5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Update: Busted!

It turns out that the idiot kids who ran rampant through our neighborhood last night had more guts than brains.

They hit 3 different neighborhoods in this area last night. Their merry-making didn't just include tearing up people's holiday decorations. They also did some spray painting and slashed some tires. These "Hell Boys" showed how truly bright their little gang is when they hit *3* different policemen's homes, including painting graffiti on a police cruiser and slashing it's tires. Real geniuses. Needless to say, at last report 4 of the 5 middle school students involved had been busted and they are facing a class D misdemeanor.

The "architectural oddity" in my Dad's backyard

(*Warning* 4 letter words ahead!)

Have you ever heard the phrase "built like a brick shit house?" Have you ever seen a real one before? How about a two-seater? Well, my Dad has a 120 year-old one in his backyard!

Dad's house was built in 1886 by Alfred Shrum. Shrum had salvaged the bricks to build the home (and the outhouse!) from the old courthouse. He paid $285 for the bricks. The house has a basement, 2 full stories, and a 3 story tower.

The outhouse may be on Dad's property, but he doesn't actually own it. Carol Shrum, a descendent of the original owner and builder, made provisions in her will to deed the outhouse to the John Hay Center.

So.....if you ever wondered.....that's what a brick shit house really looks like. :-)

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Those darn kids.....

And no, I don't mean mine today.

Last night Matt was playing his Battlefield game on the computer and yelling at his buddy on the phone as if they were really in combat. I gave up trying to concentrate on my book and went back to the bedroom so I could read in peace. Just as I had settled down in my bed, I heard some loud, strange noises outside. I looked out the window just in time to see my neighbor's blow up Christmas decorations sagging to the ground and a group of at least 4 teens running down the street yelling and laughing. I ran outside but they were too far down the street to really see what they looked like. I saw shadows moving around at another decorated house farther down the street.

I rang the neighbor's bell and they came out to see the damage. They hadn't heard a thing. Both of their big blow up decorations had been cut and their spiral tree had been flattened. The tree seemed fixable, but the big animals were most likely a total loss.

I grabbed up my cel phone and called the police officer who lives a bit farther down the street.....in the direction the kids were running. (His son is in Kaylee's Kindergarten class.) I was hoping he could just step outside and bust their behinds. Unfortunately, his wife said he was at work so just call the Sheriff's office. I went back inside and the neighbor called the cops.

A few minutes later my phone rang. It was the cop's wife again. The little group of 4-6 idiots had hit her house! After she talked to me, she went outside to look around and saw them running off and all her decorations ripped off her bushes and thrown out into the street.

The next thing we know, the neighborhood was crawling with cops, at least 3 Sheriff's cars cruising the neighborhood. I don't know if they ever caught anyone, but they sure did respond pretty quickly. One of the guys said he saw the neighborhood come up on the call and came out right away. I guess having a cop in the neighborhood gets us a little better response time out here. Hopefully this is the end to the holiday mischief.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This woman wants our sympathy.....

.....but there is no way she's going to get mine!

I have absolutely no sympathy for this helicopter mom. Why in the heck is she enabling her child? You *KNOW* the teacher told the students well in advance what they would need for these projects. The child just failed to communicate with the parent.

No more running out to the store in the middle of the night to rescue the kid. Now it's time for the parent to BACK OFF and let the kid face the consequences of his irresponsibility.

She needs to establish a routine so that it's harder for the child to fail to communicate with her. If there is a homework log, check it every day when the child first walks in the door. Have a set time every night for homework. Normally, homework should take 10 mins per year of school each night. (So for a 2nd grader, 20 mins each night.)

I make sure Keithen understands the work and has the materials. Then I set a timer for about twice that time. Then, when time is up, I find out if there were any parts he didn't understand and TAKE IT AWAY if it's simply not done. If he gets up early the next morning, then he can try again before the bus comes.

Teachers are often parents too.....they know that your kids have a life outside school. They WANT your kids to have a life outside school. They DO NOT want homework to take up all your family time. This is why our teacher, dean and principal *ALL* advocate taking the work away after a reasonable amount of time has passed. If your child's homework takes too long, there is a PROBLEM and you need to set a meeting with the teacher.

She writes, "We do our children's homework." You do WHAT?! Stop that right now women! No sympathy at all for you here! How is the kid going to learn anything at all if he knows mom is gonna bail him out all the time? The teacher doesn't want to know if MOM AND DAD know the times tables or all the state capitals. She wants the CHILD to do the work. Lady, you need to take yourself OUT of the equation unless the child has questions!

And what about, "Who, may I ask, is going to drive to the fabric store and run the sewing machine? Who will buy the stuffing, find buttons for the eyes, and sew on the cute whiskers?" Leave the sewing machine out of it if the kid can't use it yet. Hand him a needle and thread or a hole punch and a skein of yarn. Give him some craft glue or double stick tape. THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE SOME PERFECT CRAFT SHOW CREATION.....it's supposed to be YOUR CHILD'S best work, not YOURS. You already passed 4th grade.

She says, "Certainly not the 9-year-old boy who is busy playing a Star Wars game on the computer." So.....mom.....what is he doing on the computer if his homework isn't done? PULL THE PLUG! Sit him down to do his work. Do you not have any control over your child?

Sigh.....no.....I have no sympathy for the mom at all. Maybe a *tiny* bit of sympathy for the child who probably isn't going to be able to function on his own when he goes to college.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We're counting down.

