Saturday, December 17, 2011

Etiquette at the Ballet

Despite being completely fascinated by the dancers, my child was the wiggly non whispering one in seat 27, row H at The Nutcracker Ballet today.

While I am quite certain she only distracted me, I do feel obliged to point out a few issues I noticed today.

And yes, I witnessed all of these. Sad but true.

1. The ballet is not the movies. Please refrain from eating crunching chips, munching popcorn, and rattling your candy bag during the show.

2. It is not proper to slurp soup from a thermos while watching the Sugar Plum Fairy.

3. If your child cannot make it through the performance without playing Angry Birds on your iPhone, perhaps your child should not be in attendance.

4. Oh, and if your child is a babe or toddler in arms, chances are pretty good that he would be better off left at home.

5. When showing appreciation for a great performance at the ballet, clapping is quite acceptable. Whistling....not so much. Even for Georgia.

If you are going to dress your little darling in their Sunday finest, please teach them to act the same.

Thank you from all future theater and ballet attendees.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Ah, Christmas traditions.

You know what I mean.

We all have them.

Maybe Elf on a Shelf.

Or, Grandma's special potatoes.

Maybe fancy outfits for church.

Perhaps opening one gift Christmas Eve.

Or, the dreaded fruitcake.

Well, I can pretty much guarantee you don't share our tradition.

You see, you know ours has to be quirky in some way or it just wouldn't be us.

Every year while decorating the tree, everyone has certain ornaments that they get to hang up. And that holds true for Alex.

His is this sweet little Santa that when placed "just so" on the tree, it would appear that Old Saint Nick is relieving himself on the branches.

Yep, our tradition is Peeing Santa.

We are so proud.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Someone Stole My Bonus Hour

This weekend was the time to gain an hour and not wake up usual.

I was smart, turned my clocks back early, and went to bed by 10:45 (new time).

From that point, the timeline looked somewhat like this.....

12:30 - Anna Grace showed up saying she couldn't sleep. Put her back to bed.

12:35 - Noticed Alex was not in bed but all the lights were out. Turns out he fell asleep on the couch so Katie left him there. Lovely. Put him back in bed.

2:30 - Phone rings. Unknown name and number. I'm awake again.

2:32 - Phone rings again. Awesome.

3:07 - Cell phone chirps alerting me of an email. Yep, I forgot to put it on silent.

3:59 - Another email arrives. I finally figured out how to make the phone silent. (new phone, owned for only a few hours)

5:30 - I am awake.

Turns out Dave's phone unlocked itself and called me twice.....from China. The emails that arrived were from him saying, "I think my phone called you."


It's going to be a very long day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is Daddy Smooth?

Abby brought home this picture she made at Art Club. She was so proud of the dragonfly, butterfly, and bird.

(Use your imagination)

Abby was especially pleased with her choice of smooth rocks to make her ground. Not rough rocks, but smooth.

I guess that makes a difference.

She was so excited to share with daddy......

"Daddy, daddy! Look, I used smooth rocks to make my picture".

Dave, being all so Joe Cool, said, "Smooth like me, right?"

"No daddy. You are not smooth. You are wrinkly."

I burst out laughing.

And I did not apologize.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Too Comfortable at School??

I'm thinking my child has become too comfortable at school.

After all, the teachers are mommy's friends. Many hours are spent roaming the halls, visiting, getting updates from others, and hanging out.

Today I learned something new which told me a certain little girl definitely feels comfortable in her surroundings.

Evidently, her teacher asked her to hush several times. Shocking. Or maybe she was told to put away her mechanical pencil one too many times. I have forgotten now but neither one is surprising.

In any case, after a funny comment from her teacher, the child in question stuck her tongue out at the aforementioned grown up.

Uh oh.

She quickly realized the error in her ways, covered her mouth in shock, and didn't say a word.

A few minutes later, the child got up and gave her teacher a big hug.

This reminded me of an episode just a few short years ago.

The principal was visiting the classroom. My child, yes my child, chose this time to say.....

"Can you please leave? You are too loud and I can't concentrate on my work."

Yep, too comfortable.

And it's only going to get worse.

I'm scared.

The fourth and fifth grade teachers at my school should be too.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Hair

I think my hair is trying to trick me.

I baby it with soft brushing (kinda sorta).

I make it look young over and over again (very frequently).

I always use conditioner to keep the smoothness (but to no avail).

True, I don't keep up with haircuts but....that's no reason to turn on me.

You see, my hair has convinced the rest of my body that I'm old.

No matter how often I adjust the color, the oldness still shines through.

With gray.

And with increased frequency.

Toss in the creaky knees, the tired legs, the multiple blue veins, sore hips, plus a host of other ailments, and I blame my hair.

After all, if my hair were cooperative, this may not be the case.

If my hair was always a nice shade of brown without a tinge of gray, the rest of my body would work just fine.


(go with me)

I guess my next step is to invent a hair color that works forever AND cures all other ailments.

