Thursday, April 30, 2009


I really am not enjoying the aging process all that much. I'm honest if nothing else, and I'm here to tell you that weird things happen to your body after a certain age. For me it was 44. It might happen to you at an earlier age, but I wouldn't know about that. Forty-four is when things started happening to me.

First, I started putting on the weight. Five pounds one year and then five pounds the next and then . . . you get it. That was kind of unexpected since I had been the same weight since high school. Forty odd years is a long time to not have to worry about the numbers on a scale. Sheesh, I delivered four children and returned to my pre-pregnancy weight of 105 lbs. within weeks each time--and one weighed in at over 10 lbs. It's still shocking to me as well, and he's 28.

I did my best to accept the new and improved twenty-five-pound-heavier body. Really, 105 is kind of sickly looking, and size 8 is quite popular at the thrift stores.


Kelly was lamenting the fact that she never could do one of those sideways jumps where you click your heels together. I was feeling pretty accomplished knowing that I could do one if I so desired--and my back was not messed up and my feet were not messed up. Tessa was certain that she could teach Kelly some coordination. I could not resist taking some pictures.

That did not go all so well, so they switched to something else--just something else.

And then something else again. Interesting. Scary.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I can't help myself! I love, love, love buying flowers in the spring!

We mainly use the back door, and there is the most wonderful little area that is not too much to maintain--which is important to someone with back issues! The concrete thingies were found under the porch when we moved in. I think they add a bit of interest.

Kenzie couldn't wait to help plant and didn't mind getting her hands dirty--not one little bit!


Okay, I have to tell you something that probably should not be made public. I hope that the speaker at Blissdom who said not to post things about your family members without their permission is not reading this. I am desperate for some help if it is to be had, so I'll risk it.

On Easter Saturday, my 12-year-old daughter--that's the part that I probably shouldn't tell you--left a note on my bed. It wasn't the you-are-the-best-mom-in-the-whole-wide-world kind of note either. It was strictly informational.


I wrote a note to the tooth fairy. It is taped to my door.

Love, Tessa

Of course, I took a peek at the tooth fairy note--which included four teeth I might add.

Dear T.F. *big heart*

Sorry for being so late. I missed you! Could you tell the Easter Bunny that all I want is a Breyer horse and for Kenzie and Mom to have a good birthday.

Love, Tessa

Okay, Easter Saturday--bedtime--Breyer horse! What does she think the tooth fairy can do with that short notice? Yes, I know she's magic and all that jazz.

It seems that the tooth fairy is a bit overworked and thought that she could lighten her load by taking advantage of the technological age. She actually turned on my computer and set up an email account in order to respond to Tessa. Can you believe that? I give her credit for not ignoring somebody who took the time to write a letter and include not one, but four teeth!

I'm getting to the problem as quickly as I can.

Tessa did not find a Breyer horse in her Easter basket, but she did find a letter in her inbox. She was not impressed, but did not show her disappointment--just mentioned that she missed the *real* note with glitter and all that fun stuff. There were sparkly stars in the email; I saw them.

Well, toothfairy4real@gmail somehow has become my new username. And apparently, I can't change it. Whatever that little fairy did late that night while she was overtired seems to be written in granite. I now can only sign into Blogger as a sprite.

Not that I have anything against TF, but golly, I did not expect her to hijack my identity. Edie probably would not be surprised to have her identity hijacked by the TF; she's used to people trying to steal her identity, but I am not. Nobody wants to be me, and I surely don't want to give up my day job to fly around quiet-like swiping teeth from under pillows all night.

Okay, if you know how to delete a gmail account without losing the access to blogger, please let me know. If not, and you would like an email sent from toothfairy4real, just let me know. I don't think she would mind. I can even include sparkly stars.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Okay, so somebody did snap a photo of me opening MY Wii Fit. I must have missed it in all my excitement. Just so you know, I have attempted to exercise twice now, and am happy to say that I have dropped down to 51 in Wii years. Don't ask me how I did that, because I really have no clue. And yoga is so not my thing. It took three people to hold me up in some flamingo pose for what seemed like an hour--probably only a few seconds--so that I could unlock something or other. That would have made an interesting photo, but nobody got that shot---I'm quite sure this time because they were all holding me up. I'm sure everyone is burning tons of calories laughing at me.

