Nine Day Weekend

We are on Spring Break (or as Carter calls it, our nine day weekend).

It is glorious.

So far we have gone to the Science Center where we watched a 3-D movie about the monarch butterfly migration, the boys played in the water area, and Husband and I showed off our awesome wooden block building skills (mine is on the left).


Another highlight has been the Desert Botanical Garden plant sale where we bought Oscar.  Oscar is an ocotillo.  We had the choice of some beautiful, mature ocotillos for $350 or some two foot immature ones for $40.  This is not to say that Oscar is immature, he actually seems quite well versed in most things botanical, but his size is far from impressive.  Until we are fully ready to commit to our front yard landscaping plans he will hang out in his pot.

Oscar with his friends

We also bought some flowering plants and two varieties of milkweed for what will become our butterfly garden.  Due to these purchases, I have gotten up at five a.m. the last two mornings, so as to beat the heat, to prune and weed and otherwise ready the space for these plants.  Damn butterflies better appreciate my efforts!

The boys have rediscovered our swimming pool – the water is still very cold, but they don’t seem to mind – and I have rediscovered my love of margaritas sipped on the back patio while watching the boys swim. 


I have determined that an outdoor laundry hamper will be in our future based upon the randomly shed articles of boy clothing forming a trail to the steps of the pool.

Later this week, we will venture north to the Grand Canyon where we will meet up with some family allowing for plenty of time for the boys and their cousins to get into trouble.  In all, we will arrive at the canyon’s edge with four children.  My hope is to leave the rim with the same number.  I will let you know how it turns out.  

All in all I highly recommend the nine day weekend.

Funny Face Collage



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Leprechauns like Chocolate, Right?

I did not think the boys were interested in trying again.

When we discussed St. Patrick’s Day months ago, they had grandiose leprechaun trapping ideas.  But ideas are not action.

At the start of this week I made mention of needing to remember to wear green to school on Friday.

As we were driving home from school today, Carter asked me if it was “leprechaun day” tomorrow.  When I told him it was, his reaction was immediate and tearful.

carter:  But I didn’t know!  We don’t have a trap!  Tears sprung to his eyes and his words came out in a choke.

I assured him that somewhere between after homework and before bedtime, there would be time to make a trap.

And so there was.

Trap Making   

I will admit that it is not as well thought out and constructed as some of our previous traps.  But it is a trap and there is hope in our house tonight. 

The Trap Path

There is a trail of chocolate chips leading to the box.  The box top is lined with sticky tape.  If the pesky fellow gets past the tape and slips down the toilet paper roll slide into depths unknown, he will be faced with a box floor lined with more sticky tape (but a nice sized mountain of chocolate chips to keep him happy.)  (I tried to talk Carter into only using 5-6 chips, but he would have none of it.)

How do we know if leprechauns like chocolate chips?


The trap hook

Carter is pretty confident that the little bugger is a chocolate lover.  The trap’s ability to work depends on it.

As Husband and I tucked the boys in bed tonight, Cody asked to whisper something in my ear.

cody:  Momma, are you and poppa the leprechaun?

me:  What do you think?

Cody knows.  And he rather likes being in on it. 

Carter, on the other hand, well I think he knows too but isn’t ready to really know.  

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Simple Sunday – Mouse Trap and Kenny Loggins

The boys busted out the game Mouse Trap the other night. 


Basically you spin, move your mouse to the color you spun, and hope you do not land on the two squares that the trap hangs above.


It lacked the charm, challenge, and excitement that I had remembered from when I was a kid.

It may have been the margarita(s) I had with dinner, but I started referring to the two squares that were reachable by the trap as the danger zone.  This led Husband to ask Alexa (our Amazon Echo) to play “Danger Zone”.

That led to this.


In case you can’t tell, we are performing an amazing duet rendition of “Danger Zone”.

Feeling old and uncool, I wanted to mock good old Kenny, but then Husband queued up “Footloose”. 

It was awesome and I sang along. 

Then “Return to Pooh Corner” came on – I may have teared up a little bit – and I could mock no more.

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Stolen Love

During a lunchtime discussion, a coworker of mine started telling us about a problem she was having with a couple students in her room.  Apparently they had been sneaking back into the room at the end of the day as she walked the class to the bus.

She was made aware of this by another student and told that they were stealing bags of chips and toys from the treasure box.  When she confronted the two students and checked their backpacks, they were indeed stuffed with trinkets and chip bags.

