Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life...but I Won't Help Ya Down

Christmas movies...I love them!  SuperDad loves them too...but only from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day.  That's one of our traditions...Christmas movies are watched ONLY during the month of December!  It's kind of a big deal!

We do however keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year by using beloved quotes, quips, and moments from our favorite Christmas films. 

Here are just a few...

From Elf...the shaking of the Etch-a-Sketch-Used when you make special plans only to have them dismissed and you are deeply hurt but must act like it's no big deal.

From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer..."This is man's work!"  Must be said in a deep voice while striking the Superman "fists on hips" pose. 

From A Christmas Story..."You used all the glue...ON...PURPOSE!"  (Glue can be replaced with any item your loved one used up ON PURPOSE).

From It's a Wonderful Life..."Help Ya Down?!?!"  Used when loved ones are asking you to do something they are completely capable of doing on their own.
For example: ABC 1, "WonderMom, can you grab a Dr. Pepper out of the fridge for me?"
WonderMom, "Help Ya Down?!?!"
ABC 1, "Okay, I'll get it."

Christmas movies can bring joy to the stressful situations in life.  Trust me...the tire is easier to change if you laugh about it first!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How lovely are your branches...

Our tree is up, lit, and decorated!  It warms my heart!  It's absolutely perfect!

Even though my Amazing Boy Children are growing up, they still look forward to that magical moment when we open up the green plastic storage boxes filled with ornaments.

Our tree will never be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens or take someone's breath away as they enter our family room.  It's not color coordinated, or filled with exquisite ornaments, quite's an accurate reflection of our life...imperfect and joyful!

Our tree proudly displays EVERY ornament ever crafted by my Amazing Boy Children,  a red velvet bear playing a golden lute (hey, he's happy...hideous...but happy), a hand painted "First Christmas" ornament from my grandmother, Yoda, Spiderman, The Mystery Machine, angels, snowflakes, glittery footballs, special teacher ornaments from students that are now married with families of their own...

Like I said, our tree is absolutely perfect!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Yesterday my super amazing family loaded into the pickup truck and drove across the state to spend Thanksgiving with our loved ones.  Traveling is always an adventure...actually loading up is an adventure...

Cast of Travelers:
ABC2 (ABC stands for Amazing Boy Child) I know, it's clever!

ABC1-I call shotgun.
ABC2-You aren't even dressed yet.  You don't get to call shotgun!
SuperDad-Are you sure you want to take MiracleDog?
WonderMom-I already TOLD her she is going!  She's been planning on this for two days!
WonderMom-Is everyone ready to get in the vehicle?

ABC2-I'm dressed and I'm calling shotgun.
ABC1-(from bedroom) I ALREADY CALLED IT!

WonderMom to ABC 2-Why didn't you pack WonderDog's bag?
ABC2-SuperDad wasn't totally sure if she was going.
WonderMom-Did everyone HEAR me TELL her she was going? She's been planning on this for two days!

WonderMom to ABC1 through bedroom door-Ummm...Please take out the trash before you get in the vehicle.
ABC1-Okay, just let me get dressed.
WonderMom-YOU'RE NOT DRESSED? It's time to go!
ABC2-I told you he wasn't dressed!

SuperDad-Let's go!
WonderMom-ABC1 is getting dressed and he needs to take out the trash.
SuperDad-He's not dressed?
ABC2-I TOLD YOU he wasn't dressed and he's trying to call shotgun.
SuperDad-(Laughing) You have to be dressed to call shotgun!

And in the end we all loaded up!  We only had to go back inside once to get SuperDad's headphones and the homemade pumpkin log from the freezer!

Remember to find joy in the journey!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Collage

Yes we did!  We made a Thankful Collage in the Land of Learning today!  We looked through magazines and found pictures of things we were thankful for, cut them out, arranged them artistically on sheets of colorful construction paper, glued them into place and, finally, we wrote about our creations. 

