Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Names for All!

Hey Everyone!
I just wanted to let you know that from this entry forward, my kids will be listed by their nicknames in my blog. Since this blog is just hanging out there on the great big WWW... I figured it's better to be safe than sorry.

"So, what are their nicknames?" you ask
& Mike TV

"Hey, those names sound familiar," you may be thinking.....that's right, you know where they're from.

Yes, we really do call our kids these names.

Veruka got her nickname first when she was in second grade. She was CONSTANTLY saying, "Daddy, I want....." or "Daddy, I need...." or "Daddy, I should be first because....."

The boys nicknames naturally followed.

Charlie, because he is so much like Charlie in the movie.....good kid, follows the rules, succeeds in life. Also, his Dad's nickname was Charlie when he was growing up and he is a lot like his Dad.

Mike got his nickname because if the TV is on....he must watch it. He goes into a deep, meditative, trance like state, regardless of what is on.....seriously, it can even be a commercial. This is a kid that CANNOT he will sometimes zone out in mid sentence, if he notices that the TV is on. We joke that his brain must be saying, "TV is on.....must watch TV....must watch TV." (He reminds me a lot of my future son-in-law :) ... R.H.)

Also, if you know Mike...we swear he is the next Jim Carrey. He LOVES to be the center of attention and can do dead on impersonations of Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller & many others....

So, I've gone back and changed their names in all of my past posts and from this point forward they will go by their nicknames.

Hope it brings a smile to your face.

PS. M & J....check out your little girl's nickname under the Thanksgiving entry.

It's Trophy Time!!

Here are some pictures of the boys with their football trophies!!!

(Note how much bigger Mike's trophy is than Charlie's!!! Some things in life are just not fair!)

In addition to his trophy, Charlie got an extra award....called the Raider Award. We didn't know he was going to get it. It is only given to one athlete on the team (who is chosen by the coaches.)
It says on the plaque,

"The Raider Award goes to the player that demonstrates incredible heart, desire, discipline, sportsmanship, pride, and most typifies the spirit of the Sykesville Raiders."

We were proud of Charlie, but more than proud, we were so happy for him. It was really nice to see him get recognized for his hard work, good attitude, and great improvement that he'd made over this past season.
Here are my guys:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

This past Sat, we made our annual trip to the Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our tree. (Actually, this is only the second year in a row, but I still like to think of it as an annual tradition.)

We had an artificial tree when we lived in Seattle and decided to to go back to a live tree last year, when the artificial tree bit the dust. Mike didn't have any memories of going to cut down a tree, so we decided he's gotta have those memories too, and went back to getting a live tree.

The search is on!

The Christmas Tree farm that we go to is really nice. They have hundreds, maybe thousands, (okay, probably not thousands) of trees. They also have stations where they shake the needles from your tree and wrap it up for you like a giant present. This particular farm also has a little building where you can get hot chocolate and snacks, so you can really make it a nice day.

The funny thing about searching for and then cutting down your own tree, is that it is actually really hard to make a decision. At first it is easy to weed out the "bad" trees. 

(Unless you're Charlie....he had a special talent for picking out the fattest, mis-shaped, worst looking trees. We decided that when he grows up, it'll be his wife's job to select their tree!)

After 20 minutes or so of looking at trees, it starts to get hard. They all start to look pretty good, but at the same time none of them look perfect.

Then it happens, you see a family up ahead that has started to cut down their tree. You think to yourself, "They got a good tree....shoot, we should've been looking where they are. We could've had that tree."

(As if the tree they picked out is somehow the only good tree in the field.)

Then, if you're with our family, you get to listen to Mike ask about 100 times in a row, if we can please go get hot chocolate and snacks now because he is starving to death. (Of course the fact that he's just had a snack at home 45 minutes ago makes no difference, the snack shack has great power over him!)

This is the picture I got after I had already taken two "goofy" pictures and had said to the kids,
"Okay, lets take a nice one this time, everybody try to look normal and smile." Thank goodness we weren't counting on this for our Christmas card!

