Archive for August, 2010

It’s My First Day

Posted in church on August 29th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Today marked an important day at church for our family – transition day, when the kids move up to their next classroom!  My son, who is also our youngest, moved from the Toddler Room to the 2-year-old room.  He seemed to really like the new toys: the wide array of trucks, the bubble window, and the slide.  His next sister moved from the 3-year-old room to the 4-year-old room, and she really liked her new digs also.  Our 6-year-old moved buildings all together, and she is now with the big kids on the north campus for a more school-like vs. a nursery / playroom setting.  She really seemed to enjoy herself in the new building.
Today also marked a first for my husband and I – it was our first day trying our new positions at church.  I am the first grade teacher during our 2nd service, and my husband is the large group storyteller.  For me, things went quite well.  I had 5 little girls and 4 little boys in my group today, and unlike when I substitute taught over the summer, there was no clinging to the parents’ legs or fights to referee in this age group – at least not yet.  My daughter was in my class, and she was one of the best behaved kids, for which I was thankful because when I substitute- taught her 5-6 year old class over the summer (before she transferred to the first grade class), she was one of my trouble makers as she had trouble listening to mom.  But today things went smoothly, and one of the activities went so well that we actually ran out of time to do it again!  The activity was for each kid to take a word from Luke 6:31 (Do to others as you want them to do to you) and say it on their turn so that the verse is completed.  I altered the game a little bit, giving each kid a slip of paper with the word on it as a reminder and also walking around the room and touching their heads when it was their turn.  This way, there was less freezing on the kids’ part, and more control on my part since anyone who has worked with kids will tell you that any sort of down time will lead to chaos in a matter of seconds.
Shortly after the kids arrived, we made our way to the Wherehouse, a fun gathering room for the kids.  This is where we got to hear the storyteller (my husband, who did a great job even if he had to adlib when the “boss” forgot the charades cards) and where we got to “get our wiggles out” by dancing to some fun Christian music.
My favorite part of the class was the snack prayer – I kept it short and sweet because the kids were really hyper, and I didn’t want them to be disrespectful during the prayer.  After we prayed, a little boy said, “Are you an angel?”  I chuckled and asked him what he meant.  “The prayer was really short,” he said, smiling.  I guess he was hungry 🙂
All in all, it was a great first day, and I’m looking forward to not only the rest of this year, but also to moving from grade to grade with these wonderful children and watching them grow!

And by the way, saying “it’s my first day” reminds me of an hilarious scene from a Simpsons episode.  I tried to find the clip so that I could embed it on my blog, but I could not find it without having to post the entire episode, so you can read the transcript and visualize it if you’re a fan – I guarantee at least a chuckle!  If you want to try to find the clip yourself, it’s from the episode called “Simpson Tide”, which is the 19th episode of the 9th season.
Mr. Burns: You did this? How could you be so irresponsible?
Homer: Eh… it’s my first day!
Mr. Burns: Since I’ve never seen you before, maybe it is your first day. Very well, carry on!
[Mr. Burns begins to walk off, when Smithers catches up with him.]
Smithers: Sir, that’s Homer Simpson. He’s been working here for ten years!
Mr. Burns: Ohh, really? Why did you think you could lie to me?
Homer: It’s my first day!
Mr. Burns: Well, why didn’t you say that be…[realizes] Yawoo! You’re fired!

Kidstuf!!

Posted in church on August 23rd, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

Four times per year, our church puts on a family program called Kidstuf.  This time around, my two oldest daughters were chosen to be Kidstuf dancers, and they did a GREAT job!

Kidstuf is energetic and fun for adults and kids alike, so my husband and I were pleased to be offered the opportunity to direct the skit portion of the show.  We accepted the position, and we enjoyed preparing and rehearsing over the past month or so.  I can’t say the actual show went off without a hitch since the tech crew missed a few cues and sound effects.  But then again, we had only one rehearsal with the tech crew before the actual production.  I’m not really sure if anyone noticed the technical gaffes, and I made sure to keep a big smile on my face for the nervous cast to see as a sign of encouragement throughout the show.  And I should mention that this edition of Kidstuf was unprecedented in that families sat together in the audience.  Normally we have kids up front, and parents with wee little ones sit in the back.  But this time, there was a family activity to be done – each  family was given poster board, colored note cards, and glue sticks.  Throughout the skit, families were directed to write different words on their note cards pertaining to either God or their loved ones.  At the end, they were to paste their note cards to the poster boards in the shape of a flower.  Being the first time we’ve attempted a family craft during Kidstuf, we didn’t know what to expect…  But the jubilant feeling I felt when I looked around and saw that the families had done the craft was indescribable.  Not only did their flowers look great, but they had also together created something to take home that will remind them about how important familial and Godly relationships are in life.  It was probably the most accomplished feeling a director can  have, and that made the distraction of the tech problems disappear from my mind!

