Friday, September 30, 2011

It's a Catholic High School

I wish my high school had offered these opportunities!  Below is a quote from the daily newsletter at Middle Sister's school, describing the Campus Ministry's new activities for the year.  I'm impressed.

1. Communion Service is offered daily at 7:40 AM in the Chapel.
2. Weekly on Thursday at 2:35 PM there will be an opportunity for whoever is interested to come together to share experiences, ideas and prayer pertaining to the past Sunday’s Readings.
3. Weekly on Tuesday at 2:35 PM there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  If you are interested in signing up to be a guardian for 5, 10, 15 minutes please let the Campus Ministry Director know.  Exposition will take place from 2:35 PM until 3:00 PM.  Remember, you do not have to sign up to be present for one minute or 25 minutes.
4. There will be a Book of Intentions in the Chapel for anyone who wishes to place their personal intentions in the Book. 
I'm thankful to the Campus Ministry, the principal, and anyone else who was instrumental in bringing this to the school.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Up on Dad

Remember the dad in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and how he used Windex for everything?  My dad is the same way--with Brown Soap.

He swears by the stuff, and I'll bet that my brother and sister have a bar of it in their homes, just like I do.  It's probably in the basement, but although supermarkets sell this soap in the laundry section, we don't use it for laundry.

Dad has many ways to use this soap, but the one that has stuck with us kids is its anti-itch properties.  If Dad even sees poison ivy, he rushes home and scrubs down with Brown Soap.  I've really put it to the test this summer, what with the Kamikaze Mosquitoes that have taken up residence around here.

How to use Brown Soap on itches:  Get an edge of  your bar of soap wet.  Rub the wet bar of soap on the poison ivy or bug bites.  Do not rinse.
Little Brother picked up a few mosquito bites at soccer practice tonight.  After he went to bed, he wandered out of his room asking me for anti-itch medicine.  Instead of pulling out a tube of hydrocortisone cream, I took a page from Dad's playbook.

"Go into the bathroom and get a little soap from the dispenser.  Rub it on the bug bite and don't wash it off."

"Hey, that really works," he observed a minute or so later.

Yes, it does.  And a little extra soap on that kid won't hurt either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If It's From the Fightin' Irish, It Can't Be Junk Mail

Little Brother noticed the pile of junk mail I'd tossed on the table (with the intention of ignoring it for a while before tossing it into the recycling bin.)  "Notre Dame!  You got mail from Notre Dame!"

"They're just asking for money.  You can throw it out," I told him.

He misunderstood.  "They're sending you MONEY?"

"No, they're asking me for money.  You can go ahead and open it if you want."

"Why don't you send them some?" he asked while tearing into the envelope.

"Because right now I send money to your school, Middle Sister's high school and Big Brother's college.  I don't have extra to give to Notre Dame right now."

Inside, he found a letter and a reply envelope.  He peeked in.  It was empty.

"Awww--a trick envelope!  I hate those!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Costume

I'm thinking in theater terms these days, since Little Brother has been rehearsing for a community-theater production of MAME, which opens on Friday.  Now that they're in dress rehearsals, I've been scrambling through his wardrobe assembling costumes.  And that's exactly what I was doing for myself yesterday afternoon.

I had to find myself a costume for Back to School Night.  And then I had to get into character.

While I love "back to school" time, I can't stand Back to School Night.  It's not so bad at the high school, though I still do call it the Handbag Fashion Show.  (When a nickname works, you go with it.)  Because of the school's block scheduling, a semester at a time, I have to attend two of these a year.  But with 700+ students, it's easy to get lost in the crowd while still running into a few parents of my kids' friends or teammates as we wander by looking for the next classroom to visit.

At the elementary school, though, Back to School Night is another matter.

There's a reason I don't do theater.  I'm just not cut out for this sort of thing.

It really doesn't matter what I wear to Back to School Night.  It's not going to make a difference.  What's important on that day is hearing what my child's teachers have to say:  their goals for the year, their expectations of the students, the ins and outs of the classroom routines and policies.

It really doesn't matter that I will never be part of that group of squealing moms who just saw each other at the 3 PM car line, but who act like this is the first time in years they've reunited.  Not only don't I have the clothes (or the handbag) to fit in there, but I don't squeal.