(Charlie kind of looks like a mini Jeff Schnorr in this picture, don't you think? Sorry, you only get that if you go to our church.)

Then our family splits into two distinct teams, tribes, camps, or districts....whatever you want to call them.

The first team is made up of Charlie and I. We go from tree to tree and say, "What about this tree? It looks like a good one."

The second team is made up of Brian and Veruka. They poo-poo and turn down every tree that Charlie and I select. "Too tall, too short, not full enough...that looks terrible...that's the worst tree yet...are you kidding?"

Lastly, there is Mike, he isn't on a team. He could care less about the tree. He is still asking if we can get hot chocolate now.

Mike does have a good comment though. He says he is waiting for the "Hallelujah Moment." According to Mike, the "Hallelujah Moment" is when a ray of sunshine comes down from Heaven and shines right on the perfect tree for us. Then a bunch of angels sing, "Hallelujah!"

I am waiting for that moment too!

Finally, we all agree on a tree. Woo-hoo! Now the fun begins.

Charlie cuts down the tree.


Me & Bri.........................picture taken by Veruka!

After getting our tree bundled up to look like a tree from a Dr. Suess book, Brian ties it to roof of the trusty minivan. We end our trip in the snack shack, where they cheerfully inform us that they have just run out of hot chocolate.

Now, here is the sad part.
We decorated our tree Sat night and Sunday we were heading out the door to go to Charlie's end of year Football party, when we heard a loud noise from the family room....the tree came crashing to the ground! It was so loud, it surprised us all. Poor Dakota came tearing out of the family room like a bat out of hell. (She still won't go near the tree!)

About 50 ornaments flew off the tree, but only a few were broken. We got it all back up and now it's as good as new.

We hope it stays put until Christmas is over. Last year my sister's tree fell over 3 times! (They switched to artificial this year.) We hope they can keep their record in tact for the highest number of times a tree can fall over in your house in one Christmas season....we don't want it!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mike and his Crutches

Okay, I am slowly catching up.

Last Wed (on my sister Krissy's Birthday), we had our first snowfall of the season. It was beautiful! We ended getting 5 inches and the kids got out of school 2 hours early!!!

They all came home and went back out snowboarding and sledding. I was so excited because the boys went alone...without me!!! I sent them with a walkie talkie and off they went. I had finally arrived. I'd made it to that glorious moment where all 3 of my kids could be outside alone, without me right there. They like to go to the "good hill" about a block away. (I think every neighborhood in America has that one "good hill.") They were gone for a couple of hours...and checked in by WT with me every half hour or so. I was living the dream! My fireplace was on, I was nice and warm and dry and my kids were having a blast.

That night when Brian came home, he decided to take the kids out again. Once again they trekked down to the "good hill". Well, I hunkered down on the floor next to the fire with my current book, and thought to myself, "Now this is the good life!"

Well, no sooner had I said that to myself, when the door opened and in came Brian carrying Mike. He had gotten hurt was his knee....and he couldn't walk on it. Well, we checked him didn't look that bad....and put ice on it.

The next morning he still couldn't walk on it, so I took him to the doctors and then to get Xrayed. There was a questionable area on the films right at the inside part of his knee, where they couldn't tell if it was fractured or not. So we were to keep him off of it for 4 or 5 days and see if he felt better. If he did, it would just be a sprain, if he didn't it would be broken.

Well, Mike and I went to pick up his crutches and he says to me,

"Mom, will I use these in school tomorrow?"

"Yes," I reply back to him.

He says to me, "This is a dream come true!"

So here he is, on his crutches.......

Isn't he cute????
He went to school Friday and got to live out his dream.
Good news, he is doing great now, and can walk on his it turns out it was just a sprain. Monday, he'll return to school without the crutches.
So, Mike got to live out his dream, and at the same time my dream died.
No more sending the boys to the "good hill" by themselves.....I guess I'll have to trek along and stand there in the cold. :(

What do you want to be when you grow up????