Next July will be a big month. The 7th book in the Harry Potter series is expected to come out (possibly on 07/07/07) and the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie is due out on 7/13 (our wedding anniversary). Sometime that month we plan to take a family trip to Chicago and of course the kids will start school at the end of the month. We're starting to get a little pumped up about all of that! Keithen and I watched the trailer yesterday after school and I just found the HBO sneak peek footage online. I've also promised him that we'll at least consider taking him to a midnight release party for the 7th book.

HBO's "sneak peek" at Order of the Phoenix

Official movie trailer for Order of the Phoenix. (Better quality than the one I posted last weekend.)

More Harry Potter updates at HPANA.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Image of the day - again!

Ruby said, "Whoo hoo!" when she saw that she was once again the featured "Image of the Day" on Blogging Baby.

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Curious George

My three little monkeys with a really big monkey at the library last week.

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Girls with their dolls

Here is a picture of the girls with two of their baby dolls and two older dolls that were mine when I was little. They've been enjoying playing with Mrs. Beasley for a while now and I recently gave them the toddler doll to play with too.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix trailer!

This link will get you to a poorly recorded sneak-peek version of the OOTP trailer. The trailer should be available on the movie website on Monday.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Hey, Colts Fans! FREE milkshakes!

Have you heard the news? The folks over at Steak and Shake (which is an Indiana company!) made a big mistake recently with their advertising. They sent out flyers to tons of Hoosiers about "showing your team colors" advertising a blue and white milkshake. The problem? The Dallas Cowboys logo on the flyer!

To make up for their foul, Steak and Shake is giving out FREE milkshakes to any dine-in customers who show up in official Colts gear on Sunday 11/19 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. (The same day that the Colts will face the Cowboys in Dallas at 4:15 p.m.)

Now I know what's for Sunday dinner!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

OJ's new book - “If I Did It”

OJ Simpson is about to release a book titled, “If I Did It” and will be interviewed on FOX. The book reportedly describes how OJ would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, “if he were the one responsible.”

OJ was acquitted of the murder charges in 1995. He was later found liable in civil court for the deaths in a wrongful-death suit filed by the Goldman family. He has never bothered to pay the $33.5 million judgment against him from the civil case. I wonder if the book sells, will he finally pay up?

The whole idea of this book makes me ill. How will his children look upon this? Profiting from their mom's death? And Ron and Nicole's families? I can't begin to imagine the anger that this will dredge up for them. After all these years.....it'll be like ripping open old wounds, I'm sure. I feel very sorry for the pain that I'm sure this will put them through.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Blogger

I am switching over to the new Blogger today.
Hopefully all will go smoothly!
*Fingers crossed!*

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Last chance at the park?

Friday after ballet, Ruby got a chance to play at the park for a while. I have a feeling that this might be our last chance for a few months since the colder weather is coming. She knew she was working on a timeline so we could get to school to pickup Kaylee. She didn't waste a second and was very good about leaving when I told her it was time to go.

I just love this sweet face!

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Grandparent's Day

Kaylee had Grandparent's Day at her school on Thursday. I went over to set up and Ruby walked over with Nanny and Pappy. She was quite proud to be the leader and show them where to go.

The kids sang a short song and told something that they love about their grandparents. They had snacks and got to visit the bookfair. Ruby, Kaylee and best buddy Emily got to point out the animals they colored for the rainforest outside the bookfair.

Kaylee's class.

Two out of three sets of Grandparents ain't bad.....
Nanny and Pappy came along with Grandma and Grandpa Dollar. Unfortunately, Grandma and Grandpa Williams couldn't make it.

The girls in the rainforeset. (Aren't they all adorable in their red dresses?!)

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Children's Museum field trip

I helped chaperone Keithen's class on a field trip to the Children's Museum on Wednesday. We spent most of our time learning about Native Americans and dinosaurs, as those will be their next units of study. They got to go back into the Paleo Lab with the scientists and see a fossil that their teacher dug up. They made pinch pots and learned about teepees. They were very amused when they found out that the kids had to go out and collect buffalo poop to burn for the fire. They got to see a program in the planetarium about the Native Americans beliefs about the stars, moon and sun.

Inside the Paleo Lab.

Making clay pinch pots.

Learning about how the teepee was made.

They burned WHAT to keep warm?

Learning about what Native American children played with.

Quick trip into "What If?" before we left.

Keithen's Class Play

Narrator boy.

Some Pig!

Tuesday was Keithen's class play, Charlotte's Web. Matt got there before I did and the teacher was having the kids give ideas for what they could do to make their play better. The ther kids are raising their hands and saying things like, "stand still" or "don't play with our costumes" or "pay attention," etc. Keithen raises his hand and says, "Speak from our diaphram so that everyone can hear us." Yep. That's my son. (And his dad was afraid he'd grow up to be a stagehand!)

Here's Keithen with classmate Samantha and one of the bearded dragons they have in their classroom. If his homework habits improve between now and winter break, we'll be keeping one of the lizards as a houseguest for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

School carnival and bookfair

I spent a lot of time last week helping decorate for the bookfair at Kaylee's school and getting ready for the Fall Carnival. This is a picture of the rainforest we created outside the LGI room.

Ballerina at the barre

Sleeping girls

The girls were exhausted last Wednesday night when I brought them home from Grandma's house. I put Ruby to bed still in her jacket since she was passed out. When I went back later to check on them, she was using Kaylee as a pillow.

Finally.....Halloween pictures