Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Emma has been excited to join drama in high school ever since she started going to the summer drama camp offered by the high school ages ago.  In the fall, she was in Mary Poppins and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We knew many of the songs from seeing the movie version, but Emma got well versed in all of the words in all of the songs.  Consequently, we were all singing (or at least having them played over and over in our minds) the Mary Poppins soundtrack ad nauseum.  

This season of drama was a family-friendlier version of Grease.  No drinking, drugs, or pregnancy scare.  Plenty of innuendo if you know what you are looking for, however.  As with Mary Poppins, we are all learning the Grease soundtrack from both Emma practicing at home, and then watching the show several times.  Between Ryan and myself, we attended every evening show.  We recieved complementary tickets last time and this time for helping with sets and building the "car" for the Grease Lightning song.  Truthfully, it did not look much like a car.  It was not supposed to be a fancy car, since the script specifially called it a hunk of junk at the beginning.  But I think if Ryan had had more warning to create and build, we could have done better.  Hopefully Mr. M will tell Ryan what he wants as he gets started with practices.  Not a week and a half before dress rehearsals start.  I also spotted a set piece in Grease that we built for Mary Poppins.  

Opening night went quite well.  A little hesitation with some of the lines, but the sound and mics were pretty good.  (Mics having been a little finicky for MP.)

 Mr. M came up with the best plan for bows I've seen in a high school play.  He added a song from the movie that wasn't in the play for Danny to sing while the cast went line by line doing a little dance move and their bows.  It flowed nicely and was interesting to see and hear.

At the end, Kendra's parents snapped this picture of the girls affectionately known as the Three Musketeers, or the Deathly Hallows if you ask Kaylee's older brother.  Emma and Kendra are frequently confused by their teachers and peers.  I don't think they look that much alike, but evidently it's enough.

This next picture was taken the night the youth went.  Elizabeth and I were really close to the stage, and we sat next to the bishop.  He asked where Ryan was, and I told him that he needed to put the twins to bed at their normal bedtime because Annie had a 45 minute long meltdown about pj pants, that Ryan conviently missed.  Preteens are very emotional creatures.  Bishop did make a crack about needing to talk to "Sandy" after she makes her appearance in her black outfit. Erica is in our ward.  I suggested he should also talk to "Frenchy" (also a girl in our ward) about wanting to drop out of high school.  
And finally closing night.  I have finally figured out how to manipulate my phone's camera to take decent pictures of the lighted stage.  Not that it takes the greatest pictures ever, but they are better than the too bright, too white pictures I used to get.  I'll blame it on the fact I still have an iPhone 5.
 You can see Emma and Kendra have a great time dancing in the next couple of pictures.

And done!  We survived another season.  It was really crazy running the play and science fair at the same time.  It meant all the kids doing both had to miss doing the local science fair because (even after I was assured by the science teacher that they would work it out) it ran at the same time as the Saturday matinee.  Since there were quite a few students doing both, you would have thought the teachers could at least communicate and work together to find a schedule that would accomodate both.  And because Emma is in band too, she can't go to regional science fair because the band has a festival to attend and her band teacher won't let her out of it.  So Elizabeth will be the only one attending regional science fair from our family. 

Lastly, here's a clip of You're The One That I Want.  Our high school really does know how to perform a good play.  See if you can spot Emma in her pink shirt and skirt.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Trees in the Wind

We had a major windstorm the Saturday of President's day weekend.  There were consistent windspeeds of 30 mph and gusts up to 48 mph, according to the website Ryan checked periodically during the day.  The giant tree in the driveway/parking area always loses branches during windstorms.  Always.  We have various piles of branches drying to burn once the wood is no longer green and smoky.  We do have a compost pile, but mostly burn piles.  Ryan does like to make a good bonfire.

This windstorm was the cause of two major branches breaking off the big tree.  We were indoors playing games in the afternoon when we heard a loud crack and then the sound of debris hitting the windows.  One branch down. But not really, it was high enough that it only sat on top of another branch.  Later as we heard more suspicious noises, we watched at the window as another big branch came crashing down. We couldn’t park where we normally do.  In fact, I haven’t parked next to the house in months because we have been worried about the tree falling and hitting the van, so we’ve been parking between the not-garage and the pig pen.  But we couldn’t even park there with the branch in the way, and I disliked walking under the standing part of tree to even get to the front door.  We listened to the tree creak, crackle, groan, and pop.  Elizabeth’s bedroom faces the front, and she couldn’t sleep with all the noises she heard.  I had her turn on a fan to provide some white noise, frigid temperatures or not.  Out of all of my kids, Elizabeth is the most scared and worried about natural disasters, and here was proof that something bad was going to happen.

