There isn't time.  Just go.  Please."
"No!" She said firmly.  "We will both go.!"  Through her tears, Ana gave her sister a puzzling look.  Zel merely smiled.  She grabbed some lace from the fabric pile and some beads and trim.  She worked quickly, and with Ana still in the dress.  Right before her eyes, Zel had transformed the tear into a charming v-shaped opening.  It was delicate and lovely.  It was perfect.

The ball was magical.  The Prince danced with every single young lady there.  He even danced with Cinderella, though anyone could see he was not at all impressed with her.  Even her outer beauty couldn't hide what lurked below.  It was Ana, the Prince was most interested in.  Every chance he got he would talk to her.  And every chance SHE got Cinderella wedged herself between them.  But it didn't matter, because the Prince never noticed.  His eyes were set on Ana.  He had noticed her the moment she she arrived.  She stood out above the rest.  And she wasn't afraid of anything.  He marveled at that. 

Cinderella could stand it no longer.  Her fists were closed tight at her sides and her teeth were clinched.  "What is wrong with you!?" she shrieked.  "Can't you see how plain she is?  Can't you see how beautiful I am!?"

The Prince, fully unabashed by her tirade, simply said, "While  you are quite easy on the eyes, it is only for a moment.  On Ana the eyes must linger for there is so much more to her than her outward beauty.  One must contemplate her for a time in order to only begin to understand and fully appreciate the beauty within."

For the first time in her life, Cinderella felt small, ugly, and cruel.  She hung her head in shame.  For a long time she could not speak.  She couldn't look at anyone.  She could only stare at the marbled floor.  It was quickly blurred by stinging tears.

"Ana..."she whispered as she drew her head up.  "Can you ever forgive me?"  She bit her lip as she waited for Ana to respond.

"There is nothing to forgive, sister." Ana said softly as she took Cinderella's hand in hers.  In that moment, a pin could have dropped and the whole palace would have known it.  In that moment, Cinderella was quite beautiful.


Ana married The Prince, as everyone guessed would happen that first night.  Zel married a Duke.  Cinderella never forgot the special gifts the Prince and Ana gave her that night.  It forever changed her, and she and her humble husband taught their beautiful children what beauty really meant.

The End

This UNFairy Tale was brought to you by Mama Kat's weekly writing prompts.

3.) Gregory MaGuire (author of books like Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister) is wildly popular right now (as is the musical Wicked). Write your own “re telling” of a classic fairy tale.


Picture of the Day

January 2003

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lost and Found

I am forever losing misplacing things.  I have designated homes for certain things.  My purse is kept by my table next to the couch.  Sometimes I am so tired after grocery shopping, that I might set it on a chair at the kitchen table; only to search frantically for it a few hours later.

My cell phone normally resides in my purse.  My purse is a black hole.  So naturally when I went looking for my phone I assumed my purse had swallowed it.  I even went as far as to dump the entire contents therein.  Alas, it was a vein attempt.  I had already looked through my clutter neatly arranged stacks that are perfectly organized...what?  *ahem*  I called the darn thing.  Now, I will admit my hearing isn't so great, but even on the low setting I can hear it loud and clear.  I paced around the house, looked in odd places.  I even looked in the freezer.  Come on who hasn't put something where it doesn't belong???  I asked Ryan.  He said he had not seen it.  I have to take this at face value and move on.

Next I did the unthinkable!  I cleaned my car out!  And lo and behold, I found...a 96 fluid ounce jug of Hawaiian Punch.  This jug had me baffled a few weeks back when I had come home from a Wally trip and couldn't find it.  How does anyone lose a 96 ounce jug of juice anyway???  I gave up a long time ago.  And yesterday while cleaning and searching for my phone I found it.  I had to laugh about that.  It was under the consul between the front seats.  Now why didn't I look there in the first place?  As for the phone, I still was coming up empty.  But hey, the car was again clean.

After that, I decided that my couch must have eaten it.  This couch eats pens, cars, remotes, keys and phones.  We tip it every so often and find oodles of lost treasures.  So Rich said we would tip it when he got home.  In the meantime, I continued my search...

FOUND:  Ryan's tie, a prescription (yikes, this is for my migraines!) and corn bag for heating--they are awesome btw-- Does this happen to you.  You are desperately trying to find something, and in your mad search you find a whole bunch of other crap you gave up on months ago???

Kristin, not knowing my phone was MIA, called me as she always does when school lets out.  Of course I didn't answer.  So she called my mom to find out why I wasn't answering my phone.  Luckily, I had taken Rich's phone so she would know I was there and other than my phone being gone FOREVER life was good.  It was then that my mom called Kristin and informed her that my nephew had found my phone.

It turns out, when I was at my mom's the day before the thing had fallen out of my pocket and got eaten by HER couch!!!  My nephew thought he was headed for the looney bin because he kept hearing strange music.  He was glad to know he was not losing his mind and I was glad to have my lifeline back.  