It really doesn't matter. I keep telling myself that, but I'm not convinced.

I was grateful, when we all proceeded to the cafegymatorium for a slide show and PTA meeting, that a parent whose older children are friends of my older children sat near me; we had a few moments to chat and she kindly offered to give Middle Sister a ride home from soccer games if it was ever necessary.  Then we both observed how very young the parents around us looked; we were both there with our youngest kids, and in both our families there's a 10-year age gap between oldest and youngest.

Back to School Night humbles me.  I guess that's a good thing.  I'm not a mover and a shaker in the PTA world; never was, never will be.  Schmoozing and small talk don't come easy to me, and we're not even going to talk about my wardrobe.

Walking back to the theater across the street where dress rehearsal was in progress, I couldn't wait to stop at my car, ditch my shoes and put on my comfortable sneakers.  I grabbed my favorite "Grumpy" sweatshirt in case it was cold inside.

Costume shed, I stepped back into my familiar role as Mom.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After

Five years ago, I reminisced about where I was, what I did, what I thought, on that terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

There's not much to add to that.

Little Brother's teacher talked to his class yesterday about 9/11.  Most of those kids, like Little Brother, had not yet been born, and they came into a world that was forever changed and defined by that day.  Little Brother has been "processing" this lesson for the past two days.  Every now and again he approaches me and mentions something his teacher said.  Then we talk about it some more.  It's been good, to do that.

Tomorrow I will be at a rehearsal with Little Brother and Middle Sister, who's the stagehand for this play.  The plan is to rehearse from 1 to 4 and then take a break to go to the park next door to the theatre for a 9/11 memorial ceremony.  After that, potluck supper and more rehearsal.

It's good that we should pause in our day, to remember.

We're blessed to be able to do that.  We're blessed to be free to do that.  We're blessed to be alive to do that.

For those who gave their lives that day, and for those who have given their lives over the past 10 years to fight for freedom, I pray:  Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Her Logic Escapes Me

image credit
Middle Sister was complaining last night about the fit of her new soccer uniform.  Apparently, the tops are cut small and the bottoms are cut large, for the pear-shaped soccer player.  (Note to manufacturers:  not too many soccer players are pear-shaped.)

She was worried about the shorts being too big, so I offered to see if I could take a tuck in the waistband or something so they wouldn't fall down during the game.

"You CAN'T do that!"

"Why not?"

"Because they're not MINE.  That would be like, vandalizing or something."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Things I Forgot Over the Summer

It's not only the kids who regress academically over the summer.  I'm really surprised what I've forgotten during the 2 1/2 months of summer vacation.

This is probably due to all the "Phineas & Ferb" exposure.  I've spent way too much time wondering where those kids go to school that gives them 104 days of summer vacation.  I know that's more than I could take.

I've been refreshing my memory this week regarding the ins and outs of getting through the school year.

Little boys who have been cooped up in school all day because they can't play outside at lunch during the Everlasting Rainstorm that is September around here are WAY more likely to bounce off the walls in the after-school hours than little boys who have been in the house all day on a rainy summer day.  Fortunately, little boys don't mind playing outside when it's drizzling.

School buses are great examples of Murphy's Law.  When you're outside all nice and early (and it's raining) they're late.  When you're running late, they're early.

I should really make part of Little Brother's packed lunches the night before.  He's not a sandwich fan, but he likes "ham-alami."  Here's the recipe:  Take a slice of salami.  Fold a slice of ham to go on top.  Add another slice of salami.  Roll up.  3 "ham-alamis" in a container is good for lunch, along with another container of fruit and a snack.  I find salami a little disgusting at 7 AM.

And then there's the pleasant surprises, like when I was cutting up brownies for lunchboxes today.  Some of those brownies never made it to the lunchbox.  Brownies go great with that first cup of coffee in the mornings.  Breakfast of champions!  (Just don't tell Little Brother.)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Geometry and Physics, All Rolled into One

It's probably mean to be laughing at this, but I am finding Little Brother & the Street Urchins hilarious as they try to retrieve a 4-inch diameter Nerf basketball from the exact center of a 21-foot diameter pool.  I'm not sure how long the pole is, but I know their arms are too short to make this work.