So, Brian is driving in the car with Charlie and Mike and asks them,
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

They think for a moment...and.....

Charlie answers, "I want to be an NFL football player."

Brian asks, "Why?"
Charlie replies, "Because it'd be awesome!"

Then Mike answers, "I also want to be an NFL football player." (Little brother is alot like Big brother!)

Brian asks Mike, "Why do you want to be an NFL football player?"

Mike replies without missing a beat,
"Three reasons, Dad.
The fans
the fame,
and the chicks!"

Thanksgiving Week

We spent a great couple of days with my sister Mary, brother in law Jeff, and their daughter, Mylie. They came up to Maryland to stay with us and arrived Tuesday night....the day after Charlie's Bday.....and stayed until Sunday morning.

We had a really nice visit with them.

Here are some pictures of us all bowling....

For Thanksgiving day, we all went to my parents house. It was really neat because it was the first time in 20 years that all 4 of the "S---------- kids" and their spouses and children were all together on Thanksgiving!!!
So, where are the pictures you ask?
I forgot my camera....sorry. (Maybe someone else will share photos they took and I can add them here.....hint, hint.)
Yes, I am pathetic, I know. I can only get better, right???

Charlie's 12th Birthday!

I am so sorry to have been away from the "Blog" for so long. We've had so much going on.....let me start by catching you up from the beginning.....Charlie's Birthday.

Charlie turned 12 on November 19th! I know....I can't believe it either!!! How can Brian and I possibly have kids that are getting so old?????? Shouldn't we still have toddlers and babies????

Anyway, I digress. Sorry, let me get back on track. First of all Charlie's #1 birthday request was an XBox 360. This has been his number one gift item for the past 3 years, so this year Brian and I decided to give him some ultimate joy and actually get it for him. We spoke to him about maybe spending less on his party and also trading in some old video games to go towards the purchase of the XBox.

So, he asked if he could do a sleepover party. "Sure," I said in a moment of weakness, when my brain was apparently turned off. "That sounds like a great idea."

He and Veruka typed up invites on the computer ......and Charlie handed them out.

Let the fun begin!

The day arrived, and I woke up with my brain fully functioning......Oh my gosh....what had I agreeed to? 8 boys for 16 hours! What was I thinking?

Before the insanity began, we let Charlie open his presents from us.

Here is the XBox moment!

Then it was party time.

So, what do 8 eleven and twelve year old boys do for 16 hours in your house???

Eat a lot of pizza.....

Play many, many games of "knee football"....

Eat Cupcakes! Mmmmmmmm!

Open Presents!!!!

Play many hours of Madden 2008 on XBox....

And barely sleep!!!

Now, here is the worst part. Due to my slowness in loading the pictures onto my computer and updating the blog...some of my pictures got "accidently" deleted by Veruka while they were still on my I no longer have the photos to prove it. (She honestly thought they were all already uploaded.) Not only was there very little sleeping going on.....there was lots of fun had by all...... and there was a Sharpie marker involved!

That's right....a Sharpie marker!

Charlie woke up with a beautiful drawing on his face, done by his buddies........ in Sharpie marker.

To pay them back, he and a friend (who shall remain nameless) drew a mustache and circles on the cheeks of one of the culprits and colored all over the feet of the second culprit. (I know, I don't get the feet either!)

When they came up to eat breakfast, we saw the extent of their artisitic abilities. Of course they all thought it was HILARIOUS!

I imagined the worst...since Thanksgiving was only 2 days away.....can you imagine the poor boy going to Grandma's house with a handle bar mustache on his face???? His Mom would've died!

Well, I don't know why, but by some miracle of God, the marker washed off!!! All evidence was eliminated before the first Mom appreared to collect her tired son. Whew!

I am only sorry that you can't see the pictures.....I've learned my lesson, and will be uploading my photos immidiately from now on!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Guess What???

Guess What???? It's Sunday night and guess how many games we attended this weekend??

