Monday, December 30, 2013

Full Circle

Along time ago in a land called Kansas, Ben had two best friends - Katee and Jack.  The three of them were thick as thieves and hung out together daily.  All three were homeschooled, they all lived right next to each other, all their fathers were Army, and they all attended the same church and youth group.

When we found out we were moving to Hawaii, Ben was incensed because he didn't want to leave his friends.  He wrote a post on Facebook about not wanting to move to a stupid island in the middle of the stupid ocean and how we were ruining his life.  It didn't matter that Katee and Jack were also moving at the same time - one to Georgia and one to Oklahoma - he was going to be the furthest away and couldn't even go on road trips to see them because the stupid ocean was in the way.

He and Jack and Katee have kept in touch although they obviously haven't kept the same level of intensity to their friendship what with five years passing by and none of them being in the same state again.

But Katee only lives five hours away from away from us here in Illinois, and she got married yesterday.  And although Ben lives in Kentucky, he's home for the holidays and he was able to go to the wedding.

Kerry drove over with him for company, while the girls and I stayed home because someone has to walk the dogs.

Kerry got a chance to talk to the father-of-the-bride before the wedding and they were laughing about how we all reacted to each other's kids back in our Kansas days.

The first time Katee showed up at our door to ask if Ben could come outside, the girls came screeching through the house, "There's a girl at the door asking for Ben!"  We all went to the door to look at her.  She probably felt like a fish in a bowl, but we were all flabbergasted.  This had never happened before and we weren't sure what to make of it.

Katee's dad told Kerry a similar story yesterday, one we'd never heard before.  He told Kerry he'd liked Ben from the first time they met because Ben passed the "knife test".

Apparently the first time Ben showed up at their door, Katee's dad had just received a new hunting knife.  It was really long and he just happened to have it in his hand when he answered the door and found a boy there asking for his daughter.

Without preamble, he held the knife up and said, "This knife could go all the way through you."

 "Yep, it probably could," Ben replied cheerfully.  "Can Katee come outside?"

Saturday, December 28, 2013

RaNdOm CoNvErSaTiOns with Emily

Emily and I went shopping at the mall before Christmas.  At one point, I wanted to buy something for her, so I sent her out into the mall while I waited in line to make the purchase.  I just told her to keep in touch with me through texts to let me know where she was so I could catch up with her when I was finished.

Super Smarty Pants

Once again Emily has proven her intellect.

We received her PSAT scores in the mail recently and she rocked it, of course.

92nd percentile over all with 97th percentile in Writing Skills and 94th percentile in Critical Reading.

Yay, Emily!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Man Cave

This made me laugh -

Ben's girlfriend posted on Facebook:
Why do so many men feel like they need a "man cave"?  What about working women?  I want a cave.

Her father responded:
I don't need a cave, the world is my playground.

Ben then responded:
I take my manliness with me everywhere, rendering the cave unnecessary.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Cheer!

Merry Christmas!

Bringing a little Aloha to Illinois!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Truth At Last

Seven years ago, we were living on post at Ft Belvoir, VA.

One day, a hole mysteriously appeared in the wall over the sofa.  No one knew where it had come from .  All three children denied knowledge of it.  The hole stayed there until we moved.  Only it knew why it had appeared and it wasn't talking.

Yesterday, we were all sitting around talking and laughing and out of left field Ben suddenly says, "Oh yeah.  You know that hole in the wall in Virginia?  Yeah, that was me.  I guess it's been long enough that I'm not in trouble now.  I was playing with the dogs and my elbow hit the wall and it just caved in."

Kerry and I looked at each other and then at Ben, "Yeah, we always figured it was you.  The girls weren't known for flinging themselves around hard enough to knock holes in the wall but we didn't want to call you a liar."

Mystery solved seven years later.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Towel Pants

Katie came schlepping over to me after her shower still wearing a bathrobe and with a towel wrapped around her hair.

"You know what I'm going to invent?" she asked me.


"Towel pants.  When you get out of the shower, you could just pull them on and they would dry your legs so you wouldn't be walking around having water still dripping down your legs!"