Throughout my career as an educator I have used magazines for various projects.  Of course there have always been pictures of underwear and feminine hygiene products but now it seems that everything is sexy!  Gum, shampoo, laundry detergent, cake, washing machines...all sexy!  To avoid pages of inappropriate pictures, I gave my students old Highlights magazines to find pictures in.  Calm down!  It's alright!  They were from 2007 and 2008 (maybe 2009).

Within the pages filled with pictures of apple trees, puppies, grandmas, snakes, flowers, and dirtbikes, one student found...a picture of The Last Supper by Leonardo di Vinci.  He cut it out, arranged it and his other discoveries artistically on his sheet of colorful construction paper, glued them into place and, finally wrote...
I am thankful for God and his friends.

Thank you Highlights Magazine.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Can of Beets

I'm making a list...checking it really, I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow to buy Thanksgiving supplies.  I am creating five dishes this year to supplement the Thursday Family Feast.  I am responsible for bringing two appetizers, two desserts, and my gram's magical cranberry jello salad.

When I got married over 20 years ago, Gram gave me a book filled with hand written recipes for her signature dishes...custard, homemade rolls, lasagne, French coconut pie...but the recipe that forever changed my life featured a can of beets.

When I was 8 years old, life was challenging to say the least.  Gram was living with us to help take care of my little sister and me.  One evening, when it was time to cook supper, all we had was a can of corn, a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, and a can of beets.  In our small apartment kitchen, I watched as Gram joyfully mixed spices and milk with the corn to make a simple corn chowder.  As it simmered, she opened the can of beets and smiled.

"I want you to remember this night.  We don't have choices tonight, but we will have plenty to eat.  Sometimes you just have to take what you have and make the best of it."

I watched as she diced the beets and mixed them with vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch to create a wonderful sweet and tangy sauce.

I set the table and watched as Gram placed a delicious supper before us.  I was appreciative then...but now I am filled with gratitude, reverence, and respect.  When life gives you a can of corn and a can of beets be thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

When Children Tell The Truth

I love teaching.  Yes it's challenging, it's frustrating, and sometimes it makes me crazy and eat chocolate, but I love it. 
One of the blessings I receive everyday comes from hearing children speak the truth. 

On Friday, I did something I had never done before and it was fabulous.  I was running a bit late so I quickly dried my hair and pulled it back into a ponytail...a very small, very amazing was a great day!  How do I know it was fabulous?   Ummm...the children said so!
Actually they said,
"Ooooo!  I love your hair today!"
"Wow!  What did you do?"
"Teacher! You made your hair a ponytail!!!"

Sometimes though, the truth is a little more....hilarious...

Truthful Child 1-"Mrs. WonderMom?"
Truthful Child 1-"Your butt is bigger than it was last year."
Me-"I know" (sigh) "I love pancakes."
Truthful Child 1-"Your butt is full of pancakes?"
Me-"Yes...and syrup!"
Both of us start laughing!

Did I mention that I love teaching?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Superpower Store

It belongs to Wonder Woman and has several names...but only one purpose.  It compels those it captures to obey and tell the truth.  Magic Lasso, Lasso of Truth, Golden a mom and a teacher I want that mythical golden rope.  Let's face it, the world would be a better place with a lot more obeying and truth telling!

Ah the truth...Pinocchio struggled with it and The Boy Who Cried Wolf lost his life for not respecting it.  Some believe truth can be avoided by simply saying, "I don't know" or by giving the "look of heartfelt confusion" (that's my favorite). 

Me-"Who drank the rest of the milk and put the EMPTY jug back in the refrigerator?"
Boy children- Open fridge and give the "look of heartfelt confusion"...glancing first to the empty plastic jug, then to me.

Me-"Who shot at the back door with their  BB Gun?"
Boy children-Walk slowly to the back door and give the "look of heartfelt confusion"... glancing first to the cracked glass door-then to me.

Lets face it...we all mess up, make mistakes, and say things we later regret. But hey, here's an idea...Tell the truth about it! It's powerful!  What if more people could simply say, "I did it. I'm sorry. I'll fix it."?

So until the Superpower Store opens...I will attempt to make the world a better place by sharing my delightfully daring,  frequently humorous, and always truthful words. 

Golden Lasso Tales-Shiny Valuable Truth