As I mentioned before, my kids were excellent Kidstuf dancers!  They had rehearsed together every day before the production, had fun at their rehearsals, and then when performance time came, they were naturals on the stage!  Here is a clip (my lovelies are the two on the left –  my oldest is in green, and her little sis is in yellow behind her):

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Kidstuf had something for everyone: a great Bible lesson (Philippians 4:8 complete with “not borin'” tips on how to memorize it), dancing, singing, a fun skit, comedy, and audience participation – Hubby was one of the adults that was called up to participate to be a “cow”.  From the show: “you know that cows are known to bounce around on the range….”  We had six adults on the stage bouncing around on (child size) hippity-hops, 3 of whom got roped by the ‘magic lasso’ – it was classic!  Here’s a clip:

Actually never mind…  while it was fun at the time, those adults might not appreciate being on the internet on their hippity hops, getting roped by the ‘magic lasso’, so I will just save that one for memory – hilarious, and the kids LOVED it!!

And I must add that our other audience participation scene went quite well also, but this one involved kids acting like a fire brigade.  Things got crazy, and before the audience knew it, a real bucket of water was thrown upon a cast member.  Before the production, much discussion was held on how not to mess up the stage (Kidstuf is performed in our Worship Center, so keeping things clean was of utmost importance), and thankfully we decided to remove one of the Worship Band’s monitors from the stage before “Scottie’s” dousing.  Because we had never used actual water during rehearsal, the physics of the soaking was as much of a surprise to us directors and to the cast (especially poor “Scottie”) as it was to the audience – “Tyler” got “Scottie” right down the front of her bib overalls, and the look on the actress’ face was priceless!

All in all, we experienced an extremely fun and successful Kidstuf; we couldn’t have asked for a better show!  Afterward, there was a carnival with games, activities, and carnival food, and it was all free, which was great for many community families – hope we got a lot of new people to come check out our great church!  I know many families had a fun-packed day, and I was very excited to be part of such a wonderful event.  I’m really glad that my Illinois family (most of them anyway) were able to join us, and I know it meant the world to my kids to have some fans in the audience, so thank you!!

For those who were not fortunate enough to be able to see the show, Philippians 4:8 reads:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Disney World Fairy Tales (Not Quite)

Posted in Travel on August 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I came across a really fun article awhile ago called:  Confessions Of A Disney Cast Member.  The article was written by a guy who spent 5 summers working at the Walt Disney World resort as a Disney cast member.  If you’re like me and a frequent visitor to  the Magic Kingdom, then you will appreciate the following not-so-tall-tales.  Even if you’ve never been to WDW, the following stories are fun to read.  Among the entertaining stories he has to share:

Excuse me man, are you pregnant?
What’s more terrifying than the 38-foot drop on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Having to ask women in line if they’re pregnant. It’s for their own safety, but forget a woman scorned—hell hath no fury like a woman who’s been mistaken for being pregnant. Once, when I was in training, I watched a coworker approach a larger female park visitor and ask, “Excuse me, ma’am, but are you pregnant?” “Pregnant!?!” the woman screamed, her voice turning heads at the happiest place on earth. “No! What are you saying? Do I look fat to you?!” She turned to her friend and screamed some more: “They think I look fat. Let’s get out of here!”  I was so traumatized by that incident I crafted a plan to avoid offending anyone. Whenever I spotted a “suspect,” I asked everybody in the vicinity—including teenage boys and women in their 70s—if they were with child. If the woman I suspected was actually pregnant, she left the ride quickly. If she wasn’t, she just thought I was working a gag.

