The Cool Kids

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fly on the Wall- September!

Hey there!  Welcome to the September Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 14 awesome bloggers and I are describing what it would be like if you were to take a peek inside our homes....

Have a "look" around mine, and then go visit the other blogger's pages. There's always something fun, sentimental, or better yet, embarrassing going on. It's like your house, only we're admitting to the craziness. You have our permission. Get in there!

The man
A., the eldest (daughter, 19)
C., The middle (son, 15)
J., The youngest (son, 8)
Our dogs: Lila and Henry


A., seeing the first NFL game of the season on TV, sighs: "Let me guess, there will be no going outside of this house until February?"
The man: "You can go out if you're going to get chips."

J. (bringing up the newspaper to his father): "Let's make our picks."
Dad agrees and starts marking up the paper with our initials.
The man: "Ok, who do you pick, the Lions or the Cardinals?"
Me: "The Lions of course. Don't you see my shirt? Don't you see Lila?"
The man: "So is your pick about pride or points?"
Me: "Both. I'm going (as always) with Detroit."
The man and J. look at each other and simultaneously say "Cardinals."
Traitors. (Cardinals win by 4) Boo.

Our own After School Special:

C. (has a few of his friends over after school)  "Mom!"
Me: "What?"
C. What's with all this fall stuff?
Me: (thinking to myself, 'If you're trying to show off in front of your friends, I'm going to beat you'.) " I worked hard putting that stuff' up. What's the matter with it?"
C. (in a smart a** voice) "Mom, I take pride at my procrastinating. I proudly say I get that from you. You know it always works for us. It's like 7 days before Fall. What am I supposed to do with that pride? What am I supposed to believe in now?"
Me: (looking over at the boys, who are clearly confused at our sarcasm) "Don't let C. fool you. This is all from last year. In 7 days this will all make sense. See, C., procrastination does pay off."


C. (leaving with those same friends) : "Bye Mom. I'll be home by six."
Me: "Okay, be safe. Make good choices."
C. "Is selling drugs a good choice?"
Me: "I don't know. Are they my drugs? Do I get a cut?"
I wonder if I'll see his friends again.

Tech Geeks:

The youngest has decided he wants to be an automobile modifier when he grows up.
J. : (on the computer) "Look, I'm modifying your car. The doors are going to go up backwards. I think it will be able to fly if you honk the horn. I'm going to modify it to have the seats made of bacon..."
Me: "You know what would be cool? If the seats turned around and a flat screen came out of the back. Then we could watch movies right in the car!"
J. "Um, I don't think that's very realistic, Mom. You have a really small car."
For those of you with iPhones, yesterday was a big day. iOS7 updates were available. Don't ask me what that means, but everyone was pretty excited. The eldest updated my phone and showed me hers while mine was doing its thing. 
Me: "What's the big deal? Is it faster? Does it hold more data? Is messaging easier?"
A. : "Yeah, Yeah, mom. It's all great. Check this out..."
She pushes the button and SIRI answers.
A.: "Siri, What is my name?"
Siri: (In her creepy voice,) "You're name is A., but you asked me to call you 'Super Master-Ultra-Mega-Princess-Buttercup-Wonder-Buns, The destructionator Mega-Master Druglord, 101."
The phone calls her that, every time she asks.
Yes, people. That is a smart phone being put to good use.

Home School, Old School:

Homeschooling the youngest has been a process, for sure. He is studying along with an online program called K12. I like it because it has a nice schedule, J. likes it because his online teacher is cute and has a good singing voice. It's amazing how he misbehaves one minute with me and the next, he's angelic with his teacher via Skype. All in all, we're finding a rhythm. A huge help has been my mother in law, who retired from teaching last year. Every Friday, she has taken J. for a field trip. They've been to the museum, the state fair and the zoo. Pretty awesome if you ask me. J. is allowed to count any field trip time as school. If he is at the museum, for example, that counts for art. If he's at the zoo, it can count for science. This got me thinking...
Could these ideas count as well?

Going to the dollar store for Circus Peanuts and Red Vines = Math
Folding Laundry+Sorting socks =Math
Baking cookies= Science
Reading the ticker on CNN (mom can't see that far) = Reading
Endless skill-building possibilities, my friends.
J. and I were huddled together in a booth at Denney's.
A mom and her children walked up to us.
The Mom: "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice you two. Are you homeschooling your son too?"
I nodded yes, waiting for her next comment.
"We are just over at this table. We come to practice our Language Arts. We're studying predicates today."
Me (still nodding). "We came here to read, too. And eat".
The Mom: "Well it's nice to meet you."
Me: "You too. Perhaps we'll see you again..."
She goes back to her table and I look at J., who is still on my phone. He looks up and shows me the screen:
J: "So if you just clash these two wrapped candies together, that should get you to the next level of Candy Crush".
Yeah. Homeschool Rocks.

Thanks once again for stopping by, and to the Fly's AMAZING creator, Karen @ Baking In a Tornado, aka "The Blogging Original", for hosting this challenge! Would you like to join in the next FLY challenge? Click on the FLY button on my side bar. Karen will more than take care of you.

Take a look at what the other bloggers have going on inside their homes. Go on! Leave them a comment. You know you want to...