I looked at her for a moment before I said, "I just use my towel and rub it all over my legs to get all the water off."

"I'm a busy woman, mother," she told me loftily.  "I don't have time for that!"

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yep, we have got some serious snow coming down here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Play, Play, Play

Our homeschool co-op produced three plays this semester.  Katie and Emily were each in two of them.

Emily was in "The Great Pandemonium", a play about a high school play during the tech rehearsal.

 She played a cheerleader who was standing in for one of the main characters who couldn't be there.  When she wasn't speaking, she pretended she was texting - but she wasn't pretending.  She actually updated her Facebook page while she was on stage during the live performance!

 Katie was in a play called "Goody Grissom" which is a folk tale set in prairie times.

 Katie played a young mom with a very sick child.

Totally weird to think of my thirteen year old playing a mother!

 Then both girls were in "Light in the Library", a story about two girls who get locked in the library overnight when characters from books come to life.  Katie played Alice in Wonderland and Emily played the librarian.    I somehow missed getting a picture of Emily as the librarian!  I wasn't at her dress rehearsal and we can't take pictures during a live performance.  If it turns out someone got a picture of her backstage, I'll add it on later!

Friday, December 6, 2013


Emily's a genius.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:

She's had the highest score in every class she's ever taken.  She has a fabulous philosophy that if anyone else in a class is doing well, she must crush them with better scores.

She's been writing full length novels since she was eleven.

She made the highest possible score on the Language Arts portion of the college entrance exam when she had only just completed tenth grade.  There's only one score you can make to be able to skip ENG 101 and she made it.

She's been taking an upper level Shakespeare class at the local community college and although we don't have her final grade yet, she's relatively certain she's made an A+.  She's also the only student to have not missed a single class and to have turned in every assignment.

But unfortunately, with all that brilliance bouncing around in her noggin, she occasionally looses her mind and usually at the worst possible moment.

Yesterday, we went to the college to register her for next semester.  Last semester, Emily had just taken the placement test and the counselor we saw was completely blown away by her scores and raved to us about how brilliant she is.

This time, we saw a different counselor, who had not seen Emily's scores and didn't even know that she had already taken the placement test.  She only knew (after I told her) that Emily is a homeschooler who has already passed all the requirements for dual-enrollment.  Side note here:  for dual enrollment, the college requires a form signed by the student's high school principal, teacher, and parent.  So I have to give them a form signed by me, me, and me.  *snark*

The counselor, who doesn't know if Emily is smart or has social skills what with her being homeschooled and all, hands Emily some papers to fill out while she looks on the computer to find a history class that will fit our schedule.

Emily looks at me and says, "What's our phone number?"  I tell her and she writes it down.  To be fair, she hardly ever uses our home phone number.  She does have all of our cell phone numbers memorized.  I still have to stop and think for a moment to remember what our current home phone number is.

Then Emily can't remember her social security number and rather than dig out her ID to get it, she tries to read her social security number upside down off the papers the counselor is looking at.

Then she asks me what county we live in and I tell her.  We move a lot and frankly all of us have trouble remembering what our current zip code is, much less what county we're in.  But I'm aware at this point that the counselor might be wondering why Emily doesn't know basic information that most college students probably have memorized.  I smile weakly at the counselor hoping we were past most  of the items that Emily is suddenly having trouble recalling.

Then with a nervous laugh Emily looks at me and said, "Umm.....what year is it?"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bad Omen

My fortune cookie was empty.  That's ominous.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Whizzah? Whazzah?

I went in to Katie's room to see what she was up to and her arms were on backwards.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Long Trip

On Sunday, we had to take Ben back to college.  Kerry drove, but I went along on the trip so I could have a little more time to talk with Ben.  He's usually quite entertaining and I enjoy hearing all the details about his life at school.

The trip wasn't as scintillating as I had hoped.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

When The Cat's Away, The Mice Will Decorate

When Kerry and I are home with the girls, they play on the computer and I have to remind them to do school, clean up after themselves, and breathe basically.

When Kerry and I leave the girls alone for the day......

They decorate the house with lights, make a paper chain and decorate the ceiling fan with it, and bake cookies from scratch.

I think I'll go out more.