I sure am Randy today.
Disney made the “first name” name tag famous, but the tag doesn’t always match the person wearing it. One day, as I was steering the raft to Tom Sawyer Island, my name tag dropped into the river, forcing me to get a new one. There wasn’t a single “Robert” left, so until a replacement could be made, I pretended to be “Randy,” a name that amused visitors from the U.K. to no end. Elderly English ladies lined up to have their picture taken with me. One screamed when she saw me, grabbed her friend, and yelled, “Is that really your name?” Being a good Disney cast member, I lied and said yes. The friend said, “You know, we love a good randy man back home.” But lady, even I’m not that good a cast member.

To get onstage, dress the part.
A few attractions choose audience volunteers to be part of the show, but the selection process is far from random. Typically, you need to be a certain gender, size, and age for each of the different roles. You might even need to be wearing a specific item of clothing. On my off days from work, I used to go over to Universal Studios, and I would get picked all the time to play “Mother” in the old Alfred Hitchcock show. They needed a guy my height and weight who happened to be wearing the same type of plain white tennis shoes I always wore. Also helpful for getting picked: cuteness and enthusiasm. Curious kids who ask nicely and look excited often get extra attention, along with thrilling perks like riding up front and introducing shows.

Stroller relocation program
Disney’s a family place, but the people who work there come to loathe strollers. It’s part of a cast member’s job to keep strollers in nice, orderly lines and to make sure they’re only left in designated areas. But park visitors keep their strollers in an appalling condition, loaded up with dirty diapers, rotting bottles of milk, and half-eaten PB&J sandwiches. Others see no problem with parking their strollers right in front of an attraction’s exit or entrance. Sometimes thoughtless individuals like this incur the wrath of the stroller police, and their precious Bugaboos and Maclarens are intentionally relocated to a place “far, far away”—at the very back of the area cordoned off for strollers.

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of (confiscated) rum
On special Grad Nites, when Disney hosts loads of freshly graduated high school kids, the park puts extra staffers inside Pirates of the Caribbean and other rides as lookouts to monitor less-than-legal activities. Our focus was mostly on what the kids were consuming. Booze, cigarettes—you name it, and a Disney cast member has confiscated it from a 17-year-old at one time or another. One clever kid, forced to hand over his bottle, noted the irony of getting busted in the middle of a ride that celebrates a drunken pirate orgy. “Hey, don’t the pirates have enough?” he asked. “They need mine, too?”

Please keep your happiness to yourself.
This attraction has been camera monitored for your safety. That’s the spiel Disney broadcasts over its loudspeakers for many rides. But the cameras are also meant to protect you from yourself. One night, while most parkgoers were watching the fireworks display, a couple strolled over to Pirates of the Caribbean, where I was working. They not only had a boat to themselves, but empty boats all around them. The real fireworks display, it turned out, was visible on the security cameras to all of us working that night. Let’s just say the show the couple put on wasn’t exactly G-rated.

If you enjoyed the above stories, you might want to read the article in its entirety here, along with other theme park insider info.

C(hair)ity

Posted in Everyday Life on August 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , ,

I’ve had really long hair ever since I was a little girl.  I wasn’t particularly attached to it, but I’m just a busy person, so I always liked the idea of hopping out of bed and simply running a brush through my hair if I needed to be quick and put off the shower until  later in the day.  About a month ago, I took my kids to the South Bend zoo to meet my mom so she could take the girls for their week with Grandma, but it was one of those 100º+ days, and I could not get my long hair off of my neck.  Since I had a fun trip planned days later to another zoo and an amusement park (2 long days outside!), I decided to chop off my hair.

The hairdresser made a big deal of it, asking me if my husband was going to be shocked, but I told her not really since he knew I planned to get it cut and isn’t really concerned with what I do with my hair.  I told her I wanted my hair cut all one length since I’m not a big fan of the reverse mullet look that seems so popular these days.  But when I looked in the mirror after she was finished, she had kind of left the sides longer than the back, giving me an involuntary reverse mullet.  Sure, the hairstyle looks great on most people, but I just don’t see it for me.  Besides, I don’t want to be just another I’m-in-my-30’s-I-have-4-kids-and-a-reverse-mullet-type housewife.  So I told her to  please even the sides out, and she (begrudgingly? did so.  Is it this woman’s mission to spread the reverse mullet around the world  like a virus?)