Zero --- Zip --- Nada --- None!!!

Woo hoo! What a great feeling to wake up BOTH mornings and know that we didn't have to rush around like crazy people, spending the majority of our weekend in a car driving to & from multiple games.

Charlie's team lost in the second round of playoffs last weekend. He was disappointed but he also had another outstanding game with some great tackles (that his Mommy actually managed to capture on video tape!) He even had an awesome sack on the quarterback. We were very proud of him.

Don't get me wrong, I love watching my kids games....but there is something incredibly freeing when the season ends.

Of course, around here it will be short lived. Neither of our boys play a Winter sport, so we like to think that we have the next couple of months off. We won't really be off though, because the day after Football Cheerleading ended for Veruka, baton started. Tomorrow she has tryouts for Basketball Cheerleading. A couple of weeks ago, Charlie found out that he made the Sunday Travel team for baseball. The season doesn't start until Spring but his team will start practicing once a week right after Thanksgiving. Oh well, so much for having a break.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Family Pictures.....A great way to torture your kids and yourself!

Well, we had our family picture taken last week. We were due, since our last family picture was 5 years ago. In the last family picture, Mike was 2 (awwww!) , Veruka was sitting on my lap and still didn't have her front teeth, and Charlie had a buzz cut! Yep, I'd say they've changed!

Getting a family picture taken isn't as easy as it sounds.

First, I had to break the "good" news to the kids. Nobody was too thrilled about it.

Then, there was the chore of deciding what to wear. This time nobody wanted to dress up, so we went with jeans. However, there still was the matter of coordinating everyone's shirts.

Then, I had to find a time where all 5 of us were available. (That alone was next to impossible!) We came up with one time that was an early dismissal day for the kids.
(You can imagine how thrilled they were!)

The day of the picture came and I have to say, that the kids looked so nice. Well, I should clarify that...Veruka always looks nice...the boys were the ones who looked better than usual. When they were all dressed I told the kids, that "before I had kids" this is how I thought my kids would look all the time. I mean, they looked like a catalog ad! (I had no idea that in real life boys would want to wear shorts 95% of the year, with jerseys and sweatshirts. Who knew?)

So, we got the pictures taken, which was honestly much better than when they were younger. (They have learned that if they smile nicely, the torture will end sooner.)

The great thing was that we got to select and take home our pictures that same day. Great in that we got it all over with at once. Not so great, in that I had to figure out exactly which pictures we wanted while Brian and the kids stood around bored to death. We ended up not really liking any of the pictures of the 5 of us, so they even reshot them. (Yea, the kids were soooo happy about getting to do it again!) Thankfully, those came out much better. Brian took the kids to the pet store to hold some puppies while I made the selections. After about an hour with my list and calculator, we were done.

We got to leave the Mall, mentally exhausted, pictures in hand, with 3 kids whining, "Can we please, please, please get another dog???"

I am not posting the picture, because it is going to be our Christmas Card this year. (I should have had them print a caption on it that says, "This is how my kids never look.")
So when you get it, you can think of all of our hard work that went into it. :)


Update....July 2008....I've added the picture, for your viewing pleasure! Of course, it was taken right before I got my sassy new figures, doesn't it???

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Veruka and the Hunt

I have to take a few minutes to talk about Veruka. Yes, it's true, as unbelievable as it seems, she is 14 and in HIGH SCHOOL! I know, I can't believe it either!! How can that be? It seems like just yesterday, and also at the same time eons ago, that she was born. I can clearly remember so much about her first two years. (That was way back, when I still had all of my brain cells functioning! Funny, how I can remember something from 14 years ago, but can't remember what I am supposed to be buying at the grocery store once I get there!)