She asked our advise on how to handle the situation.  There was talk of disciplinary action and having a whole class discussion on right and wrong.  At first I was in agreement about this – stealing is wrong.  But then I wondered aloud about why they were they stealing. 

As the conversation unfolded more, it was reveled that the girl who was targeting the chip bags was living in a group home and has had the most unstable of childhoods.  I will not share details. 

For me this information drastically changed how I looked at the situation.  Yes, stealing is wrong, but I could now better understand, or try to.  Her baseline, her perspective is not mine.  I cannot begin to imagine being eight years old without a family, without stability, without knowing in my core that I am safe.

My advice was to be there for her.  Have snacks in your desk drawer to give to her when she asks.  Share with her that she does not have to steal from you, but that if she asks she will get something to eat.  Be that safe place that she does not have.

As the bell rang and we hurriedly packed up our lunch and headed out to collect our kids for an afternoon of math and social studies, I was still thinking.  I was thinking of those things that can be stolen – food, money, clothes.

And those things that cannot. 


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Simple Sunday – Smallest Bouquet


The smallest of bouquets from my smallest son.

Tiny Love

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Free Rocks…

Quite often the weekends find us going to some event or museum.  It was after our latest trip to the Arizona Science Center, on a short walk to a downtown restaurant for lunch, that Carter made what he thought was an amazing discovery.

To most it would appear to be a vacant lot.  It sat there, lonely and unused, surrounded by apartments and business buildings.  A large lot with nothing on it.

Well, not exactly nothing.

carter:  Look momma!  Look at all those free rocks!!

Free rocks

I had to limit him to three rocks. 

Well, three rocks on our way to the restaurant and three on our way back.

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Simple Sunday – Restricted Area with Love (and a Parasitic Infection)

To build up to Valentine’s Day this year, I posted a paper heart a day (well, almost every day) on the boys’ bedroom door, each with a reason why I loved them written on it.  Their interest level in what I thought was a cute idea was far from high.  Perhaps that is why I missed a day or two..

Restricted Hearts

I did a similar thing in my classroom, hearts with reasons I loved being their teacher, with much greater results.  Alas, I did not remember to take a picture so you will just have to imagine it.

And on an unrelated topic, I found this at the end of our hallway yesterday. 

paper airplane

It made me laugh and surprised me that two boys who do not like, and are not very good at, spelling were attentive to it when naming their airplane.  I am not sure that Parasite Infection Airlines is the best name, however, if they want to be competitive in the airline industry.

Just a thought. 



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For the Right Price

This morning Carter woke up in a very grumpy mood. 

It is not unusual for Carter to be a morning grump as he is not a morning person, but today his grumpy was mixed with a swirl of anxiety and a streak of fear.

I overheard Husband ask Carter if he was alright and heard the response that a bad dream had been dreamt.  He did not want to talk about it.

The morning went on as they do.  There was breakfast to eat and backpacks to pack.  I headed off to work and Husband drove Carter to school.  It was on the drive there that Carter opened up about his dream.

Apparently in Carter’s dream, Husband had sold Cody and Carter to a kangaroo. 

Yes, a kangaroo. 

Perhaps because the kangaroo was not particularly into personal hygiene or maybe it was simply that he forgot to pay his water bill, (the reason will forever be a mystery), Cody and Carter had snuck back into our house to take a bath.  It was during this bath that Husband discovered their return, and in his surprise, let out a scream. 

It was at this exact moment in his dream that he was woken up to start his day.  Poor kid.

But I do have to wonder – what was the right price that convinced Husband to sell both our children to a kangaroo?

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Simple Sunday – Crock Pot Cat

Crock Pot Cat

*Please note, no actual cats were harmed in the making of the crock pot pulled pork taco dinner.

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Ask Santa!

At the dining room table this evening, someone farted.

The offensive noise clearly came from across the table so Husband and I were off the hook.  That only left Cody and Carter. 

husband: Who farted? 

Denial.  From both parties (although, I did see one of them smiling a rather Mona Lisa like smile).

Husband made a wild accusation.  (And really he had a 50-50 shot, so perhaps that does not qualify as “wild”.)

husband:  Carter did it.  Carter is guilty!

Carter maintained his innocence.  And then he busted out with some wonderful little boy logic.

carter:  Just ask Santa!  He will tell you.  He knows everything so he can tell you if I farted at the dining room table on Taco Tuesday.

One cannot argue with such watertight logic as that.

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