But that brings me to an interesting conundrum – if you have someone really bad doing your hair, would you tell them?  Probably you would – it’s your hair and you are stuck with your new hairstyle every day, 24/7!  What about when the hairdresser asks you, ‘How does it look?’  You would say, ‘not so  good’.  So she would even it out.  ‘How about now?’, she would ask.  ‘Still not really very even’, you say – and still she would attempt to even out your hair, finally sticking you with that reverse mullet look that’s oh-so-popular these days, even though it’s a reverse mullet against your will – a reluctant reverse mullet.  Worse, an untalented hairdresser could keep attempting to even out your hair until you have nothing left!  Maybe you could keep quiet during the incident if you were getting a bad haircut.  You could return days later for a refund and try to endure another stylist’s attempt on your hair.  You could also try to fix it yourself at home.  Well anyway, by the time she was through with me, my hair was just a little shorter than I had intended, but in that heat, I really didn’t care.  Besides, I was given a super long ponytail that I could donate to Locks of Love, a charity group that collects hair to make hairpieces for kids who lose their hair because of cancer and other medical conditions.

Better yet, when my oldest daughter returned home from her trip to Grandma’s, she wanted to cut off her long hair too.  Luckily for our family, my husband has gotten quite good at cutting the kids’ hair, which saves us tons of money.  I’m not brave enough to let him tackle my hair yet (though he might have been better in this case, but if he didn’t do well, it’s much better to be mad at a stranger hairstylist than my husband), but he cut off our daughter’s long ponytail, giving us another donation for Locks of Love.

My daughter and I walked over to the post office one day to send our donation, and I decided to send our picture in to the local newspaper since I’ve seen them print pictures of Locks of Love donations before.  Yesterday they printed our picture!  I can’t link to the actual newspaper since you have to be a subscriber to see it anyway, but here is the picture I sent:

That reminds of a question I had regarding hair donations – what would happen if someone left hair DNA evidence at a crime scene, and you became a suspect because the DNA evidence hair was somehow taken or dropped from a Locks of Love hairpiece made from your hair donation?  If written well, it could be a stage play or movie…  or maybe just a far-fetched CSI episode.

What Are The 3 Largest Cities In Nebraska?

Posted in Travel on August 17th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago at a family birthday party, a friend posed an interesting trivia question which I thought I had a fair chance at since it involved a state where I once lived: the great state of Nebraska.  Do  you know what the 3 largest cities in Nebraska are?

Answer: Omaha, Lincoln (everyone knows those two) and…  Bellevue.  I’ve heard of Bellevue, but it wasn’t my guess for third place.  I  was thinking of the western city of Scottsbluff, which is actually on the western side of Nebraska near Cheyenne Wyoming.  I guessed Scottsbluff since it has a zoo that I always wanted to visit when we resided there, but we never made it there since Scottsbluff was almost as far away from our home in Lincoln as was our family 2 states over in Illinois!  But anyway, my point is that Scottsbluff didn’t even make the top 10 of Nebraska’s largest cities.  The city of Kearney (pronounced Carnie) crossed my mind since it was always advertised as a nearby tourist attraction when we lived in Lincoln, but it was #5 on the list.  And by the way, #5-10 of the largest cities in Nebraska only have between 20-30,000 people!!

I found this info while I was looking up the answer to my friend’s trivia question, and I found it interesting, so I decided to pass it on.  Then again, it was probably only interesting to me because I used to call Lincoln Nebraska home.  Well anyway, if you come across the ‘3 largest cities in Nebraska’ trivia question, you can now impress your friends by correctly saying Omaha, Lincoln, and Bellevue!

Disney’s Driving Lesson

Posted in Kids on August 10th, 2010 and tagged , , ,

My daughter Disney is 3 years old and full of questions.  Today was her first dentist visit, and she had questions about every aspect of going to the dentist.  On the way home, she had more questions: Can I still sneeze?  Can I still drink?  Can I still eat?  She had no idea what life would be like with clean teeth.  Before the appointment, she was a bit scared, but in the end she found getting her teeth cleaned fun and tickle-y.