A few weekends ago, Brian and I took Veruka and 4 of her friends on our church youth group's scavenger hunt. It was called, "The Hunt." Think "Amazing Race", scaled down to our little county in Maryland. Each car would be given one clue to a location that our kids would have to figure out. Once we got to the location, we would have to flash our headlights, so the person would know we were with the Hunt. They'd come to the car and the girls would have to say some spy code, ie. "It looks like rain." Then the person at the location would respond with their code, "Yes, it's going to rain cats & dogs." (Or some other crazy thing.) Then the girls would be given a task to do, solve a puzzle, sing a song, bring back a certain type of candy bar etc. Once the task was completed, they'd be given their next clue which would take them to the next location. There would be 10 clues all around our county. We would end back at the church for a big pizza party. Woven into all of this was a cool story line where the kids were all secret agents, who were trying to capture an evil villian named Dr Z.

So, the Hunt was supposed to cost $5 per kid. You'd think it would've cost us $5 since Veruka was our only kid going right? Wrong.
The day of the Hunt, Veruka tells me that she forgot to tell everyone to wear black, and she called them and 3 of the girls don't even have a black shirt. Plus they really want to all wear the same shirt.

So, I head to Walmart to buy shirts.

5 Black shirts at $6 each = $30 (Yea, Walmart)
Snacks for all of us = $40

Drinks and ice = $30

1 bottle of Advil for Bri & I = $5 (We did learn something last year when we drove!)

Then, I get home and the girls have arrived. Oops some of them forgot to bring their $5.

I tell them I'll pay for everyone. $5 x 5 = $25

We pile into the car, but need to get gas....$50.

So, before we even started we were out $180!!

When we got to the church, our Youth Pastor told the drivers, a couple of things:

1. Try to let the kids figure out the clues...don't help them too much. (We figured since our girls were all in High School, they should be able to do pretty well without help from Bri & I.)

2. There was a "help line" that we could call if we were stuck. He said we could ask for help or a more detailed clue, or even if it came to it say, "We give up, where the heck is the next location??" (Thank you, Thank you!)

3. This wasn't a race. He just wanted everyone to have fun. (That was just to make the losers feel better....of course it was a race!)

The Hunt took place on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone was dressed in black....(because they were secret agents, of course.)

Sounds like fun doesn't it??? Well, the entire Hunt took about 5 hours to complete from start to finish. So think about that.....

5 hours in the van.

5 hours in the van with 5 screaming, squealing, singing teenage girls. ("Oh my gosh, I love that song! ..... Turn it up!.... Ooops, I dropped the clues! .... Ooooh, take my picture.....How do I look?...I have to go to the bathroom" .....etc)

We get the first clue and it says, "If a your house had a train station in front of it, why then this is what it'd be called."

We were told that our clue was in Eldersburg/Sykesville. Well, there is a little restaurant here called Baldwin's Station. The building that it is in is an old train station and the train tracks literally run right up to it. One of our Pastor's last name is Baldwin. The girls immdiately think this is the place. We drive to it, Brian flashes our lights....and nothing. So he says, "Maybe I need to aim the car into the restaurant and flash the lights." He manuevers the car around and aims into the restaurant and flashes his lights. Again, nothing. By now, the people outside the restaurant and in the parking lot, are looking at us like we're crazy. The girls want me to call the help line to see if we're in the right place, so I do. They tell me no we aren't, and to think of another name for a train station. "Depot" somebody shouts out. That's right ...Home Depot. (Duh? You think, it seems easy in retrospect, but when you're in it, it was just as easy to come up with the wrong answer.)

This was basically how the afternoon unfolded as we worked our way through the 10 clues.

Last year we finished the "not a" race in 7th place out of 30 cars.

This year, we wanted to finish in the top 3.

Five hours after the Hunt began, we arrived back at the church and ended up coming in 21st place out of 40. (By the time we got there, we were just happy to have finished!)

It was actually a lot of fun and really cool for the kids. It was neat to be able to spend the day with Veruka and her friends. Next year Charlie will be able to participate since it includes kid's aged 7th grade -12th grade.

Brian and I are already fighting over who will get to drive the boys! :) Just kidding of course!