What have you lost and found?  Do you put things in strange places and wonder who took them?  Do you tear up the house trying to find something and find ten other things that you thought were long gone?  What are you looking for?

This is actually from last week, but presently my camera is out of batteries.  And no, I didn't lose them.  ;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Almost Official

After 4 months of eye rolling, loud exhaling, scanning this, signing that, emailing here, emailing there, pulling old files, scrambling with money it is finally about to pay off!  We have been renting our home for a little over two years now.  Our Landlords are truly the best people a person could do business with.  They have known for a while we were in the market to buy; so it just made sense to them(and to us) that they short sell the house to us.  It's been a ride!  A ride that I would so like to get off.  And I can finally see the end is near.

Originally, we were supposed to close on Jan. 15th, but due to some delays with the appraiser and the lending company, we are now closing at the end this week.   Our loan documents arrived yesterday and we had the notary over to sit with us as we signed, and signed, and signed, and signed.  I was told about that big old stack of paper by many people.  I still stared when I saw it.  I had to ask how many pages it was.

"They are usually anywhere from 100 to 300 pages." she said.  She studied our stack for a minute.  "This is probably around 150.  Now we didn't have to sign every single page.  But I would ventures to guess we signed or initialed 95% of what was there.  By the end she changed her mind an estimated that it was probably closer to 200.  It took us 90 minutes to get through it all.  And laugh if you must, but I was getting anxious because the clock was ticking!  It was Monday night and 24 was about to start!!!  I can't miss that.  As soon as it was over, I quickly printed 16 more pages of a totally separate document to be signed, scanned and sent back.  I am waiting and waiting to go to escrow and close once and for all!!  And now I know, it's almost finished. 

Signed sealed and delivered.  (this is our stack to keep)

Monday, January 25, 2010

For Monday

I have a question...well this week I have two.  And they have absolutely nothing to do with each other.  Let's begin...

Last night we had a power failure.  Our whole street was dark.  Ryan kind of freaked out.  We lit candles, which I found out in CA is a no-no.  Why?  Because this is earthquake country people.  Makes sense.  I digress.  My question is this:  is it just me, or do you turn on the light when you go to the bathroom?  There is no power.  What possess the mind to think it will turn on?  We played improv games and had snacks.  It was then I remembered....duh we have a fireplace.  So I had Rich open the flue and get it going.  At the very second the fire lit (it's a gas fireplace) the lights came on.  I kept the fire place ablaze.  It was nice and toasty.  We survived without TV and computers for over an hour!  The family of geeks!!


Last week, I took Kristin and Emily to the doctor.  In the waiting room, I found a magazine to entertain me.  It was mostly fluff.  Articles and pictures of celebrity "fashion."  Some of them have fantastic taste, while others...well if you or I wore something like that we would be on the website known as: People of Wal-Mart. 

In this magazine, I saw an article for a TV show on MTV, yeah I know this should have been my first clue.  Anyone besides me, who remembers this:  I want my MTV!  And they played MUSIC ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT???  I digress(again) This show is called:  Teen Mother.  Yes...TEEN MOTHER.  The featured "mother" a young girl with her daughter.  Mom was looking so beautiful.  Hair all nice, made up nice, nice clothes etc.  Baby was also looking sweet as ever in a cute baby girl outfit.  I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  My thoughts whirled around dismay.  What better way to glamorize teen pregnancy than to make a documentary on MTV!? 

All right, you can't judge a book by its cover.  But this IS MTV.  So I did what any (somewhat) computer savvy mom would do.  I googled it.  Google is good and bad.  This time it was good.  I was led right to the source, complete with episodes and clips.  I watched an episode.  You can watch it here, if you like.  Here is my humble opinion. 

First of all, maybe it was just me, but it was boring.  It dragged on too much.  It chronicles 4 girls and their struggle to put their life back in order.  It really focused more on them and what THEY are doing.  The babies were with them, and they showed concern and love for them.  Only one I actually found to be getting it together.  I think her name is Amber.  She loves her daughter, cares for her and is showing an effort to make it work. 

But all this is doing is telling girls, see, it's okay.  You can do things to make it work.  So go ahead and get pregnant.  That is MY opinion.  These are little girls.  My daughter is THREE years away from the youngest in the batch.  It scares the HELL out of me.  What is your take on this?  Does it glamorize it?  Or does it make it a harsh reality.  Should we make our own documentary of teen mothers who have toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children.  Who are still so very young, but have children while their friends have graduated high school and college and are just starting their lives?  Am I being over dramatic here?  Speak your mind. I really want to know.

Pictures from the Weekend

Our time for tots(and big kids too) a la Emmy!

Rice Krispy Treats!  Yum.

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