After the dentist, something happened that will have me laughing for a long time.  A stoplight turned yellow, and it was one of those with the pedestrian’s crosswalk really far in front of the light, so I had to hard-brake, which for some reason prompted little Disney to pipe up from the back seat and ask me, “What the h*** are you doing?”  I turned around and asked her where she learned that word, and her sisters looked terrified that they were going to somehow get blamed for this – the looks on their faces were priceless.  “From Kirsten”, said Disney, referring to her little friend at the babysitters.  I was relieved to know that it wasn’t something she had picked up from home, and we had a little chat about some words not being appropriate to say.

Kids will be kids, and I’m not worried in the slightest about my sweet little 3-year-old becoming as foul-mouthed as a trucker’s reputation.  Actually, I will think of this little episode every time I need a smile  – it was so funny how she just blurted it out that way, it makes me laugh out loud just thinking about it!

my sweet little Disney

Best Way To Spend 88 Cents

Posted in Pets on August 9th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , ,

According to JJ my parakeet, the best way to spend 88 cents is on this little number:

I saw this little bird toy at Walmart the other day, and even though I knew it would scare the heck out of my scaredy-cat parakeet, I bought it anyway.  It’s a piece of plastic in the shape of an upside-down T –  a perch for the bird to sit on, while the part that sticks up hold millet sprays  – a favorite treat for parakeets.

I adopted my little guy JJ (short for Jungle Jack Hanna named after my favorite celeb) back in January, and he hasn’t ever been interested in playing with any of the toys in his cage.  My 2-year-old son used to bang on JJ’s cage, and so the little bird became afraid of people, and I haven’t been able to pet him in months – he flies away from me.  I was so afraid that he led a miserable existence locked away safely in my bedroom – until about a month ago, when I moved him from our bedroom (where he was by himself most of the time) to the living room (the centerpiece of most of our large family’s traffic patterns).  JJ has been SO happy to be a part of the action!  I’ve been happy to see him happy, but he still wasn’t playing with toys – until I bought this 88 cent Walmart Wonder on a whim.  At first, JJ kept his distance, and I feared I was right – he WAS afraid of everything!  I had to leave the house for awhile, and when I returned, the millet was gone from the toy – I was ecstatic!

The next day, I snapped the above picture of JJ perched on his new toy, and ever since, he’s been in love with his 88 cent Walmart toy!  He sits next to it and preens himself, and he even gazes at it lovingly.

I reiterate – BEST 88 cents spent (on a pet) EVER!!

Playing Tourist In Toledo

Posted in Travel on August 9th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It began with terrible news – my husband’s uncle had a massive heart attack and was in a coma.  His uncle was in Youngstown Ohio, on his way from Illinois to Washington DC where he was going to take his two sons for a vacation.  A week ago Sunday, we packed up our family and were ready to head to Youngstown to be with the boys since they didn’t have any other family in the area, but at the last minute, we found out that their mom was on her way.

We were all packed and ready to go, plus the summer almost got by without us taking a  family vacation.  Sure, we had some fun excursions with extended family and friends, but nothing with all 6 of us, just the 6 of us.  So we changed our destination from Youngstown to Toledo, cut out a bunch of that driving, and were able to utilize a hotel gift certificate that had been burning a hole in our pockets.  Although Toledo is not our home town, we live only an hour away so we visit often, which is why I used the term ‘playing tourist’.

We went to the zoo (for the umpteenth time, but I could never get sick of the zoo, NEVER!), ate some delicious food, and swam in the hotel pool a bunch.  We visited a mall; something I haven’t done in probably over a decade (I don’t count our local mall – it’s more than half vacant, and its food court has only one restaurant left!), and I was disappointed to learn that the mall’s Dippin’ Dots store (which is the only one anywhere nearby) DOES NOT carry my favorite flavor – Root Beer Float!  But the Dippin’ Dots were still delicious, and besides, that’s just one more thing that makes Orlando that much more special – plenty of Root Beer Float Dippin’ Dots in the store near Disney World, how I miss that place.  We couldn’t believe how crowded the Toledo mall was on a Wednesday afternoon, and because I hadn’t been in one in years, there were all these new gadgets, gizmos, and what-nots that our family had to check out and play around with, probably making us look like total hicks.  But that’s ok, we had fun!  And not only do I love living in a rural area because we have no crime, crowds, or traffic, but it makes things like visiting malls or big movie theaters rare treats and fun vacations!