Here are some pictures:

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Day of Football

I just have to take a minute to tell you about Saturday!! In the morning, I mean EARLY morning, Mike and I left to go to his last football game of the season. (We had to leave our house by that dedication or what??) He has had an AWESOME first season of football, and it was a great experience for him. He scored one touchdown this season and recovered a couple of fumbles.....not too bad for never having played before! Unfortunately, his team lost their game 13 to 12. :(

(There aren't playoffs for his age group, so now his season is over.)

Overall, they had a great season with a record of 5 wins-3 losses and 1 tie.

Check out how dark it was when we arrived!

Here is a pix of Mike (#82) getting ready for warm ups. This field was sooo nice, artificial turf and all.... totally first class. (The pictures aren't the greatest because I was pretty far away, nobody but players and coaches were allowed near the field.)

Brian and Charlie couldn't be at the game because, Charlie's team was playing in the first round of playoffs up in Urbana. (We've managed to go all season without any conflicts between the 3 kids sports until today....not too bad!)

Charlie's team got off to a slow start this season, going 0-4. They ended up with a regular season record of 4-5 which was good enough for them to get to into the playoffs.

Mike and I didn't arrive until the start of the second half. Charlie had a GREAT game, probably the best he's had all season. He only plays on defense, where he usually starts at Cornerback. Saturday he was starting Linebacker and had about 10 tackles, including a great tackle that caused a fumble. He was fired up!

There was a lot at stake because the playoffs are single elimination and this particular team had knocked Charlie's team out of the playoffs the past 2 years in a row. It was a grudge match to the end, tied at 6-6 at the end of the 4th quarter. They ended up going into double overtime which included a fumble by Charlie's team and two fumbles by Urbana. It was a real nail biter, but in the end Charlie's team was victorious 12-6!!!

It was a hard fought, well deserved victory, that was two years in the making! We were so proud of Charlie at how much he's improved over the years. He's really turned into a tough football player.

Here are a couple of pictures from after the game, they aren't the best....I was too caught up in the excitement, to take any others. These are from after everyone calmed down and the coaches had a chance to congratulate the boys. Charlie is #24...on the right side of the pics.

Next week his team moves on to play in the semi-finals.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just When I Thought I'd Have Nothing to Write About....

Well, After I figured out this whole process and got my first two posts up on my blog, it dawned on me that I might not actually have much to say. What if I didn't have anything to write about????

Silly me, I forgot, I live with three living, breathing, walking fountains of new material.

Friday night we had some friends of ours over from church. (We are part of a small Community Group and we usually meet on Friday nights.) Well, it was the end of the evening and everyone was saying their goodbyes and heading out the door, when I heard Mike yelling from the basement. He was calling for his friend Coby. I shut the front door and headed for the basement steps to tell him that Coby had already left.

"Okay," he meekly replied. Well, if you know Mike, you know that he is not meek about anything. As I stood pondering this, he yelled up to me,

"Mom, do you think you could come down then?"

Being the good Mom that I am, instead of going down, I yelled down to him,

"What do you need?"

It was dead silent for about 10 seconds and then he said, "I'm stuck."

So of course, I ran down the stairs, fearing the worst, and this is what I saw:

He had managed to wedge himself into one of the plastic toy storage containers. (Knowing, Mike he probably thought it'd be funny, not thinking that he'd really get stuck.)

Of course, before I freed him, I had to go get my camera....this was too good to pass up. Charlie followed me back downstairs to see what was so funny. He freed his brother by tipping him over (and of course hurt him in the process....ahh, brotherly love.)

Here's the funny part. As soon as Mike was okay, guess what Charlie did????

That's right...

It makes you wonder doesn't it????
I love my kids, they crack me up. :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween 2007

Well, I survived another Halloween! I have to admit that I actually love Halloween as much as the kids. It is always a fun night. Getting ready for Halloween, specifically getting costumes for everyone, is another story. I am NOT one of those Martha Stewart types who can sew an award winning costume. I am happy if I can just have 3 kids in 3 costumes. It's a miracle if I can just get everyone to the store and they all leave feeling happy about their costume.