No problem.

I'm on it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Those of you who have been around a while know my family. So you won't be surprised by these comments......

I came downstairs today dressed for church.......
Anna Grace: Where are you going?
Me: Church.
Anna Grace: I don't want you to go.
Me: Why? Because I make you behave?
Anna Grace: Yep.
(side note: daddy makes her behave too but mommy is stricter)
Abby: Mom, sometimes we use our fingers to eat. Sometimes we use our forks.
Me: What a profound statement.
Abby: Huh?
(Alex just chuckled)
Went to our neighborhood pool today....
If you've ever asked your child to spray your tattoos with sunscreen, you might be a redneck....
Questioned Alex on what he and his friend did all afternoon....
Alex: We tried to build a fort but didn't have enough money for wood.
Me: Where were you going to build this?
Alex: On the (public) nature trail.
Dave wondered while watching "Blue Collar": Has anyone ever gotten married and said,.... "Git 'r done" for their vows?
Abby: How old were you when you got Katie?
Mom: I HAD Katie when I was 24.
Abby: (long pause, CPU light flashing)
Mom: She was in my tummy, remember?
Abby: (long pause, CPU light flashing)
Mom: I'll tell you later when daddy is not here.
When cucumbers were put on Anna Grace's salad, she said.
"I only like cucumbers when they are on my eyes at a spa."
Katie spent the week wrapped up in Rush activities for new recruits. I spoke to her Saturday for the first time in a while. I mentioned the hurricane that was heading north via all our family on the east coast. Her comment?

"There's a hurricane coming?"
Yep. This is my family.

I am so proud.

(Seriously though, they are a lot of fun and bring many chuckles....)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Opposite Week

Have you experienced Opposite Day before? You know the kind of day that someone does the exact opposite of what you ask?

Well, I’ve had a very long Opposite Week.

Yep, a week. And still going strong.

“Please walk” means to run.

“Read quietly” means to sing as loudly as possible.

“Please don’t touch” means touch everything around.

“Chew with your mouth closed” means open wide.

Do you get the picture?

It’s been a Very. Very. Very. Long. Week.

What made me thing going to church would be okay?

The Opposite Child was just as contrary during Mass.

“Kneel” means stand up.

“Stand” means sit.

“Don’t touch your sister” means do anything you can to touch.

“Put down the paper” means shake it loudly for everyone to hear.


At one point, I had her locked between my knees to make her stand up.

Yep, I did.

The elderly couple behind us said, “Boy, she sure ate her Wheaties today, didn’t she?”

Yep. Everyday.

As Mass neared the end, Father Dan asked all the parents to stand for a special blessing. He prayed for strength and patience.

I started giggling. Seriously.

After all, my strength and patience were completely shot.

During the prayer, the Opposite Child sat and goofed around.

But I guess she was listening because just as the prayer ended and before the congregation responded, we heard…….

A loud “Amen” from the aforementioned child.

Guess she knows I need all the help I can get, huh?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ring a Ding Ding

As I blew the dust off the blog, I realized it's been almost a month since I last posted. Whoops.

Anna Grace started third grade and Abby started first grade....and I didn't blog about it.

Alex started his senior year with being tossed into an Interior Design class.....and I didn't blog about it.

Katie moved to a new apartment for her junior year....and I didn't blog about it.

Oh well.

Just use your imagination.....

There, that saved me several posts! Thanks!

Onward and upward.....

Abby, my little word mixer upper, came home with a story last night.

When questioned about friends she sat by at lunch, Abby said, "Conner and Ding."

I looked at her quite puzzled and said, "Ding? Is that his name?"

She said, "Yes".

Hmmm, what an unusual name. This needed further clarification.

"Abby, you mean like ring a ding ding? That kind of ding?"

"No, mom. We don't call him ring a ding ding. It's just Ding." (complete with an exasperated sigh)

Poor child, I thought. I can just hear young boys teasing him.

"Abby, are you sure that is his name?"

"Yes (with another big sigh). That is his name."

Today, I did some checking at school and searched Abby's class list for the aforementioned friend named Ding.

Guess what? Ding is not in her class.....

But Dean is.


I just hope she has not been calling him Ding for the past two weeks.....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friends in the Virtual World....and Real World

I don’t know about you, but my family thinks I’m crazy.


Don’t answer.

Example……when I comment about something one of my friends said, usually the first question is, “Do you really know this person?”

When I say, “Well, I do from the blog or Facebook,” I get the eye rolling.


You see, eight years ago when we started our adoption journeys, I met many people though our adoption internet groups. We shared the same experiences, same worries, same joys, and same struggles throughout the years. Internet groups turned into following blogs and eventually, Facebook all while following the families and kids as they grew…..

So, yes, I feel like I do know my virtual friends.

Call me crazy.

The other night, we had the opportunity to meet an adoption friend in real life.

Yes, in real life!