4 party animals in the hotel

Probably the most fun I had on this vacation was when we rented a pontoon boat and took it into Lake Erie.  Now, don’t be fooled by stats – You wouldn’t know that Lake Erie is the second smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area when you’re out there on a boat – you go out far enough, and you can’t see shore, like all of the Great Lakes.  When we looked at a map when we got home, we found that we had barely even gotten into the lake, yet it took us about 30 minutes to get there and there was water as  far as the eye can see.  Setting Lake Erie apart from the others is its relatively shallow depths, at least on the west side of the lake where we were visiting – the water averaged 1-3 feet in depth!  It looked really strange to see people standing in the lake, really far from shore, with water only up to their knees!

There were some interesting and fun islands to explore; we anchored our boat near the Woodtick Peninsula and waded onto the beach for some sea shell hunting and sand playing.

My kids were well behaved on the boat, and they enjoyed themselves, with the little guy even finding time for his afternoon nap.

(Note the can of precious Coke Zero clutched in his hand.  He stole it from his dad, but apparently it didn’t help keep him awake!)

We wanted to dock at a cool looking place called Turtle Island, but it didn’t seem very kid-friendly – maybe next time if Hubby and I can get back for date night.  Turtle Island (click the link for more history) was once destined to be a great resort island, but plans fell through, and it remains abandoned.  There are some abandoned structures that remain on  the island, including an old lighthouse and an old-fashioned crane (on the right of the island in this picture).

Since Turtle Island is way out in the lake, you wouldn’t expect there to be wildlife, but we saw this fox looking for fish on the beach – so cool to see!!  Perhaps because of the shallow nature of this part of Lake Erie, animals can just walk out to the islands, or maybe the fox was a stowaway.  Pardon the bumpiness of the video – taking pictures and video was something I struggled with the entire time on the bobbing boat!

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There is also a “haunted lighthouse” (in reality it’s called the Toledo Harbor Light) that looks very cool and emits a ghostly warning horn every few minutes.

As we were floating nearby gaping at it, a Coast Guard boat came speeding up to us, lights flashing and all.  What the…?  There were four Coast Guard officers on the boat, all armed, and the one in charge informed us that they “had the authority of the US government” and were going to board our boat and search it.

As serious as it seemed, they must have liked what they saw because we were awarded a “good as gold” form, which means that we had been following all the maritime laws and regulations.  But it was kind of a strange experience to be all alone floating in the middle of Lake Erie one minute, only to have a boat full of gun-wielding government agents on your case the next…  They were nice enough, I suppose, but sheesh, why our boat?  Later when we returned to shore, the owner of the boat rental place said that in all their years of renting out their boats, none of their clients had ever undergone a boarding inspection by the Coast Guard.  Lucky us.  Perhaps with all my kids on board, they were suspicious of some illegal Canadian smuggling, eh?

Despite all the high-seas adventure, the vacation was fun and so refreshing to be able to spend time together as a family without distraction, not having to worry about household chores, responsibilities, or Dad’s work for a few days.  Just what I needed to get out of my kids-are-fighting-constantly-rut at home, and hey – I even lost track of that back-to-school countdown I had been swearing by before the vacation!

And the best news of all this?  Hubby’s uncle has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.  Time will tell us what he will need to make his heart healthier, but for now, he is out of immediate danger and for that, we are so thankful!

My Favorite Movie At The Drive-in

Posted in Movies on August 5th, 2010 and tagged ,

I was so excited to receive the newsletter from my local drive-in movie theater this week, and I’m so glad I checked it when I did – tonight there is a special showing of Wizard of Oz (which just happens to be my favorite movie of all time) at the drive-in!  I can’t wait to watch it under the stars!  I am so glad that I didn’t wait to open the newsletter; I can’t imagine how disappointed I would have been if I had missed the email or had something else planned!  I only checked it yesterday otherwise I would have put together a costume.  But that’s ok, I’m just happy to be going, and I will bring along my hard-cover coffee table book that just happens to have the full script printed inside it.  Boy, will that drive my fellow drive-in friends nuts, but then again, it’s not like I  need the script in front of me to recite the movie.  😉

I am so excited!!