This year was going to be even easier for me because I was only going to have 2 kids in costumes. Veruka was so sad because she was going to have to cheer at football game on Halloween and wouldn't be able to go Trick-or-Treating.....she is 14 and in High School after some point you do get too old to Trick-or-Treat right??? I mean when the kid is as tall as me, isn't it time for her to admit that she's too old!!

The best part of this year's Halloween was Brian. He left in the morning wearing blue jeans and a black T shirt. He said he and his brother, Chris, were going to work dressed up as "Aging Rock Stars." He told me that Chris had some things for him to add to his costume. About 2 hours later, my SIL emailed me pictures that she had taken that morning at her house. I almost died when I saw them! This is how Brian went to work and later Trick-or-Treating with the kids. He heard all kinds of comments...everything from Ozzy.... to the Fat Tommy Lee! (Check out the tattoos on his arms!)

Here are my boys, the rapper "Money J" and "Captain Jack Sparrow."

The funny thing about Charlie's costume was that originally he told me that he didn't want to wear a costume this year.

Three weeks before Halloween, our conversation went something like this:

Me: Charlie, what do you want to be for Halloween this year?

Charlie: I don't know.

Me: Well, we know Mike is going to be Jack Sparrow.

(He bought his costume back in August and has worn the hat well into the triple digits...we've certainly gotten our money's worth on that one!)

Charlie: So.

Charlie: I don't want to wear a costume.

Me: Well, do you want to go Trick-or-Treating?

Charlie: Yeah, duh.
(Oh, the joys of having a middle schooler!)

Me: Okay, then you have to wear a costume.

Charlie: Well, it has to be cool. I could just be the "Scream" again.
(Charlie has been the "Scream" which is a black costume with a mask, from the movie the Scream for the past 3 Halloweens!)

Me: How about if we see what we can find for you at the costume store?
(For the love of God, anything but the "Scream.")

Well, the days flew by, the week nights were full of meetings and football practices and games to be cheered at. The weekends were "stacked"...Church group Friday nights, 2 football games Saturdays, church on Sunday etc. etc. (You get the idea.)...not to mention visiting our parents, baseball tryouts, a trip to Skyline Drive and Luray Caverns, and Homecoming for Veruka.

In fact, October was so busy, that we never got to go to the pumpkin patch! The one weekend that we had some free time, it rained! My FIL felt so bad for Mike that he gave him the pumpkin that he had carved...see it sitting there all alone on the step??? (The other pumpkin is fake.) Sunday, I finally told the kids I'd have to get them pumpkins from the grocery store. Dejectedly, feeling like the worst Mom in the world, I drove to Safeway....there were no pumpkins!! They were all gone! Then on to Martins, it was the same story there....not a single pumpkin in sight! Oh well, there's always next year right???

It was now 2 days before Halloween and still no costume for Jake! Aaaagh! Monday night was out for costume shopping because Veruka was cheering at a Varsity game. (Her first one, we couldn't miss it.)

Tuesday morning (1 day before Halloween) Veruka was sick. She stayed home from school. While we were talking, she lovingly informed me that, "By the way, our cheerleading coach wants us to wear a costume for the game tomorrow. We also get to wear it to school."

(I always hate when a sentence starts with "By the way" just know it's going to be bad!)

Just when I thought I was getting off easy this year, now I was going to have to scramble and buy a costume for Charlie and Veruka and there was football practice that night! Aaagh!

I told Charlie that I would go to the Halloween store while he was at school and pick him out a couple of costumes to choose from. Veruka would come with me to pick hers out.
(Yes, I'm such a good Mom, taking my sick kid shopping.)

Anyway, we go to the first store and Veruka looks at about 99 costumes and tries on 3. Of course, the one she loves is sold out in her size. I look at about 99 costumes for Charlie and don't see anything I think he'll think is cool.