I have yet another birthday story to share--not mine, but a birthday story nonetheless.

Last week I was having a pretty rotten day--no sense reliving it completely; I'll just share one of the highlights because--well, for no real reason other than I have a few photos to go along with the memory.

It seems that Maddie, a very cute kindergartener has an April birthday--I know, very, very good month for birthdays. Anyway, her mother shared with Nancy, the other gal in the office, that she was getting/had gotten a snake for her birthday. I did not hear this information first hand; I got my information from the horror-stricken Nancy. A snake? Who on earth would want a snake? I think a Wii Fit might even be better than a snake. To each his own.

While escorting Maddie to her vehicle at the end of the day, I said, "So, Maddie, I heard you got something pretty interesting for your birthday." To which she replied, "I don't know." That should have been my first clue. Hello! I don't know means I don't know. Obviously, if someone had ALREADY been given a snake, she certainly would have known it.

I did not take the not-so-subtle hint. I asked, "Didn't you get a snake?" To which she looked confused and replied, "No." This is where I would have hit myself in the head or thrown myself in front of a moving vehicle--if only I didn't have an entire school full of students to load into their vehicles--which I can do in four minutes if you care to know--as long as people don't try to help me. I mean, I recognize the vehicle, call the student's name, wave and smile periodically, and get those kids in the car and off the property in four minutes! Forget it.

I then said something stupid like, "Oh, maybe that was somebody else. Maybe I got one for my birthday." She looked at me kind of weird like. I tried to break the news to her mother, but she was yik-yakking on the phone and just gave me a wave. Off she went. I felt sick.

As soon as I could, I called her mom to apologize for ruining the big surprise. She was so gracious. All she said was, "It's all good. Don't worry. It's all good." I since realize that people say that when they are trying to convince themselves. Obviously, it was not all good.

Come Friday morning, a very excited Maddie jumped from the car and exclaimed, "Guess what, Mrs. V.? You were right! I did get a snake!" I looked super surprised and said, "Really? What did you name it?" "Princess," she replied matter-of-factly. Dan and I cracked up. She didn't think it was funny.
Princess came to school

in her snazzy bag

much to the teacher's dismay

and Maddie's delight

I'm almost convinced that she is better than a Wii Fit.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Yesterday was my birthday. I'd post some pictures, but nobody took any. They were too busy eating the dinner I prepared for Easter. Did I ever mention that I don't really enjoy cooking--especially on my birthday? It's just another small sacrifice I make for my family. Actually, the only thing I hate worse than cooking is having to eat food that isn't all that good; therefore, it is better that I do the cooking. Kelly can cook, so let the record show that I was not thinking about her during the writing of the last sentence.

I knew five years ago when Kenzie was born on my birthday, that my partying days were over. Add Easter this year and well . . .

Kenzie and Tessa

My family actually was pretty excited to get together right after church to have me open up the gift they had bought for ME. Remember the word ME. They were almost too excited. This is always the first sign. If they are that excited, then I know that they bought something that they really wanted liked--for me, of course.

I am really perceptive like that. It comes with being old and experienced.

When they handed me the box, I jokingly asked if it was a Wii Fit. I have no idea where that idea came from; it just popped in my head and subsequently out of my mouth. Surely someone must have mentioned all the weight I had lost recently or something. I just don't have random thoughts about exercise because I am exercise resistant--always have been--no big surprise. I even laughed knowing how ridiculous that guess was.

Imagine my total surprise when it really was a Wii Fit. I couldn't imagine what they were thinking--for about a nano second. I caught on real quick like when I saw all the anticipation in the faces of the children and grandchildren. Kelly tried her best at explaining by saying that they had purchased it months ago "before I lost all that weight." Hello, it wasn't that much weight!