This is what happened after I sent them to play OUTSIDE, since they were tearing up my family room.  9-year-old boys denied "after-lunch recess" because of rain get pretty rambunctious, let me tell you.

(That's Little Brother in the center, with pole.  It comes within a few inches of the ball, but not quite far enough.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Finder of All Lost Things

Yesterday I got a text message from my son at college.  He rarely actually calls home, and we do communicate via text, but generally I'm the one initiating the conversation.  So it was surprising to hear from him first.

Until I read the message:  "Did I bring my brown flipflops home?"

He had come home for a brief hour before Hurricane Irene blew through, to pick up work boots, bottled water and a swimsuit--and to appropriate his dad's rain poncho.  

I remembered that he had been wearing the flipflops at the time, and texted that back as I walked through the house, cell phone in hand, looking for where the stray beach shoes might be.

Of course, if he had the shoes on when he was here, he had to wear something on his feet to drive back to Philly.  They're certainly not here.

Even though my kids (and husband) firmly believe that my superpower is finding the stuff they lose, I'm pretty sure that my internal radar for such things can't cross the Delaware River or the Roosevelt Boulevard.

When we concluded the conversation, he told me that his roommate had rearranged the furniture this week, and that he'd go look under his roommate's bed for the shoes.  Good idea.  Maybe he is learning something at college.

But I have to admit--it's nice to be needed.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

My Ultimate Playlist

Just for fun...since I am battling some sort of stomach bug today that left me too tired to do much else, I sat down with my iTunes and set up my Ultimate Playlist (Secular Version). I'll do a Sacred-Music Version another time, as well as a Motivational Version, which will include peppier tunes. Tracks are in alphabetical order by song title, and I can mix them up anytime I want by hitting SHUFFLE. Fun! I love that I can add or subtract from this list anytime I want, too.

  • America by Neil Diamond
  • Blowin' in the Wind by Peter, Paul & Mary
  • Border Song by Elton John
  • Brooklyn Roads by Neil Diamond
  • Carolina in My Mind by James Taylor
  • Carry On by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls
  • Deacon Blues by Steely Dan
  • Dear Amy by Minor Motion
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Elton John
  • Eclipse by John Denver
  • El Condor Pasa by Simon & Garfunkel
  • End of the Line by The Traveling Wilburys
  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
  • Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller Band
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
  • Happy Together by The Turtles
  • How Long by The Eagles
  • I'll Follow the Sun by The Beatles
  • I Am a Rock by Simon & Garfunkel
  • I Am...I Said by Neil Diamond
  • I Got a Name by Jim Croce
  • I Pray for You by Big & Rich
  • I Want to Live by John Denver
  • Lean on Me by Bill Withers
  • Let It Be by The Beatles
  • The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics
  • The Logical Song by Supertramp
  • The Long & Winding Road by The Beatles
  • Looking for Space by John Denver
  • Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters by Elton John
  • My Little Town by Paul Simon
  • No One is To Blame by Howard Jones
  • On the Road to Find Out by Cat Stevens
  • Part of the Plan by Dan Fogelberg
  • Put It There by Paul McCartney
  • Run for the Roses by Dan Fogelberg
  • Sailing by Christopher Cross
  • Secure Yourself by The Indigo Girls
  • Seven Bridges Road by The Eagles
  • Shower the People by James Taylor
  • Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
  • Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor
  • The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Suite: Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver
  • Sweet Surrender by John Denver
  • Take It to the Limit by The Eagles
  • Take the Time by Freddy Jones Band
  • Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
  • Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds
  • The Voice by The Moody Blues
  • Walk of Life by Dire Straits
  • Walking Man by James Taylor
  • Wasted on the Way by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Watching the River Run by Loggins & Messina
  • We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals & Crofts
  • The Weight by The Band
  • Where Do the Children Play? by Cat Stevens
  • Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • You've Got a Friend by James Taylor
  • Your Smiling Face by James Taylor
  • Yours is No Disgrace by Yes
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon & Garfunkel

Put it all together and I've got 4 1/2 hours of my very favorites! What's on YOUR ultimate playlist?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Giveaway at Mom's Fridge

I'm hosting a giveaway over at my recipe blog!  It's a FREE code for the HomeRoutines app for iPad.  Read all about it and enter the contest here.

Comments are closed on this post. All entries must be made at Mom's Fridge.