So, it's on to the second Halloween store we go. As we pull up, I notice all of the front windows are painted in huge letters saying everything is 50% off! Woo hoo, I think, it's not going to cost me a fortune! So we head inside.

This store doesn't have the one costume that Veruka loved in the other store. Aaagh. So she proceeds to look at about 99 more costumes and tries on 6 of them. She can't decide between two of them; one that I HATE, called "Little Miss Muffett" and one that I moderately can't stand, called "Blueberry Girl." Both of them seem way too sexy for a teenage girl...both of them come with thigh highs if you can believe that!!! I tell her that she can get the "Blueberry Girl" but she can't wear the thigh highs. She can wear white leggings instead. The scary thing is that almost all of the teenage girl costumes were sexy like these two.....short skirts or shorts, low cut boostiers, and thigh highs. What are these costume makers thinking???? Lucky for us, Veruka is short, so her costume's skirt comes almost down to the middle of her thighs.

I looked and looked and looked for a costume for Charlie. In the accessory row, I saw a money hat, a $ necklace, and a "grill" for his teeth. I knew that one of his friends was dressing up as a rapper, I figured Charlie would probably like to be one too. So, I grabbed my loot, grabbed Veruka, and headed for the register to pay. On the way, I decided to pick out some face paint, just in case Charlie didn't want to be the rapper. He could paint one half of his face one color and the other half another color, wear one of his jerseys, and be a crazy fan. I got 4 different colors, so he would have some options.

By this time, I realize we aren't going to be home in time for the bus! I quickly call my neighbor to get the boys off of the bus. We pile up our things on the counter and the creepy cashier rings up our purchases.

Here is what we have:
1 "Blueberry Girl" costume for a teen girl
1 Money Hat
1 Gold/fake diamond $ necklace
1 Gold "Grill"
4 tubes of face paint

I breathe a sigh of relief, silently congratulating myself on a job well done, while I wait to hear my low, low price since it's all going to be 50% off. Just then the cashier announces that our total will be $104.11!!!! (I am not hundred four dollars and eleven cents!!!)

Me: Wait a minute, I thought everything was 50% off.

Creepy cashier guy: Oh, that sale doesn't start until November 1st. It says it in small print underneath.

Sure enough it did say the sale started Nov 1st. So, defeated, I handed over the debit card.

Finally, we headed for home. I had one last stop to make. I had to stop at PetSmart to get crickets for the gecko...(that's another story.) Veruka and I ran in and luckily they had crickets. She wandered off to see the kittens. She came back as the guy was handing me my bag of crickets.

Veruka: Mom, can I please hold a kitten real fast.

Me: No

Veruka: Please, please,'ll just take 5 minutes.

Me: No, we have to get home for the boys. It's already after the bus, and we have to leave in 45 minutes for football practice.

Veruka: You are so mean. You never let me do anything.

Then she proceeds to pout the rest of the way home. (
This is what I like to refer to as the Teenage Silent Temper Tantrum.)

When we get there, I round up the boys and show Charlie his costume. He LOVES the rapper idea. He especially LOVES the "grill." He quickly puts it all on. Here is what he says:

Charlie: Hey Mom, do you think maybe you can use makeup to paint my face black?

Me: (Silent pause ---Hmmm, what do I say to that one??)
No face paint, you can be a white rapper. Like Eminem.

(I don't even know if he knows who Eminem is, he isn't allowed to listen to his music.)

Mike: Ooooh, I want M & M's.

Charlie: Okay. Do you think I can wear the "grill" to school?

Me: Aaaagh! No!

Then we did homework, had a snack, and went to football practice. Whew!
Veruka was still pouting about the kittens when we left.

So that is why I feel good about myself for surviving another Halloween. I can't wait to do it all again next year!

PS. I caught Charlie trying to wear the "grill" to school the next day!

In the Beginning

This is the start of my blog. Being the computer savvy girl that I am (hee hee), we'll see how well I am actually able to do this.

This is my trial entry. I'm crossing my fingers, let's see if it works.