Baking in a Tornado                                    
Just a Little Nutty                                
Follow Me Home                          
Stacey Sews and Schools               
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                              
Menopausal Mother                   
Moore Organized Mayhem            
The Insomniac's Dream                              
The Momisodes                                      
Spatulas on Parade                      
Searching for Sanity                     
The Rowdy Baker                                 
Writer B is Me                        

Get out and enjoy the beautiful colors if you can. Soon, it will be too cold to move :(

Happy Weekend, friends,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Secret Subject Swap- September!

Hey-O September!! It's time for the SSS!

If you're a regular reader, you know that the Secret Subject Swap is a collaboration between various bloggers. We receive secret topics from a blogger in an e-mail and put our own spin on the subjects. The 12 blogs participating this time are listed at the end of this post. Go have a look and leave a comment. It will make my our day! :)

Your “Secret Subject” is:  
You think your home is haunted by kind and gentle spirits, what do you do?
It was submitted by: Karen@  Please check her out! She is working on an "Organized Blog Hop" right now. Who doesn't need a little organization?

The truth is, my home IS haunted by kind and gentle spirits!

I always say my house was built by angels; angels I was lucky enough to know...

My family was meant to move here, to Utah. I was meant to get a job at the school I did, and meet people who became invaluable parts of my world. I met "J." at that school. She was a master teacher who taught in the classroom next to mine. I was a terrified newbie, but she was willing to take me under her wing.

"Under her wing" is actually an understatement. She and her husband, "G." (also an educator) took my husband, daughter, and me into their arms. "J." mentored me. She traveled with me to association meetings, clubs and dinners. "G." joked with my husband about having wives with too much teacher "stuff". They bonded over computers and food. Our "adopted-parents" babysat and advised us on everything from how to get a mortgage to the importance of going on vacations.

"J." filled a void I didn't know I needed. I've written this paragraph over and over. I can't give justice to the gifts and lessons I received from her. She sat with me when I was frustrated and praised me when I needed it.  I was eating gravy-fries with her in a diner when she told me I had an old-soul and that we were meant to be friends.

Then there were the personal blessings. When I was pregnant with my first son, "J." left tiny baby gifts in my school mailbox every day. She sat with me after the births of both of my sons. I had a hard pregnancy with our youngest; "J." came to stay with me for a week after he was born. She and her husband watched our children while we sat with a dying grandmother. "J." also held me like a baby while I cried over losing another. My children called her "Grandma". I don't think I'll ever understand how someone who was a stranger just years before could hold such unconditional love for my little family.

In 2003, "G." tragically passed away. In 2009, "J."died unexpectedly. Their passings are someone else's story to tell, but both left us shocked and numb. I still have a hard time believing they're not here.

When I was first hired to teach ('96,) I took my daughter to a daycare near the school. I remember driving through the neighborhood and wishing we could afford a home of our own. One of the most beautiful houses was one next door to the daycare. It turns out, the house was built the year my husband was born. More fateful? It was built by "G." for "J." and their two children.

11 years and three families later, the house was for sale. We were finally at a point where we could afford our forever home. My husband and I went to "J." to ask for her blessing to buy the house. Though she didn't have any ties to it, we wanted her to know. She was thrilled. In October of 2007 we were able to move in. "J." visited and walked us through, telling us what she could about the house.
It wasn't until I saw her fingertips softly touch the walls, that I realized how painful it was for her to be in the house without her husband. My heart ached for her and the experience made me appreciate the home even more. 18 months later, she was gone.

As I said before, our house was built by angels. Angels I saw with my own eyes.  I live in a house that is haunted by full of "kind and gentle spirits".  Lock the doorsI wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks for the topic, Karen!

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote back in March 2012. It was about something I was grateful for:

My house. I sometimes am afraid of the outside world. I don't enjoy shopping on Saturdays or going to movie premiers that are practically sold-out. I am just as happy sitting with my family in this aging old brick haven.  We do not live in a cookie-cutter house. We do not live in a McMansion, or anything resembling "new or shiny."It's an old house with aluminum wiring that badly needs a new roof and windows that don't whistle when the wind blows. I write lots of blog posts on the different ways we try to fix it up, I know. It has great bones and was built by people we loved. People who aren't alive anymore; people I talk to when I'm repairing something. "Oh 'so-and-so, ' Why did you choose to put the wall here and why isn't it square?" or  "Hey, 'so-and-so',  Make sure I don't get electrocuted when I touch this wire..." It goes on and on. The point is, I genuinely love this house; as much as you can love something that doesn't breathe. I know like everything else, that it might not be standing forever. We live in a time of economic uncertainty..We live on a fault line and/or  I run too many appliances all at once... But for now, I put my babies to sleep every night in this home. I read novels in its corners. I watch the sun stream in when it's cold outside from the living room windows. I create down in that silly craft room and sometimes, I cook in its kitchen... I will never take any of it for granted.

If you are interested in joining us for the next Subject Swap, you can visit its creator, the wonderful Karen @ Baking in a Tornado. You can also read all about the swap by clicking on the SSS icon on the side of my blog.

Don't forget to check out this month's talented participants!

Baking in a Tornado                              
The Momisodes                                 
Just a Little Nutty                             
Follow Me Home                        
Moore Organized Mayhem         
Stacy Sews and Schools             
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                                            
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                   
Searching for Sanity                      
Crazy as Normal                                         
Menopausal Mother                     
Moms Don't Say That   

Happy Beautiful Friday, friends.

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