When I learned via Facebook that Teresa, from Are We There Yet, and her family were headed south for a beach vacation, I quickly got in touch with her to see if we could possibly meet up anywhere. Details were exchanged and plans made to have her family join us at our house for dinner. Whoo hoo!

The night arrived and found the girls stalking the front windows anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Berter clan. Finally I heard the cry, “They’re here!!”

Introductions were quickly made and the four little ones took off for the back yard.

Amazing how within minutes of meeting, they were fast friends.

Lovely picture, huh? Yep, Anna Grace would not cooperate at all.

While the little ones bonded, the big people enjoyed great conversation comparing notes on work, kids, recent travels, college, and so much more.

Dinner….with Molly pausing to smile for the camera….while Carson ignored me...

an unknown game involving unifix cubes all over the house……

which I guess is somewhat our fault for being too involved in chatting and not enough kid watching…

followed by dessert…..

meant our evening was coming to an end.


In an effort to drag out our time and not say goodbye, more pictures were taken.

Katie and Meggie, Teresa’s oldest, are like two peas in a pod….even posing the same way for pictures!

Teresa and I… longer just virtual friends!

Dave and Kevin were not forced into picture taking but Teresa grabbed this one of them anyhow.

And heaven knows, there’s no way Alex would be present and photographed. The boy ate dinner and disappeared never to be seen again….until he emerged asking to drive a jar of queso to his friend’s house. Don’t ask.

During our winding down time/trying to avoid leaving time, there was great commotion in the playroom. Carson, the stud muffin, was trying to kiss the girls. Hmm, got him starting young, huh?

Eventually the time came where the evening had to end. But the girls can’t just say goodbye at the door. They have to actually watch the van drive away. Don’t ask me why.

We exchanged hugs, watched them pile into their van, and saw…..

Anna Grace jumping up and down, calling Carson’s name, and blowing him kisses.

Oh my. Guess they hit it off more than I thought!

Thanks Teresa and Kevin for coming out of your way to Georgia to see us! I can’t believe we finally met in person……amazing how being virtual friends can transfer so easily into real life friends. It was awesome to meet you and your beautiful children in person.

By the way, expect us in Ohio soon. Anna Grace is already asking to come visit!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ah, the beach.....!

Last week, we saw this sight........

and watched the little ones doing........

while the big ones did..........

Evening walks brought.....

Toss in a run-in with the glass door.....

Forced Family Fun.....


And what teen boys do when they're bored.....

And you would agree.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Not-So Very Good Day

Time to share a tale of woe…..

We loaded the van this morning, ready to head home and leave the beach behind.

Yep, we’ve been at the beach. Did I blog about it? Nope. But I will. Maybe.

Anyhow…..we were ready to roll but the van was not.

Dead battery. Great.

Flagged down someone leaving the condo complex to ask for help.

Five guys later, my van is pushed out of the parking space ready to be jumped.

Jumping commenced, and the engine came alive.

However, as the engine came alive, other things croaked.

Upon inspection, we found the only things that worked were the headlights, taillights, windows (thankyouthankyouthankyou), and the stereo.

That means, if you are thinking logically, that a whole slew of things were NOT working.

Minor things like…..


power outlets


And major things like….


gas gauge

air conditioning/entire fan system

windshield wipers

Awesome. And did I mention yet that it was raining?

Rain and no wipers.

No air conditioning, no DVD player, no way to see how fast I was going.

And rain.

But we set off hoping for the best. Stopped a few times when I couldn’t see anything at all. Drove through the off and on rain for two hours until we hit the first major town on our way home.

Dothan, Alabama.

Lunch at the oh so wonderful Dothan mall food court while Dave went to a garage to see about our issue. We were desperately hoping it was a blown fuse so an easy fix.

No such luck. All fuses were fine. Rats. Didn’t do a full diagnostic test to determine the issue. Opted to drive home and have it fixed here.

It was a Very. Very. Very. Long. Drive. Home.

Even though only two of my windows roll down, I continue to be very thankful that they were not affected by this power outage.

We’d have been some melted people by the time we got home.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Crash in the Night

It was that magical time of night.

Kids all played out, not time for dinner, and full of complaining.

What do you do?

You bribe them with a little tv.

Little girls went running to Katie's room. They love to plop themselves on her bed and catch a little Looney Tunes.

Ah, peace. I sat to read my book.....and did for quite a while....but then I heard....

A very loud crash from upstairs.

Oh my. Not good.

Was it the tv? Trophies? Shelves? Crystal?

I went racing upstairs only to find both little girls stretched out on the bed.


What happened?

Oh, Abby just fell off the bed.

I don't know of anyone else who falls off the bed while watching tv.

Kid's got talent, let me tell you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Fourth of July!

Take this....


toss in......

and you get a....

The fun continues with...

but is interrupted with....yep, rain....

But no storms stop the fun....

all so we could see....

in honor of...

and our troops. Thank you to the many men and women who have volunteered their lives to serve our country.