To be clear, knowing that we were going to have a windstorm and our tree likes to shed, we had parked as far away from the house as possible as to not get stuck behind the tree should it fall down.  We almost always do that for windstorms.

Sunday night, Ryan decided that he just needed to cut the front part of the tree down.  It was going to fall over sometime, and it might as well happen now.  Monday was President’s Day, and therefore a no school day.  What a perfect time to cut giant hunks of wood and move them off the driveway.  Monday morning dawned clear and cold.  Our expected high for the day was 34 degrees.  At 9 am, Ryan went outside to get our 16 inch chainsaw running.  Around 9:30 I put jeans over my pj pants, and snow pants on top of the jeans, a sweatshirt, a coat, wool socks, hat, winter gloves, and my snow boots.  It was mid-20 degrees outside and I don’t like being cold.  I told Ryan to tell me before he started cutting down the tree.  I wanted to be outside in case of trouble, being the worry wart that I am.  Emma was the only one who watched from the house.  The rest of us braved the cold.  We made sure the cars were WELL out of the way.

Ryan cut a V in the front of the tree trunk, and then sprinted away in the opposite direction.  We watched in some suspense for several minutes, listening to the increased creaks and pops.  Ryan said he could feel rumblings in the ground, but the tree refused to go down.  I can only compare what happened next to a game of Chicken.  Ryan had the chainsaw idling during this time, so he got the chain going, stabbed the tree, and ran away.  More noises, but no visible movement.  Again, stab and run away.  Nothing new.  Once more, he stabbed the tree, ran away, and the tree came down.  The top of the tree hit the flower garden space in front of the house, but the house was unhurt.  (Our driveway is a different story.)

Now, it was work time.  The girls and I hauled the branches Ryan cut into two giant piles, one on either side of the tree.  Emma got out of some of the work because of some excuse about the Grease dress rehearsal… blah blah blah.  😉 The other three petered out after lunch, but Ryan and I kept going and pretty much got the driveway picked up.  Don’t get me wrong, there are HUGE piles of branches and Ryan wasn’t sure how to get the last branch completely disengaged from the tree with his smaller size chain saw, but we could get to the front door.
(Ryan pulling the top branch off with his truck) 
As cleaned up as we could get it on Monday.  It doesn't look like much, but this was hours of sawing and hauling wood.  

The next plan of attack was to see if we could borrow The Dog to haul the branches away.  It was going to take about 50 trips (give or take) to get them hauled away in Ryan’s truck, and the truck affectionately known as The Dog was sitting alone and available.  The tabs were expired, and the battery was dead, but would we let that stand in the way?  Never!  The owner had been our home teacher before he passed away from cancer, and his wife hadn't taken it with her when she moved away late last year.  Wednesday, Ryan walked in with the registration and cash (and permission to do so), and walked out again with tabs.  No one asked for ID or his name, and so no one was the wiser.
First load!  

And no, we are not going to wait months for this wood to dry so we can burn it.  Besides, I'd be worried about starting the field of winter dry weeds next door on fire.

Meow Mix

I was talking to my Grandma the other day, talking about our many adventures as a family.  She asked if I was writing any of them down.  Um, does posting a picture and a sentence or two on Instagram count?  I'm by no means a great photographer, but between Instagram and Chatbooks, I figure the highlights are being recorded and printed.  But she's right.  It's not the same thing.  The funny thing is, the girls LOVE reading the old blog books that I've had printed.  They love the pictures, the funny stories about themselves, and it really does help keep those stories and memories alive.  

So, I am going to try to write on my blog again.  We'll see how long I can keep it going.  Writing has been a good outlet for me in the past.  It's good to articulate these thoughts and feelings I have rumbling around in my brain. 