There was no use avoiding the inevitable. I would have to sign in, create my person, or whatever it is you do, so that the children could feel free to play with my new toy. Imagine my excitement when after the initial evaluation, my bmi was a little low but my Wii Fit age was 61. What on earth does that mean? Nothing like cheering me up on my birthday. For goodness sake, they only let me have one practice before the measurement.

That's what bugs me about the Wii: If you don't understand what you're doing, too bad for you, sister. It seems that I leaned too far to the left--or was it the right--and then I didn't stay within the blue lines for three seconds. I think I was afraid that those two blue lines might be interpreted as being pregnant or something.

I was a good sport though. I did some fancy footwork jumping on and off the pad without tripping, falling, or otherwise embarassing myself. I did not fare so well with the invisible hula hoop. I think I got hit in my plastic head several times. At least my glasses didn't break.

Next I had to run a short form of a marathon--okay, it wasn't even a short marathon; then I decided to take a nap. I deserved it. I didn't sleep a wink between the outrageous laughter of the children as they exercised and the "Grandma, I caught all the hula hoops on my head" kind of comments which I'm sure were not intended to make me feel bad.

Oh, and my husband gave me an I.O.U. for a bicycle. Happy birthday to me.

Mike and Mike
Double Trouble

Sunday, April 12, 2009


There are a lot of reasons why folks travel to Florida for spring break--although when we lived there for 12 years, we didn't really understand most of them. Yes, the parks are a draw, and the sometimes good weather is a draw, and the beaches may be a draw; but we go for different reasons. We go for the Florida Kukas. I suppose you are wondering what Kukas are. Kukas are a rare breed of sorts. They are kind of like fun magnets. Yep, that's what they are--fun magnets.

They have a peacock.
Read more here.

They are hospitable.

They have a chinchilla.
In the living room.

They are artsy crafty.
They are lovers of all things fairy.

They are a bit crazy.
We love crazy.

They are computer savvy.

They are on the short side.
We are okay with short.

They have a zip line.

They are great friends!

Believe me, if you go to Florida, you should
visit the Kukas. Tell them I sent you!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter Eve!

I am quite certain that Martha Stewart's kitchen sink did not look like mine when she made her marbelized eggs. I bet her hands did not look like mine either. I wonder if white gloves are only fashionable if you're five years old. I suppose I could always keep my hands in my pockets at church tomorrow.

We may not have succeeded at marbelizing, but our eggs did look pretty fabulous when done. Don't ask our technique, because I am quite certain that I could never repeat it again. I will tell you that it took quite a bit of olive oil and food coloring. Go ahead and laugh. We did.

Monday, April 06, 2009


This year at CA, grades first through eighth participated in a biography fair. Each student was required to read a biography about a person of his or her choice and then get up in front of his or her classmates and give a speech from memory or with the use of index cards. I really did not want the students to *read* their speeches. I know that they are able to memorize oodles of stuff, and they now know it as well! I'm not sure that all teachers required dressing as the character, but almost 100 percent did so. It was very cool.

Tessa chose to be Abigail Adams and was very interested in learning how to sew in order to make a spiffy costume. It went surprisingly well and the dress came out lovely. I am so thankful that I have been able to teach my daughters to sew. It is a skill that they will always use. Now cooking is another story. :)

Tessa and some classmates after their speeches

eighth graders--scary, I know

When the day of the big event arrived, parents gathered outside for the *parade* around the building. One nice thing about the school is that Christian music is played constantly throughout the hallways and on the outside of the building. For the parade, we played Onward Christian Soldiers, and it was blaring.

Ben Franklin accompanied Abigail

After the parade, everyone met inside to visit the classrooms before hearing from some the characters.
Hannah as Betsy Ross

Ross as Lou Gehrig

Seth as Daniel Boone

Morgan as Rosa Parks

Izzy as Walt Disney
Seth as King Tut
Andrew as Christopher Columbus

Waiting for their turn to speak

Andrew as Samuel Morse
(That's a speaker behind his head not a hat--although he loves hats!)

Most people started their speech with "Hello, my name is famous person." Well, Ashley Anna had everyone laughing when she said, "Hello, my name is Ashley Anna." Oops!

Ashley Anna as Clara Barton