Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Weird School Project...


I'm just going to come out and say it.  Are you ready?  Here goes...

I have discovered that when you send your children to school, the teachers have a lot of fun making up sadistic projects for you to do with them at home that are impossible to transport back to school.

There.  I said it.  You other mothers with school aged children know exactly what I'm talking about.  This only gets worse the older they get.  It starts with the egg project in pre-school (we had to get an egg to school in a special container that we designed - then they dropped it ala humpty dumpty, to see it it survived the fall).  Then, it moves on to other things like the monthly - decorate a (insert whatever fits into the holiday/season at the time a leaf, christmas tree, snowflake, apple, etc.).  In Kindergarten, Emma had to actually do a report that taught the other kids about something...Guess who did all the work on that one?  Third grade, we had to make a working volcano - labels, etc. and get it back to the school...that was fun, time consuming - and MY project...

Tonight - I had 3 projects that needed completed.  Two decorate-a-leaf projects for the twins...easy peasy - we've been doing those for years...and the masterpiece thus far of my school project career...


This was just plain weird.  We actually had to make a model of a cell out of only edible items - and label everything, etc.  But, who thinks this stuff up?  It actually looks pretty cool - but incredibly disgusting...

Just in case you want to recreate this in your spare time:

I took a tortilla and baked it over a bowl to create the cell wall.  We used cooked spaghetti noodles for the cell membrane.  The cytoplasm was jelly.  The nucleus was a cracker.  The vacuoles were peanuts.  The chloroplasts (this was a plant cell) were pea pods.  The mitochondria were grape nerds.

I had to make it a special little nest in its shoe box so that it wouldn't shift around - I also cheated and glue gunned the sucker to the nest!

Oh - do you want to see the masterpiece that I have been discussing?  I'm sure that you can't wait to view this beautiful creation...
I am not a taco salad!

Gross, huh?  Kind of like a taco salad gone wrong...
Oh, and for those of you that still have no kids in public school just wait...your time is coming!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Well, At Least He Didn't Say I Have My Hands Full...

As the mother of five children, I have heard the phrase "You've got your hands full" way too many times in the past few years.  I feel that most of the time, I have things under control...There are days when yes, my hoodlums are a little bit unruly, but it isn't that bad all of the time!

So, today - (Day 4 of Fall Break, no less) I decided to take the kids to lunch at Taco Bell after I worked out at the YMCA.  We really haven't gone anywhere all week, so this was a special treat for them.  I made sure that we went to the Taco Bell where the worker likes us and gives us a few extra drinks sometimes for free ('cause he feels  bad for me, I guess!)

Anyway...they were being good.  Reeeeaaaalllyyyy good.

We were waiting for our food and a nicely dressed older gentleman came up to me.

"Excuse me, ma'am...I just wanted to tell you that your children are the most well behaved children that I have ever seen."

Okay, this is not a compliment that we receive very often - but in this instance, I will admit - we really deserved it...and it was soooo nice not to hear - "You've got your hands full!"  I almost wiped a tear from my eye...

I answered..."Thank you, but that can change at any moment!"

And - just as I said that....Alyssa threw up.

I think I've got my hands full.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Trek to Visit Mickey and Co...Part 1

Disclaimer:  This may be boring, but since this blog is basically my sad excuse for a journal, I am documenting what I will get better, I promise!

At the beginning of 2010, I heard about a special volunteer program that Disney was sponsoring this year.  If anyone over the age of 6 volunteered (for specially approved assignments), they would receive one day ticket to Disneyland or World.  This was until they had one million volunteers.  I was instantly intrigued.  For years, I have been dying to take our kids to visit "The Mouse", but it has always been too expensive.  I signed us up and we were given an assignment to pass out some fliers to some businesses in Franklin, TN.  This enabled us to get 5 tickets - one for each of us that would cost money to get into Disney World.

We were able to use the price that the tickets would have been to upgrade for a few more days in the parks - this was important, because with 5 children (a few with special needs) it would have been impossible to see much in just one day - especially considering when we were actually on the trip, two of our afternoons were spent at urgent care clinics in the area (we will get into that later).  Then, we rented a condo for a week - much more affordable than actually staying in a hotel, and we were so much more comfortable.  It was also a lot cheaper to be able to prepare our own meals.

Everyone told us we were nuts to go over the week of the 4th of July because of the humidity in Florida, the terrible heat, yadda, yadda, yadda....not much we could do about the fact that Clay's vacation was scheduled at the end of 2009, before we even planned the trip and the kids were off of July it was!

After several months of getting tips and tricks from the internet, budgeting, couponing, hoarding anything I could find that was Disney related (to save tons of money on souvies), we set out for our trip at about 10 pm the Friday before the 4th of July.  The plan was to drive as far as possible - we made it past Atlanta, crashed at a hotel for a few hours - then get in the car and drive some more.  It was great - except my kids outlasted my co-pilot!  Poor Clay was so tired from working (he gets up at 2 am) that he slept the whole 5 hours that we drove the first night!  We crammed into a 2 double bed hotel room and slept at about 3 am.  Um...they also might have thought that we only had 3 kids...don't know where they got that idea???

Here are a few pics of us in our 4th of July finery at our condo...

We finally made it to Orlando about 5 pm on Saturday afternoon...Yes folks, we took our time!  Between potty stops and a lot of rain, it slowed us down a bit...We relaxed that evening and also on Sunday (4th of July).  The kids thought the condo was great - we were just happy they had their own rooms!

To be continued...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Cinderella Birthday

Ever since we went to Disney World this summer, (Yes, I know that I haven't blogged about that yet - it is coming, I promise), Alyssa has been obsessed with Cinderella...actually, anything involving the princesses, fairies, get the picture. So, when we asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, "A Cinderella Birthday". She also only answers to the name "Cinderella", so that really isn't a stretch of the imagination. We didn't make her birthday all about Cinderella - that would have been boring...for us...but she did get a pretty Cindy doll from her Aunt Kristen. I made her a flower shaped birthday cake (fun to do, but the dang thing fell apart very easily) with Tink and Co. perched on the top...looking quite pleased with themselves, might I add! She got a huge assortment of dress up items from Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Karen and Uncle Adam...who were only too happy to indulge her fantastic dress-up imagination! We decided that we don't have enough noisy toys that need batteries, so we found her a pink keyboard with a carrying handle that is just her size. She was pretty cute about the whole thing - when we gave her the piece of cake, she decided to put all the fairy dolls back on - there is a picture of her cake just covered in fairies! Alyssa is my headstrong child - she has a quick temper and a loud scream...but when you ask her for a kiss or hug, even when she is mad, she will melt and give you the sweetest loves. She loves anything girly, but also will romp and tumble with the boys her Sunday shoes... We love our Alyssa Claire (AKA Cinderella) very much and are really enjoying watching her grow into a little girl...