Today I volunteered in Maddie's class.  It's Dr. Suess week, and her class of 3rd graders combined with a class of 1st graders for a Reader's Cafe for roughly a half hour.  I was supposed to be at Maddie's class around 10 am, and at 8:59 am I got a text from Maddie's teacher asking me to pick up some last minute supplies.  Namely, 3 boxes of Capri Suns and a bag of large plastic cups.  I had an idea that might be the case, as this is not the first time I've been sent on supplies errands, so I was dressed before I dropped Annie and Maddie off for school.  

I made it to Walmart at about 9:40, figuring I could pick up a couple of extra things like shampoo and more hair rubber bands while I was there.  I made a beeline for the drinks and cups, and then ran into a friend.  I am often tongue tied around people and try to run away after the initial "How are you" pleasantries have been exchanged.  But Chantel is a good enough friend that I feel like I can converse.  Until I checked my phone and realized I had 7 minutes to check out and drive myself over to the school.  I had better run.  Hopefully there are no long check out lines.

I made it over to the school, got signed in, and was waylaid by the secretaries.  "Are you working tomorrow and would you be willing to help with our school Book Swap tomorrow?  Which of these 5 times would be good for you?  How about these three times?  Yes?"  I had my standard Thursday answer of I can only be there until 2:30 because it's piano lesson day.  I have been around volunteering and substituting long enough for the secretaries to be able to write both my first and last name without asking for help.  This both pleases and scares me.  There's the part of me that likes to be noticed, and then there's the other more vocal part of me that is anxious that someone will put me on the spot making me feel awkward and I will later mentally kick myself for not sounding like an intellegent adult.  Sometimes hiding in the corner is the safest, if rather lonely, place to be.

I finally make it to Maddie's classroom, with really no idea what my job will be.  Mrs. S wants me to make a Pinterest recipe she found for Meow Mix.  It's to go with the Splat the Cat books the kids would be reading to their 1st grade partners.  I was given a large mug for melting marshmallows in the microwave, and bags of pretzels, popcorn, Lucky Charms, Chex mix, and M&Ms to mix all together.  That didn't sound too bad.  I've made rice crispy treats before.  This could be awkward (yay, my speciality!) but doable.  I have one giant bowl, two large bowls and a large plastic stirring spoon.  So I dump in a whole lot of stuff in the bowl and blob my microwaved marshmallows in after.  Good heavens, what a sticky mess.  In the process of stirring, food is falling out of my bowl.  It's too full.  So I try to dump some in one of the large bowls so I have more room for stirring.  I've got marshmallow goo in giant globs and it isn't spreading all over the Meow Mix  Mess very evenly.  So I try to jam the plastic spoon in the middle of the globs, and by this time I have melted marshmallow on my hands.  This just keeps getting better and better.  If not for my height, I could be mistaken for a messy 3rd grader at this point.  More melted marshmallow is just what this situation calls for because darn it, I am going to make Meow Mix.  This time I make dollops of the sticky substance around the bowl, which does work better.  But I still have pretzels in the bottom of the bowl that are not getting stuck to its counterparts.  I grab my sticky Meow mix with my sticky hands and transfer it to another bowl.  I added more popcorn, etc. to the bowl (only going halfway full this time, see I can learn from experience) and then more blobs of goo spaced around the mix.  It's going a little better now, and I'm really hoping the two teachers in the room are not conversing about the weird mom in the back of the room who can't handle herself like a competent adult.  Like when she came in on Valentine's Day to make lumpy pudding for the class.  In my defense, I was given the same plastic stirring spoon and big bowl, and surely everyone knows pudding doesn't get smooth without the use of powered kitchen tools.  Right?  Or is this just another one of those things I personally need to work on because it's never worked for me or my kids?  (Cue music, "Whip It, Whip It Good.")

I made Maddie up her own special cup of Meow Mix when I was done serving the rest of the class, with no popcorn or marshmallows.  Her palate expander is making her 3rd grade snack life hard.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Newsletter, 2017 edition

Season’s Greetings!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every Kannely Christmas card is in need of a newsletter.  So here I am, trying to sum up our year into a one page paper, single spaced.  (Spoiler alert- I failed to keep it to just a page.  Sorry.  Proceed.)