SURPRISE!!!

Posted in Everyday Life on August 5th, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

Last weekend, we had a birthday party for my “boys”.  My little guy turned 2 at the beginning of the month, and his father turned 35 in June.  Since my husband had mentioned that he would like a party, I decided to tell him that we were having my son’s birthday party, but I also made it a surprise party of sorts for my husband.  Having the party a month and half after his actual birthday helped to add to the surprise, th0ugh it wasn’t entirely my choice.  A friend had had a party at a local park’s shelter house in May, and it was a perfect place for a party, and the rental fee was quite reasonable.  The only catch was that the last Saturday in July was the only Saturday that it was free.  But I booked it anyway, and we ended up getting great weather, especially for this time of year.  Lots of friends came, and many helped bring stuff and to set up the party which was necessary to keep Hubby in the dark about our real plans.

There were a few bumps in the road before the surprise was unveiled though; especially Saturday morning which had me vowing to not do another surprise party for a long time…

A few days before the party, I slipped and told my husband that he couldn’t plan anything for Saturday “because of your party”.  He knew that it was our son’s birthday party, but I had said “YOUR party”.  I agonized over that one for a few days –  sure that he had caught on and didn’t ask me what I meant because he didn’t want to let on that he knew about the surprise because he didn’t want to ruin it.  But after the party, we talked about it, and it turns out that he had no idea that the party was also for him!  It went well, and it was a fun party, but I was frustrated Saturday morning – I awoke to the sound of the front door slamming, so I ran downstairs and started waving like a lunatic at our car which was pulling out of the driveway.  Turns out, my husband was going to let me sleep in, and he was going to take the kids to Walmart to pick up snacks for the party.  I had been mulling this over Friday night – perhaps I planned the party TOO well, and maybe I was having my secret party preparer (thanks Jamiahsh) doing too much of the work.  Turns out, I was right – Hubby was not suspicious, but he was thinking that we wouldn’t have enough food (we did), so he figured he’d pick up some snacks and even pick up the cake while he was at it.  In my half-asleep stupor, I thought about Hubby’s helpful nature and realized that he just might be leaving the house to go get the cake – the cake with HIS name on it next to our son’s!  Luckily I caught my family in the driveway, and tired as I was, we enjoyed a morning out together – even though I had to tell Hubby that someone ELSE was picking up the cake, and I also had to start putting on the rush when I realized that we just might run into said secret party preparer / cake picker-upper.  WHEW!!!

Oh, and then there was the party guest who calls my cell phone 10 minutes before we were supposed to be there and says simply, “Where are you guys?”  I did not know how to answer that, and the call thoroughly confused my husband.  He thought maybe I had told the guests the wrong time, which I guess I did, in a way – it really depends on what the “right” time was – when the party started or when the birthday boys arrived!  So I kind of stammered at my friend on the phone, and I resorted to lying to Hubby about what time the party started (I am ashamed) – which is another reason why I probably won’t do the whole surprise thing again; lying to Hubby was awful.  But when we got to the party, he didn’t recognize anyone’s car, and when we walked into the shelter house, everyone was gathered in there and shouted out SURPRISE!!!  That was fun, but it was also kind of funny because again, my husband was confused – he knew that it was our son’s party, and he was thinking that my son wouldn’t understand a suprise party…  We sorted it out and the fun commenced and that reminds me, there was one other bump in the road to the surprise: my daughter had been trying to get ahold of her friend to have her come over, and I knew that her mother was bringing their family to the party.  So I let my daughter in on the secret, but when she called her friend, my husband decided for some reason to stay on the line and listen to the phone call – which is when he heard my daughter’s friend’s mother tell my daughter that their family was coming to the party.  The simple thing to do would have been for me to just admit that I invited them to our son’s party, but I’m not really fast on my feet sometimes, so instead I just acted confused (I’m good at acting confused) about the “mis-communication”.  Sneaky, huh?

But my boys had a good party, and that’s what counts.  Thanks to everyone who helped with everything, and thanks to those who were able to come celebrate with us!