It’s been a good year.  A little treacherous, a bit adventurous, and full of as many words (both sad and glad) as you might expect from a household of five females and one guy.  The winter of 2017 was as bad as anyone can remember.  Our roof did not fare well with the ice dams that built up, and eventually let in a pretty steady stream of water through the ceiling in our family room.  As long as you don’t count painting the ceiling (which is still waiting), as of Thanksgiving weekend we finally finished insulating, sheet rocking, taping and mudding, sanding, texturing, painting and putting the bookcase and books back in the offending corner.  It only took 42 weeks.  Ah, the joys of DIY.  We are a little wiser, and the proud owners of roof heat tape.  Take that, winter!

Emma is 14 and a freshman in high school.  She’s in Honor’s math, biology and English.  She also is playing the bass clarinet in band, taking PE, and learning French.  In addition, Emma started early morning seminary this year (that is a 6:30 am religion class at our church), and did marching band and was part of the high school’s production of Mary Poppins.  We almost haven’t seen her at all since school started.  Except when she needed to be picked up and dropped off.  Or to bring her dinner in between various activities.  Emma also got her braces off this year, and was the first recipient in our family of an x-ray for a broken bone.

Elizabeth is in 7th grade and is our lone middle schooler.  She’s working very hard at school and managed a 4.0 gpa 4th quarter last school year.  She plays the clarinet in band, takes piano lessons, and is following in Emma’s footsteps doing middle school science fair.  She may learn to type yet!  Elizabeth still loves art in all forms, and has any number of projects laying around the house and all over her bedroom walls.  She loves building things with old cereal boxes and paper, and her favorite decorating mediums are Sharpies and gel pens.

Annie and Maddie are 9 years old, and are in 3rd grade.  They get a great kick out of trying to confuse people on which twin is which, but if mom accidentally calls them by the wrong name, they are mortally wounded.  In my defense, I occasionally call all of my children by another one’s name.  Maddie has taken steps to make herself physically different from Annie, including pierced ears, a palate expander, and being two inches shorter.  The girls played soccer in the spring and fall, with two practices and a game every week.  And even after all of that time spent, I would say their talents lie elsewhere.  They both scored student of the month at school in October, and I had both teachers tell me they did not conspire together.  I am appreciative though.  I didn’t have to listen to one crow of victory and one weepy, “But I’m a good helper in my class, too.”

Ryan is in his 3rd year of being assistant principal at an all kindergarten school.  The school itself had a rough year and flooded 3 times, all within a 2 month window.  Ryan lost all 3 of his beehives over the course of that long, cold, snowy winter.  So he bought two in the spring, and then collected 3 bee swarms for a grand total of 5 beehives.  Our plot of land is well pollinated.  Ryan also realized his lifelong dream (ok, maybe only like 10 years) of growing broom corn.  We didn’t do anything useful like make a broom with it, but it did get tall and we collected some seeds for next year’s crop.  We also grew all of the usual garden stuff, leaving us drowning in produce and able to give away 200+ pumpkins and several gallons of berries.  Ryan also grew a beard for two months on a dare.  The whole family appreciates clean-shaven Ryan much more now.

I tried something new and scary this year.  I took an emergency substitute teacher training class and am certified to substitute in our school district.  I don’t substitute a ton, because it’s a little terrifying being alone and in charge of a class with students you don’t know, who have routines you don’t know, and a curriculum you don’t know.  Especially those few times you arrive and there are no plans to be found.  Ummm….  (Cue panic.  I’m good at panic.)  I also volunteer at school, teach my Primary class of 6-7 year olds at church, and am generally to be found in the minivan, driving or waiting for kids.  My big accomplishment of the year was that I figured out how to change a toilet seat by myself.

We drove to California for a 6 day trip this summer for a Kannely family reunion.  Once we were back from the trip we sent Emma and Elizabeth to Girls Camp, and Annie and Maddie to their grandparents, and then Ryan and I celebrated the end of student loans (for the 2nd time, mind you) by going to Ireland for a week.  We opted for the more adventurous choice, and rented a car and made our own itinerary.  Everything was “lovely” (the favorite Irish adjective) except for driving on those itty, bitty, twisty, turny, narrow roads surrounded by absolutely zero shoulder space and rock walls literally inches from your side mirrors on the wrong side of the road, with the stick shift on the wrong side of the car.  I was so sure we would be returning our pop can-sized car completely scratched up and missing the side mirrors, but Ryan did an amazing job and it looked unscathed when we returned it.  The scenery was “lovely” and very green, the weather was good, the accents made me smile, the ruins were amazing, the cathedrals and castles were spectacular, and the bacon was interesting.  Think thinly sliced ham-flavored pork chops.  After witnessing the majestic Gothic structures of the tourist attraction cathedrals, the only disappointment was finding that the Mormon branch in Galway meets on the 2nd floor in an office building across the hall from a fitness gym.  But it was an amazing trip, and one I’d love to do again.  Our one failure this summer was only going on one mountain hike, and one family camping trip.  We’ll have to do better next year.

We are thankful for so many of our blessings and cherish our moments with family and friends.  We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With much love,

Ryan, Danae, Emma, Elizabeth, Annie and Maddie Kannely

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Newsletter 2016

I haven't sent this out yet, so this may be a sneak peek for the 3 people who read my blog.

Season’s Greetings!

Welcome to the 2016 edition of the Kannely family Christmas letter.  The ending of this year finds us mostly the same, but perhaps a little older and, in the case of the kids, a little taller.  We have two kids in middle school now and so far, we’ve managed to avoid the Cheese Touch, which is a pretty big accomplishment in my book.  We are a little weird already.  We try hard to teach the girls life skills.  We are hoping at some point they will turn off lights when they leave a room and kill their own spiders when they see them.  At this point we’ve given up on the wish that all puke will end up in a bowl or the toilet.  We seem destined for shampooing a rug when we get sick.  We are trying to raise nice girls, but want them to be well-versed in all aspects of life.  Maddie has become adept at burping on command, and impressed us by doing just that for a minute straight, over and over.  Even she was impressed with herself.  I believe her exact words were, “That. Was. Awesome.”

Emma is 13, in 8th grade, and pretty much knows everything.  She is in a school and community children’s choir, plays the bass clarinet, and is working on another science fair project for the spring.  Thankfully, this one doesn’t involve rotting produce sitting on the kitchen counter.  She is upset she outgrew her Hogwarts sweatshirt, is always reading a book, and played C squad in volleyball.  She definitely inherited her parent’s athletic ability.  Emma did manage to break out of her usual fantasy genre, and read Jane Eyre this year.

Elizabeth is 11 and made the scary transition to middle school in the fall.  She’s funny, dramatic (some might say “angst-y”), is always crafting.  If there is paint, glue, coloring, tape, pipe cleaners, or project involving scissors in the house, it likely belongs to Elizabeth.  She’s taking piano lessons and also tries hard not to squeak Emma’s hand-me-down clarinet in band.  She also made honor roll for the first trimester of middle school, and we are thrilled!  She won’t pick up a book unless it is absolutely necessary and bribes are used, but enjoys the audiobooks we listen to in the car.

Annie and Maddie just turned 8 and are in 2nd grade.  Annie still dislikes displays of affection, but sometime Mom gets a pass and will be allowed a snuggle.  Maddie is carrying on the tradition of sneaking books and flashlights in bed.  The girls both played soccer in the spring and fall, and even made some progress in actually playing, instead of just following the ball around from one side of the field to the other.  The twins try to be different so people can tell them apart.  Maddie went so far as to split her chin open after a game of dodgeball was done and needed 7 stitches to put her to rights.  Annie always has her hair in a ponytail because she hates hair in her face, and refuses to let me cut her hair.

Ryan and I made the 15 years of marriage mark in August.  To celebrate we flew down to Mexico for a 5-day trip.  We didn’t go to one of the usual tourist destinations, but to Veracruz where Ryan served his mission.  We got hit by a tropical storm on our first day there, and I perfected my “smile and nod” while Ryan conversed with people he knew from his mission.  The Spanish words I picked up when I worked at the developmental preschool last spring wasn’t quite enough to get by.  We also wondered if our taxi driver was kidnapping us on our way to the pyramids at El Tajin because that was so not a 90-minute drive.  She didn’t, but she charged about 3 times more than she quoted Ryan.  All in all, it was a never to be forgotten adventure.

Ryan’s job is going well as the assistant principal at an all kindergarten school.  He deals with some interesting behaviors sometimes.  He had an out-of-control kid bite his hand.  The kid lost his tooth during the encounter, and it didn’t even break Ryan’s skin.  He now runs around outside without his shirt, claiming he sparkles in the sunlight and wants to be called Edward.  

Our “farm” is expanding.  We currently have a pig named Percy, two nameless sheep, 6 turkeys, 3 bee hives, one cat, and an unknown number of chickens.  Our feral chickens are always escaping to the neighbors, so it’s hard to count them.  Our garden was grand in size, as usual, and we added 6 fruit trees to our collection.  I won’t mention all the weeds we have, so this makes our yard sound a lot cooler and prettier than it really is.  Also, we are completely self-sufficient in onions.  I haven’t purchased one in two years.

And just because Ryan felt the need to include this fascinating tidbit so everyone, even the people we aren’t “friends” with on Facebook, know we are related to one of the guys who went on the Shark Tank tv show on ABC to pitch their toilet night light invention called the Illumibowl.  We now call Ryan’s brother Michael the Toilet King, and we are so proud the Kannely name is associated with toilets.  If anyone is interested, Illumibowls can be purchased at, many Walmarts, and Bed Bath and Beyond.  Or call Ryan.  We have several.

Well, we are hanging in there.  Sometimes maybe only by our fingernails.  Perhaps you understand the feeling.  But we are thankful for so many of our blessings and cherish our moments with family and friends.  We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Love,  Ryan, Danae, Emma, Elizabeth, Annie, and Maddie Kannely

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Not My Finest Mormon Moment

I hope that when people think of Mormons, they think of someone with a good, moral character.  Today I was not feeling like that at all.  In fact, I told my kids to ignore my behavior because it was just that bad.  

Today I lied, went to the store on a Sunday, and made a drug run.  


Pretty bad, right?

Well, Ryan's brother and his family are up visiting from Utah for the Thanksgiving holiday, and his brother chose this time to get strep throat.  Michael had a fever and has been sleeping most of the last two days.  Ryan offered our family doctor as a possible solution for someone who needed a fair cash price, and might even be able to consult on a weekend.  Our doctor goes above and beyond for his patients.  This is nice for us, but I feel for his wife.

Blair was worried about Michael yesterday when she (and everyone else) was down for Christmas tree shopping.  We offered Dr. Weaver, and this morning via text, Blair thought Michael was desperate enough to need medical attention.  So Ryan sent them Dr. Weaver's phone number, and Michael got a phone consult.  There are no pharmacies where my in-laws live (they have a grocery store, a Mexican grocery store, a gas station, a tiny post office and library, and that's the whole downtown area), so Dr. Weaver sent the prescriptions to our pharmacy.  As soon as I heard that, I called our pharmacy to make sure they saw it ("What?  We got a prescription sent in?  Oh, ok, we'll go check on that.") and since I couldn't very well pass myself off as a Michael, I could pass myself off as his wife. (Strike 1)   In-laws know things like dates of birth.  We played phone tag a couple of times while they found it, figured out how much the cash price would be, and when it would be ready.  Ryan pretended to be Michael over the phone too, and asked if his "brother" could pick it up for him because he wasn't feeling good.  Yes, so long as he knew the right date of birth.  Easy peasy.

So we picked up the medicine, at the store, on Sunday.  (Strike 2)  Then Ryan and I drove to the halfway point between my in-law's town and ours for the medicine drop off.  (Hello drug run.  Strike 3)  Ryan's dad drove Michael down, and as soon as Ryan handed him the bag, Michael was into it.  

Not exactly how I was wanting to spend my afternoon and evening, but oh well.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I don't have a full-time job.  I barely have a part-time job.  I am a substitute for teacher's aide in our district, so some days I work and others I don't.  I look at moms who work with and without kids at home during the day and I am amazed they keep it together.  In my own situation, I think it's good that I have time I spend at home to keep things running smoothly.  Well, not smoothly, but definitely not as crazy as if I worked full time.  This mommin' thing I do already takes up plenty of time.

Take this morning, for example.  Ryan had a 7 am meeting and was unable to take the middle school girls to school, so that was my first trip out this morning.  The second was to take the elementary school girls to school.  The third was to volunteer in Maddie's classroom, then trips to the Dollar Tree and Walmart.  (The twins are having a birthday party this weekend, and I had stuff to prepare.)  Once I got home and my bags unloaded, I got a text from Ryan saying he had blood on him, and could I please bring him some clothes?  It was lunch time, so I glanced wistfully at some left-over enchiladas in the fridge before grabbing some blood and hole-free slacks and shirt for Ryan.  (I found a hole in an important area of a pair of his slacks on Tuesday, and then a kid ripped his shirt sleeve yesterday.  It's been a rough week.)  I put out the big pot on the table just outside the front door for a lady who was supposed to come pick it up sometime over the next hour and sent her a text explaining my absence, and away I went.

I got to the school and sat in Ryan's office until he could find a spare few minutes to change.  I figured it would be best if I stayed to collect the bloody clothes so I could wash them sooner rather than later.  When Ryan finally came, he explained that some little kid had been out of control and bitten his hand.  When Ryan pulled his hand out of the kid's mouth, a loose tooth had come out too.  Hence the blood on his sleeve and slacks.  And Ryan was late for a meeting.

While Ryan was changing, his principal had come in and asked if I had cooked the turkey for tomorrow yet?

Nope.  Haven't really been home long enough to cook a turkey today.

So she pulled me into the office staff food/fridge/supplies closet and showed me how she had carved up the one she had done.  I assume I just look inexperienced and she was trying to be helpful.  I guess the turkey needs to be in smaller pieces and drizzled with the turkey juice so it doesn't get dry.  It would be such a bummer if the staff did not have perfectly done food that no one wanted to sign up to make.  (Are you picking up on my sarcasm?)

Well, I have just two hours until it's time for me to pick up the middle school girls from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and from there my day gets crazy again.  Emma has choir practice, and the rest have primary program practice, and Elizabeth has a piano festival Saturday we are still preparing for.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


These girls crack me up.  They have their own definite sense of style and certain clothes that they mostly keep for themselves.  See that black and white striped skirt that Maddie is wearing?  Well, we have two and Maddie alternates them so she can wear that skirt 3-4 times a week right now.  For a little while Annie and Maddie were both wanting to wear that skirt which once belonged to Elizabeth.  When I was shopping at Target for their birthday I happened to see that they were making the same one we had already, so I grabbed another so Annie and Maddie could each have one.  That hasn't worked out so well because Maddie is wearing them both.  But it works out because we have two pairs of the jeggings that Annie loves to wear, and one had been intended for Maddie.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cookie Dough

There are times I think we are making progress in treating our family with kindness, and other times I think we've made absolutely none.  Tonight when we were making chocolate chip cookies, Ryan took the beater off the KitchenAid mixer and offered it to Annie and Maddie.  Maddie was in the kitchen, and Annie was slightly further away in the family room.  Maddie was to Dad in about a step and a half and declared, "Annie doesn't like chocolate chip cookies," while grabbing the beater in her greedy little hands.  Annie was in hearing range and was outraged, "I do too like cookies!"

Anything I've ever said about my twins looking out for each other is a lie.  They are happy to throw each other under a bus if it means getting cookie dough.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Family Pictures, part two

It had been about two years since the last time we took family pictures.  Last Christmas I took a couple pictures of the kids myself to send out on our Christmas card.  The pictures up on our wall were reminding me that the kids are changing and it was time to change things up a bit.  Purely for documentation purposes, of course.  Not because I was ready for new pictures on the wall or anything.  It's hard work trying to come up with a Pinterest worthy color scheme.  Not that I do a good job, but it's definitely the trend to have coordinating clothing, not matching, and I do like our pictures to look nice.  I mean, if you are going to shell out the big bucks for pictures, then we had better look dang good.  So I pour over our clothing, try to pick out what we have and how to make it all go together.  Then I give up and go shopping.  Emma, Elizabeth and I all got new shirts, and I bought the two scarves too.  But the sweater and necklace I'm wearing are the same ones from our pictures two years ago.  (Shhhh....)  I think I have a tendency to use similar colors.  You can't really go wrong with navy, am I right?

We took pictures at a friend's house.  I asked if we could, and Tara kind of rolled her eyes.  Her husband has wanted to do pictures by their fence and by the wheel line, and Tara wasn't keen on the idea.  Now she doesn't want to copy ours (she had to admit that they did turn out nicely), and I told her that as we aren't displaying our pictures at the same location, it shouldn't be an issue.  Besides, we took some of ours at the cemetery too.  Again.  That makes three times.  I think that might make us a little creepy, but it's really pretty there.